On Sounding Unnatural

So I’ve been back for a few weeks. My Japanese isn’t 100% back yet, but aside from me no one really seems to care. I stop midsentence, yell out すいませえ~ん日本語忘れてしまった dramatically, and everyone is confused because for the most part I sound the same as before. It’s quite funny. I’ve been practicing my Spanish, too, and am amazed to find that I had so many basic grammar mistakes in my everyday Spanish. I guess no one really cares?

I mean, sometimes I’ll have other foreigners around and they correct my Japanese. Or, say, people know that I have an exam coming up and will correct me to help me out. Or maybe it’s just my usual 日本語チェック coming back with a red word every other phrase. I am aware that I make basic mistakes, but so long as no one points it out and I’m not having a lapsus I don’t really care. Probably the most intimidating interactions I’ve had in Japanese were the ones where I had another learner around, and I knew that they were listening to what I was saying and trying to remember it (‘how did you ask for that?’ ‘I don’t know’ ‘But you just said it’ ‘Yeah, but…don’t listen to me anyway, my Japanese is terrible’)… Occasionally I will use a really weird word, and people will stop in their tracks and comment on it; maybe I will just notice that a word I just said is getting rephrased when people are repeating the sentence. I’ll make a mental note, and often times instantly adapt to it, but it’s really quite a rare thing. I am aware that my Japanese is not *correct*, but since the meaning gets across, it doesn’t affect my everyday life, and frankly most people are satisfied with my current level, I don’t really see any reason to improve it. Maybe I’m just lazy?

(now, the fact that my non-everyday Japanese is slowly decaying since I stopped actively practicing it, that there is a problem, but… motivation >_<….)

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One thought on “On Sounding Unnatural

  1. 頑張って! I’m sure it will come back to you soon enough. Honestly I don’t think a lot of Japanese learners would be brave enough to go to grad school in Japan. Keep it up!

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