I went to Japan a month ago and it rekindled my spark to be fluent in Japanese. My friends in Japan were all taking the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) which rates the English level skill of the person taking it. They are taking it for work and I were asking me if I had any certification in Japanese Language.
Well… I honestly have to say that I haven’t been officially assessed yet. Aside from a few school assessments that I have gone through which both assessed me as an Intermediate Speaker (about N4-lower N3 level) I do not have the official papers to back up my Japanese Language skills. This made me think.
. I deal with Japanese people daily with the work I do. I can speak ok (in fact most Japanese are impressed by my level of understanding) , but I find that expressing ideas to them has become difficult lately with the language barriers especially once we are talking business. Well, of course we do use English and Japanese but there are things which I cannot clearly explain to them and that they cannot clearly understand. And the other way around.
This made me decide something. I have to get off my lazy ass and check one thing off my bucket list.
I HAVE TO BE FLUENT IN JAPANESE.
I HAVE TO DO IT NOW.
This decision was solidified by the fact that I am doing things at work now that require me to explain things to Japanese people in a deeper and more complicated level. I also decided that I needed to do this for myself. I needed to prove to myself that I can learn this language and improve myself
But what was stopping me?
- Lack of Motivation
- Lack of Time
- Lack of Proper Material
The top 3 roadblocks could be fixed. I had now the motivation and the drive (due to need) to relearn Japanese. I had created ways to learn that fit my schedule. I bought enough material to last me til my goal of N2 (or if I feel like going further N1).
But Kanji… how to learn it? how to overcome the overwhelming want to use GOOGLE TRANSLATE everytime i encounter it? I need to learn it but its so damn MENDOKUSAI!
I was too lazy to do the drills. I was too lazy to go through everything at once and I don’t know where to start.
But I read around and finally decided that I will do a combined study with the NIHONSHOCK.COM method and use Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji. I also found The Kanji Handbook useful in drilling me in writing kanji.
I will share How i study kanji in another post but now I want to share my learning goals to everyone to motivate me in my studies.
This is my OBJECTIVE FOR JAPANESE LEARNING THIS YEAR
To be able to pass the JLPT N4 exam in December 2016 , JLPT N3 Exam in July 2017 and N2 Exam in December 2017.
Why are you doing N4? WEll… it’s because I haven’t had a feel for the exams and I want to try it first. Although I know that this goal may change depending on the results, the fact is that I want to reach N2 Level. I want to be able to read, write, speak and listen Japanese fluently.
I have to start now. So from time to time, I will blog about my progress, share some tips, share some learning, rant and do random translations. Hope you support me!