How to Acquire a Foreign Language #2 Aha Experience The Latter Part

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Mar 29, 2018 11:43
This is a following entry from the last entry, so please check the last one if you haven’t read.


I said that the Japanese word “アハ体験” is different from the English word “Aha Experience.” That’s because the Japanese word “アハ体験” is a made-up word, and it was manipulated by media to urge the Japanese masses to understand what they’re doing by watching TV. I explained the Japanese word “アハ体験” in the last entry, so what is the English word “Aha Experience”?

(This is a tip, but the Japanese word “あは” means something like that you utter the word when you act goofy around. I had taken this as “アハ” of “アハ体験.” The English word “Aha” means a reaction to a understanding, right?)

I looked into the word, then I’ve found that “Aha Experience” derives from the German term “Aha Erlebnis”, which Karl Buhler who is a German psychologist defined. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is the fact, but here is the story.


The word “Aha Erlebnis” was born in an experiment. Researchers assembled some ordinary people for a test, and they asked the testers how to eliminate a tumor in the brain. The people argued a lot of methods like they needed to open the skin of the head first, they needed a tiny knife, or they could use a laser but it was not good because it could damage to other normal nerves. They had a discussion but didn’t find an appropriate solution, but, a tester finally said, “How about eliminating the tumor by converging the laser? And some groups of testers resolved the question like this. They were amateurs, but eventually they discovered the method which was the latest but uncommon for ordinary people. The point is that the some people discovered the appropriate method all of a sudden. In other words, a logical leap occurred subconsciously, that was a spark or a inspiration which ignited in their mind. Therefore, Karl Buhler defined it as the phenomenon called Aha Erlebnis.


Apparently, the phenomenon has been already known since ancient Greek. The history says that the first person who related to it was the famous Archimedes, and he shouted loud and said ,”Eureka! Eureka!” when he discovered the famous Archimedean Principle. That’s why it’s also called “Eureka Moment.” Some dictionaries say that “Eureka Moment” is known as the same word “Aha Erlebnis(Aha Experience)”, but supposedly, there’s a different nuance between the first discovery and the psychological term.


The summary is that the original “Aha Experience” is not what Japanese know and experience on TV. When it comes to the original “Aha Experience”, it’s known as the word for geniuses like mathematicians ,scientists, and inventors. They are really smart, but they happen to discover something unbelievable beyond logic. That’s “Aha Experience.”


That reminds me of the famous phrase by Thomas Edison, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and and 99 percent perspiration.” As you might now, this phrase is argumentative. That’s something like, “Did he say it to imply whether 99 percent perspiration is meaningless unless you have 1 percent inspiration or 99 percent perspiration is much more important than inspiration?” But, in the waking of thinking about the matters I wrote, I’ve got a new point of view about his phrase. Unfortunately, I’ll stop for now because this entry could be too redundant. I’ll talk about it in the next entry.



Thank you for reading my entry.