(You can jump directly to the book’s Amazon page here)
Because I have been dividing my time between writing articles for this blog and various translation projects, in the last year or so there’s been a few times when an idea comes to mind that I never get a chance to write an article about. Furthermore, while I do get a certain satisfaction from translating works of classic Japanese literature by enabling more people to enjoy them, at the same time I would like to produce more books with self-authored content. (My first self-authored book was a quiz book about Japanese particles).
Indeed, writing a book about learning Japanese would help serve both of these objectives. At first, I considered hand-picking articles from this blog, re-editing them, and making a compilation book. Even if I selected only 10-20% of the best content, I think I could get at least 100 pages easily. But there is the time-consuming task of sifting through nearly one thousand articles, and ultimately all I would be providing is a way to access existing content in a different format (though that does have its merits).
But as soon as I got the idea of a new book in the back of my mind, I let my subconscious take over, and in a few weeks inspiration came to me.
One of the most memorable anime series from my early days of learning Japanese was “Now and Then, Here and There” (released around 1999). There’s a certain line from that that went something like, “As long as you are still alive…nothing else matters.” (If anyone remembers the actual line or can check, feel free to let me know if I got it wrong.)
I think the point was that staying alive was the most important thing, and as long as you were still alive things would eventually work out. My idea was to apply this to language learning by taking inspiration from my discovery that there is a high turnover in language learning. In other words, a large percentage of people who start learning a language end up quitting without achieving the level of fluency they desired.
The result was “Language Motivation: Tips and inspirations for language learning”, a book packed with ideas intended to inspire a different way of thinking of language learning with the aim of increasing motivation. I wrote all of the content from scratch and didn’t use anything from this blog, though there are a few familiar topics that I have touched upon here before.
Even though a majority of these ideas came to me as a result of learning and teaching Japanese, I decided to write this book so that it is language-agnostic, meaning the ideas can be applied to the learning of any foreign language.
I’d like to thank Jim Miles (of Annotranslate) and George Monnat, Jr. for help with proofreading.
It’s been a busy few weeks––this is actually the fourth book I published in under two months (there was one other e-book and two paperback books), but I’m looking forward to taking a break now and spending more time doing research for future projects.
You can check out the book below, which is also included in Kindle Unlimited. If you typically use another store beside Amazon US, you can use this link to get you to the right store.