Learning Japanese is by no means easy. This is something I’ve known since the beginning of my journey. I’ve put off grammar and kanji for awhile out of fear. This weekend I got a wake up call. I don’t know if I can really call it a wake up call since I knew it was coming, but it was my first time since I picked up Japanese that I considered dropping it. This is normal! But, its depressing at the same time.
I met with my Japanese teacher and we began reviewing something I’ve been dreading… GRAMMAR!! As we began adding layers to sentences and learning new particles I felt lost. I was learning to write very simple sentences such as “I am going to read a book at the library at 3:00PM”, but it was just not getting through to my brain. I asked my sensei if she could go a little slower and she hesitated. She told me that this was the pace she went for all of her beginner students. So, was she calling me stupid?? She then told me to start writing my own sentences, since I will need to write eventually. I warned her that I didn’t know all of my hiragana strokes and sometimes failed to recall characters even though I could read them pretty well. When I couldn’t for the life of me remember the character for “Mi”, she giggled and said this was so easy. It was not a good feeling to say the least.
I made the huge mistake of taking it personal and went home that day fuming and wondering why I had ever thought I could tackle this language. It was not going to get any easier… just more difficult. But then I really thought about it. Did I EVER think I would be reading hiragana and katakana characters? Hell, no. Did I think I’d know as much as I do up to this point? No… not in my wildest dreams. And look at how far I’ve gotten. To quit now after hearing a few negative comments would be a disservice to myself and all my other fellow Japanese learners.
So, what’s the first thing I did this morning? I woke up, wrote out flashcards, started going over stroke order and practiced using all the particles I’ve learned so far. Oh no way am I going out like that!! So if you ever feel as dumb as I did when trying to learn Japanese, or anything, don’t let anyone get in your way. I plan to march up to my lesson next Saturday knowing everything I was supposed to know and more. This has added fuel to my fire! And now I’m logging off of wordpress so I can study some more. I’ll leave you with my favorite phrase in the entire Japanese language..Minna-san…