I was doing Japanese for a few months, then I stopped. Now, it's been a month since I stopped, but I feel like I retain much of the information I had. I plan to return but eventually, I will have to completely stop later for long because I'll get into university with a double major and universities here have long attendance and huge workloads, so I won't really have any time for Japanese. Here is what I want to ask.

1) Is it better that I leave learning Japanese (I was on a bit-above-intermediate level) till after university, or should I just start now and just do Japanese in summer?

2) How much time would it take for the mind to "almost completely" forget Japanese and just come back to the beginning steps? Would learning a bit now and coming back next summer get me to the starting steps again or will I be able to continue learning (with some revision to retain information)?

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


How much information you retain really depends on how well you learn and how often you review the material you learned.

I'd suggest if you're serious about learning Japanese, that you learn as much as time permits now and just ensure that you don't forget what you know by reviewing during the semester.

In a way, this is effective, because whatever you learn needs time to "seep in" anyway.

What you review really depends on your level and could be as little as looking at a flashcard set of hiragana (like once a week) or reading a short passage of text appropriate to your level, looking up any words you once knew and have forgotten. I'd say if your goal is just not forgetting what you have learned, it would be enough to review something like 20 mins. per week. Even during a busy schedule that should be possible and even beneficial to your other studies, considering that you need time off from your university subjects sometimes.

  • Thanks. Yeah, I guess an hour a week is permissible (except in exam periods). Thanks I guess. But still, should I start now or leave it till after university (Learning would be more permissible then.) Which would be more effective?
    – Hasan Saad
    Apr 1, 2015 at 21:23
  • 1
    Why not start now?
    – Earthliŋ Mod
    Apr 1, 2015 at 21:28
  • Because I'm afraid I might have to stop later and just start over again as if I hadn't even studied before. Would that be likely to happen, as in forgetting everything and getting TOTALLY back to point 0?
    – Hasan Saad
    Apr 2, 2015 at 12:25
  • There's no "totally back to point 0". Learning is never better postponed to a later point. You'll always remember something and even more if you can revise for even as little as 10 minutes per week...
    – Earthliŋ Mod
    Apr 2, 2015 at 13:19
  • What exactly would be the right way to revise with such short intervals? But as long as I'll remember something and be able to revise faster after uni (in summer vacations), that'll be really great. Thanks. :)
    – Hasan Saad
    Apr 2, 2015 at 13:23

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