So, do you have ‘a confidence’? Do you have a confidence…speaking English? Well, I hope you don’t. Not because I want to continue being your teacher, which I do. But because you cannot count confidence. You either have it, or you don’t. You know, you can have a little confidence, or you can have a lot. But, you can’t have one. So if you say “I have a confidence”, it sounds like confidence is this solid object. Or some countable object in your mind. When in fact, confidence is just a feeling. Okay. However, you can have an idea. Right? Why? Because an idea is something you can count. Right? You can have 1, 2, 3 ideas. So, if you feel you have no idea how to speak English, I have an idea to give you confidence!
‘Confidence’ or ‘A confidence’ : The solution to English
Confidence. We all wonder the fastest way to get confidence, because it is so useful.
Confidence helps you with your work, talking to people, and practically anything in life.
If it was for sale, I’m sure everyone would be buying as much of it as they could. Especially in Japan, where, unlike the US, people don’t like to fake confidence, or be confident if they have a drop of uncertainty.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I was originally going to write about fixing a frequent mistake made by Japanese people who use the word ‘confidence’.
But instead, I think we’ve discovered the reason why Japanese struggle with learning English: reaction to having or not having confidence.
I have confidence this is the reason; it’s because you guys are so good!
“What do you mean? That makes no sense, whatsoever”.
All over Japan, I’ve noticed that practically everything works well: the trains, things I buy at the stores, and the delivery services.
The delivery services feel like they are from heaven!
To keep this short, being from California, I was used to never knowing when the delivery man was coming, and if they came, I was lucky if they left a undeliverable note, or that my item wasn’t broken.
This was a fact of life for me, and almost all Americans, before Amazon.
To get back to my point, years ago many of us were used to things not functioning properly in America.
You were delighted if something did what it advertised.
I mean, take a look at the Kabi Killer! That thing feels like it’s from heaven! If only I had that when I was a college student! Back to the topic…
If you are Japanese, everything in your entire life has worked, and now you try to speak this language called ‘English’, and it doesn’t work correctly.
Naturally, you feel something is wrong with you as an individual, because in all other cases of your life, when something didn’t work it is because you didn’t do something right.
With English, the case is not that simple.
With a foreign language, it’s foreign in so many ways (not only vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation) that average human beings will be an absolute mess at speaking it at first!
So you’re not alone.
The secret is: have confidence when you’re bad at English. Or do it anyway if you have no confidence.
This will give your brain experience, and you will learn what works and doesn’t work for you.
I’m not saying be arrogant, but you should always use whatever skill you have.
You never know what you’re missing out on when you let confidence control you.
Don’t let it control you.
Remember you’ve studied English for at least 6 years, or are in school studying it now!
Go out there and have confidence and try to speak English just once everyday!
To understand why “a confidence” is incorrect, click here: Uncountable nouns and Countable nouns.[日本語文へ]