How to Acquire a Foreign Language #1 Aha Experience The Former Part

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Mar 28, 2018 11:24
Have you ever heard of the Japanese word “アハ体験”? We sometimes see the word on TV quiz shows. I looked it up in a dictionary, and it says that “アハ体験” is an experience that when you understand something which doesn’t make sense to you so far, you feel like saying, “Wow!” “I see!” In fact, Kenichiro Mogi, who is a brain scientist and famous for his research on “qualia”, introduces it in this way, we have a chance to experience it on TV. I’ll give you an example.



As the video says, something is changing little by little, and you will have “アハ体験” when you recognize it.


Here is another example. Probably you might’ve seen this, but please check the thumbnail above. This is a so-called trick art. You will find a man who plays the saxophone, and a woman. The point is that when you understand something, your recognition and comprehension changes dramatically. After I checked some of them, I found that there’s a word called “ゲシュタルト転換.” It seems that this word comes from a German term, but I couldn’t find the English counterpart (gestalt shift?), so tell me if you know it. It seems that this means comprehensive changes of something. In other words, we can do a “ゲシュタルト転換” by “アハ体験” or something.


This might sound complicated, so I’ll give you some examples. Take a look at a thing below.

       1 + 1 = 2

For people like you who read my entries, I think this is very easy to understand. However, for people who don’t know mathematics nor the concept of number, this is just some of black lines. In other words, you already did a ゲシュタルト転換 about this, so you understand it by knowing it’s a formula and what it means.


Here is another example for Japanese learners.

       魑魅魍魎

Do you know of this Japanese word? You can call it “chimimouryou”, and it means “a variety of spectors and monsters.” When I read or hear this word, I feel creepy somehow. But if you don’t feel anything about the word for damned handwriting, you haven’t done a ゲシュタルト転換 about it yet. In other words, memorizing a word means you do a ゲシュタルト転換 for the word. (Needless to say, you need to do a higher ゲシュタルト転換 for retention and output.)


Until now, I explained “アハ体験” and “ゲシュタルト転換”, but I have something important I have to apologize. That is, apparently, the Japanese word “アハ体験” is totally different from the English word “Aha Experience.” I can’t explain the difference in a few sentences, so I’ll write about it in the next entry.



Thank you for reading my entry.