Turning Japanese

It’s been a long summer. If you didn’t know already, I’ve been taking a Japanese class since 2008, and have been having weekly lessons during school term-time. There was a year-long hiatus in 2009/10 when there weren’t enough people to run the course, but otherwise I’ve been diligently attending.

japanese textWithout really realising, I’ve probably spend a few thousand pounds on lessons over the years, but it’s been worth every penny. My teacher is amazing; always full of enthusiasm and patience, and generally going above and beyond her role as an evening class teacher. The class has always been a strong group too, including one of my best friends who I won’t talk about because he sometimes reads this and I don’t want to embarrass him.

Getting tied to the school term means that there’s always a long summer with no lessons. It sort of suits me, as summer is always horribly busy at work, and it’s just one less thing to have to think about, but I’m really missing it. It’s due to start again next month, but I think the writing is on the wall for the group, and the difference between the stronger and weaker members has got to the point where about half the group want to repeat the last year (and in doing so, saving the class below who have similar struggles with numbers that we do).

That means that – barring a sudden influx of people starting the Advanced course – the course won’t end up running. Fortunately the teacher has offered private group lessons, so I hope to continue learning with her at least.

It's a STUDY AID

It’s a STUDY AID

I’m just quite lazy when I don’t have the pressure of weekly homework, and the long summers don’t help.

I’ve been keeping up my practice though, writing blog posts on occasionally buggy Lang-8.com (my page). My confidence isn’t great on these, so I’m usually writing quite pedestrian diary entries and talking about the weather a lot. But it’s still practice. You write things in the language you’re learning, and native speakers come and suggest corrections. Even better, you can correct people writing in your native language too – you can be pedantic and people won’t hate you for it, bliss!

I’ve just got into using JapaneseClass.jp (my page) for daily drills in vocab and kanji. At the moment I’m using it more as a revision aid, as I haven’t really gotten into using it to learn new things yet. But it seems pretty good, and the constant updates of stats, study lists and rankings is quite addictive.

Although I haven’t used it much yet, Kanjidamage seems like a promising (and funny) way of learning kanji, I need to go through that site soon. Learning vocab is so much easier though, especially nouns.

I guess I should wade through some of the textbooks I have too. I’m sure I’ve outgrown some of them without using them, if they are for total beginners, but it makes me feel good to have textbooks, I don’t know why.

I’m not sure why I’m telling you all this, I think I just didn’t know what to write about tonight, and Japanese is a big thing in my life, so there you go. Anyone got any good suggestions for learning methods online? Anything to stop me being shit at (or at least intimidated by) kanji would be super.

Right, I’m so tired, I might go to bed. Sayonara ^_^

If you’re bored of all this, MKS or Mutya Keisha Siobhan (because that’s so snappy) FINALLY released their “Flatline” video earlier this week, so here it is. This project really isn’t gathering much momentum is it? Video is alright, even if it absolutely doesn’t fit the tone of the song, and the shaky camerawork is annoying as fuck.

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