What’s Important For Language Learning

I often wish I had two brains, where I can save up all the memories that I have learned about English while I use Japanese on a daily basis.

I wouldn’t call myself a bilingual.- Well, I am not sure the definition of ‘bilingual’ I would say. I still feel that my English is not quite as good as my Japanese. Usually I don’t need to speak English as much as I live in Japan, and am surrounded by all Japanese native speakers every day. When i think about something to talk about, or write my brain still works all in Japanese. Yet English is being a big part of my life thanks to my friends from all over the world. Although I feel it inconvenient to express myself all in English, definitely it has helped me get self confidence, and even create another personality, which is really hard to describe. I once, accidentally said “Hey” to my brother and I made him surprised how strong I sounded. But then in Japanese, I feel less sociable because Japanese language is designed to be modest, quiet, and less strong. Depending on the situation though, I see different parts of myself speaking either of them. I am me, regardless.

The other day someone made me feel nice by saying — “Thank you for speaking English.”

I am considered myself to be a English lover, and I personally wouldn’t mind speaking English. However as a Japanese native speaker, I ask myself “Why can’t we use Japanese to talk to foreign people?” Don’t get me wrong though, Japanese is still a unique, hard language which is not spoken widely, so I completely understand that it is the universal language unlike English. What I mean here is that I feel it’d be nice if this world (I don’t mean all of them though) could appreciate non native speakers more. Not only English. I even sometimes don’t realize it. I write my blog all in English but it was pretty natural for me to do so without doubting.

Most of the time, I come across nice people who really compliment my English skill, which is sweet of them. However, I admit that there are times where I get hurt by not getting “perfect” accents like native speakers being laughed, or being persistently asked to say certain words in English in a rude way. Usually, I can’t help wishing Japanese people would be able to be involved more actively in English, but as much as I’d hope that way, going through uncomfortable experiences in the process of learning it also gives me a better understanding or legit reason.

Same goes for Japanese people though, towards people who are learning Japanese. I try to be nice as much as I can to Japanese learners because I know how difficult, challenging it is when you fail to speak it. This is about English learning, but I’d love to devote this post to everyone who is a currently language learner or teacher. Please be nice to language learners. Be open minded. Show appreciation sometimes, if you can.  I believe in the power of the languages. If you get to learn the language, you will get to know more about that people, their background, and even the personalities, which I believe, can avoid conflicts derived from cultural differences. I encourage you to learn another language, (even though I talked about negatives), there are so many things that enrich your life. Join me. 🙂

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11 thoughts on “What’s Important For Language Learning

  1. I have to agree with you. I’ve been an English teacher since 2011. Learning a language can be so hard sometimes but it really needs perseverance for you to achieve your goals. Same goes with teaching a foreign language. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shery, for stopping by and your comment! I am glad that I got a good feedback from a teacher like yourself. Hehe. it really does. I mean I often get asked by people how I learned English. – But I have no magic for learning it one moment to another despite of their expectation, no secrets. I had to write down tons of English sentences and words to get the skill that I have now. But I think it has been worth it so far! 🙂 PS Loved your blog! 🙂

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  2. Inspiring to the new language learners, and teachers. The world will be a better place once we hear what others think. Thank you Saki for being a wonderful embassidor for Japan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey you, (I hope to know your name, to remember you, let me know if you don’t mind!) thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. 🙂 You have no idea how much this means to me. Thank you for taking your time to say that! Its always my pleasure to spread not only Japan but also something positive so we can make the world a better place. Hope to see you soon.

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  3. This topic speaks to our situation in South Florida. Spanish versus English. I wish that I could speak Spanish. Some English speakers are intolerant of Spanish as a “foreign” language. Tolerance, kindness, understanding, are the values I strive to have. I respect you Saki.
    Namaste. John

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John! Good to see you again!! I hope you are doing well. You always tell me something I didn’t know! I am learning a bit of Spanish because I have made friends who speak Spanish, and hopefully I can explain Japanese culture in both English and Spanish one day. its still a long way though haha.
      I am sorry to hear about some people who are not open minded about Spanish speakers over there. I would not force every English native speakers to learn foreign languages (For sure it takes lots of time and work!) but as a person who speaks English as a second language, I would really appreciate if more people learned other foreign languages not only for a communication tool but also to get a better understanding of each culture and the differences between them. I for sure have learned cultural differences in the process of learning English. 🙂
      Thank you so much for all your support!

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  4. Dear Saki
    I am sure you are used to being told how good your English skills are. It is also amazing to realise you have progressed so far at your relatively young age.

    My greatest regret is I only tried to start to learn Japanese later in life. I have being trying on and off (more off) for some 10 years and still feel I am a beginner. I use Japanese TV dramas to try and learn as well.

    Your scopes show me so many details of Japanese life that films and dramas do not, I loved the recent festival shrine one for example.

    Do you think it’s far easier to start learning whilst say at school?, or am I just not trying hard enough?

    Tony

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As an English teacher in Costa Rica, I can say that it is really necessary to be as encouraging to students as possible, that’s a good point!

    As a native English speaker who also speaks Spanish, I really understand what you mean about enjoying the language and yet feeling more comfortable in your native language. I appreciate your fresh opinion on English and language learning!
    Saludos,
    Kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, hola Kat! Glad to hear the opinion from someone who is actually a teacher. Unfortunately in Japan, we really don’t have the great memories of English which affect us pretty much today. I was fortunate enough to be motivated to learn it as I’ve always loved it. I hope that more people would figure it out! I appreciate your kind comment and time for this. Gracias!!

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