The Way We Think About Learning Japanese is Broken

Is there actually a possibility for learning Japanese in a free trial of an online Japanese course?

I’ve always wanted to learn a new language, especially Japanese.

There are a few reasons why I’ve always wanted to learn the language but the one reason I want to do so is that…

…I can understand what they’re really saying in anime and manga

My favorite anime are in this order: Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Toradora.  With the exception of Cowboy Bebop, I fall into the “Sub” camp in the great war between Subs and Dubs.
The thing is, how am I supposed to know what’s actually being said in the show?  Should I just accept what I read on a TV screen?  I don’t think so.
Even though it’s not as prevalent as it used to be in the days of VHS, many of us have experienced the horror of the badly done Fansub…
Does he even know that fish?

That’s why I’m going to take the free trial of Rocket Japanese and see if it’s actually possible for learning Japanese from an online course.

Now to be transparent, I have to say that I am an affiliate for Rocket Japanese.  That means I make money if you click whatever links that lead to their website and you buy their program.


I love anime and manga.  I also love otaku culture.  I’ve loved both ever since I was a child and I saw my first episodes of Speed Racer and Ultraman.  But there were reasons I never really attempted to learn Japanese and I’m beginning to understand why they were incorrect.

The God’s honest truth about why I never learned how to speak Japanese is as simple as this: I was either too afraid of failing or I was just too lazy to try.  Why should I bother learning something when I just have to play BioShock Infinite?

But fear of failure and laziness never reared their ugly heads without wearing certain masks which turned out to be specific reasons why I wouldn’t even try.  Those reasons were:

I could never find the time for Learning Japanese

When I really think about it, I have the same 24 hours that everybody else does.  Out of all that time I spent playing BioShock, or one of my mobile games, I couldn’t spend a half an hour studying vocabulary?

I spend about a half an hour every day on the train going to work.  If I were to use RJ’s mobile app during that half hour I bet I could get some basic Japanese under my belt.

 It’s too difficult to learn the Alphabet

Okay, “alphabet” might be the wrong word here.  “Alphabet” implies symbols that can sound different depending on the context of the word.  For example, the letter “A” can sound like “Ay” as in “Ace” or “Aaa” as in “apple.”

 

The correct term for the glyphs that make of the writing of the Japanese language is “syllabary,” implying that each symbol has the same sound no matter what the word. There are three ways of writing in Japanese: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.
 Simply put, Hiragana is used to spell out words native to the Japanese language, for instance, “Goodbye” is written さようなら (Sayounara).

Katakana is used to spell out foreign “loan words” like “Ice Cream,” アイスクリム (Aisukurimu)
 
Kanji is adopted from Chinese Characters and is used in conjunction with Hiragana and Katakana. According to some sources, there are about 47,000 kanji in the Japanese language. There are about 2,000 Kanji in the common vocabulary and if they are learned, the learner is considered literate.
 
Those are just two of the reasons I’ve convinced myself that I can’t learn Japanese, but I’m kind of feeling as if they’re a load of bull. The real reasons are what I mentioned before: Fear of failure and laziness. So I figure if I use the free week of Rocket Japanese it might motivate me to take it further.
 
But what I really want to know is if there is anyone out there who has been like me… who’s tried and failed to learn and overcame the procrastination? If so, be sure to leave a comment below.