I'm using Japanese EVERY DAY but

I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO MOTIVATION TO STUDY
Ok let me be a bit more specific. I’m a good boy and always stay on top of my WK reviews :innocent:, aim for 5 new WK things a day (and almost always achieve this goal) as well as my daily Anki deck review (sometimes miss a day here and there).

When I say using Japanese everyday, I mean my phone is in Japanese, I have a Japanese friend who is always talking to me all day long, recently another Japanese friend whom has joined my friends and I in GTA V (both friends can NOT speak any English), Facebook posts, the odd Love Live fan comic in Japanese. I’m reading and communicating for a good part of my day solely in Japanese.

But I have absolutely no motivation to actually sit down and study new grammatical concepts I guess. By no means can I understand everything I see either. Usually I understand absolutely nothing, enough to fill in the blanks and draw a conclusion, or (rare cases) the entire sentence.

Hell, even sitting down and adding new things to my anki deck is a hassle now, and I’ve got a backlog of stuff to add now…

So, is anyone else in the same boat right now? :rofl: I just bought my first JP manga in hopes that the inevitable lack of understanding will drive me to want to go back to the books and learn some more.

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Sounds like you’re doing plenty!

Like the Shakespeare line,
Studying by any other name would uh, learn you as good.

And that all sounds like stuff someone else might call “study” to me! :slight_smile:

I don’t think there’s anything wrong in focusing on the activities that come easily to you! And if you want to branch out, treating it like just another diversion, or an interesting experiment to see how you learn, can be more motivating than thinking it’s this crushing obligation that you gotta do or you aren’t really learning the language.

I’ve sunk a looooot of time into this, including reading a lot of SRS and grammar books, but it was always just – another thing to read on the bus to pass time, or just exploring fiction and topics I like. So in my head the “hours studied” count still feels like it’s 0.

Part of self-studying I think is just learning more about yourself and what learning methods you gravitate naturally towards. And what you can do to nudge the other aspects closer to those ones…

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I can feel you. Studying grammar is like swallowing a bitter pill. I need to drag myself to finish my grammar srs review daily. My only motivation is I need to pass JLPT to put the certificate on my job resume.

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Is your goal to study Japanese or actually use it?

Cause you’re using it, and imo that is all that matters.

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Join a class! If you can…
You might meet some new friends, speak a little more Japanese, and learn grammar as a by-product of hanging out with other people that have the same interest as you.

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First off, you ARE very motivated in studying Japanese! You have hands full on your WK and occasionally Anki, and communicate with Japanese friends. Grammar of ANY language is ALWAYS boring and there is no single sane person on this planet who loves it.

Most importantly, stop thinking that you hate grammar. You don’t need this negative aspect on your Japanese language quest.

What I recommend you to do is to start reading manga and watch anime you really like, thus working with the live language. Naturally you’ll get used to and will learn (and can always quickly look up) very basic and most common sentence structures and grammar rules. That’s it, it’s that simple! The only slightly boring part is that you’ll have to read / reread and watch / rewatch the same stories a few times to decode what was written / said by at least 70-80%.

(Source: living in Japan for 15 years, speaking 4 languages fluently)

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I mean, I think more so than other language learning communities I’ve seen, people studying Japanese LOVE their anki decks and textbooks. (Confession: I don’t even use anki. I hate flashcards with a passion and barely manage to do WaniKani) You can engage with a language without having to do this super formal school-esque “studying.” Sure you can argue about what the most effective, fastest way to learn is, but at the end of the day, why does that matter? It’s not a race. If you’re happy with where you’re at and happy with what you’re currently doing, that’s fine. It’s not like your level is going to decrease since you’re constantly engaging with the language. It’s ok to take breaks. It’s important even, to avoid burnout.

If you get frustrated with the things you can’t understand, but still can’t find it in you to open a textbook, you can try and push yourself to consume some slightly more difficult media or try talking to your friends about more complex topics. Go back to the textbooks when you feel ready, but don’t force yourself.

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I think you are doing great, really.

While I do think as adults we need formal study to master a language and that just “exposing yourself to it” won’t magically make you learn it, I also understand that keeping up with “active study” for long periods can be very stressful and lead to burnouts.

Alternating between periods of “active study”, where you are making vocabulary lists, studying new grammar points, etc and periods of “passive study”, where you just expose yourself to the language and let it go is definitely a good thing. One needs time to let new knowledge to sink in, too.

The very fact you are keeping up with WK and Anki even though you feel demotivated for formal studies is awesome. Keep like that for a couple months, let it chill a bit, and as long as you don’t go back to zero contact with Japanese, your motivation will be back after a while.

Don’t stress yourself too much and enjoy the ride

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What are your goals? Are there any particular reasons to learning more grammar than what you already know? You already use it to talk to Japanese friends and you’re doing well with WK, so you’re in a great position.

Personally, I built my habits for learning Japanese for the worst days, not the best. Some days, I’ll only do WK reviews and let that be “enough for the day”. Other days, I’ll get through my Anki and WK and still have motivation for some grammar review.

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I’m going to go against the grain and say you are young to have to spend some time studying grammar topics. You can pick up vocabulary via a variety of means, but you really need to study what various grammar patterns mean. It is doubly important for a beginner (which it seems you are?) since it’s very different then Proto-Indo-European languages and the way sentences are constructed and runs if the very basic patterns get much need to be studied.

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Maybe it would help if you don’t think you have to ‘sit down and study’ in order to learn grammar. Just do bits here and there.

It sounds like you’re learning best through immersion, so if your Japanese friend says something you don’t understand, look up the grammar for that particular sentence and see if you understand it. Make a note of it and try to use that grammar point yourself when you’re talking so you internalise what it means and how to use it.

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Just wanted to thank everyone for the kind comments.
I’ve been sick so I have been unable to find time to come back here.

I saw some people asking “why” I am learning Japanese.

It’s twofold, I wish to visit Japan next year, and I want to connect with JP Love Live fans/enjoy community&official content .

The issue lately is that due to my health related issues rapidly getting worse, and the COVID situation in Japan still going strong, it looks like next year isn’t going to happen… This has really been setting back my motivation, thus me buying some manga to try and spark myself again.

What was unexpected was the close friendship forming with 3 Japanese people (of which only 1 can speak English), I’m very thankful for this and I dedicate my studying time to them as well in hopes that one day we can communicate effortlessly via Japanese.

It sounds like you just really don’t care for sitting down and studying a textbook. Now, I do want to emphasize that getting lots of natural input and output is way more important than formal study, but that doesn’t mean it has nothing to offer you. Learning grammar properly can help you avoid picking up bad habits, and help you to absorb more out of all that natural input you’re getting.

If you don’t want to sit down in an empty room and shove your face in a textbook, maybe consider taking a class. It can be pricey, but in my opinion, it’s well worth it. And right now is the perfect time to go looking for one, too. Fall semesters are starting up, and even if you don’t have one near you, most of them are going to be online-only anyway! Having a class to look forward to every week has definitely helped me a ton in keeping myself both motivated and disciplined, and I might have fallen off my study entirely without it.

PS: Keep up hope for that trip. Japan is starting to push the vaccines far more heavily and pull out all the stops to increase adoption. You may need to wear a face mask around, but with any luck, you’ll still be able to go on that trip. I certainly hope so, as I’ve got tickets booked for late March next year.

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