I supposed it sounds like that might be one title, but it’s actually two.
How long does it take to learn Japanese? Well, I suppose that depends on how good you want to get, how hard you study, how often you practice…
There are two short answers. One: the rest of your life and Two: it takes how long it takes.
The real answer is, I have no idea. Don’t worry about it.
I figure that the three months I spend learning the Kanji don’t count, since that wasn’t so much learning Japanese as it was preparing to learn Japanese. So, I have been studying Japanese for a little over a year now.
Has it really been that long?!
So I’m taking stock. I am on lesson 40 out of 50 in みんなの日本語, which means that I still have about 2 and a half months before I finish the book. Then what? I have no idea. More studying of some kind or other, though.
In my Cafetalk Japanese lessons, my teacher now uses virtually no English at all. Every once in a while, if I’m just not getting something, she may toss in a word or two of English, but that’s it.
I think I am using Japanese consistently about 2/3 of the time, though, some days, I am able to use Japanese 80-90% of the time. I’m thinking that’s not bad. Somebody else might be able to use more (or less) that that, but I’m not somebody else, I’m me, and I’m not interested in comparing myself to somebody else.
I’m not working toward a deadline, I’m working toward a goal which will take as long as it takes.
I mention that because my teacher was quite delighted when she realized that Chapter 40 is about…drum roll please…counters! Yes, those delightful little words that we have to add to numbers when we count things, with different counters for different kinds of objects based on shape or size or if they’re alive or all kinds of other features.
Oh, boy. (You may put whatever sort of tone into that “oh, boy” that you deem appropriate.)
Last week was about all kinds of different ways to give reasons for things. I know about four different ways to do that, now, and they are all subtly different and (here comes the fun part) not interchangeable.
And now we get to counters!
Seriously, Japanese is fun, but some parts of it do take some work!
How do I love Japanese? Let me count the ways…except that I’m not sure what the counter is for that.