日本語一筋 [JP]

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aeroflot
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby aeroflot » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:32 pm

I don't go out of my comfort zone or try new things enough.


Do you have any ideas of what you can do that's different? You mean like different exercises?
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Sizen
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Sizen » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:24 pm

kraemder wrote:I can't help finding it interesting that you abandoned Anki after using it and finding it effective. I'm always thinking of ways to improve my studying. I was doing Anki 3 hours a day before (I had no job) but now I'm down to about an hour a day. I think it's a good amount since I can squeeze in reviews on the commute and in free time but maybe I should cut it back some more to focus more on just reading/listening like you. Interesting blog.

It was just what I felt had to happen. I used to learn vocabulary through kanji textbooks, but that eventually got boring. Then I started using Anki, but now I'm feeling that my time with Anki has come to an end. I still need to spend a lot of time studying vocabulary, though. I don't have any numbers, but I wouldn't be surprised if I spent an hour or two on vocab every day. I review in my head throughout the day (even at work), and occasionally write out all the words I'm learning. It's basically SRS, but without the software. And for some reason, I find it less tedious than SRS.

aeroflot wrote:Do you have any ideas of what you can do that's different? You mean like different exercises?

My definition of different here is obviously very personal, but there's two main things I'm referring to.

1. I have a tendency of waiting until I've reached a level that I've deemed acceptable before I start speaking a language. This wasn't a problem with the Romance languages, but I feel it might be problematic for my Japanese. So something different for me would be attempting to communicate in Japanese, even if it's unpleasant for me at this point.

2. I also like to stick to what I'm familiar with. I read on the same subject and watch the same kinds of shows all the time. This is great, but it doesn't necessarily push me out of my comfort zone. Not only do I need to explore other genres, I also need to try new things altogether. Something I've done in the past, for example, is cooking using Japanese recipes. I learned lots of vocabulary, had fun and ended up making some pretty good food. I've been thinking about some things I'd like to try in Japanese if I get the chance: playing games (video games, board games, card games, charades, etc), studying math/physics, attending a university level class, doing a speech, teaching English/French, karaoke... Basically, I'd like to do as wide a variety of activities in Japanese as possible.
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aeroflot
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby aeroflot » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:30 am

Yep, you're probably right about the waiting until you're at a higher level part. We learn enough that even after a modest vocabulary we should be able to express more.
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kraemder
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby kraemder » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:32 pm

I feel like speaking Japanese requires a thick skin. I have spent so much effort studying this language and yet it often happens that Japanese people just stare at me blankly when I speak Japanese. Not always of course. I don't think you're ever going to reach a level where you're really ready. You have to bite the bullet and have them stare at you like you're from another planet. A big disadvantage being an English speaker is that if your Japanese isn't really good, they will just try to speak English instead (even if their English is worse than your Japanese)
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Sizen
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Sizen » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:33 pm

aeroflot wrote:Yep, you're probably right about the waiting until you're at a higher level part. We learn enough that even after a modest vocabulary we should be able to express more.

Japanese is one of the languages where vocabulary is a bit of a red herring, but that's not to say I don't agree with you. The biggest hurdle with Japanese, especially early on in one's studies, is that it's very hard to predict how a native speaker would formulate a sentence or sentiment without having learned exactly how to express that thought beforehand. This is less so the case when you're dealing with a language closely related to your own - French in my case- , but Japanese, at least from the perspective of an English speaker, is both unpredictable and mystifying. It can feel so much more frustrating to speak compared to a Germanic or Romance language, and I admit that I've fallen in this trap more than once, giving in to the temptation of learning an "easier" language.

kraemder wrote:I don't think you're ever going to reach a level where you're really ready.

I've surprised myself in the past. ;) That's how things went down when I learned French, and I'm convinced I could achieve the same results with Japanese, albeit over a longer period of time.

But that's not the point. I think that depriving myself of some form of occasional communication in Japanese at this point would be doing myself a disservice. It would only make it more frustrating to start speaking later once I've acquired a higher level of Japanese, like "I can understand anything, but I can't form a simple sentence! I might as well give up!". Plus, I think it's important to expose myself to how people actually talk, and not just scripted dialogue in shows.
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Sizen
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Sizen » Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:50 am

Man am I bad at these log things.

I actually don't have a lot to say today, but things are going well. The new season is full of great shows and I've been enjoying myself greatly. I've been having a few pervasive thoughts recently about studying other languages, but looking at it rationally, I know that this is just a sign that I'm a little tired right now. If this keeps up, it might be something else entirely, and in that case, I might be coming to another crossroads where I'll have to change my approach. So note to self: keep these thoughts in check, but don't completely disregard them.

I'm also very much debating buying myself a Japanese 3DS these days. But what to get? The new Pokémon games come to mind... I also haven't played the new Fire Emblem games... It's either that or a PS Vita. There's a few choice games I'd love to play: Persona, Danganronpa, Gravity Rush... The other advantage of the Vita would be the lack of region locking, so I wouldn't need to have two consoles. Anybody have a preference or any suggestions?

In somewhat unrelated news, I went to the wedding of one of my best and longest-standing friends last weekend, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I never imagined I could have so much fun at a wedding. What was great, too, is that I finally got to meet the Japanese side of my friend's family. One of his uncles is married to a Japanese woman, and I got to speak with her in Japanese after the dinner rehearsal. Seeing as it's been almost two years since I'd tried to have a real conversation in Japanese, I was a little shaky, but I eventually got the hang of it. I still have lots of work to do, but my spoken Japanese didn't totally suck.

In fact, I've been getting lots of positive feedback beyond the regular 「日本語お上手ですね」 (Your Japanese is good) lately. Some of the compliments I've received recently:「語彙力がすごい」(Your vocabulary is impressive),「助詞の使い分けがばっちり」(Your use of particles is perfect) and, my favourite,「とても論理的で綺麗な日本語を書きますね」(You write such logical and beautiful Japanese). :D Sorry, I'm done tooting my own horn now. :p

Next time, I'll try to have some actual progress to report. Until then!
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Aozora
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Aozora » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:37 pm

Sizen wrote:
I'm also very much debating buying myself a Japanese 3DS these days. But what to get? The new Pokémon games come to mind... I also haven't played the new Fire Emblem games... It's either that or a PS Vita. There's a few choice games I'd love to play: Persona, Danganronpa, Gravity Rush... The other advantage of the Vita would be the lack of region locking, so I wouldn't need to have two consoles. Anybody have a preference or any suggestions?

The Pokemon 3DS games (X Y Ruby Sapphire) can be played in Japanese without buying the Japanese version of anything! The Western release includes Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Korean. So for the Pokemon games at least, you don't need to buy a Japanese 3DS. I don't have a Vita, but if there's no region lock on it, that would be pretty handy. I guess I'd suggest going for the system that has the most games you want to play.
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Japanese SC books : 18 / 100 Japanese films : 29 / 100
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Sizen
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Sizen » Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:00 am

The month of September approaches inexorably, and with it, the spectre of school and its inseparable crony, homework. I don't think I've mentioned it here on the forum yet, but after a short post-secondary tryst with linguistics, I've shifted gears and decided to study engineering. Most people are surprised when I tell them that, saying that the two fields are way too different, but the truth is that I've always found pleasure, along with a certain sense of ease, in mathematics and science. It'd been about 5 years since I'd done any math, though, so I've had to spend the last year and a half reviewing and completing some prerequisite courses that I didn't do in high school because I went to Japan instead. ^^; (No regrets.)

Anyway, I'll be working part-time and studying full-time come September, so I doubt I'll have much free time for my personal studies. I do plan on working something out, though. I figure I'll more than likely spend more time on reading activities than before, which isn't necessarily a bad thing considering I've been focused almost entirely on listening this year.

That being said, there are a few things I'd like to accomplish this year.

1. Read the news more often in Japanese. Ideally, I'd like to make it a habit that I read at least one article every morning before class.

2. More pleasure activities. I've been approaching everything with a very intensive (as opposed to extensive) mindset lately, and I feel that learning to not sweat every single thing will be essential in keeping my sanity throughout the year.

3. Familiarize myself further with math/physics vocabulary in Japanese so that I can perhaps do my 3rd or 4th year in Japan if the opportunity presents itself. I've actually already acquired a book in Japanese on the origins of dynamics that I plan on working my way through this year. Although it's more focused on the philosophical aspects of how classical physics were developed, I think it's still a good place to start. Another necessary step will be learning math-specific vocabulary. I've already got the basics down (plus, minus, the exponents, roots, etc), but I think I'll need to get some Japanese workbooks to expose myself to actual word problems.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried that my study routine is going to fall apart completely, but if I keep it in mind that even a few minutes a day goes somewhere, I should pull through. Hopefully. ^^;
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kraemder
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby kraemder » Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:07 am

I think most people will agree that studying engineering is a much better choice.. Not much money in linguistics. It's better suited as a hobby than a full time endeavor I think. I was thinking you'd be letting your studies go when I read the beginning but I see you don't intend that which makes me happy.. I like reading your journal.
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Sizen
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Sizen » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:22 am

kraemder wrote:Not much money in linguistics. It's better suited as a hobby than a full time endeavor I think.

That more or less sums up my thought process in choosing engineering. I felt that linguistics was more of a fun play-thing than what I wanted to devote my life to, and studying it formally did sort of ruin the fun for me. I'm sure I'd have been able to work something out in the long run had I persevered, but my prospects were grim. All of my friends who have in the past or are currently studying linguistics are either looking at doing work in other domains (bartending, welding, etc) or extremely worried as to what their futures hold. To be honest, I didn't really know what I'd do once my degree was over, anyway, so I was pretty much in the same boat.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you like my log. Knowing I have a readership, no matter how small, makes me want to try to be more consistent with my posting. ^^;
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