"Never Give Up, Never Surrender!"

So, a few days ago, I started getting discouraged. “It’s not as easy as it was,” I said to myself. “I’m not sure I can keep going with this.” But then I remembered the emails from WaniKani reminding me it wasn’t going to be easy. And then I remembered that there’s always bumps in the road, and without them, I can’t actually get better.

And then, of course, one of my favorite movies popped up into my head with one of its trademark phrases: “Never give up, never surrender!” It’s cheesy, I know, but sometimes we need cheesy to make us laugh and keep us pushing forward.

So, my advice to anyone who feels like they’re stuck and can’t push forward: be patient with yourself, keep doing the work, and you’ll find your breakthrough. Never give up; remember why you’re studying Japanese. Never surrender; don’t let what’s safe and easy keep you from your dreams.

I would love to hear from others what keeps them motivated. Why are you studying Japanese? What are your dreams for your future? What do you turn to to keep yourself motivated?

Alright, feeling motivated? Then press on, fellow nerds!


I wouldn’t really say I’m motivated. I’ve accepted I’ll never be ‘good’. But, I’ve been trying so long as this point, its just normal for me. It would be weird to not be trying to learn Japanese.


Also, even one vocab lesson per day is still “pushing forward”. What I find so motivating with WaniKani is that it focuses you on those small daily achievements. It doesn’t say “1900 kanji left to go”. Instead it says “here are the next few dozen kanji that you can learn right now, let’s go”.


Threads as these cannot be complete without a link to this video
There should be a bot for this.


I was discouraged for a while recently because my brain just didn’t want to remember anything and I was getting review scores in the 60s and 70s and it was really demoralizing. Then I got the advice to stop mainlining lessons and reviews and everything improved. There’s a mentality that you should bust through levels as fast as possible to get to golden Level 60, but once I got into the 20s that just wasn’t working out.

Now I space my reviews out into 30-40 item chunks so if I get bombed with a couple hundred at once I don’t get fatigued and make dumb mistakes. I also installed the undo script for when I make dumb errors so I don’t feel like I lost six months of my life when I type “the other day” instead of “recently”. And I’ve started really focusing on studying my leeches so they can’t affect other vocabulary instead of pressing forward with new lessons.

It’s a rough climb, so take it easy and celebrate little victories! I can read so much more kanji on JTwitter than I could at the beginning of the year and it feeeeeels gooood.


You basically read my heart…

Right now I have so much stuff going on at Uni, and with everything being online, with no personal contact to any other students/lecturers/tutors it’s just so, so hard to keep motivated. I’m doing some electronics courses this semester and holy c*** they are so hard to follow. Every week I’m falling behind a little bit more. Every week my backlog increases a little bit more. When I study Japanese I feel like I should be studying for Uni instead. When I don’t study at all, I feel like I’m wasting time.

About a week ago I’ve started to fall behind on reviews. When they reached 200+ on Tuesday I’ve turned on vacation mode. It doesn’t make me feel better. This mid-of-semester stress made me quit two times before and it even made me do a reset once.

But you know what? NOT THIS TIME AROUND.

I will slow down. I will do less lessons. It will take a month to finish a single level. But I will not stop to go on. I’m going to deactivate vacation mode now and work through those reviews. I will sit down and make a plan how I’m going to make it through this winter.

:snail: \dots \dots \dots \dots :golf:


Something I’ve always said to myself, albeit a little cliche, is “something is better than nothing”. Every day is different; you won’t always have the same amount of time, or the same level of motivation and determination, but even just a little - even just one lesson in a day, or 10 reviews a day - is better than none at all. I think this can be applied to many aspects of life, but especially with languages as they require constant exposure and immersion.

There’s no deadline to learning, so there’s no need to rush. Every step forward is a step closer to fluency. If you keep putting in little efforts every day or even just most days, you’ll eventually wake up one day and realize you can read that sentence you couldn’t before, or you can understand that paragraph you didn’t before, and so on.

So keep at it, fighting~ :muscle:


Oh my word, I’d almost forgotten this video existed! Thank you for sharing that, I’m totally making that a part of my motivational clips, haha.

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I think practicing because it’s weird not to practice is still a sort of motivation. It even sounds like you’ve made a habit out of it, which is awesome. This is still sorta new to me, so it’s not yet a habit to come back often. I’m looking forward to getting to where you’re at, where it’s weird to not review.


Ooh, I would love knowing where to find this. I just got dinged because I pressed submit before I was even done typing. :sweat:


Indeed something is better than nothing, I’m not doing a lot now because I’m demotivated because I’ve no idea what to work on exactly while I wait for JLPT results, lol.

So I’m just randomly reading manga and books.

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You got Leeboed by 2 hours :crazy_face:.

@aleksandr_b Didn’t even have to click the link to know what it was :smiley:.


This is beautiful.

Here’s an overall guide which I found really useful when I was starting out. Has a bunch of really useful tips and a list of user scripts, including the undo one you’re looking for:

Aw shucks, I scrolled through too quickly while checking it :sweat_smile:


It’s all good, never can have too many motivational vids.

Thank you so much for this guide. It’s already taught me a lot about what I can do now to improve my studying technique, as well as those scripts you mentioned. Also, thank you for showing me by example how to reply to multiple people without needing to hit the reply button multiple times. :sweat_smile:


One shouldn’t forget the inspirational music overlaid version!
It’s beautifully encouraging


I’ve always wanted to know Japanese.

When I was little, we’d go to Japanese restaurants and I thought their language sounded like music. I wanted to sound like that.

As I got older, I enjoyed some Animes and wished I could understand what they were saying vs reading subtitles. Same with Manga and music.

As I went to college, I needed a language. I wanted to learn Japanese, but my counselor and friends did not recommend it. I took German, as I had taken it in High School. I’m 50% German, 25% German/Russian (Germans that lived on the Volga river in Russia), and 25% Polish-ish. I’m 3rd/4th Gen and no one in my family has spoken German since the Great Grandparents.

As I lived on my own, I wished I knew Japanese when I would go shopping at a Japanese Market place.

After I married, I went to Japan and even though I didn’t know 99% of what was said or written around me. There was a great sense of Peace. This is even after being stranded at Narita Airport, as the Typhoon had just hit.

I got tired of people telling me that it is too hard. That I’ll never (insert whatever). Trying will open doors, while doing nothing will only keep them shut. There is no pace. There is no deadline. Only progress if I want progress.

:slight_smile: Learning is fun. Challenging oneself beats away the insanity.

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This is a lie.

Coming up with your catch phrase isn’t what got you motivated.

Coming here to the forums and posting is what got you motivated!

Yes, I am kidding of course. Though we all do seem to like to try to help, so if you are ever at a point when your slogan doesn’t work, don’t give up… come visit us! :smiley:

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