I’m barely holding it together. I don’t need to hold it together though. I’m at home. I’m alone. I can let the tears flow freely. I’m sure it will happen while I’m typing this out. Here we go. I’m garbage at Japanese. It’s true. A little over 5 years here and I’m total garbage at the language of the country that I’ve called home all that time.
“5 years! Wow! You must be fluent!” I hear this all the time. I am not fluent. Nowhere near fluent. I label myself as “able to get by”. This means I can do all the basic stuff to live in this country without too much trouble. I can go shopping, go to the post office, talk about myself, etc. I have trouble with going to the doctor, doing anything official, filling out paperwork. All of those things cause me great anxiety.
So what happened? These may sound like excuses, but this is actually just a run down of what happened in my life that prevented me from becoming fluent in Japanese.
- I’ve never had to use it at work. Never. All my freelance jobs, Company H and my previous jobs were all done in English. My job before Company H had a lot of Japanese paperwork and what not, but I had a lot of help.
- “But your husband speaks Japanese! You have a great teacher!” People have actually said this to me. There have been whole days where I haven’t even seen Mamoru yet people expect him to teach me Japanese. How is that even possible? Also, no offense to Mamoru, but he’s not a teacher. He doesn’t know how to explain things to me so I understand them better. Having a Japanese spouse doesn’t immediately make you fluent in a language. There’s always a default language in relationships. Ours is English.
- Life got in the way. The city I lived in before I never had a steady teacher until about 6 months before I left. Finding a good teacher was a real challenge, and I was often overworked and exhausted every day. I took 2 years off studying Japanese to get a Master’s degree. Yeah, I put my career first. Crazy right? What an insane thing to do? Not to mention the turmoil and anguish caused by TTC. So as you can see my lessons haven’t been continual. There have been gaps in my learning, so there are gaps in my abilities.
- If you want to bottom line this, I’m basically a crap student. I’m pretty damn smart and I slay at my job. I’m also a damn good (academic) writer. These are the reasons I think I was able to further my education. However, I don’t know how to study properly. I am seriously lacking in self motivation when it comes to school work. I am also the world’s finest procrastinator.
- Maybe this last one is a cop out but I’m *ahem* older. I see these kids in their 20s come to Japan and pick up Japanese so easily and I’m so envious. I wish I had their mental acuity.
If you’re inclined to give me advice as to how I can improve my Japanese, I’m going to ask you to kindly shut up. I don’t want your advice. I’m sick of people telling me to watch shitty TV or have my husband teach me. All your shitty advice falls on deaf ears.
Basically I need to stop being a loser and just fucking study. Why do I suck at this so much?
Also, it’s worth noting that it’s easier to lose 19kg (41 pounds) than it is to learn a fucking language.
In other news, I decided to hang out with Demande so yeah I guess I’m stupider than we all thought right? We’ll see how that goes.
In other other news I don’t know if I told you that Guiro fell off the fucking planet. Basically we had a freelance meeting scheduled and he didn’t show up and then ignored all my messages until I finally gave up. It was a perfectly shitty thing to do and a complete waste of my time as I waited for him for about 20 minutes before I gave up and messaged Shingo. This fool (Gurio) just messaged me right now as I was writing this blog. Fucking hell what is even happening? Is the equinox making everyone remorseful for being shitty people over the summer or what?
In more friend news Rei canceled on me again. She says she misses me all the time but then she cancels a lot claiming sickness. I don’t know if she’s really sick all that much or if she’s just using it as an excuse.
In even more friend news Yuichiro spoke to me a little today and yesterday. He sent me a Boomerang video yesterday which I guess counts as a video but not really. I know he was at Compnay H today even though I wasn’t. If that’s what it takes to get him to talk to me again, that’s good enough for me.
Oh boy, oh boy. This life thing is super great. Sigh. I’m doing the best I can at the moment. It’s not very good, but it’s the best I can do right now.