First Lick…oh the Romance!


Well here we are, the very first post of my blog. I’ve been wanting to make a blog for a long time now. I think it’s pretty sad that it’s taken me quite some time to get around to it and all. So of course, if you want to know about this blog, read the About Page. 😀 no sense being redundant about all that. I figured as my introductory post I’d simply let you in on where I’m at in my language journey and how it started.

I’m pretty noobish. I’d say that I’m barley past beginner stage if I were to be generous. I’ve not been studying seriously for too long and I’ve sorta let myself have an excuse or two (like being pregnant, moving three times since, and lazy) get in my way, but overall, I’m not so slack! Of course I’m going to endorse my cult like following of AJATT throughout this blog, and I’ll more than once quote people I can’t remember.

When I was just a little budding kitten in HS I decided to learn some candy Japanese. Now, as it being candy Japanese, it was romanji, limited, and included eating, a lot of it was sushi! I don’t think it was wrong, not wanting anything more than that at the time, but I could hardly say I was seeking to speak Japanese, or do much past enjoying a few cultural coolities such as anime/manga and sushi.

Even as a young child, foreign sounds captivated me. I remember it started with accented English from the movie, “Far and Away”. I was a very young thing when this movie came out, but I started mimicking the actors. I enjoyed the laughs from friends as I’d imitate a bunch of British like accents with “super stupid tea” and crumpets jokes. I didn’t know then that my love of mimicking would make language learning a bit more fun and easy for me.

Of course, French courses were taken in HS–as my namesake is old French. I loved the sounds of French; however, the way we were taught in class was a restrictive feeling and would leave me stumped when presented with someone who spoke French. Nearing my last few years, however, I came in contact with Japanese. It was round about too. It was the episode of Cowboy Beebop, “Pierre le Fou”. I’d never seen an anime really before, nor Cowboy Beebop. I’d simply turned the channel there because of the title of the Episode on the tv guide (french title btw, if you didn’t know.) The show was awesome, and I was instantly hooked. I began looking for more episodes and my Uncle lovingly got me the box season. That’s when I first heard Japanese in full.

I was blown away. Japanese to me is like a beautiful orchestra of instruments, flowing harmoniously together. I fell in love at first sound! Because I was studying French, I didn’t try to learn more than just a few words and phrases, though I found out that two of my close friends had been getting together on Wednesdays to watch shows, and just in general talk about Japanese things. That’s when I got the name Mikoto.

It may seem silly to some, but in our school, our tradition when learning a new culture/language, we’d choose a name in the target language to allow ourselves to “be” French, Japanese, w/e. Of course I was Jasmine in my French class, I choose Mikoto for Japanese. At the time, I didn’t know Mikoto was a very rare old name that really wasn’t used much, but I liked it nonetheless. And due to my affinity for cats, Neko was plopped on the end for fun. (yes, I really wear cat ears all the time)

For me it was the start of a romance that would consume me for years to come. My little snippet into learning Japanese was put on a major hold when I joined the military. It wouldn’t be for another 6 years before I would return to learning Japanese. Of course, in the meantime I learned a lot of valuable things about languages from the military. The most important being, Immersion is the number one way to learn a language. Second is, you gotta love it and want to learn it to learn it good. There were really only two types of learners there. Ones who cared and ones who didn’t. Not a single uncaring person mastered their language and not a single caring one didn’t. I believe that if you want to learn a language, nothing will stop you. Nothing at all!

Headed with those two things in my pocket I began my first half-year of studying Japanese actually studying all the different various methods out there. I mastered Kana in the meantime, and took in a bunch of listening hours of music and shows. I found that a lot of stuff out there is crap. Gimmicks trying to steal your money, steal your hope, and an overwhelming amount of DOG POO. Dog Poo being all these theories of how age stops you, lifestyles stop you, stupidity, ethnicity, and some even claiming gender stops you from learning languages. Man, total BS! total Dog POO!

I entertained a lot of these fun methods (free ones of course) and realized really quickly that a bunch of people out there go on and on about the right way this, or the only way that, just to find that none of them actually were taking the time to DO IT! I’d say this would be the “everyone trying to stop my love” love phase. Of course I’m pass the love at first sight infatuation stage, and wanted lifetime commitment! This was very discouraging to hear all these horrible misconceptions and bad dogma about language learning. I thought people were just more … full of common sense. I truly hope that all of you are past this. I hope that none of you believe such blatant lies. Of course, you’re entitled to believe as you wish about this type of subject, but I personally feel all those arguments are excuses hiding disinterest.

Then something wonderful happened. I stumbled ever so lightly onto a site called There they endorsed a site known as iknow (now which in turn lead me to the beautiful like-minded doorstep of Khatzumoto-san. I call him Ka-san for short, btw. He’s of course the writer of AJATT. I spent about two weeks sifting through his entire website, reading his articles, reading links to studies, talking to a few people about his theories/practices, and finally decided to try it.

Of course, I’ll get into all that in the next post. Thinking back to how I first fell in love with Japanese always reminds me again and again of why I’m still in love with it. Of course, I get lots of licks (kisses, romance baby!) with Japanese, I’ll always remember that First Lick with Cowboy Beebop!


2 Responses to “First Lick…oh the Romance!”
  1. It’s great that you’re learning Japanese! がんばれね!

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  • Read More or Die! 2011

    _2011 End Results_
    Total read for Tadoku:
    __433.3 pages!__
    Placement: 115/188
    October 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 97/120
    End Tally: 59.2
    July 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 86/142
    End Tally: 195.6
    April 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 62/106
    End Tally: 154.5
    January 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 84/99
    End Tally: 24
    August 2010 Contest:
    Placement: 20/41
    End Tally: 160

  • Read Or Die 2013

    Goal: 600
    Total: 906.26
    blew my goal outta the water!

    March 2-Week:
    Goal: 125

    Goal: 250
    Total: 314

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