I had ran into a major problem. A problem which I never thought I would never suffer from. Actually, let me start from the beginning of my so called ‘journey’ in learning Japanese. Like many here, when I discovered the wonders of the Japanese language I was overwhelmed by its awesomeness. It was almost as if I discovered a whole new world, I was honestly mind blown. I can remember clearly the day I discovered it, I was looking for TV shows similar to Avatar: The Last Airbender which was actually an american cartoon. I was recommended Fullmetal Alchemist on an online forum. All my life I have disregarded Japan despite growing up watching Naruto, Yu Gi Oh, etc. Once I finished the series, I vowed on that day to start learning Japanese, I mean it can’t be that difficult of a language right? I instantly rushed to the internet searching for hours on ’ How to learn Japanese’, ‘Best way to learn Japanese’ etc. I then purchased Genki 1 & 2 and went breezed through them in about 2-3 months. ‘Super easy’, I thought at the time, ‘There’s no way this language is one of the most difficult to learn.’ Hungry to learn more I continued to research other methods such as AJATT. I didn’t particularly like the whole ‘learn like a baby’ thing because it seemed a bit stupid to be honest. Babies and adults are different in many ways. I did however like the concept of sentence mining. At this time, I also discovered WaniKani which at the time was a huge accomplishment as I didn’t know where to go after Genki.
Literally every day, I surfed online for all things Japanese and found posts on Reddit. People just like me and greater levels in Japanese than me sharing their thoughts. A theme which kept occuring throughout the posts was the idea of ‘burning out’. ‘That could never happen to me’ I thought at the time. I was so obessed with Japanese how could I possibly burn out. I continued with WaniKani constantly doing all the reviews and constantly learning all the words as they came. i also continued with sentence mining usng Anki. As months went by I felt my desire for learning Japanese quickly deteriorating. It felt like all the energy and passion I had when I first started was dying. It was around my 17th birthday last year that I just couldn’t take it anymore and I ultimately lost desire. I was still doing reviews and stuff but I wasn’t learning anything new. Earlier this year, the seemingly endless wanikani reviews drove me nuts and I unsubscribed at around level 20 and instead of quitting I tried to find other methods as many language learners do and came across the idea of immersion in native materials. At the time, I was excited because it was definitely better than doing flashcards all the time. This excitement didn’t last very long as I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of words I didn’t know.
I felt stuck. It felt as if there was a brick wall I couldn’t penetrate. I didn’t want to quit because I HATE starting something and not finishing it but at the same time I want to enjoy learning Japanese and not make it like a chore. How do I keep Japanese fun to learn? Do i switch between methods? Do I use textbooks like when i used Genki? Should I use both flashcards and textbooks as well as diving into native materials? It’s all too confusing.
(sorry if I bored you with my life story lol)