Language Rambles (Japanese, Dutch and Norwegian)

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appelkoekje
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Language Rambles (Japanese, Dutch and Norwegian)

Postby appelkoekje » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:24 pm

Hello,

I previously had an account on this forum but for the life of me I can't remember the log-in details, so I've had to create a new account. I feel this is a good thing as it coincides with me starting my language learning journey anew.

A brief introduction about me
I'm 25 and I currently reside in the UK with my Dutch boyfriend. I've been studying languages for a long time now. It all began with Japanese when I was roughly 11-12 years old. Over the years, I've tried my hand at various languages, but always stuck with Japanese. Recent developments such as meeting and going out with a Dutchman have made it so I can study Dutch guilt-free :lol:. I've always been a victim to wanderlust, so it's nice that I have 2 languages with solid reasons to study. Norwegian is purely a hobby language and because I've been hopelessly flirting with the Scandinavian languages for years now. I've finally decided on one. My reasons for studying it are, I love how it sounds and I'm fascinated by Scandinavia; especially Norse mythology.

Languages and levels
Japanese - I would put myself around B2. I've been stagnated at B2 for what seems like forever.
Dutch - Roughly A1, borderline A2. I can understand a lot more than I can read or speak.
Norwegian - A0/A1. Very lazily studying it, but enjoying the process.

Current study materials & methods
Japanese - native materials, mostly. I watch Netflix shows in Japanese (Terrace House and Ainori), some select anime in Japanese with Japanese subtitles, play Japanese games, watch Japanese youtubers, read Japanese books, converse with Japanese friends... the list goes on. I'm currently "living" in Japanese outside of family, work & friends.
Dutch - I'd say about 50% of my life is spent in Dutch, currently. I live with my boyfriend so I'm constantly exposed to it. I want to start using Teach Yourself Dutch again, as well as work through a Memrise course for vocabulary. I watch Dutch youtubers every now and then. I will be going to the Netherlands at the end of next month for a week where I'll challenge myself to use the language.
Norwegian - Duolingo and a very handy online course from the University of Oslo. I also am using Teach Yourself Norwegian now and then.

How I will track my progress & current goals
I will track my progress by posting here, but also with ☆. A coloured start like ★ means I have completed a unit, lesson or a certain goal. I'll use 3 colours to represent each language. These will be featured on my update posts!

Current goals:

Japanese
Japanese is hard to set goals for as I'm not really "studying". I am aiming for N2 but with work right now, it doesn't really leave much room for formal study. I guess for now, I will make some input and output goals.

INPUT
Fate/Apocrypha with Japanese subtitles - complete the series.
Terrace House Opening New Doors Season 2 - complete the series


OUTPUT
Send at least 3-4 messages daily to Japanese friends.
Write a paragraph in Japanese every time I update here.


Dutch

INPUT/STUDY
Watch at least one Youtube video every day.
Read for at least 15 minutes in Dutch every day.
Work on Teach Yourself Dutch.

OUTPUT
Practice with boyfriend every day.

Norwegian

INPUT / STUDY
Complete one lesson on Duolingo a day.
Keep up with the online course. 2 lessons a week.

OUTPUT
Try to write a sentence or two in Norwegian every day.

- x -

Phew. Well done if you made it this far.

I love the idea of language logs. I find them really motivating and it's always a delight to read about other people's progress. It's great to be here again!

UPDATE 22/08/2018 - Changed the title of the thread to more reflect what I do here :lol:
Last edited by appelkoekje on Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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appelkoekje
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Re: Tee og koekjes [JP, NL and NO]

Postby appelkoekje » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:27 pm

Day 1

Let's begin!

Today's update starts off on an exciting note. A member from a Japanese band I like has recently began streaming with friends. They stream themselves playing games online together. As a fan and a language learner, this is great. I get to listen to natural Japanese - live! I built up the courage today to comment on their stream. There were thousands of other comments, so I thought it would get lost in all the commotion. However, it didn't! One of the friends read out my comment on stream, and it sparked up a discussion between the band member and his friends. I was over the moon! Not only did I not get recognised as a "foreigner" ( :lol: ), I was able to follow their response to what I had said. Very exciting for me, as it was this particular band which was a huge driving force in my early years of Japanese. It's refreshing to know that after all this time, I'm finally able to use Japanese to communicate and enjoy their streams! How motivating.

I woke up quite early today so I managed to get about 50% of my language learning done for today. I've been sending messages to Japanese speakers on Interpals between doing chores and meals. I watched some Dutch videos and I am currently listening to the aforementioned Japanese stream as I write this. I completed a couple of lessons on Duolingo for Norwegian. I found some Dutch magazines stored away so I may try reading an article with a cup of tea later, possibly after I've done this weeks lesson of Norwegian on the online course. It's a very sunny, hot summers day today in England, so I may make some use of the weather and go for a walk later, boyfriend in tow, and confuse our neighbours by chatting away in Dutch. All in all, a good day for study.
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Re: Tee og koekjes [JP, NL and NO]

Postby Denzagathist » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:46 pm

こんばんは、アッペルクキェ!(じゃあ、日本にいますのでここでは夕方です)

As I also recently created a new account and log here to coincide with my own restart into language learning, I thought I’d comment in yours to wish you luck. I’m impressed with your dedication to Japanese despite having reached a plateau (an experience with which I am all too familiar). I actually live in Japan and it sounds like you use far more Japanese in your daily life than I do! I also wanted to say that I really like your clear goals divided into input- and output-based tasks. I often struggle with writing anything but lofty, long-term goals, so I think I may borrow some of your ideas.

Anyways, I’ll be following your journey. 頑張ってね! Veel succes!
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Re: Tee og koekjes [JP, NL and NO]

Postby appelkoekje » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:50 am

UPDATE #2

...what to say, eh? My last update was exactly two weeks ago. After remaining hopeful and thinking this log would get me back on track... well... let's say work had other ideas. I've been absolutely swamped. I work a normal 9-5 but my commute adds an extra 4 hours to every day. I leave the house at 7am and I'm not home until 7pm. I have to make dinner, see to some chores, and before I know it, it's already 9pm and I have to get ready for work the next day. It's not been ideal. Some weeks, I have enough energy to do some lessons on Duolingo, or watch a Youtube video. I have been doing this, but not as often as I would like. So, as a result, I'm either going to change my goals or scrap them completely and just take it as it comes until I work out a better schedule.

On the language front ...

I mentioned I have almost 4 hours of commute a day earlier. I've decided that this is time that could be put to great use. I usually use it catch up on my reading. Right now, I'm very much into a book called The Way of Kings, the first book in the Stormlight Archive. It's a fantasy book. I've been using my morning and evening commute to read this, however, I figured I could have some days "off" from it and use my commute for language learning. I've started already - I've began reading a Japanese novel called 阪急電車 by 有川浩. I hasn't really hooked me yet, and I remember rolling my eyes at one point :lol: But it's an easy enough read. I find myself being able to follow it alright, apart from places names. Place names are the bane of my life. It doesn't help the book is centered around a train line, and that most of it takes place in a train... so far, anyway. I feel like I don't really know how to pronounce them persay; I know that they're the names of places so I'm not going to go out of my way to learn their pronunications, so it's fine... I guess. I'll keep up with this as it is nice reading in Japanese again.

I've been talking with some Japanese people here and there for practice. What I've noticed is an overwhelming lack of 日本語お上手ですね, a phrase Japanese often go to in order to "break the ice" when speaking with someone not native in Japanese. I don't know if this is because my Japanese is not good, or I've finally surpassed that line where they feel the need to point it out, and instead just go into having a normal conversation with me... or, that "ice-breaker" is slowly dying out as more and more people are learning Japanese, and it's probably not so surprising for them anymore? Or...! I've just gotten lucky. Who knows, either way, it's refreshing not repeating the same conversations over and over. ;) It's allowing for me to have actual conversations in Japanese, and it's also pointing out areas where I lack - mainly vocabulary & expression. I'm hoping that expanding my reading and going onto novels, rather than mainly using Twitter, Youtube and the odd gossip blog for reading, will help with this.

Dutch ... well, I hear Dutch every day. I feel with each day I understand it better. I've found 0 time to actually sit down and study it, but I'm keeping up with watching Dutch videos, maybe trying out the odd sentence in Dutch. Boyfriend is using it more and more with me. The occasional Memrise to keep up with vocabulary. It's going... alright. I'm due to head off to the Netherlands for a week in two weeks, so that'll be the true test. So far, so good.

Norwegian started off very strong. I was completing Duolingo lessons every night, participating in an online Norsk course, using Memrise... and well, that all stopped around last week. Bad week at work leaving me with 0 energy, and on Friday I went out with colleagues, and was not feeling up to much on the Saturday, and thus missed last weeks lessons on the online Norsk course. I'm going to attempt to catch up on that either today or tomorrow, we shall see how it goes. Norwegian is purely my hobby language so, no harm if I'm not progressing as much as I would like.

日本語の文章の練習

日本語能力試験。

他の日本語学習者に何度も聞かれます。「日本語能力試験を受けた?」と。
実は、まだ受けたことがありません。毎年「今年こそ、受ける!」と胸を張って言っているのに、まだ受けていません。受けるには、スコットランドのエジンバラかイングランドのロンドンに行かないといけません。どちらも遠いので、難しいです。エジンバラはロンドンより近いので、そちらに行けるかもしれません。言い訳ばかりですね…。

受けたいと思います。受けたいです。
昨日、友達と話していたら、「何年も日本語を勉強してるから、2級を飛ばして1級に突撃してみたら?」みたいなことを言われました。1級か。それがラストボスですね。たぶん2年後、1級に受かることはありえます。今の私は、全然受かりません。でも1級に挑戦してみたいですね。持っている教科書は全部2級のものですが。

とりあえず、2級を受けて、それを受かったら、1級に挑戦してみる、がいいかもしれません。日本語に本気出すぞー!

(I'm going to post this on HelloTalk moments to receive corrections. I'll update with the correction version.)

CORRECTIONS ... I didn't receive many. Just the one, in fact. Which actually made me laugh.

Edinburgh in Japanese is not エジンバラ but is instead エディンバラ. I've been saying it wrong all these years... Apparently, older Japanese people had difficulty saying エジンバラ? Well, the more you know!
Last edited by appelkoekje on Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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appelkoekje
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Re: Tee og koekjes [JP, NL and NO]

Postby appelkoekje » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:05 am

Denzagathist wrote:こんばんは、アッペルクキェ!(じゃあ、日本にいますのでここでは夕方です)

As I also recently created a new account and log here to coincide with my own restart into language learning, I thought I’d comment in yours to wish you luck. I’m impressed with your dedication to Japanese despite having reached a plateau (an experience with which I am all too familiar). I actually live in Japan and it sounds like you use far more Japanese in your daily life than I do! I also wanted to say that I really like your clear goals divided into input- and output-based tasks. I often struggle with writing anything but lofty, long-term goals, so I think I may borrow some of your ideas.

Anyways, I’ll be following your journey. 頑張ってね! Veel succes!


おはようございます!日本にいるのですね!

Thanks for the comment! :) What do you do in Japan? I'm awfully jealous. I've yet to set foot there. Ah, my goals seemed like such a good idea at first, but I'll admit I'm having some trouble working on them all. The reason for separating them is I feel in my early years with Japanese, it was all input. I hardly focused on output. I'm paying for it now, though. My reading and listening is light years ahead of my writing and speaking, so it's definitely something I need to work on.

Good luck with your studies, as well! お互い頑張りましょうね!
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Re: Tee og koekjes [JP, NL and NO]

Postby appelkoekje » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:43 pm

For some reason, I'm feeling highly motivated with Japanese.

I read a little more of 阪急電車 yesterday. It feels like I've gotten past the "prologue" and into the meat of the story. With that, a whole bundle of difficult words has came along with it. I'm struggling to follow some sentences due to the addiction of quite complicated vocabulary. What makes me feel better is that, a lot of the these words have 振り仮名 placed above them, which suggests to me that these aren't common words. I've been casually looking them up as I read, but not spending too much time on them. The contents itself isn't too difficult, it's just the author deciding to use all these words... :lol: (She tells herself!)

I wrote about this in my little Japanese paragraph yesterday, but following a discussion with a friend, I've been considering getting serious and finally aiming for the Japanese Language Proficiency test. I'm between two minds, however. I feel confident enough I could pass N2. Because of this, I've been sort of flirting with the idea of N1. I believe if I gave myself two solid years of studying N1 materials and native materials, I would be N1 ready. But it would be my first JLPT. So I'm not sure if it's a good idea to go straight for N1 without being used to the format of the test. I could play it safe, aim for N2, then maybe 1½ to 2 years later, aim for N1. Granted I pass N2. Just because I'm confident isn't enough to suggest I actually will... :lol:

It's food for thought, and I will mull over it some more.

This morning, I watched an episode of a Japanese drama called ディア・シスター, I was fortunate to find it with Japanese subtitles. I quite enjoyed the first episode, which was roughly 50 minutes. I'm looking forward to episode 2. It's been a while since I've watched a Japanese drama, so it's a nice change of pace. The dialogue isn't too difficult at all, so it's very easy to follow, which is always nice. I'm wondering if I should venture into some more harder viewing material, like a documentary... who knows.

So far, so good. Feeling good about Japanese again!
2 x

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Re: Tee og koekjes [JP, NL and NO]

Postby Sizen » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:25 pm

appelkoekje wrote:日本語の文章の練習

日本語能力試験。

他の日本語学習者に何度も聞かれます。「日本語能力試験を受けた?」と。
実は、まだ受けたことがありません。毎年「今年こそ、受ける!」と胸を張って言っているのに、まだ受けていません。受けるには、スコットランドのエジンバラかイングランドのロンドンに行かないといけません。どちらも遠いので、難しいです。エジンバラはロンドンより近いので、そちらに行けるかもしれません。言い訳ばかりですね…。

受けたいと思います。受けたいです。
昨日、友達と話していたら、「何年も日本語を勉強してるから、2級を飛ばして1級に突撃してみたら?」みたいなことを言われました。1級か。それがラストボスですね。たぶん2年後、1級に受かることはありえます。今の私は、全然受かりません。でも1級に挑戦してみたいですね。持っている教科書は全部2級のものですが。

とりあえず、2級を受けて、それを受かったら、1級に挑戦してみる、がいいかもしれません。日本語に本気出すぞー!


ぱっと見、1級でもいけるんだと思いますよ?文法もしっかり抑えているみたいだし、小説を読めるほどの語彙力もついているし、難関の常用漢字の読み書きさえできれば楽勝なのでは?というか、常用漢字の7~8割程度で十分な気がしますから、とりあえずそこを中心にやれば今年以内に合格することも夢じゃないと思いますよ。

まあ、これ、あくまで個人的な意見ですけどね。
1 x

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Re: Tee og koekjes [JP, NL and NO]

Postby Teango » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:57 pm

Welcome back to the forum, appelkoekje! As a Brit, my interest was immediately peaked by the mention of tea... :) I wish you success and joy with all your language goals here!
1 x

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appelkoekje
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Re: Tee og koekjes [JP, NL and NO]

Postby appelkoekje » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:24 pm

Small update. I will get around to replying to the comments above me at some point.

I've managed to secure a language partner for at least the next 5 years :lol: I happened across a Japanese woman my age who just recently moved to a town near me! We've already made plans to meet for coffee. She informed me that she can "hardly speak any English", and at first I was very excited, as most of our interactions, to begin with, will probably be in Japanese. Then, the reality of that sank in ... :P This will be an interesting test! When speaking with natives in the past, I've always let them lead the conversation in Japanese, especially in the earlier stages, and almost reflexively reverting to English. This was fine as most of them were better in English than I was in Japanese. Seeing as my new language partner is very much new to the area, not confident with English, I'll probably have to take the initiative a lot more... and not have English as a safety back-up. I am looking forward to meeting with her, and hopefully helping her become more comfortable with the area. I come from an area which has a very strong accent & dialect, so I'm also hoping to help her with that, as well. To untrained ears, it can sound like a completely different language... :lol:
4 x

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appelkoekje
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Re: Tee og koekjes [JP, NL and NO]

Postby appelkoekje » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:59 pm

Sizen wrote:ぱっと見、1級でもいけるんだと思いますよ?文法もしっかり抑えているみたいだし、小説を読めるほどの語彙力もついているし、難関の常用漢字の読み書きさえできれば楽勝なのでは?というか、常用漢字の7~8割程度で十分な気がしますから、とりあえずそこを中心にやれば今年以内に合格することも夢じゃないと思いますよ。

まあ、これ、あくまで個人的な意見ですけどね。


お返事が遅れてすみません!
ありがとうございます!そう言ってもらえて嬉しいです。
Sizenさんのログを読ませていただきました。日本語を使いこなせていて、感動しました。
本当に勉強熱心ですね。私は見習わないと…!
まず、2級を狙って勉強していきたいと思っています。私の語彙力がほんとに足りないんですよ(;´・ω・)
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