"Oh, I can do this!" Moments

I had a really great Japanese experience today and feel compelled to share!

I’ve been studying Japanese for a looooong while, since 2008, but I’m still kind of an N4ish level because self taught, studying off-and-on, and dealing w a lot of life and mental illness getting in the way. Lately, the latter has REALLY been getting in the way. Even though I have such a strong desire to learn Japanese, sometimes it’s so hard to get the motivation to even do ten reviews, and it’s really easy to get down on myself like “I should know way more Japanese by now since it’s been a decade,” stuff like that.

Today I went to get my hair done. I’ve recently moved to a new city, so I’ve been trying out new places. My stylist said he was from Japan, and I asked what part and such, and he asked if I’d been. I said no, but I’d like to, and I decided to go for it and tell him that I was studying. He switched to Japanese and I went along with it and somehow… managed just fine? It was my second time ever actually practicing speaking Japanese since my uni course in 2008, so I really had no idea I had it in me. We didn’t switch back to English at all, even for stuff about my hair, and at the end of it, HE thanked ME for some reason. I was like, lol, dude, you don’t understand how helpful this was. I’m still kind of in disbelief that I actually did it and was so comfortable.

I’m feeling so much more confident and motivated, so here’s hoping I can ride this wave. I’ve been super petrified to try speaking Japanese w a native speaker, but now I know I can, so hopefully this is the push I need to find a conversation group or finally join a class or something! Learning a language is hard when you’re shy ^^;

Have you ever had a moment like this where you suddenly realized, oh heck, hang on, I KNOW Japanese!?


Advanced language learning is basically a never ending pendulum shift from going “I know nothing and have wasted hundreds of hours to barely reach the levels of a native 5 year old who’s not even paying attention” to “woah, didn’t even feel like I was listening to a foreign language just now, what”


Well, I spent a semester abroad in Tokyo and just startet learning Japanese half year before that, therefore I am by far not on a level to actually speak Japanese (not to speak of understanding it) when people speak normally. However, at the end of my stay in Japan, my family visited me and we did some shopping. And there was this clerk in a clothing store, which I talked to, and I was surprised how well it actually went. I mean I sounded like a cavemen, but I think he understood me, and I also more understood what he was saying. It really was a nice feeling to experience first real-life successes :slight_smile:

Speaking of hairdressers, I also met a very nice lady who put effort in speaking in a way we could talk a little, I think it’s just a global hairdresser thing to be communicative.




go back to that barber shop!!


This. Very this.

I’ve had conversations in Japan that went so smoothly that in my memory they happened in English, and then I’ll turn around and not be able to make sense of someone saying “where are you from?”


Whoa, dude.
Mysteries of universe.

My “OMG” moment was asking a police officer in Japan ”便所はどこですか” and having him understand exactly what I was saying.

Another awesome moment was just saying おはよう to someone walking down the street early in the morning, they smiled and seemed very happy that I knew that word and said it back.


This. One of the nice things about visiting Japan is the way you can completely brighten someone’s day just by saying hello. :slightly_smiling_face:


Ha! Only ten years in? You got this. I live in Japan currently, just took ( failed?) JLPT today, have a long way to go, and have been studying Japanese for… 15 years.

It’s a mind-numbing figure to me. But yes, language is the bottomless swamp of learning. There are only layers of mastery, no definite end.

Recently I have been learning to enjoy the endless intricacies of it. ‘Oh, of course there are 5 more words I have never heard before. Wow, this is still interesting.’ This includes knowing when to let the language just wash over me rather than attempting to add a million little new words at once.

P. S. Just dawned on me that as of tomorrow I have officially been studying Japanese for half of my entire time on earth. Whaaaaat. Better keep on keeping on, make sure i have something to show for it :joy:


What a lovely experience!

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I have two moments.

The first one: January 2018.

I moved to Singapore last September, and my Japanese level is just around reading translations of Sheena Ringo lyrics and watching Nichijou with subs. I was sitting on the middle seat of a somewhat empty MRT car when this cute little girl with her mom get in and sit next to me. They were quiet and all, but on the next station, a woman come in and apparently they know each other because they looked overjoyed WAAA WAA and start talking in Japanese. I thought, ah, what are the odds… BUT THEN

The women asked the kid: “コンペはどう?”
Girl: “まけた” sad face
Involuntarily, me: “aaaww, しょうがない…”
awkward stare

They smiled, but I was so embarrassed!! I then shamefully nodded and get off the train – 20 seconds later, which seems like FOREVER. The following night, I signed up for a class. It’s been a very fun journey so far!

Homework + Wanikani + Renshuu.org = :slight_smile:

We’ll never know what competition the girl lose, though. Blame my introvert side.

Second moment: couple minutes ago.

Ah, this is a good thread.
*click *
Ah, I can tell my story here.
*click *


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