More than 5 years ago, I started learning Japanese. At first it was exciting. It was easy memorizing all those hiragana and katakana. But I got lazy when it came to Kanji and all those conjugations. I also had less time to study because most of my time was spent at the office. There was just no time to study (and yes, I was lazy). But I still challenged myself to take the JLPT level 4. Result: FAILED. I only needed 1 more point to pass. Still not bad for a person who did not study well haha.
I gave Japanese another chance. And I was also chosen to be an AOTS trainee (because I’m awesome) so I had to refresh all of the things I have learned previously before I go to Japan for a 7-month long training (2 months of which was spent in Kansai Kenshuu Center, the rest of the months was spent at the host company).
In KKC, I was placed in an advanced class (because there were only at least 20 people in our batch composed of beginners and advanced learners from different countries). I had no choice. My sensei said I was too advanced to be placed in a beginner’s class, and there was also no class for intermediate learners. So there. My classmates can speak fluent Japanese. I can’t. Though I tried to remain quiet for 2 whole months, the curriculum will really make you speak Japanese. Whether you like it or not. But it’s a good thing, though. If I wasn’t forced to speak, I wouldn’t have learned. Listening and reading are not enough. You have to speak the language, too. (I think the most effective way for you to be fluent is to speak to a native Japanese). That experience taught me a lot. Then I went back home.
That year, I took the JLPT again. But this time, I took N4 (equivalent to Level 3), a level higher than the one I took last 2008. Result: PASSED. I even got high marks. That training paid off.
I tried to continue where I left off. Then again, I couldn’t balance work and study. And there were also a lot of things going on. I wasn’t focused. I rarely attend Japanese classes at the office. I don’t study Japanese at home. I became lazy again, just like last 2008. I registered to take JLPT N3 that year. But I did not study harder. Result: FAILED. Super.
I started giving up on Japanese. Every time I see a Japanese writing, my head hurts. But when I watch anime, I wish I could understand them even without subtitles. “What now?”, I told myself. Then I decided I have to focus on other stuff. So, goodbye Japanese language. All those that I learned in the past.. well I forgot most of them.
But an incident made me change my mind again. I was in Dubai during the holidays. While we were buying tickets at the metro, two Japanese women approached my husband (maybe he looked like a Japanese person to them) and started speaking in their native language. It seemed that they needed help. My husband started pointing at me and telling them “She! She! She!” (Well, it was obvious that the Japanese women doesn’t understand English. And I had no idea how my husband knew that they were Japanese). So, those women spoke to me. I understood what they were trying to tell me, but I couldn’t say what I wanted. Aside from the fact that I was also a tourist (so I don’t know anything about the metro), I also haven’t spoken Japanese for so long that I forgot the sentence patterns I should use. I was stunned. But I still tried. I used the easy patterns that I remembered. And I was able to help them. After that, I decided (again) that I will give Japanese language another chance.
I moved to another country. Unemployed. Have a lot of time to study now. But there are still a lot of distraction. Sometimes I study, sometimes I don’t. This sucks. So I think that I need a study buddy. But my husband is more of a gamer so he’ll never be a good study buddy.
That is why I will just blog what I have learned. Then YOU (whoever you are who is reading this), you should share your knowledge, too (if you can). Thank you! :) Ganbarimasu!