Feeling discouraged with learning Japanese

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mr_carrot
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#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
Hi everyone,

I am planning on studying History and Japanese as part of a combined honours degree (currently in the process of moving to a different university), but I am feeling really discouraged with learning the language. I feel that Japanese has a negative stigma attached to it that no other languages does, and I am immediately judged negatively when I mention that I am learning the language. I don't watch anime or read manga, but people often assume that I must be obsessed with anime/manga and Japan itself. I do enjoy some aspects of the modern culture (Nintendo games) but I also simply love the language (the way it sounds, the grammar, learning the kanji). One of my old friends from school called me 'weeb trash' when I told them that I was studying the language as part of my degree, and I have also had negativity from other friends.

This makes me feel like I don't want to learn the language any more, and that I'd be better of learning Chinese or German instead, both of which I did at school (and enjoyed - I really enjoy language learning in general) as they are perceived as more 'useful' and don't have the same stigma attached. When I mentioned I was doing Chinese at school, I only ever got positive reactions and no one ever assumed that I was obsessed with China or Chinese culture.

I'm also interested in the traditional culture, because I've read various work of classical literature which I also enjoyed. I am also into the history (I've mainly studied Edo and Meiji periods so far) and am planning on writing my undergrad dissertation on Japanese history. I am also interested in Korean because I've done some Korean history this year, so I was planning on learning that too and maybe potentially looking into Japanese/Korean history at postgrad....

I hope someone can help! Yes, I'd enjoy learning Chinese too (particularly Classical Chinese, I went to an exhibition with the Terracotta Warriors which was great and I did my A-level History coursework on Qing China) and German, but I did feel that I enjoyed Japanese more, yet now I just feel completely lost.

Thanks
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hello_shawn
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#2
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#2
being able to speak a tonal language like Mandarin, fluently, without looking like an ethnic Chinese, is perhaps the greatest accomplishment for any language learner to answer your question seriously, care not what other people think. learn what you want to learn
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umbrellala
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#3
Report 3 years ago
#3
(Original post by .harry.)
Hi everyone,

I am planning on studying History and Japanese as part of a combined honours degree (currently in the process of moving to a different university), but I am feeling really discouraged with learning the language. I feel that Japanese has a negative stigma attached to it that no other languages does, and I am immediately judged negatively when I mention that I am learning the language. I don't watch anime or read manga, but people often assume that I must be obsessed with anime/manga and Japan itself. I do enjoy some aspects of the modern culture (Nintendo games) but I also simply love the language (the way it sounds, the grammar, learning the kanji). One of my old friends from school called me 'weeb trash' when I told them that I was studying the language as part of my degree, and I have also had negativity from other friends.

This makes me feel like I don't want to learn the language any more, and that I'd be better of learning Chinese or German instead, both of which I did at school (and enjoyed - I really enjoy language learning in general) as they are perceived as more 'useful' and don't have the same stigma attached. When I mentioned I was doing Chinese at school, I only ever got positive reactions and no one ever assumed that I was obsessed with China or Chinese culture.

I'm also interested in the traditional culture, because I've read various work of classical literature which I also enjoyed. I am also into the history (I've mainly studied Edo and Meiji periods so far) and am planning on writing my undergrad dissertation on Japanese history. I am also interested in Korean because I've done some Korean history this year, so I was planning on learning that too and maybe potentially looking into Japanese/Korean history at postgrad....

I hope someone can help! Yes, I'd enjoy learning Chinese too (particularly Classical Chinese, I went to an exhibition with the Terracotta Warriors which was great and I did my A-level History coursework on Qing China) and German, but I did feel that I enjoyed Japanese more, yet now I just feel completely lost.

Thanks
I've had a similar experience with my degree. I'm doing Korean and most people instantly assume that I'm obsessed with k-pop or k-dramas, even though I'm not really a huge fan of either. At the end of the day you just have to accept that people will always have those assumptions and ignore them. It will definitely get easier once you're in your language class, I felt really judged before I went to uni but once you're with your class who will understand that you're not 'weeb trash' it does help you feel more accepted. No one saying these things matters, as long as you know why you're doing it then their opinions are irrelevant. It's something that comes with the territory but if you truly love it then none of it matters anymore
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connor.beja
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#4
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#4
I've applied to do Japanese at university and all of my friends that I've told have reacted the same way. I do watch anime and read manga, but that's not the reason I want to learn the language; I just really love it, and I know I'll enjoy doing the degree and any career that comes from it. I don't have very much advice for you except do what you know you'll enjoy, and tell the naysayers to **** off.
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username4310824
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#5
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#5
Hey!

I'm currently doing a joint honours degree that includes Japanese at university. Like you, I've never seen or read anime and manga and I was always felt a bit awkward when I told people what degree I wanted to do due to the stigma around it and in case they thought I just wanted to do it to be able to watch anime without subtitles or something. I toyed with the idea of doing Mandarin as it appeared to be more ''respected'' but I soon realised that I just wasn't passionate enough about it to do a 4 year long degree in it. I can't emphasis enough how important it is to do what you want to do. If I had gone and picked Mandarin just because I was scared of what a few people thought I'd probably be so unmotivated to actually finish the degree.

Picking to do Japanese was one of the best things I've ever done. The language is extremely rewarding and (not to sound like an absolute nerd ) I always look forward to studying it. I believe the reason why I'm doing well in my degree so far is strictly down to my love for the language and the culture. Don't shape your life based on the opinion of others, do what you want to do.

Good luck!
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mr_carrot
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#6
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#6
Hi everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to reply and help me out!

I completely agree with you all - it's better to focus on doing what I enjoy, rather than try to please others, or I'll just end up forgetting what my actual interests are. I'll keep going with my Japanese!
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reb3kah
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#7
Report 3 years ago
#7
forget them and just do what you feel is good for you!
forgot to say you'll get opportunity to make more friends on your course anyway if the ones you have still judge you for it
Last edited by reb3kah; 3 years ago
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DedicatedWizard
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#8
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#8
**** them, it's your life and your degree. Do whatever that makes you happy.

Also don't worry, you will find better friends when you get to the uni
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