This whole having a reason to speak Japanese thing… it’s a pickle right? It’s why most people quit. Why speak Japanese if… say… you have no intention of ever living or working in Japan? What possible use could sinking 2000-5000 hours into learning something like that even be worth?
Well, I just want to say that I have been having an amazing time lately just meeting people in my community who are Japanese, are interested in learning about Japanese culture or are learning the language right here in my hometown of Sudbury, Ontario. It has truly shifted my perspective on language learning as a whole.
On another post, I talked about ordering a whole meal in Japanese for the first time at a local Artisan Restaurant. Well, since then, I’ve been going back there (of course) and I’ve made a number of friends. Japanese language learners, Japanese-Canadians, all amazingly friendly people.
Lately, I’ve participated in a haiku poetry seminar with one of Canada’s top haiku lecturers. I’ve spent weekends making shiroan for daifuku mochi. I’ve participated in a tea ceremony where I was able to share resources with other language learners. And last night, I was asked if I wanted to volunteer to help with the Japanese festival happening here in July.
Needless to say, my Japanese abilities have increased very quickly.
And I have a message. Take that chance. If you are in a city where there aren’t many Japanese people or Japanese language learners, you should want to meet the ones that are out there near you! It is to your mutual benefit to seek out those people near you. (Even if there aren’t TONS and TONS of them.) Make a local Facebook group. Do something.
This is a super constructive hobby. It is well-meaning, it is engaging and I now feel like I’m a part of something greater than just language learning. And I wish anyone that wants that, to do the same.
Positive rant over. PJ out.