And now let’s translate that to Japanese. Then you know you’re learning Japanese.
To off-top further: great avatar. I’ve only seen the anime, but I love rewatching it with JP subs. The very rapid dialogue makes for great listening practice.
Few anime have made me laugh as much as that one episode.
I think I “realized” I was learning Japanese was when I registered for Japanese 102, after validating 101. The number of students had dramatically decreased as well. A lot of people registered for 101 but quickly dropped out. As one of those who made it through to the next level, I felt that yes, indeed, I am learning Japanese for real. Well, that, plus the content. I remember we started having more “complex” grammar, like ~なければならない, and it felt like we were getting into the deeper end of the pool. (We were supposed to reach N5 at the end of that class too).
This may sound silly, but it was a few years ago when I could read along to the little lyric subtitles in anime. I didn’t understand all of the lyrics, but I was able to read along without any issues and it clicked. I could read that!
I stagnated for a long time in reading, even though I’ve been able to understand and speak N5-N4 level Japanese for a while. But I could never read a whole book, or finish a game entirely in Japanese because of all the kanji. I’m having another “realization” now that I’ve been doing WaniKani for over half a year at this point, because I can read all kinds of things and actually understand what people are saying on the internet! Again, I still commit a lot of grammar mistakes but it’s such a rush being able to comprehend a stranger’s comments on the Japanese side of Youtube.
I wasn’t really meaning anything intellectual. I don’t care about tests and didn’t take/pass any so far.
Maybe I didn’t understand what you said very well. To answer it, I would say I feel like that with anime or games. Basically, I watch an anime and I can repeat the same sentences, especially if it’s like a special move.
Here is an example of me adding a transcript to an anime scene that I love, even though it takes me forever with my current skills.
I also tried to translate other things that are more difficult, you can check my topics. That’s when I start feeling like I am becoming Japanese.
For me it was the first time I noticed my brain had translated something without me actively “trying” to. It was an awesome feeling
There are different levels of ‘taking root’ i guess, in the sense that you reach new plateaus constantly. It motivates me a great deal. I’m obviously not where I want to be, but had that feeling when for the first time:
- I understood a said sentence
- Could comment on a translation to elaborate on what it missed (in my opinion)
- Understood some language related humour
- Didn’t need to translate to understand
- Could infer the meaning/reading of an unknown kanji based on context
I was watching Naruto (which I hadn’t yet seen in English) and realized I was catching the names of the characters in Japanese. This might seem very simple, and it was. But I knew nothing of the Japanese language at the time, no hiragana, nothing, I just picked an anime and started watching. That is where it all started.
More recently, I was on a train and two people were speaking in Japanese about the weather. I hadn’t checked the report that morning, but understood what they were saying.
Reading an entire NHK Easy News article without stopping to contemplate the grammar, vocab or kanji. Japanese sentence order usually stifles my comprehension and I often spend a minute or so contemplating every other sentence in a news article. Trying to figure out what で is doing and what に is pointing towards are the usual culprits. For the first time it felt like I was just reading an article and not studying it.
When I began to dream in Japanese. Although my mom’s latin I didn’t grow up speaking spanish and picked it up in high school (this is over 10+ years now), and I knew spanish was taking root when I started dreaming in spanish and having full spanish conversations in my sleep.
Same started happening for me with Japanese recently. My first japanese dream was probably about a week ago. When I woke up I remember feeling so excited that I cried a bit because I have reorganized my entire life around learning the language and it felt like it was truly integrating itself into my day to day experience. And it wasn’t deep, but it was about celebrating my birthday and I spent the day with japanese friends who spoke only to me in japanese. This isn’t my reality now (and my birthday was last month) but it reminded me of what’s truly possible.
That and someone posted an infographic with for words using 水, and they wrote 火曜日 for Wednesday instead of 水曜日. The fact that I could pick that up was an “omg this is real for me” moment
At the start, I used to have to write out Japanese sentences, chunk them apart, and rearrange them in the English order to make sense of them. Eventually I realized that I no longer needed to do this for the majority of sentences I read as they started to just feel natural. It felt as if I had finally developed enough of a mental framework for it in my brain. Now, years later, it’s awkward and difficult for me to understand Japanese explained in the context of English because they feel quite separate. When I read Japanese, it’s in Japanese. There’s no translation to English anymore.
I’m only on level 3 so far, but already I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I’m also using BunPro for grammar, and that is especially helpful because there are so many sounds in spoken Japanese that are not typical ‘vocabulary’ covered in WaniKani (at least up to level 3; I’ll find out later after upgrading, I suppose ). Now I’m able to actually hear more than just a few snippets of vocab words here and there in spoken Japanese. I can actually pick out some of the structure words/sounds also, which in turn helps me to better pick out the vocab words, and then put together a general meaning of what’s being said – if it’s spoken slowly enough!
If you just made that up on the fly, I salute you! If you’ve already used it before and are just repeating it for our benefit, I still salute you! Love it!
I suppose you also know the many useful ways that the versatile word f*ck can be used. It qualifies as pretty much any part-of-speech you can imagine. There’s a good audio recording out there detailing the many uses of this wonderful word!
I started learning Japanese a few months ago, and this happened to me for the first time two days ago.
I was on the app HelloTalk, talking with a Japanese native, when I was able to read their full sentence and greeting in Japanese. It was just like reading English! Instead of slowly sounding things out and “scrolling” through the vocabulary in my head, it just clicked.
I used to think that learning Japanese would be an impossible task. I thought it might just be another phase I was going through where I might quit after a while. But I READ and UNDERSTOOD it, like my native tongue! It hit me like a ton of bricks.
“Shoot, dude, I’m able to full-on talk and read Japanese.” I was so incredibly proud of myself, and it pushed me to learn even more. That’s actually how I found WaniKani! I desperately searched language learning forums for apps or websites that could make my learning go even faster! And now here I am.
For me, it’s the feeling of ‘being at home’ with spoken Japanese. By this, I don’t mean 100% comprehension (imagine that ), but rather the overall familiarity with the language itself—the flow, the pitch accent, the way sentences rise up or trail off. Japanese no longer sounds foreign
Yep that is the aaaahhh feeling, I’m following the Minna and Wanikani is a big help, usually 90-95% of all kanji are known so you focus on learning grammar
When I started learning Japanese I had a dream in which I was fluent. I knew it was all Japanese sounding gibberish when I woke up, though🤣
Check out the video on YouTube, “Teaching Swear Words to Japanese People.” I think you will get a kick out of it!
I will make sure to go look for these examples when I take a break from WK and my brain‘s mush.