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Levelling Up My Japanese

When I first sang a Japanese song at karaoke, I read off a sheet that I printed with the lyrics in Romaji. It was truly a magical moment last year, when I cracked open my Inuyasha music book and could actually read the lyrics to one of my fave songs: I did the happy dance when I realized that I could read the Japanese characters to one of my favourite songs in real time (that is, in time to the music). Photo by R-M Arca.

What a difference a year makes! Now that I'm in Level 2, I have truly levelled up. These are the chords and lyrics to a song that I will be performing in the near future:

This year's challenge: Can I read the kana fast enough to sing the lyrics AND play the music in tempo? Photo by R-M Arca.

Now I could bring the Romaji and keep it close by. However, that defeats the purpose of being able to perform music in Japanese. Go big or go home.

The next challenge of course will be comprehension [Must work on vocabulary!].

In Search of Japanese Sesame Street

As a musician, it's only natural that that I'd gravitate towards jingles and songs to help me study Japanese. This had me wondering, "Is there something like Sesame Street in Japanese?" I didn't get far in my search. Once I found GenkiJapan.net last year, I called off my search. These earworms truly stick with you.I'm at the point that I launch into singing "10 Little Samurai" when trying to remember the counters for people and sound like an anime character when rattling off the colours in Japanese.

But don't take my word for it. Check out these free video study aids for yourself:

"10 Little Samurai"

"Colors" ("Colours")

There's plenty more video tutorials on Genki Japan.