Let's be honest, I don't love anime. I like anime.
I don't love manga. I like manga.
I don't love games. .....well, maybe a bit?
But why are so many learners of Japanese giving up so soon?
More about it in this post.
I was told by nearly all polyglots that interest in the culture and passion in the language is key for learning a language.
A lot of kotaku's meet both requirements, and yet they give up soon.
So tell me Blave, why are so many people quitting nonetheless?
To answer that, let's take a look at the following boring
meme-ish but accurate pie chart:
As you can see, they do have an interest in the culture AND passion in the language, but only for one single aspect
Japanese is both linguistically and culturally so much more than just anime, something most people aren't aware of.
I started my journey to learn Japanese because I started importing video games from Japan in 2008.
Just like all the others, I had no idea how Japan really was like.
But once I grabbed my first (digital) textbook ""Human Japanese
"", I was actually impressed to read all those cultural notes.
The more I went through it, the more passionate I became about the real Japan.
This real passion was the passion those polyglots were talking about, the Japan as you will see in real life. Not the Japan as seen in anime.
Over the years, I realised I was making very slow progress.
But passion was no problem, so was interest.
The problem was the tool set.
All I had until 2015 was this textbook, which was insufficient and got boring quick.
Since 2015 I started learning from native speakers over Skype and I found tools like Memrise, JapanesePod101, WaniKani, iKnow and Renshuu.
As well as YouTube videos in Japanese.
Since then my learning got an enormous boost.
This tool set is something many people don't think of and instead just hook up to anime with subtitles and hope they'll learn something.
It's not only wrong tool set, it's wrong mind set too.
So in short: people are typically too unaware of the real Japan and once they become more aware, they usually quit really soon.
That's why so many people want to learn Japanese but fail.
And that's why it got unnecessarily the label ""hardest language to learn for a westener"".
Because languages aren't hard because of a label, they're hard because of your overall motivation.
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