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Long boring post about my Japanese learning progress
3 Adorable | Saturday, August 11, 2012 8:57 PM

I wish I had that kind of talent in photography ;v;

     Right now, I'm probably writing this days before I publish it because I felt very eager to talk about it, haha. I said before that the Oishii! Project requires the members to study the Japanese language. Of course, we're not expected to be fluent at it in anyway, but we would like to learn something beyond knowing how to say, "Hello", "How are you", "Good morning/evening", etc. and other common phrases. In a way, it seems impossible to learn so many aspects of the language through self-study alone, but at the same time... it's not. All it really takes is time and devotion to that language you're learning, and you WILL be able to learn something new, and I think I did - at least a bit xD. There's obviously a lot of aspects that I have to cover but thankfully, Pinku Project member Ms. Berry Pinku will guide us in learning the language! ^_^

     Warning: In no way is my method of learning the "right" way to grasp a language since I'm not formally trained in a language class. I only do this because I like to take the initiative to make new methods to learn new vocabulary. Receiving guidance from Ms. Berry and a digital textbook from Ally&Sally is more than enough to help me, but I believe learning outside the norm will help me take an extra step further.

      So one of the things that I focused on for the past few weeks is the Kanji system. I learned that from 1st to 6th grade, Japanese students have to memorize 1006 characters. This is called the Kyoiku Kanji (教育漢字) list. I got really intimidated when I saw that number and thought to myself if this was even possible for a foreigner to learn this many characters. I saw the first grade system though where you learn only 80 Kanji characters, so my tension lessened. And now that I'm practicing writing, I don't think it's impossible as long as you're fully devoted to it. I memorized the numerical Kanji characters from 1-10 which took me between 5-10 minutes to memorize and make it stick in my head. I just started yesterday and so far I know 20 out of the 80 characters. Still a  long way to go ;v; Hopefully it gets faster this week. I also have to memorize their On and Kun readings, oh boy. If you'd like to know more of the Kanji system, you can just Google it xD (I'm no expert to give you the best resources lol) I'm gonna try to quiz myself later on with flash cards or something :D

      I am however, using other methods to learn Kanji. This is how I started learning Kanji the past few weeks OTZ It's kind of a lame method and it might not even work that well, but I was still able to learn a good amount from it. So what I did was that I switched all my Japanese titled songs in my iPod from Romaji to Japanese characters. That way, I'll be forced to read it in non-English version so that I get used to reading in Japanese. It took a lot of work btw, figuring out how the words are spelt in its original language lol. I also converted the artists' names to Japanese characters, except for those who have  English stage names. I warned you before, it's not an appropriate method but since I love Jpop so much, I would love to be able to read song titles!

Can you figure out a song title? The second one is a pretty common phrase you hear in anime/manga lol. I memorize the 2 top song titles and recognize only 4 Kanji characters from the rest of the titles TTvTT

     Now that I converted the language, my plan is to write all these titles down by hand and practice each Kanji character that appear in those titles. I have approximately 160 Japanese titled songs (and it might increase because I'd be adding more songs over time) and write now I've only memorized writing 17 of them within these 2 weeks xDDD; Again, I hope I get faster later on. The Kanji characters I'm learning through this method are more complex than the basic ones I'm learning in the Kyoiku Kanji 1st Grade system. But luckily I absorbed them well enough, which is good because I like learning fast. And I'm not just learning a single Kanji character word but compound words as well, so I really get to see how each character is used in context. It's very interesting and I've at learned something from it, even if I end up learning the most random words like "Magical Girl" or "One way traffic" (well, this one's a bit useful lol) xDDD It also helped me differentiate on whether to use their On and Kun readings. Plus, I recognized how some Kanji characters are spelled exactly like Katakana characters such as "Ta" ("タ" ) and "Ro" ("ロ"). There are probably more of them so I'll look them up xD Maybe you guys knew that already but I didn't OTZ So good thing I figured it out now ;u;

     Here are all the titles I memorized during the past 2 weeks. Sorry my handwriting looks crappy ;v; 17 titles done, 143 to go XDDD   I don't know the proper way of writing these characters but if I find a resource that helps me write Kanjis properly, I'll definitely use it! ;A;b

I realized I spelled "uta" wrong '__'; What was I thinking
Some don't have the full titles because the rest were in really long Katakana, so I didn't bother writing them =v=; *shot*
     And here's how I practice. I actually have two notebooks: one for taking notes on grammar and vocabulary, and one for practicing writing.

If you click for a closeup, you can see that I  use weird mnemonics to help me memorize the pattern of the character xD;  For the character where I wrote "connector" and "fillers", I now think of it as a flat "Kokoro" (which means "heart") because it's spelt like this : "心"

I put an "omg" in the right page because that character was difficult to write at first =v=;

    Lol I do a lot of repetition to really memorize the characters. There may be a short cut to memorize Kanji characters, but I wouldn't know what that shortcut is so I use this technique D:

     This is only the beginning and so, I'm looking forward to learning more topics ^_^ Ms. Berry Pinku has given us Japanese language assignments and so far, pronunciation wise, I have to improve because I'm not naturally clear at talking in person D: So I will do my best at that part!

     So anyway, this is the end of my post. Please don't think I'm learning Japanese just because it's my assignment or because of shallow reasons such as to read raw manga or anime or whatever ;__; I fell in love with the language, plain and simple as that; just as much as I enjoyed learning French and German. If you have any tips about learning the language, definitely share it with me! I'd love to hear opinions from other people ^_^

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