I changed my computer to Japanese…

…in an effort to expedite my language acquisition and knowledge retention. So far, the effects have been mild, but with continued use I might learn something. It is both fascinating and terrifying the rate at which language disappears with disuse. I think of my time in Japan, and although my language skills are probably still comparable to what they were from a sheer word comprehension standpoint, not being surrounded by the language makes it much more difficult to recall in a natural way. That’s really what makes me want to cry out in frustration, especially because I’m not really getting much satisfaction from my Japanese class either; kids fumbling around and relying on english while my teacher obliges their garbled remarks. But before I start sounding too arrogant, I will admit that my refusal to allow even the briefest of english explanations is a shortcoming on my part, since I don’t exactly understand the japanese explanation but just go along with it.

I feel at the very least I am making myself more comfortable with the idea of not using english as a crutch every time I am unsure of something in japanese.  After all, part of the magic and appeal of a foreign language are those nuances which elude direct translation; only by immersing oneself fully can the finer details be understood in an organic way.  Organic learning.  That’s what I’m after.

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