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2018/07/20
Personal / I don’t aim to be an expert polyglot but knowing a little is huge for me!

When I was wee bit younger I tried learning Japanese but I quit I said why do I need to learn it if there are people who will translate it for me?! It was a very bad decision!  Fast forward to recent years I’m now self-studying Japanese for the simple reason of wanting to read manga on my own. Yes, because I became passionately in love with reading! And I realized that there’s so many manga that never got translated (especially shoujo manga which I fiercely love) and that made me try learning Japanese.

I live most of my life in a household hearing three languages at once! It’s not that unusual to encounter Filipino families that are bilingual (Tagalog/Filipino + English) or trilingual (Tagalog/Filipino + English + Regional Language). My family is trilingual since I was born and raised in Manila; Filipino + English are languages I use in a daily basis. My grandma who often stays with us who unconsciously converse us in Ilocano (I think, she does know Tagalog but she’s comfortable speaking in Ilocano, her mother tongue) and having exposed to it since childhood, I’ve learned it in a way I can understand her despite not being able to speak it very fluently.  So yeah, there’s my history! So languages for me are something native to my family.

But unlike the three languages I know, Japanese (and Korean) is harder for me. One, there’s no exposure! Sure I have anime and drama but having normal conversation with a native speaker is what I lack and that’s very important. So even if I already started years ago, I STILL wouldn’t say I’m good at it. I probably express myself like a child would…or more badly than that.  And I wouldn’t say I’m some glossophile.  I mean if you’re frequent visitor of this blog you know how my English grammar slips off on a regular basis (welp, it’s so true! ) so although I’m able to read Japanese on my own (with the help furigana + dictionary for most parts)—I think my reading has improved. I‘ve decided to focus on reading since, like I said, I love to read!

And I found out that learning a new language is fun! Language is essential!  And for me to learn my fourth and fifth languages are nothing less than bold and amazing adventure (more of the former)! I think when I became a reader it opens lots of opportunity, and this one of those! I know that the main motivation is to be able to read manga and webtoons untranslated sounds simple motivation but it drives home perfectly! There are highs—like reading it on your own, able to express yourself in different language;  and lows—like grammar in every language I know I suck at it (my mother tongue included) yet it doesn’t cripple my enthusiasm—‘cos that’s part of the journey!

I read in tumblr about venturing into something and not always be amazing at it isn’t bad! And I agree there’s nothing wrong at trying to excel but there’s also nothing wrong being average in what you do. Mediocrity isn’t bad, it balances out—at least that’s what I tell myself anyway! So maybe my English isn’t that good yet here I am blogging in English because I want to! And now I’m learning new language because I love reading manga and webtoons! So even though I don’t aim as an excellent polyglot—the fact that I knew even a little is big accomplishment for me!

— Credits: The hiragana chart use in the banner image is from tofugu.com. Thank you very much!

 
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