For my last year (oh my, time went by fast) of In-Depth, I would like to learn Japanese. More specifically, I have set the rather ambitious goal of being able to read, write, and speak in the language.
I have a myriad of reasons of why I want to learn Japanese. First, I want to be able to speak a language confidently other than English and Korean. Despite learning French in school for many years, I don’t feel comfortable speaking the language even for basic phrases. If all my knowledge about a language is pedantic, and I can’t practically apply my skills, I can’t say that I really learned the language. Hence, I want to learn Japanese to gain the practical skills necessary to use the Japanese language in a way that goes beyond being able to memorize phrases on a piece of paper or being able to fill in the blanks on a Japanese grammar quiz. Additionally, I want to be able to gain an in-depth understanding of Japanese language and culture. Learning a language allows one to immerse oneself in another culture; languages make us adapt our mannerisms and characteristics to fit the language. Personally, growing up in a country with rather strong anti-Japanese sentiments, I want to know more about this culture that I was told to hate to gain a comprehensive understanding of issues from a different culture’s point of view. Finally, I have an interest in Japanese media, almost to the point of addiction. However, translated media just isn’t the same with certain details, jokes, and effects being lost in the translation process. By learning Japanese, I will evolve into a superior form, watch media without subtitles, and read the latest chapter a week earlier than the mere mortals who must rely on fan translated media.
My mentor this year is a Japanese person with a teaching certificate in Japanese from a college in Canada. I will not mention her name in this post as I have not yet asked for permission to use her name yet. She teaches Japanese to individual students while also teaching Japanese at a local community center. Our mentoring sessions will take place every two weeks, starting this following Monday. During these sessions, I will address the questions given in Ms. Mulder’s blog post while also asking lots of questions and asking for feedback on pronunciation.
Well, that’s it for now. For once, I want to be able to say, “I have no regrets,” at the end of In-Depth. Rather than setting another goal and getting disappointed at myself for not meeting it, I will do whatever it takes to meet my goal. It’s the last one, and there’s no redos. Let’s make it count.