Language learning journal: April 2020

This will be a short post because I haven’t been doing much non-bookish things in Japanese during April.

Watched the series『あなたの番です』

I watched the drama 『あなたの番です』and it was such an entertaining crime series!! (official website)

There are 20 main episodes. For lack of time, it took me almost two months to watch the entire series 😅.

I loved everything in the drama, it is an engrossing murder mystery, with room for deduction and sometimes spine-chilling scenes, great characters and good acting. It also remains engaging and suspenseful throughout the 20 episodes. I highly recommend it if you like detective/mystery/crime drama. I haven’t watched many J-dramas, but this one is clearly my favourite.

I rented the drama through my Korean TV subscription, and I did not have access to Japanese subtitles. I am very glad, however, to see that I could follow the whole series without English nor Japanese subtitles, and watching all the episodes was a great listening practice. The only thing that I found difficult was to remember the names of all the characters, but thankfully, the drama often reminds you who is who by displaying the name of a character when they first appear in an episode.

Highly recommended to lovers of crime fiction!

Animal Crossing diary

Animal Crossing remains a good source of daily immersion, and I am still writing my Animal Crossing diary, though not every single time I play. Even though writing a diary using the game is much easier than writing from scratch, I did reach a point when I felt that I was not progressing at all.

In my previous post about the diary, I said that using the dialogues in the game allowed me to overcome the impression that I was always writing the same thing. It is true to some extent, but I must admit that, after some weeks, I had fallen into the trap again: always using the same structures, always using the same grammar, always using the same words…

This is why I asked myself if I could not get inspiration from outside the game. I found exactly what I was looking for: there is an Animal Crossing New Horizons diary on the site dengeki online.

The diary entries are written by different authors, they are short and easy to read, and it is also interesting to read different contributors and different writing styles.

I am using this online diary to improve my own writing and get inspiration in terms of grammatical patterns and expressions. I am also learning some new words, but using this online diary is mostly a way for me to learn how to use what I already know. There are grammar points and structures that I have studied and can understand, but that I would not have thought of using myself.

Sometimes, I just copy one or two structures but still write my own sentences, and sometimes, I copy whole sentences in my own diary, just changing one or two things or adding personal thoughts.

Left is a study notebook where I wrote down the dengeki online text to study it. There was nothing difficult this time, so I just underlined structures and words I would like to use more often. Right is my Animal Crossing diary. I wrote down many sentences without changing much in them but tried to add some personal elements too.

My writing is still at a beginner level (as I said in my previous post, I never really worked on my writing before), but I am confident that using this method will help me to progress!


This is it for the non-bookish things of April!

My monthly challenge for April was (I publish my monthly challenge on my homepage):

And I have completed it! The 5 books I finished in April are:

  • 『私をくいとめて』by Risa Wataya (綿矢りさ)
  • 『ファーストラヴ』by Rio Shimamoto (島本理生)
  • 『錦繍』by Teru Miyamoto (宮本輝)
  • 『ぼくらの七日間戦争』by Osamu Soda (宗田理)
  • 『霧のむこうのふしぎな町』by Sachiko Kashiwaba (柏葉幸子)