Yes, that’s right. Indulge in your love of the limelight all while you learn another language – which may make you wanna run from the limelight because you’ll worry you’ll sound stupid, unless you’re like me and a total ham no matter the situation.
Why I Wrote a Script in Japanese?
In honor of International Women’s Day, YouTube made a request to its women filmmakers asking them to make a video where they gave advice to their former selves. I immediately thought I wanted to participate in the project. Then I watched a bunch of videos and decided, “Hey, I already talk about myself way too much. No one cares about this.” Then one day I woke up after watching anime all night and thought, “But what if I do it in Japanese!”
I didn’t just want to show off that I can speak some Japanese, I needed an excuse to brush up on my Japanese more than anything. I started studying Japanese when I was 11 and continued studying in college. Unfortunately, I dropped out and for the last ten years I’ve slowly been forgetting it. It’s something I came to peace with, but recently I started to realize it’s rather insane to have a knack for languages and not use it. I mean, I have so many things I’m terrible at and yet I persist to do those every day! “Why not actually do something you’re good at, right?,” says any well adjusted human that isn’t me.
The Multi-Language Scriptwriting Process
I wrote an English script for my project. Then I used Google Translator. I could have tried to translate the script myself, but I never learned the kind of complex syntax in Japanese that I’d need to know to transcribe the script on my own. Plus, it was a comedy script, and quite sarcastic. I wasn’t even sure that Japanese people got sarcasm. So yeah, I sought the help of my amazing friend Ikuo, who I met in Greece, and he generously helped me translate the script.
Analyze the Script to Learn New Words and Phrases
I felt that I was being lazy in calling on a friend, but as turns out, I still ended up trying to translate the script myself. Not to change it, but to study it. I spent hours looking up verbs, kanji, and googling sentence structure. For example if you say, ” something something nantemono arukala,” that’s equivalent to saying, “This thing called something something.” I also learned the word for self control, jiseishin, which you know is always helpful. I also cannot begin to tell you how many words I remembered just from going over this script. It’s kinda like overcoming amnesia or something.
But most of all, writing and acting out this script helped me fine tune my pronunciation and gain confidence in speaking the language again. It made me yearn to learn more because I was having so much fun!
Why It Works
So can you do what I did and use screenwriting as a way to pump up your language skills? Why not? It fulfills one of the basic premises of second language aquisition theory which is that you’re going to be more apt to learn a language if you’re able to say things you’d want to say in your own language (No wander I always struggled with the sports section in any language class). And everyone would definitely want to pretend to be a super hero in their own language. I guess I’m imagining many of you acting out some sort of Dragon Ball Z script, my bad.
So give it a try. Write a script and connect with a local who can help you translate it. You can also help your local speaker with his/her English and maybe you can write scripts together? Because who the hell doesn’t want to be a movie star? Really!