Author: Inhae

JLPT Journal: Grammar done, starting drills!

I can’t believe that the test of July is in a little more than one month. My real goal is to pass in December, and I am taking the test of July as an exercise. Nonetheless, I cannot help but feeling excited (stressed) for July, and I am focusing on making vocabulary and grammar drills. So-matome Grammar: DONE! I have finally finished the So-matome textbook for grammar. I had planned to finish it in May, so I am very glad to say that everything went according to plan. I am aware that the So-matome textbook is not enough, this is why I will also study with a Korean textbook: This Korean textbook is very thorough. It has a lot of example sentences, and it has a strategical approach, showing you the grammar in the context of JLPT questions: I still don’t know if I will buy the Shin Kanzen for grammar or not… I remember that the Shin Kanzen was a little overwhelming for me when I took N2. More than once, I felt discouraged when …

Book review: 『6月31日の同窓会』by Yukiko MARI

Presentation Title: 『6月31日の同窓会』Author: Yukiko MARI (真梨幸子)Published by 実業之日本社 Yukiko MARI is a prolific author of mystery novels, but this one is the first I read. Setting The main topic of the book is that former students of the same school receive an invitation for the “6月31日の同窓会” and die soon after. Review: Liked it, but expected more… First of all, the setting was very appealing to me: when it comes to genre fiction, I like mysteries and murders, but most of all, I like mysterious murders. This book seemed to be exactly that: June, 31st?? People receive an invitation and die mysteriously soon after that?? On one hand, I was happy with this book, I read it relatively quickly, it has a good mystery, and I also liked how many things are connected with the past, and how complex the relationship between students of the same class can be. The part “secrets of the past/complex human relationship” was good and this is what I really enjoyed in the book. On the other hand, I was a little …

These days…

You know these days when you have a lot of time (the whole day or the whole afternoon, or several hours) to study your language but end up doing nothing? There are so many things that you want to do (or need to do) that you don’t know where to start. If you decide to do something first, you end up thinking that this other thing is more important and switch to it. Then you realise that you should definitely do something else and switch again. There are also the things you don’t want to do and avoid doing by spending your time in other more pleasant but not so useful activities. And of course, instead of actually doing things, you search the internet for tips on how to do them. In the end, you feel frustrated because you did spend the whole day “studying” your language, but you didn’t do anything really. I guess this happens to all of us. It happens to me all the time! But my life does not depend on my …

Book Review: 『おはなし・ねこあつめ』by Haruka SHIOTSUKI

Presentation Title: 『おはなし・ねこあつめ』Author: Haruka SHIOTSUKI (汐月遥)Published by 集英社みらい文庫 This book of 196 pages contains 8 short stories featuring the cats and universe of the mobile game Neko Atsume by Hit-Point. The book has full furigana and is written for children (小学中級から). Every other spread contains some coloured, super cute illustrations. The stories can be read independently from one another and it is not necessary to play the game to understand them. Setting The game Neko Atsume is a mobile game on iOS and Android where the player can put cat food and cat toys in his house and yard and wait for cats to come and play around. The idea is that you don’t own the cats and don’t have control over who comes or when, they are free to come and go as they please. You can take pictures of them and collect them in an album. The stories in 『おはなし・ねこあつめ』features some of the numerous cats who appear in the game, keeping their name and personality. They play in the yard, meet friends or …

JLPT N1: Practice test!

I took my second practice test for N1 this weekend! This time, I bought a Korean collection of 5 practice tests. The book is called JLPT 일본어 능력시험 실전모의고사 and is published by 동양북스. Choosing practice tests I was very tempted to buy the collection of practice tests published by So-matome. I know that there are two volumes, each containing two tests. I saw on Amazon a comment in English saying that this book was too easy. From what I read from other test takers and Japanese learners, the actual test tends to be harder than the practice questions found on the official JLPT website. It looks like the test has become harder over the years (especially the listening section) so a book published in 2010 might be too easy. As a consequence, I decided to ignore the So-matome practice book and bought this Korean book instead. It was published in 2018 and contains new tests designed by the authors (not former real JLPT tests) so I hoped that they would be difficult enough. My …

Blog anniversary and new schedule

I am a few days late, but my blog turned two years old! I take the opportunity to announce a change in my blog schedule. I find it very hard to post twice a week as I had planned to in January 😔. Obviously, the preparation for the JLPT is taking too much of my time. I also want to change a little the direction of my blog. As it is now, my blog is very personal, I use it mainly to record my own progress, write a language journal and stay motivated. While I will continue to write this kind of posts, I will certainly write them less often. I found that it was easier to talk about what I was doing to learn Japanese last year because I had time to explore several methods and experience new things. This year, I don’t really have much to say other than “I finished the 20th lesson of my JLPT grammar textbook”, haha. What I really want to do now is to write posts that could …