How I’m Studying Kanji

 

It didn’t take me very long to decide on how I would study kanji, but it did take me some time to decide. I have a complicated relationship with kanji because of the way that I learned Japanese. Despite how much I read Japanese, I don’t really know very many kanji. When I’m reading in Japanese, I either look up kanji as I go, guess from context, or skip the kanji all together. It’s always worked for me when I needed it to, but it has set me back. I’ve studied Japanese for years now, yet I hardly know any kanji. だめだよね。I was feeling really upset with myself about this and literally the next day, one of my favorite YouTubers mentioned that she has the same issue.  Continue reading “How I’m Studying Kanji”

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Making Sentences With A Limited Vocabulary

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A major reason why a lot of people give up on learning Japanese is never having learned how to create sentences. Textbooks like Genki can be great resources, but the problem is that they usually teach you “cookie-cutter” Japanese. There’s little room for error when you are creating “custom” sentences because the books are very specific about what they’re expecting you to say. Even if you’re taking a Japanese course, unless you’re paying for 1-on-1 time with a tutor, your teacher won’t likely have the time to help you to personalize your language learning experience. In this way, I guess I am lucky to have not really taken any classes because the Japanese that I speak is not very formal and I’m used to just saying what’s on my mind- not a textbook response. Continue reading “Making Sentences With A Limited Vocabulary”

Don’t Let Anxiety Stop You From Speaking

All paws up!

You need to practice speaking Japanese if you want to get better. No excuses or exceptions. As an introvert who simultaneously struggles with a bad case of social anxiety, I definitely understand how difficult it can get to practice talking in another language. I struggle to talk with most people in my own language, so motivating myself to talk with someone in a language I’m not (in my opinion) very fluent in is like pulling teeth. However, I know that it’s something I absolutely have to do if I want to get better- and I definitely want to get better. Continue reading “Don’t Let Anxiety Stop You From Speaking”

Studying Advanced Japanese Grammar

 

I’ve finally come up with an effective method for studying grammar. As an intermediate to advanced learner, studying grammar becomes more complex because the ideas that you’re now learning to express and understand have become complex. You’ve gone from saying “I like dogs” to “my life would be incomplete if I’d never received the opportunity to experience the friendship of a canine companion”. So, of course the study methods have to change a bit too. To make things simple, I’m just going to list my methods by a series of steps: Continue reading “Studying Advanced Japanese Grammar”

Scouting Out A Language Partner

An important step in becoming fluent in Japanese is speaking. You have to do it, so it’s best you start as soon as possible. Practicing talking with another person will expose your vocabulary and grammar gaps, which can actually be a good thing. I know that getting started and sustaining language-exchange relationships can be very tough, so I decided to write about it since I’ve got quite a lot of experience! Continue reading “Scouting Out A Language Partner”

Is language immersion realistic?

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I’ve come to accept that part of the reason that my fluency level plateaus while I’m in America is because of my lack of exposure to the language and it’s all my fault. I don’t listen to enough podcasts, watch enough Japanese speaking TV shows Continue reading “Is language immersion realistic?”