When I started learning Japanese, indeed it was because my goal was to live there for a while, and I didn’t want to be completely clueless about what was going on around me. That was 15 years ago!!! Wow…
The reason I am studying Japanese NOW, is because I lived there for three years, so I feel like if I forget it all, it’ll be wasted time. My Japanese is actually better now than it was when I lived there, I was too busy doing nomihodai at karaoke to study, back then.
I imagine 90% of people fall into 3 categories, 1 - I want to live there and learning to prepare myself, 2 - I do live there and want to study as much as I can and keeping learning while I am here, 3 - I used to live there and my study continues. 10% are probably oddballs just learning Japanese for the sake of learning something with no goal in mind
Second time living here. A few months in 2018 (barely counted), been here this time about six months. May stay a few years, may up and go in a year, I’ll see where things take me. While living here the first time was what drove me to study Japanese, I imagine I’ll keep studying even when/if I leave. Love this place!
Where my fellow oddballs at?
That 10% can probably be further subdivided…short term travelers, anime/manga lovers, gamers, those who are interested in Japanese culture, those who just wanna fill the void in their lives, etc.
Not yet but I’ll be doing a year in Nagoya next year for study abroad, leaving in March. I can’t say for sure since that’s a big decision for someone who’s never been there, but I do think I want to try living and working in Japan sometime after I graduate, so I’m looking at a few options after I graduate. So as of now, it’s a very near goal.
5th year Aomori JET. Started Wanikani when I was applying, did very little for the first year (trying to survive didn’t leave me with much wanikani time), kicked myself into gear and cleared a bunch of levels when the pandemic started, and I’ve tried to keep steady since then. I have since passed N2 mostly thanks to wanikani and just existing here. Taking N1 next month. I will fail. I can’t wait.
If you don’t mind me asking, did you have experience with Japanese before you started JET? I’m a recent JET arrival myself (兵庫県), and I’m curious about how much improvement other JETs have seen in their Japanese skills compared to time spent here/how actively they were studying.
(If it wasn’t obvious, I’m feeling very plateau-y in my studies right now )
(Also, good luck on the JLPT! I’m taking the N4 next month, which I feel like I should do fine on, but who knows.)
I did study for 2 years in university, but I wasn’t really taking Japanese very seriously then (just doing it for credits and fun), and I had a 2 year gap between when I last formally studied it and when I arrived on JET. Of course I did study from textbooks a bit before passing N2 but like…not as much as I should have lol.
I recommend it, especially so for anyone interested in learning the language.
I’ve been here in Kyushu basically as long as Covid (almost three years), and I’ll continue living here in indefinitely… but at least another 5 years, and most likely quite a bit longer… For me, it all depends on the various family and work needs in my life…