If you’d like a peek into how I’m thinking about my future with languages, read on. Just be aware that the following is an incoherent brain fart.
I knew that maintaining multiple languages would be a hard task, especially while at school. But I’ve realized a lot of things about myself from juggling as many as five languages at one time.
Japanese is the exception, not the rule
First, I will probably never approach a language with the same passion and discipline with which I tackled Japanese. Back when Japanese was my only foreign language, I had a really hard time relating to the common second language woes I heard/read about all over the internet: the lack of motivation, the desire to return to the L1, the lack of commitment, the sadness stemming from not understanding at the beginning stages, etc. Now that I’ve attempted other languages, I see that I suffer from the same problems ( just replace L1 with Japanese).
Other languages are starting to feel like they’re just tasks and not things to be enjoyed It’s time to just do what I want to do. At the moment, this would mean dropping all languages except for Japanese and Chinese. And picking up Japanese Sign Language.
A lot of these thoughts are coming from my perpetual dissatisfaction with my Japanese. But then again, I will never be content with my level in Japanese, no matter how many conversations I have, books I read, jokes I tell, funny jokes I tell, translations/transcriptions I finish, or papers I write. There will always be more to study, and I will always look forward to it. I’ve started to feel like the other languages are just in the way of my Japanese learning time, so I think it’s about time I just cut the cord.
it’s all about passion
I am now (finally) noticing the importance of passion in language learning. It’s the secret ingredient that has propelled my Japanese, along with a healthy dose of curiosity. The lack of passion turned Korean, Cantonese, and Russian into a chore. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the languages from the beginning. It’s just that the initial “shiny new thing” phase did not last very long at all. I’m still in that phase in Japanese and Chinese, despite not studying the latter at all recently. I’m listening to a Chinese dubbed Pokemon movie as I write this and it’s awesome.
I’ve considered just waiting and then going full throttle into another language instead of dabbling in multiple at the same time, but the thought of not spending most of my day in Japanese just doesn’t sit right with me.
what does this all mean?
What will this mean for the site? The focus will
be brought back to remain Japanese, with more attention paid to Chinese. I will use Japanese as a base to learn Chinese as I was doing with Korean. I will still keep up my links for korean sources and my korean posts, but they will not be updated. There will be a reorganizing of the site to reflect my new plans.
the road to learning a language is never straight
I just deleted all my links/SRS decks/music/whatever was not related to Japanese or Chinese. From here on out I’ll just do what I do best: wing it.