Japanese Lightbulb Moments

A very similar thread to this closed last year, but I want to resurrect this idea because I just had a lightbulb moment with one of the context sentences and would like to share my enthusiasm :smiley:

Level 6 vocab - 土地 (land)
This isn’t your land.”

Obviously, this is a basic sentence for most users. For me, however, this is proof that my recent grammar studies have actually clicked for the first time. I usually don’t read the context sentences, but actually understood this before I read the translation, which to me is mind-blowing :exploding_head:

I reset from I think Lv11 to Lv1 a few months ago. Previously, I had ignored grammar thinking, “I’ll look into that later when I can read a few more kanji.” However, that made the context sentences totally irrelevant for me. That’s not the case anymore though :muscle:

I have been supplementing my studies with Lingodeer this time round and at Lv6 I can already feel the (basic) grammar knowledge paying off. I feel like I’m actually learning the language now and I’m able to combine what I’ve learned from two sources into my current Japanese knowledge. Imagine what I could achieve if I did more listening & speaking practice! :thinking:

I’m sure I’ll look back on this and cringe at how simple these kanji & sentence are, but hey… we all have to start somewhere!

Please share whatever it is that gave you a ‘Lightbulb Moment’ in your Japanese studies, whether it’s kanji recognition, listening or reading awareness or even having your first conversation. Enthusiasm can be infectious!

Good luck and happy learning :vulcan_salute:


For me, it’s when I eventually surpass you on Lingodeer. :stuck_out_tongue: :eyes:

Joking aside. I can completely relate to that wonderful sensation of understanding. For me it came from listening to something and realizing I understood without having to “translate” it.


Blockquote For me, it’s when I eventually surpass you on Lingodeer. :stuck_out_tongue: :eyes:

Never!! Lingodeer XP is Life!!

(Everyone is welcome to join the Lingodeer Leaderboard if, like me, you need good natured competition to motivate you.)

@Aralakh Can you remember what it was that you were listening to at the time? Anime, or a podcast? I don’t watch much at present, but I’m looking to join in with whatever the 80’s & 90’s Anime thread choose for their next program. Fingers crossed I can recognise 1 word in 100!

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Realising, that the wanikani loading screen says “考えている”, or “thinking”


Probably my favourite to this day is the fact that 女 consists of the strokes く, ノ, and 一. If you don’t know this trivia, go on and look up what くノ一 means.

Oh, and for a more recent one, 君 is made up of コ, ロ, and ナ.


Honestly, I don’t exactly remember the what. Only the sense of having that understanding. It was most likely one of the Genki audio tracks — in which I realized the meaning before looking at the translation. With anime, it doesn’t seem as profound for some reason. Maybe because I’m engaging with it differently (entertainment). Who knows. However, I’ve had that sensation with anime as well at times.

Maybe it’ll be different when I watch more anime without English subs. I did notice it quite a bit when I watched Haikyuu (w/ Japanese subs).

I was reading Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life and there were a few poems at the end that the author references and I started to read the Japanese. I kept going and read the whole sentence and understood it before reading the English translation! It was so cool and made me realize how much WaniKani has been helping!


Haha, definitely this! And when one can read it quickly enough before the circle makes a turn.

For me those lightbulb moments are usually when I realize that the meaning of a word is literally its kanji combined in the most straightforward of ways, but before have been just casually remembering it as a whole without thinking much.

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While 女 is indeed literally the 3 strokes (in that order) く, ノ, 一 ;
I don’t think Japanese people will think about 尹 being made of コ and ナ, because that is not the order of the strokes (but ヨ, ノ may be a better decomposition).

(EDIT: … oh… コロナ… 新型のように… well, yes, in that specific case as a pun and due of the high presence of コロナ word, a special case can be done for those three kana combining to make 君 (particularly in “gothic” typeface).

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My lightbulb moment actually happened recently. This was when I was trying to read “Japanese Stories for Beginners” in my Kindle. I have been learning Japanese on and off for a very long time, and so there’s little to no obvious change in my ability to understand. I looked up graded readers just to actually test what I know and found this book. Fast forward, the challenge was to read the first story without looking at the translation. Sure, I wasn’t able to fully understand it, but I should say 50% to 60%, I got right! I got the gist of it! I was so happy I felt like I was actually moving forward after all these years.

Ohh! I started LingoDeer early this year as well! Add me for the leaderboards! hahaha!

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