ビギナー

So I had my verbal placement test. It took two teachers to give their fair opinion that I belonged in the next level of the beginner class. I put in an intermediate writing test two weeks before, which I didn’t notice at the time. I just picked one that didn’t look too easy. So they were gentle in telling me that I wasn’t intermediate level material, but I sure did fit in as a next level beginner. Four years, and still a beginner. But isn’t that true of many of life’s endeavours? No? Frankly, and don’t tell them this, but frankly, after my verbal skills test, I was expecting to… Read More

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Silence is Foo

Life Goes On

So, since late January. I’ve had not only the pandemic to deal with, but other personal issues to deal with. I am one of the lucky ones who experienced pandemic plus. But now my energy is back to normal levels, and with a brand new psychological mindset to boot! Watch out, Japan! Seriously, though, having no energy to do anything extra leaves you time to reflect on how much time one wastes when you have lots of energy and sit around, not doing anything extra. This is overused, but 頑張りましょうか?は!

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Virtual Japan Tours

So the Internet is full of big rabbit holes to fall down. Some pleasant, some not so pleasant. And then. others…a virtual Japan tour, a new dialect, and…well… As we all know (right?), Japan doesn’t have a single language. It has a bunch of regional dialects, with foreign students mostly learning 関東弁, the language of the capital, Tokyo. I think the dialects are interesting, and I really find it interesting that 関西弁 is the dialect of comedians. And then, we come to Tajimi in Gifu prefecture, home to a virtual tour of Japan. And you book your virtual tour reservations courtesy of Hans, who is the white guy in the… Read More

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The Paradox of Busuu

I registered Busuu for Japanese. That is, I paid money for it. It has a big claim in that it’s going to get you, not fluent in Japanese, but to a point where you can survive and speak some basic sentences if you are suddenly strapped into a parachute and dropped into Tokyo. And how does it do this? First of all, though, let me say that some languages in Busuu have placement tests. So if you have some experience already, it tests you, and then starts off at a higher level. Japanese doesn’t have this feature, so everyone starts off at lesson 1. I’m not too proud to admit… Read More

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Talking to Yourself (PG Rated)

I do love dancing to Caribbean music. There is one song that contains the lyrics If you can’t get a woman, take a manIt’s the only solutionTake a man Nothing wrong with that, but not my personal preference. But for Japanese studying, the lyrics would be If you can’t get a language partner, talk to yourselfIt’s the only solutionTalk to yourself Again, not my personal preference, but this time I am all for it. You can do language shadowing, or you can follow along with LingoDeer stories, but getting language practice this way is, well…better than nothing.

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