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There is something about being in college, that is rewarding when it comes to taking classes. Yes, you can choose to skip your classes, but if you are taking a course you enjoy, it's always a treat to go to that class and do the assignments, be on a regulated schedule, and see the results once the class is finished. This is exactly how I felt when I was in college taking Japanese. I will say that my first semester in Japanese was pretty intimidating. I had a teacher who liked to move fast, give a ton of homework, and really pushed us in the class. I was scared honestly, because I loved Japanese but the fast pace of learning wasn't my thing. Somehow though I was able to ace the first class and move on to the second. It was like this for 3 years, and then came the chance where I went to Japan to learn. That , to this day, has been the most rewarding trip of my life.

But now things are different. I had to take a year off of Japanese to finish classes within my major and graduate. In that time I figured I would remember what I learned if I looked over notes every now and then, but the mind really doesn't work that way. I ended up forgetting quite a bit and it's something I will regret.. BUT something that I won't let happen again. I finished college and asked myself, "What's Next?" I looked at all my options and figured out that I wanted to go overseas to Japan.. of course to teach English. I found this my only option since I fail at coding and computer programming (oddly enough though I can do the coding . just takes me some time) I wasn't fit to compete with the super geeks since I was only half geek :-p

But as life commonly dose, things changed once more and I was offered the job I have now. This put me farther and farther away from my dream of becoming fluent in Japanese. Why? well, mostly because I was in an unsettled state mentally and physically. My job required me to move to a city where everything is always moving, and live in an apartment with cousins who are also very fast paced. The job I took is in news so you can imagine how fast paced that is in general.. so it seemed I didn't have time for me..myself. This is the case but I'm now settling somewhat and getting a grip on my life!

I've been re inspired to take up Japanese once more.. funny thing is,since not taking classes, I've never stopped watching Japanese drama, nor have I ever stopped listening to Japanese music.. about 90% of my itunes is Japanese music! I was still holding on to the things I liked that kept me close to the Japanese language, but it really wasn't/isn't enough. found myself trying to make sentences and ..well, failing! I had forgotten so much I couldn't form the sentences I once could.. vocab was missing and kanji? Don't even get me started on that!


This inspiration has been growing and growing, and started a few months before starting this blog. I would have to say my first inspiration was YOUTUBE.. there are a number of video bloggers out there, and random people just speaking Japanese into a camera and sounding pretty good. THIS was the first step for me, My thought was that "if they can learn it and speak this well, so can I" and so I began my next step of inspiration, THE WEB- yes this was next and involved me researching every Japanese related site I could find. It ranged from sites on Kanji, grammar, places, culture, music, TV, and eventually led me to a community of Japanese bloggers that have been the most inspiring to me. I can't name all of them because there are countless people with Japanese related blogs.. most though live in Japan and are living their dream..

It was this community of bloggers and their well informed sites that led me to begin my own blog about all things Japanese. Although now my focus is more towards japan related things in NYC, it is still something I enjoy and helps me network and talk to some of those same bloggers that inspire myself. Each person I've come across through their blog, has their own inspiring story of their journey with learning Japanese, most self study such as myself. It's very nice and releaving to know others are struggling like myself, but even more inspiring to know how they get through each struggle. I CAN say one site that got me really into learning Japanese once again..and I mean for good, was the site ALL JAPANESE ALL THE TIME The author of the blog Khatzumoto describes his method of total immersion in EVERYTHING JAPAN t fully learn Japanese.. and you do this by having fun! I liked the concept and understood the real benefits, but found it hard to do EVERYTHING Japanese with work, but I'm still giving it a go .. my wa that is! The key I think is to find what works for you. This method is just the start and I have now been collecting and organizing my resources and tools to use for study. I want to start out with vocab and kanji of course and have found myself using the SRS application Anki ..mostly for Kanji. For vocab I have a dictionary that my Japanese tutor/friend gave me straight from Japan, but I also use another SRS online called This used to be called Iknow but has recently gone through a makeover.

I'm starting with these for now, but I still continue to watch Japanese TV and listen to Japanese music with passion. my main focus though is kanji and vocab. I know the sentences will come to me, and the biggest issue for me is staying on track and focused! Right now I'm still going through a huge change but I'm grateful to those that have inspired me to really crack down and learn Japanese. どもありがとうございます!

I will continue to make posts on this as I progress and find more topics to touch on but this is just my STEP 1


ALL JAPANESE ALL THE TIME - What really sparked my inspiration, read about this method, and look at his list of resources as well

- I found chris's posts informative and he has a nice set up in his "Learn Japanese" section
- ANKI app (cards are on the site for download)

Google- Just type in JAPANESE BLOGGERS you will find a treasure - Actually in addition to the google thing, you should really check out this site. It really is the largest social bookmarking site, devoted to blogs and news about Japan. you will find a lot of interesting people here

- After looking up people on
japansoc I suggest you add them on twitter and make yourself a nice community or people you follow.. I have gained a lot by reading their tweets!


Michael Flux said...

Sigh :'( So much to learn still! :'(

Jamaipanese said...

i can relate to learning Japanese being a battle.

add some Japanese drama in as study material, watching them has helped me pick up and use some words

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