Rethinking Languages

TL;DR I had a rough time on Monday’s class and am rethinking learning Japanese.

I had the hardest time in Japanese on Monday. We had a two week break and apparently it only takes two weeks for me to forget everything I know about Japanese. Not French though, VSB will be pleased to know that the phrases I was expected to say came easily to me in French but was a complete loss for me in the language that mattered that night.

I’m not sure if that’s a feat or not, but it was another moment for me to realize just how difficult it is to try and do what I do. I want to learn languages but I don’t want to forget the ones I know already. A question that came up on one of my apps (it is just one that asks random questions under the guise of “what if”) asked if I could learn a new language but forget the one I know right now would I. It’s a fair question but my reaction was immediate. No. As much as I want to learn new languages in order to converse with more people I don’t want to lose the language I was born with. It’s already difficult realizing that for each language I learn, it’s another reason that I won’t be able to talk to my family.

I don’t know if it was a sign or not but one of the big issues I had involved numbers,w which were never my friend in high school math. But as I previously noted I had to say it was 3:30 for example, and I knew it was san something or other, but in protest my mind said it was san et demie or rather trois et demie. It was examples like that I was oddly proud that I still remembered that but more than that frustrated that no matter what I thought I couldn’t answer it the way they wanted. I just couldn’t and I felt stunted, less than, perhaps almost learning disabled. It was the first time I realized that although I know a relative amount of vocabulary, not to mention good pronunciation and listening comprehension, I still felt that that was barely the tip of the ice berg.

I realized I don’t want this. Japanese has dragged on a class or two to many and I have lost the drive to attend class eagerly. I still love Japanese and the culture as well but I feel like an old hat… or rather I feel like I’ve experienced as much Japanese and its culture that I would ever want to. I am satiated. Moreover I realized a fine example that perhaps not many people would understand, but I will of course explain it. I want to know SHINee Japanese, not An Cafe or GazettE Japanese. The difference? An Cafe and GazettE are native Japanese speakers, so of course they can make any song work with the language they already have. SHINee are natively Korean and are probably taught enough Japanese to pass through to the Japanese market (each member has different fluency) This is what I always wanted, enough language to get by, not enough to make me native because truth be told that is impossible. I will never be native to any language but English. And I am fine with this. That one moment when I thought “wouldn’t it be cool if I could understand anime without reading the subtitles?” was a nice thought, and occasionally I can recognize what they are saying without reading. But as I said, I am satiated. I’ll finish the classes but after that I’m done. Although I’d love to bookmark this all with a trip to Japan. I am ready for another language.

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Rethinking Languages

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