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Haven’t posted about my progress in learning Japanese in a while (apparently for more than a year..), figured I’d do so since that’s the main point of this blog, not just SB69 tutorials..!

It’s been about two years since I started learning Japanese. I’ve been really bad sticking to Anki flashcards lately, or doing any kind of studying-for-the-sake-of-studying. Most of what I do these days is read raw manga, watch anime without subtitles, play video games in Japanese (whether it’s just little app games or actual console/portable games), read a lot of Japanese tweets, fanfics, etc.

A few of the games I can think off the top of my head that I played entirely in Japanese were Persona Q, Drag-on Dragoon 3, and Bravely Second. Persona Q was absolutely wonderful and I ended up spending about 150 hours on it, lots of fun, enjoyed every moment of it. I loved DOD3 very much.. All the characters were so very suited for my interests (a game with badass ladies, dragons, and dudes based on sexual kinks? hell fucking yeah), gorgeous music as always with the DOD series, and it was very fun to play despite some frustrating moments and bad camera angles.

Bravely Second…was honestly barely enjoyable and full of cringeworthy moments. The battle system is great, I enjoy the graphics and character design, the music wasn’t that bad either (though I do prefer Bravely Default’s soundtrack), but what really killed it was the writing. I could go on for ages about how /bad/ it was, but considering it’s not out here yet I’ll try to keep my mouth shut. All of the romance and all of the “emotional” scenes were really forced, there was no meaningful character development at all, and the last 10-15 minutes of the game really put the nail in the coffin. My painfully honest opinion is that this game is not worth playing. I’m having a lot more fun going back to Bravely Default, though I do miss some of B2nd’s improvements to the combat system.

My reading comprehension has improved quite a bit since last time I posted, though I often still need a dictionary on-hand to translate some uncommon words. My listening comprehension is okay in regards to watching anime/drama or listening to radio shows, but I don’t get the whole picture sometimes. My listening comprehension in person is quite bad and I have a very hard time following along to actual conversations. But worst of all is my speaking ability.. I try to go to weekly/monthly Japanese study groups in my area, but a couple hours a week can only help so much. It’s pretty slow-going, and my lack of improvement is a bit discouraging. Since the entirety of my studying and interests deal with either reading or listening (anime/manga/games) and absolutely 0% speaking, it’s definitely my worst area.

I try to tweet in Japanese occasionally, but even then, it still takes me a while to think of what to say and how to say it right (or at least in a way that gets my point across), and it’s always very light conversation. Doesn’t often go much further than “I LIKE THING.” “THING IS COOL.” “HOW SAY THING IN JAPANESE.” so it’s a little embarrassing trying to converse with people when I can’t even really talk at a child’s level. I read quite a lot, so I can understand what my conversation partner says pretty quickly/easily at this point, but my responses are still very slow and low-level.

I wanted to get to a point where I could write entire journal entries in Japanese, but that goal still seems rather far away. Maybe it would be better for me to just go ahead and try, broken as it may be, rather than sticking strictly to twitter where all I end up saying is very simple, individual sentences that are barely connected if at all.

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