A short post introducing you to five blogs to help you learn Japanese.
On using children's books for Japanese reading practice, with a healthy dose of otaku shopping thrown in for good measure.
Upgrading my Fun Activity Wheel for all occasions.
Nothing makes it so blatantly clear just how far we have to climb than listening to that CD. It made it obvious just how much sensei and her assistants have slowed down their speech for us.
On the first pass, we caught the odd word. By the third pass, we were able to catch phrases - so long as the CD was paused after each phrase!
The question now becomes, "How to practice this at home during the week?" Here are a few ideas that sensei, my classmates and I have come up with:
- listen to Japanese radio shows
- listen to Japanese music
- watch Japanese shows - raw, or without looking at the subtitles
The trick is to listen to the track several times, to see if you can pick out a little bit more each time. むずかしい です ね？
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:
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:
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!].
They say that one of the best ways to learn a new language is to completely immerse yourself into the language and the culture. I would love be in Japan for six months to learn Japanese, but I can't. For many of us, it's impractical to drop everything and go live in another country for an extended period of time. The challenge then becomes "How can I immerse myself here?" For me, I've found some success with writing more "everyday" items in Japanese. First, I started by writing short, simple notes to family and friends who were taking Japanese classes with me. Then, I tried writing my students' names in Katakana on my schedule and planning lists. I've graduated to writing out my "To Do" List and grocery list in Japanese.
The "pièce de résistance " is my waterproof keitai. I labelled all my folders in Japanese: