I’m nearing the end of my six month long intensive Japanese course. I have four days left and they mostly consist of exams and preparation for the 5 minute talk I’m expected to give next Friday. I have been asked by a few people if I think my Japanese is improving. I find it hard to tell. I have weekly tests and homeworks, which I get good marks in, but I still feel clueless on most days.
I think part of the problem comes from living in Japan and being constantly shown how much I don’t understand. When I was learning other subjects I didn’t have any idea of the scope of the problem. I thought I was good at science when I was 11 years old. And I was, I was good for an 11 year old who only knew about the things my teacher had taught me. I didn’t spend my days being shown science journals I couldn’t read or having to listen to people speak about advanced scientific concepts. I had no idea how vast the subject of science was but I felt good about science and thought it was something that I would be able to continue to study. I wonder if I would have decided to study science in university if I had been constantly bombarded by things I couldn’t understand?
In Japan every day I hear conversations I don’t understand and see media that I can’t read. This doesn’t mean that I will give up but I do feel like there is a giant mountain in front of me that I will never be able to climb.