Today, I’d like to talk about my great great conflict as an English leaner as a second language. If there are some readers who can understand my feeling below and could leave some comment, that would be really helpful. Anyway, my issue here is “Which books should I read more, Japanese books or English books?”
As my profile picture looks, I Am a Japanese (often misunderstood as Korean 60% and Chinese40% in an international airport). My dream when I was 9 was to be a pilot of airplane because pilots seemed so cool because they spoke really fluent English and was a kind of a symbol of the coolest people who use English. However, as my eyesights getting weaker (not by studying hard, but watching illegal uploaded anime videos on YouTube of dawn in a dark room), I became a person who don’t have any specific dream jobs.
High school teacher took a poll of what kind of university and job do I dream when I was 16. Holy crap. How many 16 years old can write your dream job or future plan seriously? That was one of the most ridiculous poll I had ever taken at the time. So, I just wrote “Tokyo University (Harvard in the US)”. I meant it. I was serious in a way. But, my score and grader was not that good, actually far from it. And exactly it was the high school day that I started and have been struggling and continuing asking myself “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to be?”
Anyhow, I was somehow good at subjects of Politics and Economy and English at that time, I chose universities and departments of such territories. Then, it turned out that the best option that I got was English Department of Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. Then, I became a university student of English department. My major became an American literature, and movies. The lectures and seminars on American literature was really fun, and I somehow became a grad student of Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. The novels of Kurt Vonnegut became one of my top priority to research.
During that time, I became so depressed because the life routine was like a prisoner’s one; reading through a day in a windowless laboratory. Then, I finished a master degree and now I’m teaching English at a high school. The problem when I was a student was I got too much input, but now, my problem became that I have too much output. So, crying for the moon, eh?
However, I’m still falling love with literature, I mean the whole cultural thing especially book and movies. I love reading books of not only fiction but also essays (critical philosophical ones to anything seemed fun). Then, I found myself writing something is also really fun to me. I can write 24 hours about anything especially, especially, especially in Japanese because I am anyway Japanese… I may have 100 times or 1,000 times more deeper and wider expression in Japanese. Everyone should know that.
So, writing is my lifetime hobby now, but you know, as you expect, I want to write in English too. I want express myself in English too because I can reach to more people by expressing in Japanese, and I want to use my English skills as a tool like anybody else do, like company men working at a global company, international company men, pilots, international surgeon, or like that.
I am teaching English but I realize that this job doesn’t require teachers to use their English as a tool. You know, maybe we are good at teaching how to use the screwdriver but don’t make anything using the driver! Just teaching is not enough to me. So, I want to create and be somebody using English as a tool.
Therefore, for example, I want to write some novel in English. And for that, I really think I should read many English books. But, unfortunately, or maybe this is a great excuse though, there are so many attractive Japanese books in this world. Oh myyyy…. I am so weak and lazy that I opened some English books and then I realized I read some other Japanese book after closing it.
So, my question is this. Should I read more Japanese books to fulfill my desire and lose English ability, or read more English books to improve and deepen my English usage but lose Japanese ability. Ultimately, should I write in Japanese or English? That would be my problem. Maybe I would think too much, but you know, I want to make it clear. I’m a person if I could set a really clear goal, then I can do my best.