Yes, I am still studying Japanese, but I have to admit that I took a sort of a break. Now, with all my stress on consistency and studying every day how could I take a break?! I didn’t take a break, I took a sort of break, which means that, for the last few days, I haven’t been adding new vocabulary. I have been reviewing the Kanji and reviewing vocabulary, but I hit a whole spate of words that just would not stick in my head no matter what I did, so I simply reviewed and reviewed and reviewed without adding anything new to my plate, and now they are finally starting to stick.
Consistency, yes, but not a foolish consistency. What I mean is, you do need to keep at your studies and study every day but don’t keep doing the same old thing over and over again if it isn’t working for you. Be prepared to adapt your study techniques as you go.
I have found someone that I will be able to speak some Japanese with! The search has paid off. It turns out that there is a guy who works where I do who knows Japanese pretty well. He is self-taught, but has been to Japan and gotten by, and he is willing to have some chats with me! Cool, huh? Yes, but also absolutely terrifying.
Also by the way, Cafetalk is looking for student monitors – someone to take 5 free (my favorite word) Japanese lessons and then write about them. I think I can do that, so I have applied for one of the 30 available slots. Wish me luck.
And now, ladies and gentlemen (you have to admire that kind of optimism, assuming not only “a reader” but multiple readers), here is my attempt at putting some of the Japanese I have been learning to use.
You want to talk about terrifying? I am attempting to write in Japanese and putting my first attempts out on the internet, a place known for gently correcting other people’s mistakes with civility and kindness, right?
Anyway, excuse the baby talk that is to come, since my sentences are bound to be simplistic, awkward, and probably wrong. Cheers.
漢字読みたいです. 日本に行きたいですけど旅行安いではありません. 安いの反対は何ですか。
Okay, so I’ve separated sentences with spaces and also stuck periods on the end of them, but, still, here we go.
毎日日本語は勉強します。 I study Japanese every day. See, now I can nag about consistency in more than one language!
日本語は難しくて楽しいです。 The Japanese language is difficult and fun. I intend to write a post on how to connect i-adjectives (いー形容詞) one day just to make sure that I have it in my head – 難しい is difficult, 楽しい is fun, but to say difficult and fun you have to change the い on the first adjective to くて. I need to practice that.)
よつばと！読みたいです。 I want to read Yotsubato! (読む is I read but 読みたい is I want to read. I think!)
漢字読みたいです. I want to read Kanji. Okay, so I am getting there with that one. I am not into learning to write the Kanji at this time. We can discuss whether that’s a good idea or not, but I want to devote my energy to vocabulary, and the computer types the Kanji just fine.
日本に行きたいですけど旅行安いではありません. I want to go to Japan but traveling is not cheap. (Okay, so here I tried to get fancy and make a longer sentence. Also, although I know the word for inexpensive (安い) I had a brain spasm and couldn’t remember the word for expensive, so I went round about and said “not cheap” instead. That’s the sort of thing you have to do when you’re just learning. I am certainly not vouching for the correctness of this sentence!
安いの反対は何ですか。 What is the opposite of “cheap”? This is an incredibly useful construction to know! When I was learning Spanish, I made tremendous use of this phrase. Okay, not this phrase. The one I actually used was Que es el opuesto de… but you get the idea.
There will be times when you need a word, and you don’t want to switch to English and ask, “How do you say…” (and you can’t remember how you say “how do you say” in Japanese which I should know but can’t quite bring to mind at this moment and you know the opposite of the word you want…you can use this sentence.
Okay, granted, when you write it all out like that it sounds like you’ll never need it, but trust me on this. It’s a useful phrase.
So, there we go. I’m tired now.