alaart's log (CN/KR in Japan)

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alaart
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Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
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B1: NL, JP, PT (BR), ZH
A1: ES, KR
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
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Taking a break

Postby alaart » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:20 am

I'm taking a break from studying, I stopped all language exchanges, except my newest one - which I might lose if I stopped it now, so I continue. I stopped Anki and memrise, I stopped doing half of my homework from university as well.

I started to go outside and meet with people, but is hard to meet new people, since there are no events, parties etc. and university is still online. I want to make something of my last bit of time in Japan.

But I still use the languages. I did some sightseeing in and around Nagoya and of course I'm speaking Japanese. I did spent some time with a Chinese girl, where we talk exclusively in Chinese, and we will meet again this week. I continued watching the Portuguese Drama "3%" on netflix, I am now halfway through the second season. This morning a Brazilian friend asked me to translate this poem called "Se eu morresse amanha" from Portuguêse to German. I had some difficulties, but together (my Brazilian friend speaks German) we probably got it somehow. Ironically, that question is exactly what I have been teaching in German class yesterday.

I will continue taking it easy on studying for a while.
2 x

alaart
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Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
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B1: NL, JP, PT (BR), ZH
A1: ES, KR
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
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Trip to 金沢 (Kanazawa)

Postby alaart » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:05 am

I continued my "non study" period, and even skipped a week of university classes. I traveled with the Chinese girl, so I spoke Chinese the whole week. Since Corona is still a threat in Japan, and the mainstream tourist places should probably best be avoided, we went to 金沢 (Kanazawa) , which is a less known city in the Japanese prefecture of Ishikawa. It is an old castle city which kind of lost its place in the spotlight during Japanese modernization, but still carries a lot of charm.

I attempt to keep my promise of making the blog more interesting, so I'll attach some pictures. The pictures are scaled down, and have reduced quality to keep loading of the thread smooth.
As you can see, there were barely any tourists, that is not only because of Corona, but also because of the rain season.

Kanazwa-Castle: The original castle of the city burned down, so this is a reconstruction which is still unfinished:
金沢城.jpg
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The city is mostly famous for its garden, 兼六園]兼六園 (Kenroku-en), which is one of the most famous gardens in Japan. The city also has a lot of other smaller gardens and the nature was a pleasure to see:
日本庭園.jpg
日本庭園.jpg (118.03 KiB) Viewed 521 times

日本庭園 (2).jpg
日本庭園 (2).jpg (149.42 KiB) Viewed 521 times


This is a former pleasure / leisure district and now a tourist area:
茶屋街.jpg
茶屋街.jpg (70.07 KiB) Viewed 521 times


This is a big Japanese villa which is in the Kenroku-Garden, taking pictures is mostly prohibited instead at this very spot. There are other smaller Samurai and Geisha houses around the town to visit and get a good feel for the old Japanese houses.
Villa.jpg
Villa.jpg (105.21 KiB) Viewed 521 times
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devilyoudont
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Re: alaart's log (mainly JP/CN)

Postby devilyoudont » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:03 am

This was one of my favorite places to visit in Japan :) If you are still there and have time, it's interesting to go to gold-leaf workshops and ninja-dera as well.
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Dagane
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I formerly studied:
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Re: alaart's log (mainly JP/CN)

Postby Dagane » Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:35 pm

I visited Kanazawa last year and the food was amazing, although I can say that of virtually any place in the country! I remember huge crowds swarming around the historic streets and the gardens, not really around the castle, and it is weird to see those places deserted. That area and Gifu are largely unknown to European tourists... but they are very popular among Spaniards. It felt as if 1 out of 2 Western tourists were Spanish and they even asked us why at hotel receptions!
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alaart
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Posts: 166
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Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
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Learning / Struggling / Future possibilities

Postby alaart » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:09 am

devilyoudont wrote:This was one of my favorite places to visit in Japan :) If you are still there and have time, it's interesting to go to gold-leaf workshops and ninja-dera as well.


There was so much to see, and I'm kind of a slow sightseer, so I didn't get to cover those two, but at least I saw some gold leaf works in the culture museum in Kenroku-en.

--- language studies

So. How is it going? Due to my absence, I had to catch up with a lot of homework, and just now my teacher gave us the task to interview 10 people, each 30 minutes till Sunday. Sudden mass homework. Great, teacher! Goodbye life balance...

I did talk to a friend from São Paulo in Portuguese online. I also watched another episode of "3%" in Portuguese, and decided to drop the series - which became worse and pretty similar to all modern series (character changing sides for sudden plot twists..). Instead I started another Brazilian netflix series called "Omnisciente", which again is on the topic of building a better society - I'm beginning to see a pattern here, Brazil! I watched two episodes so far, not too into it yet. Will see.

I had Chinese language exchange, and I slowly restarted to learn Korean - basically I went through all my Anki cards (over 1000) and memrise cards - and I still remember them somewhat, at least in recognition - not production. I'll go slower from now on, but my goal would be to finish the first unit on howtostudykorean.com and be able to produce some sort of free speech till I'll leave Japan. I shouldn't learn Korean, but unlike Japanese and Chinese it is a language where no one expects anything from me, and I'm not pressured by tests, homework and universities - so I kind of feel free when learning with a lot of curiosity and eagerness.

--- social life in Japan
I have kind of a real friend right now, who hangs out with me regularly. A young 20 year old student. He wakes up every day at 4 in the morning and studies before classes. But he basically has no social life. He studies a variety of things: From art and cultural things, to programming and mathematics and languages. He impressed me by learning some German just to mess with me, currently he studies English - where he is advanced, Chinese were he is on A1 level, and German and Russian - where he is a beginner.
Apart from him I still struggle to make Japanese friends, and Corona has made it difficult. I asked a couple people I have hung out with in the past, but from the 6 I asked 5 told me they were too busy, and could maybe meet me next month. This is the sad reality of my Japanese social life. The one who had time I will meet soon, yay!

I talked to a Jogger mid 20 when I was jogging and I'll try to go jogging with him from now on.

In general I try to do sports and be healthier now.

--- Returning to Germany later, possibility of staying in Taiwan

Originally I have planned to return in September to Germany, but conveniently all German universities postponed the semester start and will start in November. Since my visa is valid until December I decided to extend my stay till November, or maybe even December.

The next possibility may arise, if my University decides to go "full online class" for the next semester. I could then move to Taiwan for 3 months, and study from there. That would be very convenient, after all my language focus will shift to Chinese, and this would be highly beneficial. Also I would avoid the cold winter of Germany where I basically always get sick at least a month. I'll have to wait and see what they decide.

I'm a bit torn between all those different paths, especially since I don't feel like studying too much right now and want to go out and meet people, but I guess the world won't wait for me, and the study will go on.
4 x

alaart
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Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
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Corona back in Japan / Korean Restart

Postby alaart » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:26 pm

One of my teachers spontaneously gave us a lot of homework (around 12 hours maybe) - I did most of it, but entered a huge existential crisis afterwards. The long awaited end of the rain season came, but just at the same time Corona came back to Japan as well :roll:

I kind of blamed the homework, for not letting me go outside while we still could, and suddenly had enough and decided to take another week off of university. So with the new found free time, and staying inside for the time being I started reading the book "The 4 hour work-week" by Timothy Ferriss.

After doing daily Anki and memrise reviews for a couple of days I also have now properly restarted learning Korean. It must be something like 5-6 weeks, since I stopped and.... yes, I forgot nearly everything. Had tandem exchange today, and could not speak a single sentence.
I continued studying where I left off, Lesson 18 at how to study Korean, but since every lesson is building on the previous - I had some holes in my understanding. Added all cards to Anki and studied them, also fished out old cards I didn't know anymore during todays tandem... so, I hope I will find back into it.

As for extending my stay in Asia. Not only the Taiwan option is on the table, it seems I can also extend my visa for 3 month in Japan. Interesting options awaiting, the flexibility makes me happy :)

Oh, I did go out this week once despite corona, local sightseeing in Nagoya with a friend:

興正寺, Kōshō-ji Temple in Nagoya:
興正寺.jpg
興正寺, Kōshō-ji Temple in Nagoya:
興正寺.jpg (65.07 KiB) Viewed 388 times


Tokugawa Garden in Nagoya
徳川園.jpg
徳川園, Tokugawa-en in Nagoya
徳川園.jpg (144.62 KiB) Viewed 388 times
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alaart
Orange Belt
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
EN
B1: NL, JP, PT (BR), ZH
A1: ES, KR
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
x 407

August Update

Postby alaart » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:14 am

So around end of July I stopped going to classes. First I was reading life change books, but then maybe I didn't really believe I could do much, anyway I got a huge depression. I rejoined classes after two weeks, and for most courses it was ok, but two courses I now have failed, but it doesn't really matter (they are not relevant for my German University).

I continued studying some Korean, but it was very little maybe around 4-5 hours per week. I continued with my two language exchanges, but neither prepared nor reviewed so I didn't really progress. I tried to go out and meet people, even with the second Corona wave being in effect.

I went to the ocean, only the second time in my life. Didn't make photos though.
I went to eat Korean food, and I'm starting to get interested and at least get a basis of the culinary richness of East Asia. I must say, we Germans comparably lack a rich food culture, and until now I haven't really paid to much attention to food in general in my life. Korean food is just by far my most favorite, and I don't want to miss and grave it anymore, so maybe I should just learn all about cooking it myself? Who knows - for now I'm just curious.

I made my first Okonomiyaki (with Japanese friends and my roommate) - tasted better than it looks:
Okonomiyaki.jpg
Okonomiyaki.jpg (46.27 KiB) Viewed 337 times


I went to the parks a lot, one time a Chinese girl filmed me playing parts of 高山流水 (gāoshān líushuǐ , high mountains - flowing water) - a piece of traditional Chinese music - on my guitar, I uploaded the video on my dropbox. The performance is not that good, and you hear the noise of Japanese summer cicadas in the background, but I thought it would be interesting to show nevertheless.

----------

So, starting tomorrow I will have around 10 weeks of vacation until my new semester. I'm supposed to write a paper and do the Chinese HSK3 test. For now I won't do neither, but I will try to do something pro-active with my life. I'll want to learn some Korean daily now, daily routine as an anti-depression measure. Further, I want to improve life quality. More sports, cooking, socializing, who knows - maybe my motivation for Chinese will come back, we will see what happens.
2 x

alaart
Orange Belt
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
x 407

Attitude

Postby alaart » Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:00 pm

Yesterday I had Korean language exchange and had a really hard time speaking.
Today in my other language exchange, I suddenly spoke full sentences - with some words missing, mistakes etc., but still I was speaking, and the words just came out of me.

This was only my second or third time where I could speak anything meaningful, last time was in June before my study break - and at that time with heavy preparation (wrote a dialogue before the exchange and tried to follow it from memory).

What has changed?
I actually didn't study a lot lately, for Korean mostly it was just 30 minutes a day doing Anki and memrise (and I didn't add new cards recently, these are mostly cards I created before June, when I was studying seriously) - so that's no real study, just "not using the brain routine-mode".

I think the only change today was in my attitude. I felt I should be able to speak, and get through this language eventually - whereas lately in my studies I didn't feel very confident at all, maybe since a couple of months. In most of the previous exchanges I asked how to say something, and repeated after my language partner. Today I just did it myself.

When I spoke, I remembered similar experiences not being able to speak other languages before, and how it all came together when I just opened my mouth and tried.

Starting tomorrow I'll have another new language exchange, so that will be 3 per week. It's time to blabber myself into this language! - and like with the fear of speaking, I hope I can overcome my numerous other fears in life and move forward.
6 x

alaart
Orange Belt
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
EN
B1: NL, JP, PT (BR), ZH
A1: ES, KR
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
x 407

Korean vs Reality

Postby alaart » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:07 pm

Did iTalki remove the language partner search? Can't find it anymore, or can they block you because I wrote too many people ;) - probably not. I wonder what other source I could use for language exchange.

Anyway I had 4 language exchanges this week and last week, still want one more. I think I'm finally starting to kick off in Korean. I'm surprised that it was possible to come this far by a half-baked attitude, but here I am and the motivation is just what I need to get myself to high productivity again.

I learned to use the Korean keyboard system and I'm starting to fix all my errors in pronunciation, grammar and so on - while adding vocabulary. And I actually review the material I talked about after language exchange, which is the most effective thing.

Reality is knocking though and I'm supposed to study Chinese soon, and do some other university stuff like writing papers. Don't feel like it but we will see what happens. I have 6 weeks till the start of the next semester.
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alaart
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Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
x 407

Korean language exchanges

Postby alaart » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:43 am

So because I can't access iTalki's language exchange function I tried this site called tandem.net and immediately got a lot of language exchange partners. I planned one for every day this week, but one guy canceled so "only" 6.

We speak, and everything I can't say we write down, and I study the notes afterwards and add them to Anki. Pretty simple, but effective. I feel that I'm progressing, the weak link is now grammar - so I have to dig through some grammar lessons soon.

Oh, and I'm working myself through pronunciation.. mine is not good, and there are a lot of things I need to fix and pay attention to. Well, we will see if I'll end up with a heavy accent like in my other languages.. but if I can, I'd like to avoid this.
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