You might have learned a second language in high school, and travelled across the globe, but never underestimate the challenges of dating a motivated Japanese language self-learner (^_^)
1. Their communication is awkward
Don’t be offended next time you hear that you’re kawaii, your ‘gratin au foie gras et truffe’ meccha umai, and next week’s date is chotto. You can’t expect them to be good in Japanese AND be able to describe your charming personality and refined culinary creations in their mother language.
2. The other kind of breakfast
You might enjoy you crunchy cereals or baked beans & sausage, but it’s time to get over your morning ritual as sooner or later, gooey nattō, sticky rice and sweetish tamagoyaki will start appearing daily on your breakfast table.
3. Move to Japan is inevitable
The Land of the Rising Sun is waiting, and you will end up living here one day or another, whether you enjoy hunting for open ATMs and the right gomibako, or not. Whether you’re ready to join the ranks of drunk salarymen in the shinkansen and housewives at the next demachi, or not.
4. Forget vacation around JLPT deadlines
July and December might be the prime holiday seasons, but for Japanese students, it’s the time for their biannual pilgrimage to the local testing center. And don’t you dare forget that the abbreviation means Japanese-Language Proficiency Test, and the lowest level number is in fact the most difficult.
5. Marks and stick-its. Everywhere.
Marked a can of Moroccan tea you bought from your last vacation? Expect it to be covered with a katakana transcription the next morning. And please, don’t be surprised if you find the bathroom mirror covered with random kanji stick-it notes every day.
6. Watching movies forever changed
You favourite romcom or Bollywood blockbuster is not available in Japanese? Bad luck! Get ready to watch repetitive anime for hours on end and rewatch Kurosawa’s and Ozu’s classics until you can quote every sentence—in the original nihongo.
7. No treat left untranslated
You might be thinking they’re looking for the best words to describe the bouquet of the vintage wine you ordered, or better yet, the twinkle in your eyes, but next time you have a romantic dinner, look more closely, and you’ll see they’re just trying to translate every ingredient on the table into Japanese.
8. They’ll think about it at night too
Don’t kid yourself thinking that it’s enough to wait till they burn all of the midnight oil. Whether they’ll go for learning through lucid dreaming, or even listen to native audio while they sleep, gone are the days of Japanese-free nighttime.