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Friday, January 08, 2010

Breaking Through

I'm closing in on the end of the first level of the Japanese Rosetta stone, I only have the final fourth unit to go, and I've come to a realization; I'm really enjoying learning Japanese. This is a big deal, mainly because through seven years in grade school and two terms at Furman I never once enjoyed learning Spanish. It always seemed like a chore to me, something I had to do to graduate but didn't really want to do. When I set out to learn Japanese I knew that I was already at an advantage in that I wanted to learn, but I was never really sure if I would enjoy learning the language. I am happy to discover that I am enjoying learning Japanese, and I think this, more than anything, will help me along.

Learning a language takes discipline, there's no doubt about that, and you need to be regularly working with the language if you want to make any real progress. But the more something feels like a chore, the less you want to do it. The fact that I am enjoying learning Japanese turns that chore into something I want to do, and makes it easier for me to devote my free time to it. I remember making the comment once that I would prefer for everyone to just learn English because learning a foreign language was too much of a hassle. My Spanish professor thought that was a short sighted view and was a poor outlook on language learning. I'm happy to discover seven years later that he was right, it is a poor outlook, I just didn't like his language. So for those people who never felt like they could master a language other than their own, I'd encourage you to give it another go. There was never any doubt in my mind that I would be unable to learn another language, I am happy to be proving myself wrong.