Month: April 2017

A photo of JLPT N2 reading comprehension book and the first tome of One Piece

To stay motivated, don’t forget that language is only a tool.

The Learning process usually looks like: reading books (I don’t care about) in order to improve my reading skills Watch TV shows (even if I hate watching TV) in order to improve my listening skills write a diary (What happened today? Ah yes, I am writing my diary in order to improve my writing skills) in order to improve my writing skills talk to people (I have just met on a language exchange program and to whom I have really nothing to say) in order to improve my speaking skills. Well, it is not always like that, of course. I do enjoy books and some TV programs, and did meet some nice people on language exchange programs. But the point is, all of this is just the warm-up phase of your adventure with the language (I know… a very long warm-up phase but what are some years of struggle to a lifetime of using the language?). The best way to lose one’s motivation is to think that you are still not done with the warm-up …

An opened japanese book with headphones on it

Inside that audiobook

To improve one’s listening skills, there is no other way than to listen, listen, listen. And one good way to listen to something in the target language is to acquire audiobooks. Audiobooks advantages: You can purchase the book and the audiobook, which means you can improve your listening and your reading skills and easily check in the book things you didn’t understand while listening. You can choose something that appeals to you, there are all sorts of audiobooks, from fiction to self-development. Contrary to the radio, you can listen again to a certain part, or even study a certain chapter and so on. You can listen to it anywhere, while driving, commuting, doing houseworks and so on. It does cost its cost but if you buy an audiobook, the quality will be there, the text is read by a professionnal and well read. I’m sure there are a lot more advantages… Anyway, if you want to buy an audiobook, you can go to febe. Creating an account is free and you can have a preview (do …

A photo of the book cover of 星の王子さま, the Japanese version of Le Petit Prince


原生林・げんせいりん Virgin forest 猛獣・もうじゅう wild animal 大蛇・だいじゃ big snake 再現・さいげん reproduction えもの・獲物 prey まるごと・丸ごと in its entirety 冒険・ぼうけん adventure p8. …絵を描きあげた The あげる here is not «to give» (in this case, it would be 描いてあげた but «to be finished, completed» which is constucted with -masu stem. 傑作・けっさく masterpiece めざす・目指す to aim at 操縦・そうじゅう flying a plane 見わける・みわける to recognize 持ち歩く・もちあるく to carry with oneself 冴える・さえる to be clear-headed トランプ is not Trump but playing cards My notes for the second part.  


My reading notes for the third story of すーちゃん by Masuda Miri. (p19 to 24) 気合を入れる・きあいをいれる means to motivate oneself, to give it one’s all. I had learnt this expression in one of my N2 books but it is the first time I encounter it. Maichan says 行くぞ・いくぞ to herself. I thought ぞ was very rude and only used by men. Maybe it’s ok to use it when talking to yourself, especially to say 行くぞ, it certainly emphasis your resolution.     ~がらみ related to…, concerning… 懇親会・こんしんかい friendly reunion, get-together 小娘・こむすめ Young girl 岡村・おかむら Maichan’s family name is Okamura 谷田・たにた Maichan’s chef is called Tanita… I wish I were more familiar with japanese name… so frustrating to see a name and not being able to pronounce it… 蒼き・あおき name 異動・いどう means «change», but it certainly is a shortcut for 人事異動・じんじいどう which means staff reassignment and happens at the end of the fiscal year (end of march) 沢山 is たくさん… 喋る・しゃべる to talk, to chat. (I should learn the kanji even for words that are usually written using kana alone…) 塚本・つかもと Name 得する・とくする to …

Becoming a Genius overnight…

…is difficult but don’t give up and keep trying! Somedays, I wake up and I have become a Genius overnight. I know I can read anything in japanese, I just need to trust myself! So, I get prepared and head to a bookshop, eager to test my new ability. I pick a book which looks nice, not bothering about the fact that this book is far beyond my level, Genius can’t be bothered by such commun thoughts. I can’t wait to know what it feels to read fluently in japanese, so I open my book in the metro and start reading, thinking that I may be impressing people around me, hehe. That’s when my newly acquired Genius begins to fade. Finally, this book will join its friends on the books I’ll read leater bookshelf… Well, I guess that more study and reading practice will help me light that light bulb for good!


My reading notes for the second story of すーちゃん by Masuda Miri. (p12 to 18) 水菜・みずな Some kind of green vegetable, the best thing to do is to Google-image it. キッシュ haha, didn’t recognize it. Quiche, from french. いつもの usual, habitual. So, Suchan explains that a Customer in her coffee shop said «same as usual» when she asked what he wanted. Suchan’s friend Maichan says it’s 恥ずかしい… Is it 恥ずかしい because the customer expects Suchan to remember him, not aware that she meets so much other people every day? Or is it simply shameless to do that in Japan? I’ve always thought that it was somehow cool to have regular customers who won’t even bother to order because they know you know what they’ll take… 常連・じょうれん regular customer 生きがい・いきがい purpose in life So, that settles it. They think it is pitiful to want to become a regular Customer or act as one. Well, ok, now I understand! 接待・せったい can mean reception, welcome, but here I think it means business Entertainment. 独り者・ひとりもの unmarried person. 不倫・ふりん adultery. As Maichan is not married, the term refers …


My reading notes for the first story of すうちゃん by Masuda Miri. (p5 to 11) In the first story, Suchan goes to a Self Udong restaurant セルフうどん. From what I understand, it is a place where you can choose every ingredient that compose your udong, from the quantity of noodle, to toppings, condiments and seasonning. I gress that’s why Su asks for ワカメ, a seaweed, to add to her meal. こだわる to fuss over 裏表がある~うらおもてがある to be two-faced 豪快な、ごうかいな to be lively, hearty, largehearted 太っ腹な・ふとっぱらな generous, big-hearted, broad-minded 鍋をする・なべをする eating together around a hot pot? 癒される・いやされる This is an expression which means that, thanks to Something, you feel relieved from your stress, you feel at ease, at peace. You defenitely should search for 癒せる in Google images and have a look at those cute little kitty faces! Suchan bought the magazine クウネル ku:nel. I didn’t know when I first read this story, but the magazine really exists. It seems to deal with cooking, home and life style. I found this cover and I understand better what she means when she said that …

Stay motivated

Sometimes, I wake up in the morning ready to make a great day of that day. I know exactly what I want to do, how I will do it and why I do it. I don’t ask myself what’s the meaning of life, it seems my goals are worth it, I am following a path, I am powerful. Wake up and…. … Ready to go! But sometimes, I don’t want to get up at all, the goals of the previous day seem meaningless, I don’t even know why I’m doing what I am doing, at the end we are going to die anyway so what’s the point of learning anything at all. Let me stay in bed… I wish someone else could live my life instead of me. I thought a category to stay motivated would help me to stay motivated, that’s why I created it.