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Overcoming frustrations T_T

Amylg05

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Hello everyone,

This is my second(ish) time posting here. I have now been self studying for approximately 4 months. I have also had some tutoring sessions (approx 5) which are around 2 hours each, during these sessions I have worked through the Genki 1 work book with my tutor. I am also using the Memrise app, Anki and have watched through all of the Japanese from Zero course 1 and 2 videos and have just started with the course 2 book after purchasing books 2 and 3. I am also using the Hello Talk app (though not as frequently as I would like).

Anyway to get to the point, I am really feeling like I have hit a wall with my progress and I am not sure what to do now. I don't feel like I have made much progress over the last month and I feel like my level is still very low. I know basic grammar and vocab and can cobble together a basic sentence but I still find myself struggling sometimes, or forgetting basic things. As such I have found myself going back over things I have already learnt / studied rather than moving on to new things as I do not feel very confident. Is this normal when learning a language or am I failing somewhere? Anyone else experienced this and what did you do to get over it?

Thanks in advance <3
 

Transformer5

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Keep trying. Japanese is a hard language, very different to English. If you're going to get good at it, you have to be in it for the long haul.

My Japanese is intermediate going on upper intermediate level, and I still check lots of things, like kanji/readings, grammatical points and so on. My vocabulary still isn't at a level where I can comfortably listen to Japanese much beyond an everyday context (though that's probably because I do more reading than listening at the moment). Even when you get to the higher levels, it's still a challenge.

My main advice is to dig in and stick at it. If you can do that, things will gradually fall into place and click, bit by bit, which will motivate you to keep going and take it to the next level.
 

Mike Cash

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Perfectly normal.

That's about what I would expect for just four months of study. The fact that you've stuck with it this far is commendable. The oh-eff-it-I-give-up rate is quite high for beginning learners.

Feeling like you've hit a wall is a recurring phenomenon; get used to it.
 

OoTmaster

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Get used to the feeling. I hit it myself a few months in and felt I would never progress. Luckily for me I had the encouragement of native speakers and fellow English speaking Japanese learners in a local meetup group to help me stick with it. I have learned a great deal since then, but once again recently I feel as if I hit a wall. Then I went to Japan for a month got past that wall and hit another. Hitting those walls is validation that you are learning.
 

Andromedashun

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If you feel you can't progress ahead you need to take a break. Read manga, play games in Japanese. Chose a simple method like using Anki to boost up your vocab everyday. Then after may be 3 to 4 months (could be longer) come back to the part you stuck. If by that time you were able to understand it, you'll realize you make progress. My two cents.
 

Amylg05

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Thanks for your replies everyone! Its encouraging to know its not just me! This is my first time trying to learn a language (besides high school French lol) so I wasn't sure if this was normal or because my methods suck lol :)
 

PatrickNZ

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I don't normally reply to language threads, but it was "featured" so I was curious.
You need to be stubborn. Really really stubborn. Progress comes in tiny increments.
There are only a few people that can remember everything, and those internet stories about learning a language quickly actually don't cover something like Japanese. I'm working on the principle that I might be ok by the time I'm dead, so I do about an hour of study every day.
 

Kraise

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There will be other frustrating moments. You gotta endure if you expect to harvest any fruits in any nearby future.


Keep doing what you're doing, thats it. Text books and tutoring, thats all you need (and posting your questions here as well).
 

Amylg05

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'm working on the principle that I might be ok by the time I'm dead, so I do about an hour of study every day.
I like this approach lol! I think when I posted this I was trying to get way too ahead of myself and was becoming increasingly frustrated with what felt like a lack of progress, however after posting this I decided to just take it as it comes and I have found myself actually putting more time in to studying now. Although I am hoping to move to Japan next August so I want to get to a level were I can do basic things like buy groceries and pay bills without inconveniencing people ^-^
 

OoTmaster

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I don't know much about paying bills in Japan but a lot of the front like customer service jobs in Japan have people that speak English as well. The phrase, "without inconveniencing people" is very subjective you're likely to find people that will feel inconvenienced if you aren't perfectly fluent and people that aren't inconvenienced if you only know a few Japanese words. It seems like a bar that's set very high with a very short amount of time to reach that bar. I wish you all the luck in reaching that goal but perhaps it would be better to set a more reachable goal for the near future and readjust that bar as you reach the lower ones you've set.
 

Amylg05

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I don't know much about paying bills in Japan but a lot of the front like customer service jobs in Japan have people that speak English as well. The phrase, "without inconveniencing people" is very subjective you're likely to find people that will feel inconvenienced if you aren't perfectly fluent and people that aren't inconvenienced if you only know a few Japanese words. It seems like a bar that's set very high with a very short amount of time to reach that bar. I wish you all the luck in reaching that goal but perhaps it would be better to set a more reachable goal for the near future and readjust that bar as you reach the lower ones you've set.
I just realised I had said "next August", what I should of said was August next year lol! As in 2018 - so hopefully by then (and given that I have been studying since the end of Feb this year) - I should be at a level where I can hold a decent, basic conversation. Hopefully anyway :D
 

PatrickNZ

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That is a good ambition - listening and understanding is tricky, and then (ignoring grammar) assembling words to get a concept out is a good target. However, a lot of daily life you can manage with a very low level of Japanese (groceries is one).

For most of the mundane living/city-hall activities I deal with (in Tokyo) there might be one English speaking person in the building they can call to add some translation. When I paid my taxes recently at the main post-office for my city - zero English.
Sure JR and hotels have a higher proportion, but a lot of stores, not really. I would not claim there are a lot of English speakers, some maybe - depends where you are.
 

Mike Cash

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It will take a while before you can handle your own business by yourself, but I admire the hell out of you for having the ambition to do so. It is a refreshing change from what one typically sees from western foreigners.

A couple of the most satisfying moments I think you can have regarding sticking with learning Japanese are when you have a conversation with a Japanese person who afterwards tells you they had never talked to a foreigner before and when you've gone somewhere to take care of your business by yourself and at some point the Japanese staff confides in you how incredibly relieved they were when they found out you were capable of doing it all in Japanese. You can't imagine the trepidation many people feel about talking to us at all and the abject terror they feel at having to do it at work where they can't dodge it.
 

e4nzix

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Hello everyone,

This is my second(ish) time posting here. I have now been self studying for approximately 4 months. I have also had some tutoring sessions (approx 5) which are around 2 hours each, during these sessions I have worked through the Genki 1 work book with my tutor. I am also using the Memrise app, Anki and have watched through all of the Japanese from Zero course 1 and 2 videos and have just started with the course 2 book after purchasing books 2 and 3. I am also using the Hello Talk app (though not as frequently as I would like).

Anyway to get to the point, I am really feeling like I have hit a wall with my progress and I am not sure what to do now. I don't feel like I have made much progress over the last month and I feel like my level is still very low. I know basic grammar and vocab and can cobble together a basic sentence but I still find myself struggling sometimes, or forgetting basic things. As such I have found myself going back over things I have already learnt / studied rather than moving on to new things as I do not feel very confident. Is this normal when learning a language or am I failing somewhere? Anyone else experienced this and what did you do to get over it?

Thanks in advance <3
I would first like to let you know, you are doing a great job. And you show true determination for success!! What helped me learn so well and quickly, was being in Japan. YOu have no choice but to learn the dialect, and the language. You hear the language, you see the language, you feel the language, and you start to ask things. Hellp. How are you? I am fine. Thank you! Excuse me. How much is this? Where is the bathroom? Taxi! Telephone? Lets go eat. etc. You start to speak those words and start using the individual words like, where, how, you, much, go, the, is, you etc. The more you use the language, the more your mind is forced to store and recall it at the right time. When the two come together, OH!! what an amazing feeling!! good ruck!
 

Mike Cash

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YOu have no choice but to learn the dialect, and the language.
If only that were true....

There are people who stay here for decades and learn literally NOTHING of the language. There are even those who are perversely proud of having done so.

"Good ruck" ?!?!?!

Really?
 
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