Originally posted on tumblr April 25, 2012.
I became obsessed with the Beatles back when the Anthology documentary came out. It was extremely interesting. Here was a band that seemed bigger than life. And there was so much history and nuances to understand – it was the closest thing music has ever offered me to the same enjoyment I get out of comics, books and games.
I have listened to every Beatles song time and time again.
A few days ago an extremely nice person I know mentioned on the Twitters that it was odd that Paul’s Sgt. Pepper’s character would say “I don’t really want to start the show.”
“That is odd,” I thought. Extremely odd.
I had never thought about it. But every time I sung along to the album, that’s what I sang. I was confident that is exactly what was being said. Start.
I went to my computer and played the song. Listening intensely, the line came up and I felt a bit of fuzz shake its way through my brain.
“Did he just say ‘stop’? …’stop’ the show?”
I played it again. I heard stop. Three, four, ten times and I started to hear stop more and more clearly.
My mind was blown
I am a native English speaker. I have listened to this song time and time again for years and I thought what was being said was entirely different from what was really being said.
This was extremely motivating.
I keep worrying that when I study, when I consume Japanese text or audio that if I do not hit every single word and know every single nuance that I will not be able to do well. That I will not become the master of the language that I want to.
And yet, here right in front of me, was something in my own native language that I had been getting wrong for so many years. And it did not matter – that much. Of course it changes my understanding of the song. It all gels a bit better now.
But there is no shame. It was a mistake. One that had no dire consequences. Which means these ‘dire consequences’ that I have been dwelling on in my Japanese studies are mere phantoms. They don’t exist. They don’t matter.
I can let go of them and relax. Then, I will likely truly being to learn.