12 In Japanese learning journey (:

Polyglot? Not me

hehe thanks to Amber, I now have a new Japanese learning book!! Entirely in Japanese too 😀 AWESOME!!!

I’ll write it here in case I decide to back out of it. But yep, I’ll be taking JLPT this year. hahahahaha (okay I already regret typing this)


Staring at it right now, and the thought in my mind is “I can never be a polyglot” o.O Seriously, I’ve dedicated my life (whatever free time I have) to Korean to get to where I am now. I don’t have any erm spare life to dedicate to another language. I’m for the idea that your proficiency is equivalent to your effort and time put in, so it just seems hard for me to really pick up another language to a high standard. It’s also highly unlikely that I’ll suddenly be able to spend an extended period in Japan that I’ll miraculously improve in a short time. hehe but that’s of course logic. Language learning is not really about logic. It’s about passion and interest. (I’m contradicting myself)

As much as it’s difficult, I’m going to continue on. Spending whatever time I can on Japanese and just enjoy the process. ^^ I have a different goal for Japanese. I don’t aim to be natively fluent (that’s my goal for Korean), but I just want to be able to read, enjoy Japanese media, and conversant. Basically to be what I am for Korean now. Around there. Okay maybe less. Is that being too ambitious?

In any case, I’ll try to consciously put in more effort in Japanese. My current Japanese input is only Japanese radio and tweets and the occasional article. 😀 Need to put in more effort!

So I really envy polyglots. I don’t understand how people can be polyglots ._____. Was talking to Amber about it and yep we agreed that we are only passionate about specific languages, not really languages in general. True. My passion lies only in Korean, and to some extent Japanese. I cannot envision myself learning a Romance language, and I have no plans to pick up anything else within these…. few years.

The definition of polyglot is also very debatable, just like how the definition of fluency is also very subjective. I don’t aim to be one. I’m the kind that will concentrate on one language and take it to the ultimate level. Any language that comes after, I’ll take it to the advanced level. So I’ll be happy with 4 languages! Although it will be quite difficult, since I’m always aiming to improve my Korean, I don’t think I’ll ever have time for anything else lol.

I shall sleeep. Good night!

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  • Reply
    18 February, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    I also thought I am passionate with languages. It took me a while to realize that I am actually just passionate with one language!

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      me too! I like languages but it’s only with Korean that I have that kind of passion

  • Reply
    18 February, 2013 at 4:44 AM

    About language learning: For people who grew up with the Latin alphabet, learning Japanese and Korean comes with the additional challenge of learning a different writing system. (But, being in Singapore, did you grow up reading and speaking Chinese? Just curious, not intending to downplay your great achievements so far!) If a person who already knows the Latin alphabet studies one Romance language, he/she can learn the others more easily since they are related – French, Spanish, Italian…..it isn’t taught as much these days, but if one has studied Latin, that helps a lot with the Romance languages, too. So, I think that the ease or difficulty of becoming a polyglot also depends on where you are coming from (so to speak) and where you want to go…Though obviously immersion in the chosen language helps a lot, too..

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      yep I can read and speak Chinese. And I won’t deny that that’s a BIG help if you know how to utilise it. But that doesn’t really give you an absolute advantage though. yeah but totally agree with what you said!

  • Reply
    18 February, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    First, I wanted to say you inspired to start my own blog on learning a language. I am not as determined as you but it is a start. I connect to your page often to see if you posted something new. I am impressed that you are working on two language tests now. I am sure you will be successful in each.

    I admit polyglots are amazing. Being one would be an incredible asset but discover the Japanese language satisfies me well enough.

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      wow 😀 will hope over to visit!! I’m contented with Korean as well 😀

  • Reply
    18 February, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Gosh, I’m so envious of your time-management skills/determination. I feel like I always get these big ideas in my head that I’m finally going to put in the time and energy into Korean and Chinese and actually get good at them, and then immediately get deflated when I realize how much I have to do for my ACTUAL degree.

    I really admire that you manage to keep so many different things going all while you were doing what sounded like a pretty tough degree as well (WHILE keeping one of the most popular blogs about Korean language learning out there)… Such a modern can-do kind of lady!

    • Reply
      18 February, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      As somebody who has a way not related to language degree (chemical engineering) that has amazing ridiculous time requirements, I can say, if it’s something you want, you can pursue a language. I’ve made remarkable progress with my Korean in that way.
      One problem you may be having is just that you’re thinking too big. I read a lot about different people’s language learning journies, but I also find some good ideas about general motivation and inspiration related to language learning from the blog All Japanese All the Time. It’s a bit controversial on its methods – but I look at it for general ideas. But the important thing is not about not giving up, but always starting back up again. (I feel hypocritical to say that I can’t keep diaries or journals or flashcards, because I give up about 3 days. But, fortunately my passion does lie somehow for language enough that I am able to .. well, still give up, but always, always starting again.)
      The other big part is that your ideas shouldn’t be big! If you have a big, abstract goal it’s going to really demotivate you. Start with something really small, just getting through a lesson in your textbook, or maybe a little bigger like getting through your entire textbook. If you can break you big lofty goals into these small steps, the process will become a lot more reasonable.
      If you can stay motivated and keep your goal broken down into smaller chunks, I’m sure you can have some success in language learning too! Good luck

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      hehe I have no idea where I get that kind of passion for Korean. I do try to manage my time as well as I can, but sacrifices are inevitable. You just have to prioritize and in my case, I sacrifice social life most of the time 😛

  • Reply
    Autonomous Korean
    19 February, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    I get the impression that most of the polyglots who know 10+ languages don’t have a really deep knowledge of many of the languages they’ve learned – advanced enough that they have a high conversational level, but lacking the advanced knowledge you’d expect of an educated user. Some people get along really easily socially, and they just *have to* keep talking, so they get quite good at talking, but their reading level may never get beyond middle school level.
    I’d love to be a polyglot who knows a dozen languages, but depth is more important to me than breadth; I want to be *truly good* at Korean some day, and hopefully some other languages. Unfortunately, I’ve still got so long to go in Korean that I doubt I’ll be able to tackle other languages too…

    • Reply
      21 February, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      yeah I haven’t met anyone who’s a real polyglot in that sense. I prefer going for depth too and will be satisfied with being good in Korean!

  • Reply
    26 April, 2017 at 5:25 AM

    aren’t you already a polyglot? english, korean, japanese, mandarin. that sounds like a lot

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