I have found that while going through the daily and weekly routine of language learning – you sometimes lose sight of what you actually aiming for. In my case, its the goal of having a conversation with locals when I next visit Japan with my family. However when pouring over types of grammar usage, kanji variations and new words all of this tends to fade into the background.
That being said, I recently had surprisingly awesome experience in London. While on my lunch break (around St Pauls area) I happened to spot a Japanese restaurant, and thought since the weather was a little rainy (surprise) that I would have a hearty bowl of ramen. I thought I would give my Japanese a go and try talk to the staff while placing my order. Not sure why I was so amazed – but it was mind-blowing that they even understood me, and that we could have a (albeit short) conversation. The first thought I had was – this all works! The hours spent on learning will pay off.
My take-away from this experience was that, even though it sounds obvious, try to engage with the reason you learning the target language in the first place. Try watch anime without subtitles, pick up a manga and try read a few panels – or in my case talk to some people. Don’t get caught in only the process of language learning – use it!