2008年12月21日日曜日

I'm not learning Japanese

When I talk to people who I haven't seen for a while or meet new people and they ask me what I've been up to, I usually say "I'm learning Japanese". Even online, on the forum or in my blog here, I refer to the task as "learning Japanese" and myself as a "Japanese learner". But I've never liked it.

Technically it's correct. It's not that there's anything wrong with the phrase, I guess, but just the sort of mindset attached to it. "Learn these words. Learn these grammar structures. You're only at the level where you can read this type of book", etc. But why am I learning Japanese? To enjoy Japanese media and books; to meet people and experience a different culture. So how about instead of learning Japanese to enjoy these things, you start off by doing these things and learn from them?

So I'm going to go out and say that I'm not learning Japanese, I'm just doing a bunch of stuff I want and like to do and doing it in Japanese instead of English. リング is a book I want to read, so I decided to sit down and read it. And you know what? I'm actually enjoying it. It may be quite a bit above my "level", I may not understand every thing, but it's something I want to do, so I'm doing it.

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