Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Japanese update

I must confess-I quit my study of Japanese for a short time.  I was burnt out and felt I was getting nowhere.  Not to mention the health stuff, I was homeschooling both kids, and other external factors - I just had no interest or motivation in studying. 

However, I DID keep listening and using the little Japanese words and phrases I knew on a daily basis.  I restarted my studying last summer I believe using a different approach.  Instead of using expensive texts, grade leveled kanji and vocab lists, I started watching videos on YouTube, using Pinterest more, websites that discussed grammar, and vocab lists based on frequency of use in media.

By doing this a few things happened.
1-I was able to speak faster because I knew how words were strung together in a sentence.  Thus, I was able to start off with simple sentences then make them more complex.  Plus, I focused on topics I wanted to talk about - Movies, grocery shopping - you know, stuff important to adult parent types.

2-By focusing on words by frequency, you eliminate words you may never use.  In addition, you see the kanji and kana strung together to make words instead of just focusing on this kanji symbol means blank.  You see the kanji in a word and go, "Oh.  This word is .....".  I also found a frequency list that separated them by part of speech.  I alphabetized the list in Excel and this helped tremendously. 

3-I found an old series on YouTube called "Let's Learn Basic Japanese."  It follows the life of a foreigner named Yan in Japan.  It's a little dated BUT the lessons were very helpful and more suited to adult learners than "Erin Speaks" or NHK's "Easy Japanese" which I recommend for kids.

Another thing I did was use Jisho.org.  It's an online dictionary.  You may type in English, Japanese, or Romaji and it will pull up everything under the sun for you.  I also took repeated words from manga I read in English and looked up how to say them in Japanese.

I'm a long way from being where I want to be but this has helped me get there faster and helped me to stay motivated more as I have seen more growth.  What about you?


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