Being an INTJ Immersed in Another Language

I’ve mentioned before I’m an INTJ personality type, and I’ve been living in Japan since 2005. My daily life at work is spent speaking English. My life at home is mostly English, and I concentrate on using English with my daughter always.

Well, I’ve been spending some time with the in-laws, and out of nearly 20 people, only one speaks English. I was immersed in Japanese. As there were so many people, as an INTJ, I was getting drained of energy. Imagine doing the same thing in a language I’m not fluent in? I had to concentrate on understanding and trying to answer. If you’ve ever spent time speaking a language other than your first language, it can be mentally draining. Basically, I feel sleepy.

Anyone else have to go through that experience? I think I need to really work on my Japanese.

10 thoughts on “Being an INTJ Immersed in Another Language”

  1. I spent a new year like that when I was living in Japan. It was a wonderful experience, but I was with my mum who doesn’t speak a word of Japanese and acting as interpretor between her and my ‘Japanese family’ was exhausting.

    1. I can imagine. When my daughter talks to my mom and sister, she uses Japanese mostly. I have to translate, but thankfully it’s simple Japanese. My daughter understands English as well as she understands Japanese, but she speaks what she’s used to. It’ll be a couple years until she separates the languages well.

  2. Both French when I lived (for 16 years) in Quebec – my in-laws are Quebeois – and sigh language, when I’ve gone to functions for my youngest son. It’s truly strange having to learn your child’s first language… especially when you don’t have a choice in deciding what it will be.
    I find sign especially draining though. Having to use your eyes to communicate is quite exhausting.

  3. That was basically my entire childood/teen years. There are two big “chunks” to my family (as well as other, smaller sides), and a pretty massive chunk is all Spanish-speaking. Well, as a kid, my dad taught me to roll my R’s and other basic Spanish things, like phrases and how to address people.

    I figured, growing up, that if I took a Spanish class, I could finally understand my family and speak the language fluently like everyone else (I had cousins that were my age who could speak better Spanish than English despite English being their native language). I got to Spanish II before I quit in high school. I am not cut out to speak Spanish.

    I can piece things together, but, like you said, it becomes exhausting very quickly. Everyone’s (luckily?) given up on me speaking Spanish.

    1. That reminds of a celebrity in Japan, Eiji Wentz. His father is a native English speaker, and his mother is Japanese, but fluent in English. His brother is also fluent in English and Japanese. But even though they spoke English a lot at home, Eiji speaks none. It’s really strange how a bilingual household results in one kid who utterly rejected one of the languages.

        1. Yeah, everyone goes through different experiences, of course. As for me, I really should get back into studying French. Studied for 8 years, but have forgotten most of it.

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