Will learning the Japanese Language affect my English Language?
Foreigners living in Japan will experience this the most, but it can still occur with people extensively immersing themselves with Japanese in their home country. The more you use a language, the more freely you can actively recall and wield it. The opposite is true as well.
Taking 100% daily English and turning it down to 80%, or 50% is less use. While this may not make your English worse, it will work its way into that 100% smooth recall you are used to. The further you go into Japanese, the more you’ll learn words and phrases that simply don’t exist in English. This becomes a problem when you want to express yourself in a way you can’t as easily in Japanese.
Rather than your go-to phrase, you’ll need to expand on the details in English, which may feel unnatural. It’s hard to give one word in English to express something like (when one thinks back to something in their past and recalls it with fondness)
Concern identified and addressed!
Something that worries many Japanese beginners is how in the world they are ever going to naturally create sentence structure in reverse order from English. This takes time but eventually becomes so second nature that certain sentences just sound better to you in reverse order. A reverse order that would sound completely unnatural in English, despite feeling like you may want to say it that way.
They can sometimes stick so well over the years that they make their way into your English without you realizing it. This is especially true for words that you use often in Japanese, but not as much in English. Or words that you never really learned in English (think place names, food names, etc.) that you learned in Japanese first.
The problem can worsen with English words of non-English origin that are completely different from the language where the word came from. Yet Japanese manages to get it much closer. Think of the English pronunciation of Paris vs. the Japanese pronunciation
Japan abbreviates everything, including all those katakana loan words mentioned above. Then it abbreviates the abbreviations a second time for good measure. You get used to these abbreviations, despite many of them not existing in English.
Learning any language gives you a language learner’s mind. This comes with the side effect of reflecting on and unconsciously analysing your native language in ways you never did before you started Japanese.
You start to notice how you personally talk. The things that you have always said wrong, the dialect you use, and the influences that have created your “non-standard” English. You see your English in a new light.
There is also a positive side to it. Learning Japanese increases your overall brain power as you attain the ability to handle two entirely different languages effortlessly. Your brain likes this new increased flexibility, and you may find that mastery of Japanese allows you to work with English in new ways.
I recommend you drop all your concerns and apprehensions and look forward to learning the language with as much motivation, dedication and love you can. In the face of adversities remind yourself of your goals or what prompted you tpm learn the language, to begin with. Take a break if necessary and resume with full vigour!