Kevin J.

Joyfulness With Language Immersion

In this post I would like to talk about one of the most (in my opinion) joyful moments you will ever get when doing language immersion.

What exactly inspired me to write this is the fact that I myself have experienced this 1 day before writing this article. For context, I have been trying to get a torrent set up on one of my VMs on which I usually host things temporarily, and decided to listen to some japanese music in the background since I knew that this was gonna be a long process.

Most of those songs were songs that I have not listened to in well over a year and completely forgot about them. But these songs (like any other song) had specific emotions and memories attached to them and relistening them not only proved to give me a big hit of nostalgia and flashbacks, but the fact that I was able to comprehend most of them was so amazing I could not believe what I was listening to (Blue Encount from 僕のヒーローアカデミア being by far the best example of what I could not understand a year ago).

For a second it seemed like I unlocked a new area of the song that was once hidden to me and completely out of discussion. What I was once listening to and “letting it go by, without thinking about it is meaning” as to say, was now being automatically converted in my brain. And this is the experience I am talking about. The only sign of improvement I ever get is this. And I am so thankful that I get it from time to time because it really keeps me going like nothing else.

“Oh,” you might say, “but surely you can see your progress and advancement over time as you start to notice that you understand more and more of the content that you absorb.” Well, that is actually quite false, in my opinion. As you advance in a language and learn new words day after day, the relative difference between what you knew 5 days ago and what you know now are so slim that you practically cannot see it. At the beginning though, those differences are quite large. As Tom Scott put it, “Going from 201 to 202 feels like a tiny change, but going from 1 to 2 is a doubling.” Although the topic of that video was not language learning, I honestly feel like it applies to language learning as well. That is why I get so happy and motivated when this occurence happens. It tells me that whatever I knew about Japanese last year is completely different to what I know now. Knowing that you are making progress is way better than having the idea that you are stuck in one place for the whole time in my opinion.

Thanks for reading this.