Monday, January 17, 2011

Learning Japanese

okay, so I've actually been studying Japanese for ... a really long time by now, but I'm still not fluent. And my vocabulary and grammar are horrible; I barely know how to read or write too! I'm a huge fan of YouTube, though, and I've been watching videos by a guy called Tofugu (Koichi). His videos are basically for teaching/learning about the Japanese language and culture (in a funny and really interesting way :) ). Tofugu has this online textbook, Textfugu, that he made recently for people teaching themselves Japanese, and this past Christmas I asked my parents if they could order it for me. Unfortunately it was outside of their Christmas budget, but Tofugu put it on sale for the new years. And I got it! I'm so excited about finally learning Japanese formally, and I know that this resource is going to help me a lot. :) In the first season of his textbook, Koichi recommends setting something up to take notes on each lesson and record thoughts on what you learned, etc. Thus, I decided to start a blog. I'll probably end up using my blog for other things too eventually, but for now it's for taking notes on my language learning progress. :)


After we sign up, we can really begin season one, which starts with preparing to learn Japanese: creating a workspace, telling people what you're doing (so that you can be accountable), understanding why you do or don't want to learn Japanese, etc.

Concerning my workspace, he says to stay consistent with location and have it be somewhere that isn't cluttered. My room is usually pretty clean and I do have a desk (with a few figurines on it) so I will probably study there. Even with my online classes though, I do school where ever: living room, dinning room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom lol ANYWHERE, but I'm going to try associating my desk with studying Japanese. :)

Reasons why I want to study Japanese: (so that I can ... )
- read signs and communicate when I go to Japan
- minister to any non-Christian Japanese speaking people that I meet
- understand the lyrics to Japanese songs that I like without looking them up on google (so that I don't listen to trash :C )
- achieve my dream of being able to fully understand  the Japanese language
- etc?

Excuses I might make to not study Japanese: (I ...)
- am too busy with school, work, friends, church, etc
- don't feel like working on it right now, I would rather goof off
- don't feel like I'm making any progress or learning anything new
- am not understanding what I'm trying to learn
- etc?

The first things I posted under the do and do not lists are definitely the biggest reasons/issues. To go to Japan has always been my dream, whether it's just a visit or moving to live there. Someday I WILL go to Japan, and when I do I want to be prepared to make the trip more enjoyable :) Understanding the language is a huge step in getting ready to go there.

As I'm trying to get an appointment into the Naval Academy for engineering, I am working extremely hard. I was at the top of my class at the private school I attended for 3 years and got accepted into the National Honor Society, but I quit going to school there because the classes were too easy and I wanted an educational challenge. This year I am taking online classes through a Christian homeschooling program called The Potter's School (<-- unintentional harry potter reference lol they teach astronomy and ancient runes through their program! for real!! xD  anyways ...). Although the classes are AP level, they aren't labeled as so on the transcript, which is not provided through the program, but it's possible to test for AP qualification. All the classes are extremely difficult and provide a lot of school work, more so than what I did at the private school which was harder than the public school I went to before that. Not to mention my sister might get married soon, some family members are having health problems, my family might move to Florida in the next year or so, etc. I also have a job starting in the spring time at an ice cream stand (ish). Winter and early spring is an especially busy time of year for me too with the Relay for Life, Fine Arts (a nation-wide Christian ministry arts competition), midterm exams, etc, so starting my Japanese studying now might present some time management problems.

The reason I said "etc?" on both of those lists is that I may add more to the lists above as things present themselves. I will try to avoid using any excuses to not study Japanese as much as possible, and try to study at least a little bit every day. :) Please wish me luck!

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