Older Learners

yep, do that.


Japanese social customs tend to be very outwardly focused and お客さま oriented.

Overt rudeness tends to make the speaker look bad. So it’s not uncommon to see extreme, overly polite forms of speech if a speaker wants to get back at someone. You’ll sometimes see this sort of aggressive politeness aimed at someone who brags too much or offended in some way.

I won’t pretend to understand it, but it’s definitely a thing.

Just like the seasonal changes in clothing based on the calendar that completely ignore the timing of actual, you know, weather changes that year.

I’ve given up trying to understand. Pretty sure there’s some sort of bat-signal for the clothing thing.


Actually I am trying this but haven’t found a way to erase that need successfully. It seems to be rooted quite deeply. I admire people who can live alone and even do things alone like an お一人様.


The reason behind this is to support the economy by increasing sales for important goods like heat-tech underwear and heat packs. That’s also the reason why offices are cooled down to 15 degrees in summer. And finally if there wouldn’t be a ‘winter season’ no one would need to buy expensive Canadian down jacket brands and moon boots.


I think you are right. Reading senryu / haiku could be a fine beginning. Thank you!



Come join us at senryu a day.

Anyone can participate with help from online dictionaries and such (silent lurking is also fine). A guy I know says tomorrow should be an easy one.


This has been a really informative discussion, thank you.
Too old to have to worry about the kindergarten example, but I think we might need “family t-shirts”, when we go :rofl:


This reminded me of my first year in Taiwan. It was end of October and I said something like, "I knew it was hot here, but I thought for sure it would be cooler by now…’

And my coworker said, ‘No, after blah blah holiday (mid October), the weather is always cooler.’

‘Well, that may be the case, but sure not this week!’ (We were having a late heat wave, where the temperature was hotter than even the beginning of the month.)

‘No, after the holiday, it is always cooler.’

‘But it isn’t, because it’s hotter this week than last week, and two weeks ago.’

‘No, after the holiday is always cooler.’

‘But it literally isn’t right now.’

‘No, you are wrong, after the holiday is always cooler.’

At which point I lost patience and was all, no it isn’t! I get what you are trying to say, that the holiday marks the time in the year when the temperature drops in general…but it IS NOT cooler now than the beginning of the month. It is literally hotter this week. Right now it is hotter. Look at the temperature. Compare!

This went on for 5 minutes and she said, ‘I think understand what you mean. Today is hotter than t was two weeks ago…’ and then under her breath, ‘…but it always gets cooler after the holiday.’


Four distinct seasons! only in Japan!!! :upside_down_face:


I think I started getting into NHK easy news around level 8. On each article, they give a basic idea of how many N5,N4,N3,N2,N1 words there are so that gave me an idea of which articles i could get through without too many lookups. You can look up on wanikani stats page what kanji you know based on level: for example at level 8 you would know:
N5 94.94%
N4 59.04%
N3 16.35%
N2 8.17%
N1 0.49%.

I am currently around level 16 in wanikani and am sort of comfortable reading the easiest content on Satori Reader, but they also have a specific function to import what you know from wanikani to show furigana for words you do not know so it is easier to tailor to your level. As for native material, I haven’t tried reading any recently, but will probably try again around level 20 and see how it goes. I haven’t tried looking up a break down of kanji for any native material yet as I feel I am not at that point, but if you could, you could relate it to wanikani stats to at least give you some idea of how readable it would be.


Belatedly: thank you all so much for your fascinating contributions to this thread! I love hearing about everyone’s journeys with the language, and there’s so much excellent advice here. I no longer feel like a lonely old language learner.


I’m turning 50 this summer. This is my third attempt at WK and fourth attempt at kanji. Got to level 25 in WK pre-pandemic and then just dropped off with other things on my plate. Reset to level 21. So now I’m working through a big pile of reviews…
It’s weird going through reviews of stuff I haven’t studied in two years. Some kanji or vocab where I don’t consciously know, but the reading and meaning just come to me from somewhere deep in the unconscious. Of course there’s lots that are just “In no way have I ever studied this kanji” even though I have.

Anyway, WK is great. I’ve let off some of pressure to finish quickly. I’ll finish some day.


But why? What’s the point? I’m older than you btw. :sweat_smile:


initiating existential crisis


All this time I thought I’m an “older learner” just because I’ve just started my Japanese learning quite recently (early 30s). Most people I know started in their teens, and they achieved their fluency after “moving to Japan, married/dating a Japanese, working for a Japanese company, or anything else that involves real-life full immersion”. I’m neither of those.

Seeing how in this thread “older = in their 40s or later” makes me even more motivated. I’m not too late after all. My progress is not that fast, I can only spare around <45 mins a day, I think. I haven’t even touched grammar yet but I do feel some progress.

I used to feel nauseous when trying to study a language that doesn’t use Latin alphabet…like “there’s no way I would be able to understand all these characters”. My first time seeing a hiragana table made me want to puke :joy: However, Tofugu and WK method really works for me. Associating characters with shapes & mnemonics and breaking down complicated characters into smaller radicals made learning kana & kanji less scary.


45 mins a day is great, just keep going.


Got through half of my 1600 reviews. Knocking them down a hundred or more a day.
Probably hit 2000 burns today or tomorrow. Gonna slowly start adding lessons slowly, because I don’t want the demotivation of an avalanche of reviews making my review count pile up again.


頑張って! :muscle:

And consider joining us in here: WaniKani Study Buddy Race - 2022, All Aboard!

P. S. I’m LOL b’cuz of you PFP :rofl:

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Glad you got a kick out of it. I’m hoping WK will fill in the missing parts. :crazy_face: