Dealing with motivation and breaks

I had a 2+ months break and had a pile of 1600+ yesterday. Chipping off the pile slowly. Currently at 1200 or so. I took a break after I left Japan. Was not really fond of the work culture and the people over there. Decided that I should give the language a second go. Half of my motivation was really from Japan and not the language itself. I seem to have lost that part. Has anyone else had a similar experience? If not with Japan, how did you deal with low motivation phases?
And with respect to Wanikani, There are a few words and kanji that I can only answer after taking a few seconds to think and remember. But once I get those correct, they get burnt. I would have preferred another go before burns. Should I reset or should I just continue at this pace?


Regarding Wanikani itself, even if you needed some time to remember some items you could still remember them, so it does mean you could successfully memorize them (in my opinion). If you feel unsure about that you can reset these items only (I did that with 2 words).
For low motivation phase, just do things slowly and maybe try to take some time to think about new motivations ? What do you like about the language ? Do you want to read Japanese books in Japanese ? Play games ? You said half of your motivation came from Japan itself, so it does mean half of your motivation came from something else. What about that something else ? Also, even if you don´t intend to work in Japan anymore, Japanese language might still be useful in your current/future work. For example : my ex japanese boyfriend got a job in England because he could speak japanese and was the only one to understand the stock market and so on in Japanese.
So, hope that helps a little :slight_smile:


I’m sorry but if you don’t like Japan or Japanese people what is the point of learning Japanese? I am not trying to be rude, but Japanese isn’t a language used outside of Japan so I’m not sure how you will find motivation if you don’t have much interest.

But maybe you just meant the people who you were working with? If thats the case then media, or meeting a Japanese person you do like spending time with, HelloTalk or something similar might be good should give you some motivation.

In terms of WaniKani, I would just continue at the pace you are at now. If you find the word while reading and you don’t know what it is, you can always look it up or write it down for later. I think thats a better option than resetting. If you don’t know the word it will be reset back to a lower level anyway.


I usually take the high road - if I feel my motivation is waning, I ask myself: why am I doing this? And then the motivation comes back, even if slowly or not as strong.

As for not liking it in Japan, there is still plenty you can do with the language outside of Japan - treating it as a fun hobby, working on translations (loads of that needed), either of written or audio material, etc. No need to feel discouraged :slight_smile: .


I didnt know you could reset specific words. That sounds better.
In terms of the other half, its mostly reading. And even though not related to the language as such, japanese game music and prog rock culture.
EDIT: Also an urge to clear the remaining JLPT levels (N2, N1). Exams get me excited for some reason.

Yes. I am still working in a Japanese firm and my clients are also majorly Japanese. Would like to improve further for some career growth and I am keeping options open for working at a better firm in Japan or moving to japan with the current firm.
Plus, I am huge fan of the “place” and the food.


I can certainly relate with the losing the motivation part after having been in Japan for a while. I returned home with some bitterness in my baggage after having some rather nasty run ins with some of the darker parts of the Japanese mindset(Work culture and personal relations). It’s not all sunshine and rainbows of course.

My Japanese studying was shot for a while after that. I eventually got back on the studying though after having some really nice experiences with teachers on Italki and meeting some really nice Japanese people online. It’s all down to the individual after all. Not to mention, I changed my approach to viewing it more like a way to keep my mind in shape while working towards a goal rather than just putting a culture on some kind of pedestal. All in all, I think it’s all turned out for the better even if it felt really rough for a while.

I guess I just mostly wanted to say good luck and keep at it! :slight_smile:


I can agree on this. And I feel I was half the problem. After all, “I” was not able to blend in. Glad that I am not the only one with some bad experiences. Will try italki out. Thank you so much.

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