First off, I can read a lot of Japanese sentences now. Sometimes I might say, “Sore Kara, PEGASUSni ikimashita.” or “FINGER SOIL FIT ….” etc etc.
Hey, it’s still reading ne?
I’m getting antsy to start learning sentences because here’s the kicker folks, this language study this is NOT easy. It takes time, loads of effort and i keep understanding why on the AJATT website there is so much stuff about motivation and learning systems.
See, I work in an office with Japanese people, I hear Japanese all day, I study it a lot and when I get the chance I speak/teach in Japanese. My mind has started buzzing lately–I think its the knowledge that I am actually starting to understand Japanese on a higher level that is popping up in my consciousness, but what I’m realizing is that if i:
a) increase my input, as the website recommends, through exposure I can learn MUCH faster
b)convert most of my listening material to Japanese this will assist in identifying sentence pattners and grammatical normalities and abnormalities
However, this at present is very hard. One, I spend too much time alone. Filling my head with straight Japanese can just make me feel loopy. Two, I’m a designer, writer and filmmaker. Squeezing this “mentally beastly” study program method within the thin confines of what I call free time is rarely as fun as I’d like it to be. Gents, I recommend you snatch up a Japanese lady quick to make the process more… palatable ;p
However, I am still doing it. This blog is about my AJATT experience, but I am technically not 100% AJATT… I mean I still don’t have much Japanese music or listen to Japanese podcasts, I bought at Japanese DVD or two but haven’t watched them yet, and the only things I do that AJATT recommends are SRSing the Kanji and studying RTK1. But, at least its something.
If I wasn’t so mentally occupied with other things, I already know that the system would help me to explode understanding patterns, words and other things throug high exposure. As I look forward to my first 1,000 Kanji, I’m starting to really see a future of reading/writing proper Japanese. A few months ago this felt like an impossible task, but now it feels closer.
I’m still not sure of the best way to “mine sentences” or how “listen to Japanese all the time” without going Bananas, but I can see the system has some merit. I’ve been tweaking things a bit with my own little things… but I try and write a few sentences in Japanese and do hiragana work with JPLT study materials. I also read some grammar books on occassion, though the excercise feels pointless BECAUSE… reading and not speaking or having a system to remember them (SRSing) makes that nature of study a little weird. So I like the AJATT system’s idea of multiple forms of information, just like Rosetta Stone and all the other hybridized learning systems.
I’m not at the point where I can accurately translate a lot of things yet, I’ll have to really master my “sore, kore, dore, are,sonna,donna, whatchimacallit”, but I was definitely reading some sentences today on how a little girl wanted to send a teddy bear around the world because her dead father couldn’t go. So I see definite progress. Hitting 700 now makes me realize that when I know all 2,045 and I start studying sentences, when I hit that lovely first 500 then 1000 sentences I am on my way to a true Japanese experience. It feels far away, but with each milestone I hit it gets closer. Well, back to my RTK1 and reading Murakami shorts at work.