Now, the main topic.
So, if you learn a new field from scratch in English, you will learn all the terminologies and contents in English, of course. As it often happens in students who study abroad, if you don't spend extra effort to learn them in Japanese, your knowledge will be established in English only. The longer you stay in the country, the more things you learn -- in English.
In my case, it established two separate 'thinking mode' for English and Japanese.
People often say 'think in English' and/or 'think in Japanese'. To me, when I understand something, regardless which language the input is, it will reach to some mixture of image and maybe verbal (もやもや).
Although I should have reached to the same 'understanding' regardless I'm in 'English-mode' or 'Japanese-mode', I will have difficulty in the following cases because there is a rather big gap between two.
(A) When I explain in English about something I haven't intentionally learned in English -- like Japanese culture. Or Japanese-English translation.
(B) When I explain in Japanese about I learned in English -- some concept in computer science. Or English-Japanese translation.
(C) Interpretation (bi-directional)
In any of the cases above, I need to go through the following three processes.
(1) Completely understand the original concept (A or B) or sentence (C).
(2) Re-organize the concept so it's easy to be understood in the target language.
(3) Compose a sentence and deliver the sentence.
OK. Finally got to the point "Why I started iKnow". The reason is that I wanted to fill the gap between two modes. If you already have a mapping of how the keywords should be translated, it should greatly reduce the burden by bypassing the understanding (1) and reorganizing (2) parts. I vaguely remember in some books about training for interpreters that's one of the essential trainings. If you know more, please let me know.
Talking about my personal experience, I had to make a three-minutes presentations which I was prepared (I didn't know that I had to...) and the outcome was very poor and I was very nervous about my presentation. In an attempt to find a style that makes myself comfortable, I practiced several times with the instructor and at some point, she (American) asked me to have a presentation in Japanese. Totally unprepared, I could only say a word for greetings ("Hello, everybody. I'm going to talk about such and such..") It was so shocking that I found I couldn't deliver what I thought I understood -- in my own native language....
So, my take-home message here is that "to understand in English" and "to deliver in Japanese what you understood in English" is totally two different things. If one of your motivations to learn English is because you want to be a bridge between your English-speaking customer/colleague and your Japanese-speaking colleague at your work, it is essential that you improve your Japanese skills.
That's all for now. Thanks for staying with me.
Questions and comments are always welcomed.