Yes, my blog posts will all start sounding like Episodes of the “Big Bang Theory”, I think that is just more fun. So this is a sort of general announcement about the blog, which I am praying I can stick to.
I wanted this blog to be an ultra-specific project tracking my observations about Japanese, but it ended up being a blog more about my journey through learning passively, and also through developing strong rooted beliefs in the use of imaginative memory, passive structures and gaining understanding through a sort of light work flow. That said, my new observations are starting to stack up, and I have made the decision to attend a language school to:
1) Force myself to gain a daily progression of grammatical improvement
2) Create heavy context for learning to gain the skills I need to communicate with the language in pursuit of my higher goals in design and media.
That said, there is a reason I made a post about “releasing guilt” in the learning process because I was having a very hard time living and surviving in Japan and I did not feel very gung-ho about studying the language when I was under such significant stress. You can read through my blogs and you will definitely see what I am talking about.
Now that I have decided to take a more “structured” approach to language learning that I will mix in with self-study, I will be making more specific videos and blog posts about the
patterns I see, and give as detailed as possible information on the process, and the systems I have used.
I do not really want to “teach” Japanese at all, but I like explaining my observations and I feel this might help people, especially those who are just starting out. So I will talk about:
Passive learning observations
Kanji transition implementation systems
Structured media to collect for better immersion
trial and error analysis with reading
My manga experiences (as I go through manga and just post on what I learn)
Japanese Ads ( I will pick advertisments and see if I can work on the translations)
Different core systems (Pimsleur, Podcasts, Rosetta, etc).
I believe this will allow for a better contribution to the learning community at large and hopefully allow me to feel better about what I am doing. Like I said, I have not been “hardcore studying”, or doing lots of Anki reps, or even listening, or speaking much Japanese, yet I have been learning new things through passive exposure at a decent rate, which lets me know that once I turn on the engines, I will blast out of the tracks.
However I know without a doubt that if I was doing
Significant numbers of Anki reps
Exclusively listening to only Japanese content
Using Active immersion to my advantage
Speaking regularly with Japanese speakers
I would be highly proficient now. This observation like I said does not bother me anymore, the fact that I have kept going and now desire to go to language school only reinforces that I have this goal and I want to hit it. The obvious advantage I have presently is that I live in Japan, and I see Kanji and hear Japanese almost daily. I presently work in a Junior high school where I am exposed to hours of native-level Japanese. I work on a Japanese computer, have my Iphone and laptop set to Japanese and live in a building where I occasionally see and speak to Japanese speakers (though not very often, I need to change that). Everything is in Japanese, the vending machine, train station ticket booths, ATMs, and so on. I occasionally play some video games in Japanese (Street Fighter) and sometimes watch movies in Japanese, but lately not so often.
This is my significant advantage over anyone else who was as “lazy” as I was in learning, who would still make the progress I have. So I am quite curious to see how a little structure will adjust everything I am trying to do. If these observations can help people see someone as they go through it, then I believe it is something worth doing.