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#language #learnJapan #Japanese #study
I think I want to try kanken 漢字検定 which is a kanji test aimed to Japanese native. Although I think it's a good way to learn new kanjis and new words and also fill the gap between non-native Japanese and native Japanese. I'm currently level 5 of that kanji test, same level as a junior high school student haha it's ridiculous 😂
I consider myself as an advanced learner since I can manage in most of the situations, including work, but I find it difficult to step up to be even more fluent. I'd like to be more fluent and be able to choose my words like I do in my native language. Do you know any good resources for advanced learners?
Definitely immersing yourself in the culture is really important. Yet it can be overwhelming at times for people. But the idea is to try to make it fun. Even watching TV shows, movies, and I'm sure a lot of foreigners already watch anime, but of course try to focus on the language more. Even if you can pause the program to look up words is really important too. Even the news is important too to understand what is happening in the country even if you can only learn a bit. Focusing on key words to remember is best.
Making little goals for yourself to say to even the shop worker, whether thanking them if you are a true beginner, asking for where an item is to get more practiced, or what an item is for to practice comprehension on the spot.
While I agree that AJAAT is the way to go, I also rely on some grammar resources.
My window into AJAAT was aikido, yoga, and a local bar where I could chat with people.
But I also spent a lot of time studying to make sure I could understand what I was hearing.
One resource I refer to - https://guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar
Not complete, but pretty good.
That, and reading any free publications I can get my hands on. I don't grok manga, but I like reading local newspapers, travel info, etc. What I glean from reading I talk about with friends, coworkers, my family of friends, and get immersed that way.
If you are looking for a cheap way to learn basic Japanese, I take lessons through my city's multicultural center. The lessons are so cheap and taught by a retired man. He has helped me to learn the basics and understand a typical Japanese thoughts and feeling about current issues.
Even after living in Japan for several years, I still struggle with writing kanji by hand (which I have to do regularly at work). My favorite way to practice is through the app Kanji Study: https://mindtwisted.com/
If you use this app for 10-20 minutes a day, your kanji writing skills will definitely improve! You can also practice different readings, meanings, and vocabulary related to each kanji character.
After using this app for a few months I noticed my kanji skills had really improved!
When I started my Japanese journey, a very good friend of mine encouraged me to get the basics down first (hiragana and katakana). I would strongly discourage anyone from using the romaji books if they're serious about getting the language. These books will just slow you down.
My journey is still continuing. I was seriously studying for about 5 years straight at one point and in year 4, I realised that even though I had all this vocabulary and grammar, I couldn't really hold a conversation so I started putting myself in situations where I was forced to speak.
I had language partners but actually being in a place where no one speaks English or meeting people who only speak Japanese may sound terrifying, but after a year of doing this, my confidence grew and I can now hold a conversation comfortably. I'm nowhere near business level but I can get by. So that would be my advice.
Definitely learn the basics, the grammar, the vocabulary, but don't forget the output.
@Jemineye 100% agree.
You can thrive if you have the basics down. But that also means being able to listen and pick them out in conversation. That takes time and a lot of failed attempts.
If you are studying Japanese, then you have probably heard of the All Japanese All The Time (AJATT) method. This is what did it for me. Now I am not proclaiming to be native in Japanese or anything, but I did get good enough to land me a typical salary man job.
I would say the key take away is. Drill on the basics, and try to use native material as soon and as much as possible. Oh, the biggest point is in the name it self; all the time. The method practically requires you to drown yourself in Japanese.
If you are looking for native material, Manga and Magazines are great place to start. Also self help books are surprisingly easy to understand and also sometimes have some good tips in them.
One thing that is very interesting to me about this is that while many Japanese would quickly advocate AJATT method for studying Japanese, nearly all Japanese people couldn't ever consider studying English the same way. Many say that it is really convenient that some teachers will take pains explaining difficult English in Japanese, as well as providing katakana readings to "help" with pronunciation.
The reality is, of course, somewhat of a different story. Such linguistic "crutches" are effective at student retention, but don't help the student in acquiring any reasonable command of the English language.
Your point is that studying Japanese in Japanese is absolutely critical. I think that it's particularly true for English-speaking natives, because of the completely different grammatical structure between the two languages. Instead of trying to extrapolate correct grammatical form by comparison, it's actually easier to get things right consistently by "forgetting" English.
Personally, I've been drowning in Japanese now for more than 35 years. I've gotten to the point where I'm perfectly comfortable sucking water deep into my lungs for hours at a time without flinching. Still, it's amazing the extent to which I breathe a silent sigh of relief when I can communicate in native English once in awhile. Oxygen is good. lol