AIUEO － Yu (ゆ) – 勇気 (Yuuki)－ Be Brave in the face of Adversity!
In the face of Adversity
What do you say to a friend when they are hesitant in the face of some challenge?
“I want to try this, but I don’t know if I can do it.”
“ko re, yatte mitai kedo, dekiru kana?”
“I’m interested, but I’m worried that it might not go well…”
“Kyoumi wa aru kedo, umaku ikuka douka fuan…”
At times like these, you can say this:
“Be brave and give it a shot.”
“Yuuki o dashite, yatte mite?”
“I want to run in a full marathon, but I don’t know if I can do it.”
“full marathon ni dete mitai kedo, daijyoubu kana?”
“You’ll be fine if you practice! Muster your courage and just register for it.”
“Renshuu sureba daijyoubu! Yuuki o dashite, entry shite miyou yo”
“I was asked to do something new at work, but I don’t have any experience in it. What should I do?”
” Atarashii shigoto o tanomareta n dakedo, keiken ga nain da. Dou shiyoukana?”
“I bet it will be a good experience for you. Why not just muster your courage and give it a go?”
“Kitto ii keiken ni naruyo. Yuuki o dashite, yatte mitara dou?”
Why be Brave?
it may be a good idea to try saying “be brave” to yourself.
When you’re speaking Japanese, do you ever think:
“I wonder if this Japanese is right.”
“Will it be weird if I say this?”
and hesitate before speaking?
The person you’re speaking with may respond to you in English even if you start speaking in Japanese. This happens all the time.
Do you think “They can’t understand my Japanese” and get discouraged?
Do you think “But I’m speaking in Japanese!” and get frustrated?
Are you, perhaps, giving up at times like these without trying to say what you wanted to say one more time?
Speaking another Language
I used to often give up without seeing things through to the end when I spoke English.
Just seeing the confused look on someone’s face as they said “Excuse me?” was enough to make me lose my confidence.
“They can’t understand me because of my bad pronunciation.”
“I’m embarrassed to imagine what they might think of my weird English.”
Repeating yourself is troublesome, and it requires courage.
However, I had the chance to stopped caring about this at one point when I was traveling alone in India. (That’s a long story, so I’ll leave it out for now.)
This was because I absolutely had to speak no matter how weird or how incorrect my English was. Even if someone didn’t understand me at first, they would listen to what I had to say if I spoke slowly and in a louder voice. And, when they did, they would understand me.
I didn’t have confidence up until that time, so I tend to mumble or speak in a quiet voice. People can’t tell what you’re saying if you speak like that, right?
The listener may respond to you in English when you’re speaking Japanese. However, there’s nothing to be discouraged about. People’s perceptions are greatly influenced by what they see. Because of this, it takes a little time for the listener to realize that you’re speaking Japanese.
So, try to “be brave” when you’re speaking! There’s no need to speak fluently from the beginning as the secret is to just relax, speak slowly and clearly when you are trying to start a conversation. It’s actually easier for people to understand when you do it that way!
About the Author – Yumi Yoshida from Tohoku has 16 years experience as a Japanese Language Teacher. Yumi loves hiking, traveling and drinking Japanese Sake. She thinks that the best way to learn Japanese is from fun and friendly conversation.