Your first time being able to read something in the wild?

For me, a big part of learning a language is the small victories that come out of nowhere–those little moments that remind you you are actually getting somewhere, and it just so happens that I was (finally) able to read some random Japanese tweet the other day. Granted, it’s super simple, but I’ll definitely be thinking about it for a looong time haha

If anyone’s interested, this is the post in question:
Screenshot 2022-08-09 at 00-18-10 (2) Best Mom Eva (@mombot) _ Twitter

Do you remember the first time something like this happened to you?


Not really the first time, but one that I remember very well from last year. I bought some mugicha from the Japanese store in my city and noticed at home it only had a Japanese label. I think generally all foodstuffs are required by law to have labels in our native language, but this one was obviously imported and hadn’t yet been re-labeled.

At first I was a bit confused and thought maybe I need to google some instructions on how to make it (a bit silly, since it is basically just a tea bag you add to hot or cold water), but then I remembered that I actually can read some Japanese. Turns out it was really easy to understand, as well as extremely simple to make. :sweat_smile: Anyway, it gave me a sense of accomplishment.

I don’t know why, but I still have the mindset of Japanese being totally foreign and too difficult to read, even though once I just focus on it a little bit, it becomes quite manageable.


The same happens every time I see a block of text wherever. I think, that’s just nonsense. Then remember I could read it if I tried.


Yes, I do. I was moving boxes with a coworker in our data center and one of them had Japanese writing on it so he asked if I could read it, and I could.

Unfortunately it was just ワイヤケーブル so my year of WK up until that point was for naught. :joy:


The very first one was when I saw an あ in Word of all places. It used to be more prominent right on the main menu. Now you have to look into the sub menu under language to see it.

I remember being so excited. Wow! That used to be just squiggles I ignored, and now it has a meaning for me.

It is such a level 0 story for this, but it’s stuck in my memory stronger than later experiences of recognising Japanese text in the wild!


A little while back when I started really getting into grammar studies, I was skimming over Japanese Pikmin fan comics I found on Pixiv, and it was kind of neat that I could at least pick out words I knew or get the gist of short sentences. It wasn’t much, but it was a sign I was learning something and could understand at least a little bit of text in native content.


to this day I get really happy when I read a long word, all in kanji, like 自動販売機 :sweat_smile:


I think it was a couple weeks back, I was looking to change my Nintendo switch keyboard to Japanese input. I realised I could understand what each keyboard choice was.
日本語 ローマ字入力
日本語 50音(右から)
日本語 50音(左から)
I couldn’t read the final option and as such I can’t write it here, but the letters are split into two horizontal columns, so something to do with that.


Without trying to use a translator or anything, I’m guessing 右から and 左から refer to right or left shifted keyboards for right or left handed users, respectively?


First time was on a skincare product: スピーヂクレンジングオイル if I remember right. It is exactly what it sounds like, but it was extra exciting because it was even in katakana!


“[Something something] oil”? I can’t tell what スピーヂクレンジング is supposed to be.

I still have trouble reading long loan words.

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I think it’s supposed to be Speedy Cleansing although it’s a bit off. I’d guess it’s more likely have read スピーディクレンジング since that sounds more like what the transliteration would be.

Totally! Once you start getting acquainted with the language, everything starts falling into place quite nicely. Oh, and once I have a few more wk levels on me I’ll be sure to check the labels when I go shopping :smiley:

The little things that were always there are so cool!

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I recommend it! They are often very simple and easy to understand with illustrations. I just bought some pancake batter as well that had cute labeling. It’s also really good practice of vocabulary if you later want to try out some more advanced recipes.

That is totally what I meant to type - I forgot you have to use an x to get those little vowels to show up. And yeah, it’s Speedy Cleansing Oil.

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Actually, the most difficult word to understand is “CG”. I had to look for it because I didn’t know the meaning :grin:

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