Monday, June 9, 2008

The Korean and Japanese projects : Lack of motivation

En français

Yesterday I experienced a big lack of motivation.
I think that there are severals causes.

The progression of the kanjis learning.
The "no"progression of Korean.
The lack of Korean background audio during the week-end.
The huge amount of work to do to reach fluency.

Learning the kanjis is taking a lot of time, a huge amount of time. When I started the Heisig method I expected it to be a bit difficult, easier than learning by using the visual memory but I never expected it to be that easy and interesting.
When I learned Chinese characters before it was by copying then again and again.
Of course I was breaking them into pieces sometimes but without any real organization.
Now I know about 1200 kanjis without that much of efforts. I mean, OK I'm spending something between 3 and 6 hours a days learning them, creating all the story including the elements, reviewing them on Anki and writing them 5 times to learn the stroke order and trying to have a nice writing style but it doesn't feel like a core at all.
And it's a bit scary to see it going that well when I have been struggling so much before.

Then the Korean problems. I spend so much time learning the kanjis as I was so excited by this new project that I really left the Korean in a corner. The only thing I really did what to listen to it all the time as usual. I have a enormous number of sentences waiting on Mnemosyne.
I didn't even read the wonderful web site full of manhwa I found earlier in the week.
So it's not getting that well, and as I really want to learn Korean, that's a bit depressing.
Now there is also the fact that I'm not as isolated during the week-end as I am during the week so I can't have Korean playing that much. And that feel a bit empty. Listening to Korean has became as essential as breathing or eating. If I don't get enough during a day I really feel extremely bad. It's kind of an addiction or something like that.

Then the 800 kanjis remaining as well as all the work to do afterward to master Japanese and Chinese as well as all the Korean work I still have to do, feel like a huge mountain.

So I what did I do to stop this lack of motivation and confidence ?
I decided to take a break.
A small one, until today. I'm not crazy, I don't want to ruin all the efforts and all the work I have been doing for so long.

So, no more kanjis, it's not going to hurt if I didn't learn some 100 new kanjis yesterday.
And today I'm just going to review what I have seen so far. So I will make sure that I really know them all and that it's not just a crazy idea.
Then I put the Korean back on, and loud, that made me feel nearly instantaneously better. I did some ironing, some cleaning, some knitting, meet some friends, watch the last episode of 내 이름은 김삼순.
And then I did what is probably the most important thing to get my motivation back. Instead of looking at what I don't know and have to do, I took a look at what I already know.

Few month ago, last September to be precise, the only thing I was able to say in Korean was 안녕하세요? and I wasn't even able to write my name properly.
Now I can write email to my friend using a dictionary, write everything I hear almost right, even if I'm not that confident about that due to my poor spelling even in my mother tongue, and say entire scene of 그 놈은 멋있었다 He Was Cool and 늑대의 유혹 Romance of Their Own ... by heart.
Few month ago I was only able to recall few basic kanjis. Now I know more than the half of the Remembering the kanjis book, I can recognize them in the street or on stuff and explain them to my friends and that's really cool.
So I just need to take it easy and learn more because learning languages is really a great thing and make you happy.


  1. Chinese Mandarin is indeed a useful and beautiful language, which is worthy spending time to learn. For most beginners, it is challenging. But don’t worry about it. Check this good Chinese Mandarin learning site to learn more about learning Chinese, you will find learning Chinese easy and interesting.

  2. I really like Chinese, I studied it part time for 2 years and a half. I become good enough to make some of my Chinese friends forget that I don't understand everything yet.
    That's true that it's very interesting as well but at the moment it's not my top priory language.
    I'am just reviewing some time not to forget and learning the kanji will help as well for my reading and writting skills.
    Thanks for the link anyway I will have a look at it.