Wireless Recharge

I have come to California to visit my west coast family; a family that possesses no wireless internet, meaning, by the time the world is able to read this たまご, the sentence should read, “I went to California…”

During this trip, I have realized a couple things about my Japanese language acquisition. The first being how very grateful I am I got a hold of four hours of recorded Japanese     テレビ [TV] literally just hours before departure. Being thirty minutes from town with a lack of internet connection takes a major shot at the depth of your supplies.

A larger lesson learned was on the very first day of my journey.

This was not only my first time flying on an airplane by my onesie, but also the first time flying on an airplane period. As you can imagine, after being grounded for twenty-two years of life, my adrenaline levels were tuned up a squib-bit. In fear of getting stranded in the town of the sludgy Broncos, I was not too focused on studying Japanese. I still had the buds pumping in my side-head-holes; I merely was not paying much attention. Of course, I made sure to follow along with the flight attendant’s English instructions at the beginning of the main flight using the Japanese texts provided in the emergency manuals. Between a rather lengthy speed-walk to catch a next flight, a four-hour wait until another, and the three flights themselves, before my last plane could land, my mp3 had conked. No more Japanese.

As the long day came to a close, I was finally able to get settled at my old, dilapidated Granola Bar’s [ばあちゃん]. I got my laptop plugged-in, the テレビ turned on, and after a day of virtually no Japanese, at long last I was able to reunite with my precious. When I did, I found I had an increased readiness and willingness to pay attention to the programs’ speech. More so than usual!

I have a couple ideas as to why this occurrence occurred.

I almost constantly am within ear’s reach of Japanese audio. Either my brain hears it so much it starts to regard the audio as unimportant and tunes out the Japanese, or, my brain breathes it like oxygen and when it gets cut off it acts like it’s suffocating until it’s able to gasp a big gulp of fresh air.

Whichever it is, I believe there is something remedially beneficial to taking breaks, allowing your brain time to recharge and soak in the materials you’ve been studying. Obviously, I think you should be turned on more than the counter. You can’t soak in anything if you have nothing to soak in. Perhaps, like a cell phone, there is a way to be plugged-in, recharging while remaining power-on. I’m sure that probably includes incorporating a wider variety of activities with Japanese interactions, such as things so simple, you don’t notice you’re studying.

I think occasionally I will test this out, see if it actually helps, or was just my jet-lagged imagination.

Do you have any experience or knowledge on this subject? Let us know in a comment or by shooting me some electronic mail.

**Post-home-arrival edit: Ahhhh~ Live TV… Tastes so good.
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About ざっちー

Just a boy trying to find his way to Japan.
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3 Responses to Wireless Recharge

  1. maugrassia says:

    I’ve definitely noticed this. Before I went on my many-months long Korean hiatus from Japanese, listening to Japanese was just a blur to me. My brain had been tuning it out because it was all passive, and made it clear I wasn’t going to understand it at first so why listen at all?

    After some reading and a couple of songs later, I’m actually able to pick out words. I can hear the fine line between words and phrases. I can actually interpret what’s going on.

    We need breaks. Or, we at least need to make sure we do more active than passive listening.

    • ざっちー says:

      Good call! Thanks for the confirmation!!
      I recently noticed another spike in my listening, which is nice. It seems once you notice you are picking out a lot more words and phrases, your brain realizes it can/should be listening a little more actively.
      I feel like the Japanese speed is starting to match my English speed as far as hearing the native tongue. The problem/next-major-focus-area is getting the vocabulary to match so I can understand [mostly] every word said. And then the output is where the grammar knowledge comes into play.

      • Tyler says:

        Yeah, I’m in the same place. But I especially noticed this: anything audio you listen to, find the transcripts or lyrics. It definitely helps connect vocabulary. And I definitely noticed that all I focussed on back then was all the music- without the lyrics. I even sung to the songs, but with no care for the Japanese. Big mistake.

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