My name is Yuri and unlike my name, I'm 0% Japanese and 100% Indonesian. I've been living in Japan back and forth since October 2014 for two internships (including HDE) before I was hired for a full-time job and moved for good
Today, I want to share how sucky my Japanese is.
I've been living here quite a while and my level is still JLPT
And I don't think I'm bad at
But my Japanese? My goodness, no.
It's so frustrating. I can understand what people are talking about, but I when it comes to sounding words, I stutter.
So I came up with some theories, of why I suck at my Japanese.
Theories of Why Yuri Sucks At Japanese #1: She's Old.
I wonder if it has anything to do with my age. But mind you, I'm not even 30 yet (not even that close. Maybe like, 27 Club close). Am I really that old now to learn a new language?
So I looked it up. Apparently, there are studies saying that age has something to do with receiving new
Theories of Why Yuri Sucks At Japanese #2: No Place To Practice.
Let me share a bit about how my life goes on
So I wake up and go to work. HDE has been changing their official language to English, starting last October. And when they said we changed our main language to English, we changed our main language to English. Like, no kidding.
He's ready to smash you with some English!
All announcement is now in English, if not followed by Japanese. Documents have been translated. Japanese tags and labels are covered by English stickers. The international employees are expected to speak English more to our employees (don't get us wrong, it's always been our pleasures to do so). It's amazing how in less than 2 years here, the English atmosphere has been significantly improved! I'm not saying everyone speaks
Then I go home. I'm exchanging instant messages to my friends in English, if not Bahasa. Sometimes I
That happens five times a week.
On the weekend, I try my best not to touch work. I will make time to meet some friends who are mostly German or Polish. I call my parents. Then it gets late, I just read something until I fall asleep.
Then Monday happens and we're back to square one.
Theories of Why Yuri Sucks At Japanese #3: She Gets Comfortable.
This is, by far, the most likely one.
People keep saying how scarce English in Japan is. Maybe in other cities, yes, but I'd say Tokyo is not that rare. Especially not in Shibuya; where the biggest contributors to its density are visitors who are either waiting for the green light at the Shibuya
Case in point
I know enough Japanese that gets me by. Technology is getting better, thanks to Kanji recognizer apps and Google Translate who even convert images too.
Days become weeks. Months become year(s).
I got too
That really snapped me and scared me a little bit.
I know by curling up in a ball and crying my eyes out (figuratively) won't change anything. So I wiped my tears, snorted my nose, got myself a paper and a pen, and started to brainstorms some ideas, of how I would step up my Japanese game with the most effective methods there are.
I came up with some presumably good solutions.
Solutions That Maybe Help Yuri With Her Japanese #1: Go To Small, Local Shops
I went to dry cleaning by my house the other day for the first time. I met this very nice lady and I conversed amicably in our broken Japanese/English.
Then I realized I should do it more often. Not the "bringing my coats every week to wash" part, but the "going to local shops more often" one, since I will be forced to use my Japanese even more often. One friend said how her friend keeps coming to this small ramen shop, just to exchange some conversations with the owner who doesn't speak a word in English.
At least I know a nice lady to start with!
Although local dog will be better!
Solutions That Maybe Help Yuri With Her Japanese #2: Podcast
I downloaded some Learning Japanese apps, convincing myself that I would learn it
Boy, was I
It's hard to concentrate on
But with podcast can be different. I can still read on my phone, or not use it at
There is this podcast that I just subscribed yesterday (but honestly haven't listened to it) but I heard it worked!
Solutions That Maybe Help Yuri With Her Japanese #3: Joining an Organization
What's a better way to learn something other than putting yourself in something that you like or care about?
So I used to be in this international organizations for 2.5 years, AIESEC, focusing on social issues and leadership. I've been in love with volunteering world
It's not easy to find organizations in Japan because again, my poor Japanese, until
I have been in touch with the President and I really can't wait to join in their activities, moreover my involvement with developing its programs itself. I may give my hands to these unfortunate kids, but they're actually the ones who are the bigger helpers; who show me how fortunate our lives here.
Practicing Japanese is just a bonus! :)
Again, I can't emphasize enough that this has nothing to do with my company going global. That's like complaining about getting free flow dessert or Shiba puppies! (Did I also mention that they paid for my Japanese class?)
This has everything to do with my laziness and being spoiled with my surrounding. These excuses have to stop. Starting next year, I promise I'll try harder. :)
Thank you again for reading :)