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Thread: Mental Overload

  1. #1
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    Default Mental Overload

    I have studied Japanese for three years in college and spent some time studying abroad in Japan before, so I can generally understand what's going on most of the time conversation-wise. Lately I've been having a problem. When listening to Japanese, (at the teachers meeting, eavesdropping on students, or even when someone is directly speaking to me) after a while my brain seems to give up on the translation process. There is a click, and my brain shuts off. I then proceed to completely ignore what is being said and enter a near sleep-like state. I'll stare blankly until the other person snaps their fingers, yells, or pokes me. Is / has anyone else suffering / suffered from a similar kind of mental overload or am I just some kind of freak?

  2. #2
    Senior Member doublenatural's Avatar
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    Well, the explanation is simple for the teachers meetings. Those things would put a insomniac on caffeine pills to sleep. I nearly always switch off, and I only understand maybe a quarter of what's said. Doesn't help that kyoto sensei has some of the thickest hillbilly-ben I've yet encountered.
    "Pay no attention to the super delegates behind the curtain." - CBS News

  3. #3
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    Your problem is that you're translating in your head. Work off your instincts. You need to understand the stuff without thinking twice about it.
    do i have to be lost?

  4. #4
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    Woo, Orochi is in my Japanese forum

    As what Orochi said, you're thinking about it too much. The best thing you can do is just wait.. time will give you listening comprehension skills. Watch as much TV, listen to as much radio, and have as many conversations as you can. If you submerge yourself into Japanese, you'll look back six months from now and see an immense amount of improvement in your listening comprehension.

  5. #5
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    Amen, I'm having the same mental overload. I only studied for one year before I came but the language continues to appeal to me. I'm taking some pretty well-run Japanese lessons now, but it seems the more I learn, the more confusing it all gets and the harder it is for me to try and comprehend what people are saying.

    Plus, even when you ask them to speak slower, it never seems like they're doing so - there's only a few people who I find can do it! I take great attention sometime to listen to conversations and try to practice - does it just take more time to get your head around stuff like particles, grammar structure and verb forms etc - I keep acknowledging what I can understand in English, should I try not to let English get in the way and just treat the Japanese on its own?

  6. #6

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    I think theres a lag between studying something and understanding/using it automatically - maybe you're suffering from this? I have it sometimes. I also get the mental fatigue sometimes.

    As Samesong said, give it some time, and see what happens.

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