Thursday, October 13, 2011

Still kickin'!

I have a new video about Japanese honorifics. I have become aware that I ramble a bit, but I will do my best in future videos to correct that!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to Business!

After a long, and undeserved break of around 3 months, I am back to self-studying Japanese! Unfortunately, since I gave my studying the cold shoulder for the summer months, I am extremely rusty and I regret putting it off for so long.

For instance, I just spent over an hour and a half reviewing my kanji! I haven't even started vocabulary let alone review my already learned Genki chapters. Although I have started reviewing, I still have a ways to go before I catch up to where I left off.

So moral of the story here; Don't allow yourself a vacation from studying! Squeeze it in there no matter what.

Don't give me the whole, I don't have any time shpeal, because I already tried that. I mean, I have a full time job, go to school full time and am currently head of the household (temporarily, but whatever), and I used to cry about not having enough time to study Japanese. What I realized I needed to do was cut down on my laying around watching tv time (which I prefer to call my relaxation time between homework, school, and work, but most people just call it being lazy).

So, I have less time to relax. So what? I'll get over it. And trust me, if I can do it, so can you!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summertime laziness

I have gotten extremely lazy when it comes to Japanese studying. Since I left my home state for the summer, I am constantly on the go. Work, friends, family and play. It's hard to balance in studying on such a schedule.

For now I am attempting to just keep myself from losing what I already learned. It would be extremely hard for me to learn anything new now, and even harder to retain that information. The one thing I am most likely to lose is the kanji, so I try to study that once/twice a week with Anki.

I don't like that my motivation is so much lower in the summer, but the best I can do right now is save all that I've learned at this point!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

とらドラ!Toradora! - Review

Genres: comedy, romance, slice of life
Themes: love rectangle, school

Recently I have been getting into romance and slice of life animes. It's probably my staple genre combination, and I always tend to fall back on it. Of course I also enjoy action, fantasy, psychological as well. If it's got them all I'm in love.

Anyway, this anime was fantastic. I felt like the characters are extremely likable and generally original. Sure maybe their "stereotypes" are not that original, little cute girl that's got a temper or model teenager that's spoiled, however, their personalities are all unique. The main protagonist, Ryuuji is extremely likable. He's got what everyone calls a "delinquent" face, so everyone is initially scared of him, regardless the fact of how nice he really is.

The other main character, Taiga, is very cute, especially because of the conflicting elements. Tiny body, huge temper.

Oh, by the way, the title とらドラ!(Toradora!) is a made up word combining the words "Tiger" (tora) and English version of "Dragon" (dora). Did you also notice the pun? The main female name is "Taiga" and the man male name is "Ryuuji", which mean Tiger and Dragon, respectively. I thought that was a great symbolizm throughout the anime. Dragon is the only animal that can stand up to the tiger, yet at the same time, they are polar opposites.

The anime revolves around a mix-up in the beginning, where it ends up Ryuuji has to help Taiga win over her crush, who is Ryuuji's friend. At the same time, Ryuuji has a crush on Taiga's friend, who she ends up helping Ryuuji try to win over as well.

The other main characters are enjoyable parts of the show. At first they may seem superficial, but because it's a slice of life anime, they all experience psychological hardships like the rest of the world, and end up way more humanized by the end.

As a end note. This anime was FUNNY. Genuinely funny. There is not many animes that can make me laugh more than one or two episodes out loud. Maybe there are more variables behind it (like watching something alone for instance, you laugh less), however, this anime kept me laughing. Highly recommended!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ramblings: How I stop myself from over-studying

As I'm sure everyone else has their limits, I am no exception. There is only so much I can stuff into my head every day, if I want to remember those things later. For me, cramming only serves me for short term purposes. For example, when I was in high school, and genuinely had no interest in remembering the things in class (I may regret it now) I would cram before every test/exam/final for hours. I would successfully remember everything, and even ace tests left and right. However, give me that same test now and I would surely fail.

Because I was a pro at cramming for short term purposes, I am always at danger of getting back in the habit of over-studying a certain subject. The last thing I want to do is over-study Japanese, learn a lot of things, move on, and realize when it's too late that I don't remember anything I learned. This has actually happened a few times, but I quickly catch myself, back-tracking until I am sure that I fully understand everything I learned.

What is considered over-studying? Like I said earlier, everyone has their limits. For me, I can't get away with studying over two hours in one sitting. At that point I start slowly losing the stuff from the beginning of my studies, like one of those VCR tapes that erases itself as you watch it (know what I'm talking about?). I am also a big fan of taking breaks. Honestly even a half an hour can significantly improve your memorization and ability to understand what you are reading without overwhelming yourself.

If you think your in my learning range (which is far from genius quality), here is a few golden rules I always try to follow.

★ Do NOT study Japanese for more than 2 hours in one sitting
★ Do NOT study textbook (in my case, Genki Integrated) for more than 1.5 hours in one sitting
★ Do NOT study late at night, even if you feel "wide awake." You'll realize the next day you weren't
★ DO take a break if what you're learning gets jumbled and confusing in your head
★ DO study vocabulary thoroughly before partaking in a textbook chapter, otherwise the lack of knowledge will be a crutch when trying to learn grammar, etc.
★ Do NOT attempt to learn new kanji every day if you do not completely remember everything you've learned. Instead maybe spend every other day or so purely on review.
★ Do NOT go a day without learning something new. If you don't have time to sit down and study, DO try to watch at least one YouTube video that teaches you something you didn't know.

I'm sure there's more, but that is the main points I try to follow. But again, everyone is different, and I bet there are people that can go 3 or 4 hours flawlessly. I cannot, because I have what you call, a "short attention span." ^_~

And purely for records sake:
Kanji count: 194

Sunday, May 2, 2010



No, don't give me that excuse, you know you have time.

I don't care about your farm on farmville, or your fishes for that matter.

Come on, spend at least 10 minutes learning something new.

Do it.

Oh, and a video I found pretty inspiring; watch it for a boost of energy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Japan blogs, news & more

Kanji count: 126

Not as much as I could have done, but what can I say? To me that amount sounds astounding but, put in perspective, that is only 6% through the first volume of "Remembering the Kanji" ^_^;;.


So I started this blog without reading many other blogs with the same topic. I wanted a way to record my journey with the language and so on, mostly to look back on. Within a short amount of time I found a few fun sites I now frequently check up on. I enjoy helping people so it turns out I want to share whatever I am learning with anyone willing to listen! Here are other blogs and websites I love to follow and get news on Japanese news, culture and other peoples journeys with Japan :)

Japan News
★JapanSoc ~

Self-teaching help posts
★Tofugu ~
★The Daily Yo-ji ~
★Maggie Sensei ~

Personal Journeys
★1000 Things About Japan ~
★Constantine in Tokyo ~
★BRB, In Japan ~


That's it for now, but I'm sure I'll find more in the future and let you all know!