I was 2 years old. So, I don’t remember perfectly what I thought then, but maybe I thought that it wasn’t interesting to hear an English record which said “Mommy! Listen, please!” and things like that. If it were animated like the “Tom & Jerry Show” or some Disney’s movies, I might watch it. But only the sounds of English couldn’t be understood. I had a hard time hearing English. This experience probably made me hate English :p
Watching my parents operate for the record player, I learned how the machine worked bit by bit, instead of learning English. After that, I got to change the records for myself to escape from English, and it was the moment that the chance to get English skills at an early age slipped away from my hands. What I got from the English records were only some English songs like “Ten little Indian boys”, “Jingle Bells”, etc.
In my school days, English always bothered me., but I believe it was not all my fault. Our first English teacher in junior high school taught us that the pronunciation of ‘hi’ was like ‘he’ but shorter, for example. So our second English teacher had to made a great effort to correct our odd pronunciations :p
It seems that I have been caught under the spell of English, same as my father.
I have had very little interest in going abroad, and I thought that there was no need to do so. I worked for a long time with Japanese customers. But, at last, I got a mission concerned with exports to foreign countries. I had taken been careful not to go abroad, but there was no use resisting work orders. I have been in America 3 times now. I could speak bare bones English. I thought I needed more English skills, but I regarded the matter as low priority.
On 3/11 in last year, the huge disaster hit Japan. Everything in Japan was changed. My mind, of course, also changed. I noticed there wasn’t enough time, and I decided to study English more seriously. I got insurance money for the damage to my apartment house, but because of aftershocks, I couldn’t repair my house soon. So I made up my mind to use that money for Scott Perry’s private lessons. Things around me started changing, many unexpected things happened to me, and I enjoyed them. Studying English brought me many new friends. I think it was good time to start to study English.
Now I’ve found good teachers, and my English skills seem to be improving like a steady cow. Maybe my improvement isn’t so fast. I don’t know when I will break the spell. It seems to be the very long way to get free from it, but I hope the day will come someday. And I have one more word to say: The spelling of English words also bother me as if they were under a spell.
# I wrote this article in 2012.