This month is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and seeing as I enjoy writing stories I figured I would
participate again this year. However, I have been swamped with so much to do that I hadn’t had too much time to dedicate to writing my story for this year. It is in English again although I think I will try to write a novel in one of my target languages in a latter year. I think it would be a great challenge to do but it would be quite difficult in a target
language you’re not fluent in yet. What do you think? It’s a crazy idea but I’m sure if you could find a patient native speaker to correct your novel, I’m sure it could be done.
However, I wouldn’t do this until I’ve reached at least a C1 or C2 level in my target languages. Which I am in Japanese but due to my lack of Kanji knowledge, I still have a ways to do when it comes recognising and reading certain Kanjis.
Last week I introduced my new series: “Koko Reads” which I will give my the opportunity to get my reading practice in while improving my vocabulary in Japanese. To be honest, I haven’t gotten a chance to read one of my books in Japanese. The only thing I read was the “Clean Your Room Harvey Moon” lesson on LingQ and reviewing flashcards on Memrise (such as the one to your right!)
Despite this I was at least able to watch quite a bit of engaging content in Japanese to keep myself motivated in the meantime. Such as watching animé episodes in Japanese without any subtitles whatsoever on YouTube. I’m surprised how much I can understand without relying on my native languages to help me understand the context. In addition to awesome Japanese speaking YouTubers like PDR株式会社、バイリンガール英会話、朝の外人, Hikosaemon, Kemushichan and ComicalReina.
I was absolutely ecstatic to not only finally complete the italki October Language Challenge early but take two additional lessons on top of that. These challenges are incredibly motivating for the serious language learner. Regardless of your goals, you will be able to make so much progress, it’s astounding! I would highly recommend doing one of these challenges, especially if you’re in dire need of speaking practice.
I was able to not only get speaking practice but also reading practice from a tutor who helped me read through a Hans Christian Andersen novel in Japanese. It was admittedly hard to follow but it was enjoyable and she was able to help explain the meanings of words and phrases in Japanese with an occasional translation (for those difficult to explain words).
At this point I would say my spoken Japanese is at a level where I can have a relatively engaging conversation with native speakers. However, I still have a ways to go before I can express myself in a way where I could explain my opinions in great deal (ie: discussing politics). Not to mention that I still struggle with the levels of politeness. Keigo and Kenjougo in particular because it’s really only used in the workplace (or speaking with the Emperor of Japan, which I doubt I’ll get the opportunity to do, but knows!)
I can also understand a good portion of Let’s Play(実況プレイ) commentary in Japanese and games I gameboy/DS emulated games on my phone. Which I really haven’t done recently at all.
How’s everyone’s language progress going? Are you still staying motivated? Are you learning a new language? If so, which language? I’d love hear from you!