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Japanese – Day 1

November 26, 2011

Well, day 1 isn’t exactly accurate – this won’t be my first day learning Japanese, but it will be my first day taking it truly, truly seriously. I’ve finally gotten to the stage where I believe I will learn Japanese, rather than just thinking how cool it would be if I could.

My first task is to clear up all of the kanji cards I have accumulated in Anki. I still have a few hundred cards due, so I won’t be doing anything else other than clearing out those cards and immersing as  much as possible.

Unfortunately, I can’t immerse 24/7. It’s part of what has prevented my from immersing (or at least, trying to) – “If I can’t do it 100%, I won’t bother. Yet.” is what I thought. But my attitude has since changed – if I can immerse for an hour, a minute, even a second, I should try to do it at least once every day. I shouldn’t be using “I can’t do this” as an excuse any more. Instead I’ll be thinking, “at least I CAN do this!” Hopefully, the change in attitude will do me a lot of good.

So, today marks Day 1 of my official efforts. Although I’m convinced I can learn Japanese now, I don’t really know if I’ll be able to love learning languages in general. I love learning Japanese for a whole host of reasons, but most of them probably don’t apply to language in general! Just Japanese. As far as I know.

My ideal immersion setup would include an iPod Touch, for the countless number of apps that you can get for iPhone/Pod/Pad. At least I have an MP3 player, though, which means I have no excuses for not  listening to Japanese as often as possible 😀

I’ve realised I really enjoy learning with another person. Not so much that I enjoy being taught, but an actual learning companion. I used to learn with a friend, who has since gotten a job that demands too much of their time, and after taking into account all of their other commitments, Japanese just couldn’t take priority. Ever since then (months ago), I’ve found it difficult to stay motivated! The banter between two people who are really enjoying an activity is something I really miss! Oh well – if I manage to succeed at self-motivation and become a successful self-learner, maybe I won’t miss that side of learning eventually.

The journey has officially begun! I’ll keep track for things here (even if no one reads this blog, I’m sure it will be useful to write about my progress). I plan to move to a more intellectual style, but I’m not sure if I can achieve that 😛 Or if I will even need it yet. But the plan is, at least, to move onto reviewing various techniques along with documenting my progress as I go.

Thanks for reading!

-Khal

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