Two Year Report and Other Thoughts

Wow, it’s been two years since I started learning Japanese.

I think it’s time for a reflection post.

Skills

Listening

I would say this is my best skill. Especially when it comes to comedy, whether it’s manzai, rakugo, or some variety show.  Also I seem to have a thing for song lyrics, as I pick them up pretty easily.  On the other hand, I’m the type of person who can zone out during a conversation.

Reading

A close second to listening. Never really had a problem with grammar since I don’t separate it into its own little group for study purposes. I learn most of it naturally with both intensive and extensive reading. I’m just learning new words as I come across them.

Writing

I don’t write much by hand anymore.  I takes a while to recall certain kanji or words I don’t use often.  I’m writing journals once a week to keep up my writing. Mandarin is also helping me keep some characters in check. My daily reviews are where I do the bulk of my writing for the day.

Speaking  

No longer my weakest skill( That award now belongs to writing)! Spending 8 months with a host family  and systematically weakening/bursting/preventing the gaijin bubble while in Japan forced me to stop making excuses  and just speak to people.

Recommendations

I’ve come across a lot of awesome media in these two years and I’d just like to share a few of my favorites here.

Keep in mind that in a lot of these cases, I am very behind the times.

TV – Trick series, ガキの使い(especially the old stuff), 結婚できない男, SPEC

Anime – Samurai Champloo, Baccano!, The Twelve Kingdoms,

Movies – Linda Linda Linda, The Magic Hour, Tampopo (do NOT watch on an empty stomach, trust me),

Books – ゲームの名は誘拐, Baccano! series, The Manzai series

Manga –  Dragonball, 未来日記, Akira

Games /Visual Novels– Super Danganronpa 2, Steins;Gate, Valkyria Chronicles 3, Monster Hunter Tri G, Persona 4

Problems

Or hard times, I guess.  There was that one time I had a case of intermediate blues.

Honestly, it’s been smooth sailing. That’s what happens when fun is your focus.

Where do I go from here?

I’ve officially started Mandarin and re-started Korean, so my Japanese time will naturally go down a little.  But Japanese is still my focus.  I know that I will be okay with handling three languages, and I have already worked out a schedule for learning.  I’ve tried it out for the past few weeks and I know I’ve struck gold here.  My head hurts from reading three languages in a day, but that will go away once my Korean and Mandarin improve. Wow, I just remembered that my head used to hurt after reading a few pages of manga. But anyways…

Japanese from here on out is just more reading, listening, writing, and speaking. I’d love to work on a project with other learners, such as a podcast or guest posts or just have random chats or something.  Anyone interested in a project/chat can feel free to contact me.

Advice for your language journey

  1. Choose your L2.  If it is not Japanese, repeat step 1.
  2. Play Danganronpa. Repeat until you see end credits.
  3. Play Super Danganronpa 2. Repeat until you see end credits.
  1. Have fun.
  2. Do what you want to do, even if webpage x says differently.
  3. Don’t worry about when you’ll become fluent.
  4. Stay consistent.
  5. Try trying before you’re “ready”.  You know more than you think you do.
  6. Listen to the target language as much as possible.
  7. Get lots of sleep….
  8. Be proud, but don’t be cocky.  Onward and upward and all that jazz. Always strive to be harder, better, faster, stronger. Also, try to be Daft Punk, if possible.  If you, Daft Punk, are reading this, Hi.
  9. Have fun.

 

In closing, Random Japanese Link

Author: Koyami

I'm Koyami. I am a freelance Japanese-English Translator and I enjoy learning new skills and reading in my spare time. Current pursuits include juggling, piano, and collecting all of the 十二国記 books. Follow me on Twitter and Google+ for blog updates, my Japanese word of the day, and more!