Hey my Lovelies,
In this post I’m going to speak about my self-teach Japanese language learning, which started in 2016/2017
This is just simply a way to show everyone why and how I began to ‘study’ Japanese language whilst battling chronic illness, hence the title – ‘Learning a language… whilst chronically ill’. This is also going to be a series where I occasionally post updates of my progression as a chronic illness warrior learning a language. Hope you enjoy!
Why I Started learning Japanese?
Ever since I was little I was actually very adamant on learning Mandarin. I’ve always had an appreciation for Chinese culture, art, food, traditional clothing. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I thought about learning Japanese and more about Japanese culture.
My main reason for learning a language is to help me stay positive, I needed something to occupy myself with whilst I’m chronically ill. I also believe that you should never stop learning no matter what age you are, the day you stop learning is the day you stop growing as an individual. Regardless of any circumstance, the thought of not learning and growing is pretty disheartening to me.
My first Anime Movie
I saw my first anime movie (the first anime I watched all the way through) in 2016. I was able to get tickets to see, ‘Your Name’ at the ODEON in the West End, the week after it was released in the UK. I loved this movie sooo much and fell in love with the characters, story line, appreciated the art, and language. Yes, I had heard Japanese plenty of times prior to watching this movie but it was sort of like a ‘light bulb’ moment’, I guess.
After seeing this movie I then decided that Japanese would be the language for me to start self-teaching.
I haven’t given up on the idea of learning Mandarin but I know how intense the language is, and I had to be realistic in the fact that although I do like a challenge, being chronically ill makes it extremely hard to concentrate and focus on even the simplest of tasks never mind learning one of the most hardest languages in the world… although I know Japanese is still technically one of the hardest languages in the world too.
Singing & Speaking Japanese
After seeing, ‘Your Name’ in the cinema I went straight to the internet and looked up the soundtrack for the movie.
On my phone I searched for the Japanese lyrics (kanji and hiragana), Japanese (romaji) and also the English translation of this song, so I could start to learn the meanings and compare language structure.
Best believe for the following months to come all the neighbours heard some rather off key versions of Japanese songs from an anime movie – “What on Earth are you singing about?” 😂
It wasn’t until October 2017 when I actually started motivating myself to go out there and actually connect with Japanese people, attempt conversations and really challenge myself. I started learning phrases, greetings and simple sentences that I guess we would use in almost everyday life. I was able to join this ministry a few times during the latter part of 2017 and then one time during this year, but I haven’t been back since my long episode of sickness.
As I wanted to do more Bible Studying and strengthen my own faith I decided it would be a great challenge to learn Japanese and to also study Bible topics and Bible scriptures in Japanese…I’m all for that ‘two birds, one stone’ theory.
I actually painted this kanji above in 2016, this particular kanji means – LOVE. I wanted to start off painting the Kanji symbol for love because all good things start when love is in the mix right?, and so I begun with the scripture at John 13:34&35 – (click to read scripture on JW.ORG)
I then challenged myself to learn the rest of the Fruitage of God’s Spirit in Japanese, completed painting all of the Kanji for all 9 of them by the end of 2017 and also learned to pronounce them correctly. Pretty chuffed with this achievement!
The extended homework I set for myself was:
Think of Bible characters that embody each one of these Fruitage of the Spirit and then learn to say and write their names in Japanese (Katakana).
Language learning & Fibro Fog
Fibro Fog… what an enemy of progress! For those of you who also live with fibromyalgia know how so annoying it is to battle with the FOG. Between Dyslexia and Fibro fog they both make it as challenging as possible for me whilst trying to learn new things and process information. As I’m a naturally creative and visual person I use this as a way to learn and actually get through everyday life, which is why I decide to paint so not only am I learning to say the kanji but i’m imprinting the symbol in my head whilst actively learning.
Where I am with Japanese – UPDATE
As it stands, I haven’t been doing any self-study for a few months now. I’ve fallen out of the routine, something I find difficult is to keep a routine especially as chronic illness and mental illness is so unpredictable. I will get back into it, as I do enjoy language learning and it actually gives me something positive to do, when I have enough energy to do it.
Are you learning a language?
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