The last few days I’ve hit a hurdle. My adult mind is asking me why I’m studying Japanese. It is telling me that the venture is pointless, that it is too hard, and that this system (AJATT or otherwise) are only for gung-ho Otaku who are happy with all things Japanese, including copious amounts of Ramen, Anime and the estoeric names of Japanese foods. This is hard, because it is supposed to be fun.
I am still trying to modify how “fun” inundating myself with stuff I don’t understand that well can be. I’m hitting a mental block with my Kanji. Desptie the fun I was having learnin the first 350, the other 1800 or so seem like a staggering task. Do I really have the gumption? The wherewithal? This has made me think of an aspect of the AJATT system that I’m not completely sure of.
The kind of AJATT-er I am. Essentially I think there are three groups of people who would use a system. One is a person who can write and read a bit, who want to do more. The others are probably people who can speak well but can’t write, then there are people who have a small mixture of the two abilities, and that’s it. However, it terms of belief systems, I think this is a very important way to “psycho analyze” yourself as well. For me, I like systems. I am fiendishly dedicated to ways of developing memory, social skills and push forward through adversity after adversity… but sometimes “pushing” gets tiring. “self motivation” seems like you are your own task master, and then the fun dies. Completely.
Since I’ve started this, I can see the effect it has been having on my comprehension of Japanese, but I don’t find it horribly exciting. I’m listening to Japanese rock, older Japanese bands and other kinds of music and watching movies, but it feels stressful. I don’t know anything that is going on, and I realize that it takes a certain kind of person to gleefully hop on this wagon (i.e watching movies without subtitles for hours on end). I don’t believe the average person is like this, and you cannot easily be willed into doing it either. I’m saying this and I know I am not an average person in some of the pursuits I make.
Either way, I don’t want to give up after a mere three weeks of attempting a new way to learn Japanese. I really need to find a way to make this fun. Presently I’m not interested in watching Japanese animation I cannot understand, or movies for that matter. Some might say this is a hinderance, but it personally annoys me to watch things just to pick out one word every few minutes. I will see if I can find some games or something else more interesting to do, but I feel I am running out of options.
the AJATT website has a store and a slew of FAQs about certain questions, but I still feel a little disconnected. So many of my questions can’t be answered, and I have no access to any of the people who gained fluency (or got close) by using this system. It feels like a dark, long and ultimately lonely road to pursue. But in the face of this self-doubt, I’ll keep trying for now.
My Heisig feels strange in my head and I’m starting to jumble Kanji (probably because I am losing interest) but we’ll see how things proceed.