12 Days of Christmas 2012 #02 – I Start Studying Japanese

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Merry Christmas!

I have always found learning new things a lot of fun, especially if it is stuff I have wanted to learn for a long time. Japanese was one such thing I had longed for and this fall I finally got the chance to start studying it.

As of now I have studied Japanese for about four months via a basic distance course on university level and it has been very enjoyable. I may not have come long in my studies, far from as it is only elementary knowledge we learn, but I can already feel that I have started to get a grasp of how the language itself works.

Suddenly when I watch anime I can hear and understand how the sentences are structured and conveyed; only making anime even more of a pleasure to watch. I can now also read sentences I come across on the Internet as long as it is in kana (I still screw up a bit on katakana, though). While I obviously do not understand many words, I tend to look them up and as a result maybe learn a new word or two which I quickly forget afterwards.

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It is interesting to see a whole new world open up before me like this. Sure, we have not learned any kanji and the more casual language is far off in the future. But I have just started to learn and it will have to take its time, because this is something I really want to learn. It is one of the few things I burn for.

Maybe I will lose interest as time passes or completely give up on kanji, but so be it. Only learning smaller things is amazing in itself and I value the knowledge, even if it is only a little.

I have found it a bit hard to learn a new language by mostly myself, however. I am the type of person who likes to have direct response, asking questions about the simplest things to confirm that I am heading the right way. At least for me this is especially important when learning a new language, as I would quickly want to know whether or not something is correctly phrased or could be said in another way.

But even so I can assure you that it has been a great deal of fun to study Japanese.

Learning is fun!

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13 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas 2012 #02 – I Start Studying Japanese

  1. Good luck!

    I also just started myself and I’m having a blast.

  2. chikorita157 says:

    As you already know, I have been teaching myself Japanese since October of 2011. While it was somewhat difficult in the beginning although I’m literally fluent in reading ひらがな and カタカナ now, it took a lot of practice before I got better at it. Now, I am at an upper-beginner/lower intermediate level and I know about 100 kanji (neglected that due to my last semester in my undergraduate studies). It takes dedication, but access to other media such as untranslated manga and video games can make things more fun… and I tend to add the words I find to a list and then add them to a flashcard deck later.

    Aside from that… 日本語になれるといいですね。 (I hope you get used to the Japanese Language)

    • Kai says:

      If your Japanese is getting good, then I would like to add visual novel to it, especially if you want to discover new kanji. I do think it will be slightly difficult then untranslated manga and games though.

      • Marow says:

        Visual novels are heavy on text, so I guess it would be more difficult 😛

        • Author says:

          One useful approach for me was to focus on VNs that are fully-voiced, including the player’s avatar or protagonist, such as Toradora Portable (has play-throughs posted at Ani-nouto, BTW). This usually permits looking up the kanji at dic.yahoo.com, which is way easier than splitting radicals apart at jisho.org. By the end of VN, you get a few kanji remembered. Unfortunately, there aren’t many such, and those that exist are often locked in unpleasant proprietary platforms such as Sony PSP.

    • Marow says:

      Thank you! I probably don’t have the same dedication as you, but I hope I can get at least somewhat as good (it all depends on the school’s pace in my case, though).

      Isn’t it a bit annoying to play games and such, though? I know it’s a good way to learn, but it feels like it will bother the gaming experience >_<'

  3. khorne47 says:

    I took Japanese in High School and while I never really got that far, I still notice things like sentence structure and some words that I remember. Hope you continue to enjoy it.

  4. shizuka says:

    Hello, I’m studing Japanese since three years now and finally I’m able to read my favourite long waiting manga. Well I still need a vocabulary an advanced grammar and some “tips and trick” but it’s a wonderfull experience. It’s really open your mind, at last my mind ^^, considering that my mother tongue is really different from both japanese and english^^. Anyway:
    メルークリスマス!!!

    • Marow says:

      Oh, that’s sounds really nice! Makes be a bit jealous 😛
      Must be hard to learn a such a different language. But, hey, you managed to! Congrats! 😀

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