Put it into words. 言葉にして。

Japanese Update

Hey there.

You know, I haven’t watched very much anime in a long time.  I stopped because I was worried what people around me would think of me if I continued to watch it.  But I’ve been watching little bits since I got some for Christmas, and I really remembered why I enjoy it so much–it’s flat-out fun.  It hasn’t ever been the only thing I do, but it’s something that has enriched my life, and I don’t want to be so scared of what people think that I don’t do what makes me happy.

My comprehension of Japanese hasn’t been slipping, really.  I know that one’s capacity to comprehend in a foreign language outstrips their ability to produce, just as it exists in one’s native language.  So when I listen to an anime, and I can tell “Oh, this character is being extremely polite here!” and “That character is being really really rude…” based on choice of vocabulary I feel good.  I like subtitles to some degree because they force me to think like a translator.  “How would I say this in English?”  “Why did the translator choose this phrasing?  What is influencing their translation?  Is it their age and where they live?”  “Why is this sentence translated in this order?” (In regard to the last question, I have found out from personal experience in translating and information from one of my great past professors about his experiences that a lot of it has to do with the way sentences are structured in Japanese versus English.  Even so, I sometimes feel annoyed when I see that a sentence has been translated “backwards,” because it can ruin the impact and power of the utterance which was originally present in the form in some way.  Gotta figure out a way to fix this eventually while still making a translation that doesn’t sound completely stilted and unnatural…yeah, that’s why light novels can be really hard to translate…I’m looking at you, Hot Gimmick S!)

Whee.  Anyway, as I was saying, I end up realizing that in some ways I am quite capable in Japanese, and sometimes I forget that until I’m staring a page completely in Japanese in the face and then I can make out what it’s about, sometimes easily and sometimes not so easily.   Even so, the little bits that I do get on my own make me feel better.

I am not done by any means.  I need to get back to studying Japanese regularly, and I intend to do that this year.  I think that the new semester will be a little easier on me.  Maybe.  Anyway, I am going to spend more of the free time I use with a melted brain doing things that produce good results, and so I will study again.

…Sometimes it’s tough being a student, but I don’t want to make excuses for not doing things.  I can manage a little bit of study; I’m just scared that I can’t.  I need more confidence.


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