Sometimes, I Want To Speak Japanese So Badly It Hurts

The word "Nihongo" written in Kanji....

I only speak English at the moment.  Well, I can read music, if you count that.  I’ve taken lessons or done self-study in (get ready for it):  Spanish, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Norwegian and French, but never got above a 1st year level in any of them.  I’d be all right for a while and then lose interest.  Or, in the case of Chinese and Portuguese, I’d be in the country where the language was spoken and be really into it, then move away and stop caring.

So I think what I’ve got going on now is really special.  I’ve never been to Japan.  I’ve only ever met a handful of Japanese people.  I have no plans to go to Japan (I mean, someday, obviously, but at the moment all airfare gets spent going home to America).  And yet, I’m super motivated to learn the language.  Because unlike those other language, I’m totally sucked into Japanese media and I’m desperate to understand it without translation.  When I lived in China, my (American) friends and I would get together in the evenings and watch American films.  Or go out and see American films.  Or I would stay home and listen to American songs on my Sony Discman (I’m dating myself with that statement, I know).  So I wanted to learn the language for survival reasons, but not emotional ones.

Now I have no legitimate reasons to learn Japanese.  My husband is not Japanese, my family is not Japanese, I’m not in a Japanese class or taking business trips to Japan.  I just bloody love it.  For no sane reason at all.

And when I listen to certain songs in Japanese I want to understand them without having to look up the translation so badly it’s almost like a physical ache.  The song I’m currently obsessed with is ぐるぐる by Eufonius (video below).  Right now I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever heard, and it’s spurring me on to keep studying Japanese, and to keep listening to things I don’t understand, in the hopes that I will eventually.

It’s pretty magical, and helps get me out of bed in the morning.  So I won’t question it.


6 thoughts on “Sometimes, I Want To Speak Japanese So Badly It Hurts

  1. I’m a very big fan of Japanese films, and have been wanting to learn the language for a while (subtitles annoy me to no end, but I deal with them). I’ve been digging into the language for a little while (my vocabulary is terrible), but can only read some Hiragana at the moment.

    The thought of learning the grammar and (eventually) Kanji terrify me.

    • It took me quite a while to decide to “take the plunge” and commit to Japanese. Once I did, and started searching the internet for ways to go about it, I stumbled upon I highly recommend checking it out, if you haven’t already. There’s practical information, but also a lot of articles about taking the “fear” out of learning Japanese. I’m only a couple of months in, but it’s really kept me going.

      Thank you so much for your comment (you’re the first)!

      • Thank you! I’ll take a look at it!

        Right now I’m using some Hiragana Flashcards by White Rabbit Press (which I highly recommend using if you like flashcards). Good luck!

  2. Hello there, Jessica. Yup, that song is very cute. I’m not really an otaku but do have some interest in anime so I guess I may also be a faux-taku. Right now, the songs I can’t get out of my head are the ones belonging to the anime “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”.

    • Hello! Faux-takus of the world unite! 🙂

      Interestingly, I’ve never seen the anime above. I only became aware of the song after downloading a few eufonius albums on Amazon. The anime uses a different version of the song to the one on the album, and that’s the only one I can find lyrics for.

      I’m not familiar with the show you’ve mentioned, but it looks really cute! Will add it to my list of shows to find.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Pingback: Video Post #6 – ぐるぐる (eufonius) | A Fantasy of Far Japan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s