I feel that this is the most important part of language learning, outside of actually studying, I need my goals for Japanese clearly defined so I know what I’m working towards, so let’s go through some of this stuff.
Firstly, why Japanese?
- So I can enjoy Japanese media without subtitles/ translations
- Communicate with Japanese people! (in Japanese of course)
- A working holiday in Japan after I graduate is something I’ve always been interested in, and having taken the JLPT and being able to speak Japanese would be a major asset, and could open doors to working in my field in Japan
- I like politics, so much so that it’s my minor, and I’ve considered doing an independent study course on Japanese politics (Whether it’s about domestic politics or Japan foreign relations I’ve yet to decided). Japanese politics being Japanese, Japanese would be a useful asset in this case as well!
The big two for me are being able to enjoy Japanese media and communicate with people in Japanese, and do kinda of intertwine with the other two reasons why I would like to learn Japanese.
- Being able to understand Japanese media like Anime and Dramas, being able to understand everything being spoken that’s everyday language would be the aim here, and not yet worrying about the more specialized knowledge of medical terms or what have you.
- Being able to speak with a native speaker about things I would talk about in English. Stuff about programming, video games, politics, and all that other good stuff.
- Being able to read Manga in Japanese is another goal, similar to the visual media, being able to understand almost everything would be my goal.
- News and other types of media that are more informative (the newspaper, podcasts etc) as its own goal, since they are much more informational and much less day-to-day speech.
- I would like to pass the JLPT at a N2-N3 level.
- More specialized vocab for Politics and Computer Science & being able to function at a professional level is a long-term goal for me.
“That’s all” I’ve got right now, we’ll see if the goals change over time, next is how long I have and what my daily schedule will look like.
Where I live, people write the JLPT in December, and registration opens on the 1st of September, so after some thought I decided that will be my ‘due date’ for Japanese, which means an intermediate level of Japanese by that time. I feel that 6 months is reasonable, and most of these months are during my summer break, so I will have lots of time to study.
The stuff I do daily will be:
- 5 new kanji + review old (from Remembering the Kanji)
- Memrise review (Kana and some words)
- 1 Grammar Video
- Japanese music/podcast/video, 2 hours of passive listening
I’m considering doing a course on Memrise that teaches you the 1000 most common Japanese words, so I have something to push-off of and can start reading and learning vocab from native material faster.
Of course, these numbers are daily minimums and I will do more if I’m feeling it or have the time. Just need the grammar and vocab so I can start enjoying myself in the language and hopefully it will snowball from there.
Obviously I’ll also be watching a lot Japanese media as well, but that isn’t an everyday thing and I prefer to study in quiet then with background noise. My current goal is to learn enough so I can start reading something! Reading something is better than reading nothing.
So that about wraps this up, anyone have any Japanese media recommendations? Especially stuff that would be easy but still enjoyable for someone who doesn’t know a lot! Thanks guys!