Jul 21, 2018

My Japanese Journey

Learning a language is like riding a train. Sometimes you go chugging a long, sometimes it gets rough and you almost fall. Then there are times when you get off at the wrong stop and you are running to get back on. Well maybe the last one is just me. 

I first was introduced to the Japanese language four years ago. I came to Japan on a short study abroad for 6 weeks. During that time I learned some things like introductions, hiragana, and strange words from my host siblings, such as pantsu (underwear), and betsubara (second stomach for dessert). My strange vocabulary was all thanks to my host siblings!! Haha! I was having fun in Japan and I hopped right on the language learning train. Although I didn't officially start my Japanese study until university. 

My Japanese Journey photo

These are two of my host siblings! There is one more who is not in this photo.

During the first year of university I had one class of Japanese each semester. I gained and lost motivation many times because of the lack of opportunity to use Japanese back home. 

I spent my second year studying abroad at Gifu University. My language ability increased rapidly. I was super motivated. Even so, I still had days were I felt like giving up, I would feel like I could never reach the level I want. These feelings normally only last a day or two. I still get them every once in awhile. It normally happened when I met someone who had only studied for a year or two, but had amazing Japanese. But like my favorite role model Cassey Ho says, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Overall, I was super excited about learning more! During this time I got a Japanese boyfriend too. We only speak in Japanese so my skills really improved quickly after that. 

My Japanese Journey photo

My Japanese class!!

I went home for 6 months. I was super busy, so I ended up forgetting a lot, which was a bit discouraging. My boyfriend helped when I Skyped him. Luckily, I was also able to find a job waitressing at a Japanese restaurant! I was able to practice a little Japanese with some of my customers!

After six months back home I came back on another study abroad in Nagoya. Again I learned a ton! And I was super motivated again! That program ended in May. since then I have taken the JLPT N2. Although, I began to feel like I was plateauing so now I am taking a bit of a break from intense study. 

In total I have been studying Japanese for three and a half years. It has come with ups and downs, but I am still climbing towards my goal. I know it can be discouraging sometimes, but it is important to remember everyone learns at their own pace. 

Keep on chugging!! 



Teacher, Traveler, Dancer -
Currently living in Gifu -
I love Japan, dance, cats, food, and fashion!


  • Candiajia1

    on Jul 21

    Good going! I so want to do formal training too because I learn Best that way but so far Time hasn’t permitted me. In the interim I learn from online resources, books, my daughter( she attends Japanese JHS) and my husband ( teaches in public schools). I recently signed up for a language exchange program with a Japanese teacher. I’ll be teaching her English and she teach me japanese. Hopefully that will help me some.

  • ReishiiTravels

    on Jul 21

    @Candiajia1 Thank you!! I prefer formal training too! Good luck! I am sure you will do great!!!

  • TammyMarieG

    on Jul 25

    I Love your Blogs! So insightful and fun.