19 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Studied Japanese at University
Well. This is even more difficult than expected.
1. The horror you feel when you show up to your induction and are told many of you won’t make it to the end of your course.
2. When you thought things were going OK and then you had to start learning kanji.
And stroke order became a thing.
3. Followed by the realisation that one kanji can have multiple readings.
4. Then it turns out even Japanese people don’t know all the readings either.
“Ummm, let me get out my keitai dictionary…”
5. When your sensei tells you how many counting systems there are.
6. Talking to yourself in the mirror after using the wrong particle in a sentence.
7. And then you find out Japanese people tend to omit the particles you spent hours studying.
8. The moment of relief when you actually passed your first year.
9. Which means you’re going to get to go to Japan after all.
It’s actually happening.
10. When you’ve spent your entire student loan in Japan and it’s only day three.
11. And you can’t understand Japanese people because they aren’t using the -masu form you’ve spent so long perfecting.
Which is all you’ve been taught in class. Thanks uni.
12. And it turns out most people you meet want to speak English with you anyway.
You’ve come to practise your Japanese but they all want to practise their English.
13. The moment you discover nomihoudai.
All you can drink in two hours for 2500 yen is the best. Thanks Kachi-Kachi-Yama!
14. The shame of being forced to spend the night in a manga cafe because you missed the last train home.
Probably because you got too excited about nomihoudai.
15. When all the hard work on your Japanese skills actually starts to pay off.
It’s so tough – but now snippets of conversation in Japanese make sense.
16. When you get home from your year abroad feeling smug that you can understand the staff in sushi bars.
17. But the kanji on SuperDry clothes will officially never make sense.
18. When final year was as hard as you’d been told it would be at the start of uni.
Dissertation + language classes = death.
19. But you’ll never regret studying Japanese and making it to the end.