Author: Inhae

New Anki deck, old goals

I have started a new Anki deck… and I am not using anymore the one I started on the very first day of my learning Japanese. I have realised that my Anki deck was not fitting my goals anymore. When I created my deck, I had in mind a strategy to learn vocabulary as thoroughly as possible. As a result, each note was attached to three types of cards which were supposed to reflect all the way you handle vocabulary in real life: (in Anki, a note is where you enter the information you want to learn, a card is how you want Anki to test you using this information) Either you want to use this word yourself: Show English, Answer Japanese Or you read this word: Show Japanese, Answer pronunciation and English Or you hear this word: Play audio through the plugin “Awesome TTS”, answer English. I thought that this was the best way to learn vocabulary through Anki. In any case, it is a very thorough way, and I don’t regret having used …

Japanese News: July week 2 (終)

Introduction This week’s post is very short, only two topics, and it will be the last post in the section “Japanese News”… The reason why I stop is that I think this exercise already bore its fruits. I started it to help me read the news, and it worked better than I could say: Studying articles on my blog improved my reading comprehension (when I started doing this exercise, reading a political article was really scary and I usually understood nothing unless I studied it sentence by sentence). Posting every Friday forced me to be regular and read the news, if not every day, several times a week. More than the study part, I think that the regularity the blog forced me into is what helped me the most. I learnt a lot of English words too (to be honest, the real challenge of the Friday post was often more English than Japanese! It is not easy to write about politics in English…) But now, I have reached a point where writing this post takes …

Currently reading: 「私のクラスの生徒が、一晩で24人死にました。」by 日向奈くらら

Even if I still haven’t finished the novel 「光」, I started a new book of my reading challenge: 「私のクラスの生徒が、一晩で24人死にました。」by 日向奈くらら (ひむかな くらら). It has an English title, which is “24 students in my class died overnight”. To be frank, when I returned from my haul in Kyoto and listed up all the 13 books I had bought for the year, I regretted a little having bought this one. I can’t say exactly why, but I felt that this book was maybe not for me. I have started it, and I am pleasantly surprised. To say things plainly, I am totally engrossed in the story. It is a mix of horror, detective and mystery novel told from the point of view of the professor of the class in question or sometimes, the detective in charge of the case. What interests me is that school bullying (いじめ) is at the centre of the plot, and this is a topic I am always keen on reading about. There is enough suspense to say this book is a page-turner. I …

My listening exercise for the second half of 2018

In my checkpoint about how good I was doing in 2018, I had to admit that I hadn’t work much on listening. I regularly come up with a renewed motivation to listen to more Japanese, but as long as it does not find a concrete plan and schedule, it often remains at the stage of “I would like to…” or “it would be great if…”. This is why I have designed, if I may say so, a listening exercise that I have been doing every day since last Monday and, hopefully, will be doing on a daily basis until the end of the year. My exercise is very simple, I use the audiobook and the book version of the same novel. I first listen to the audiobook and transcribe what I hear. After that, I check myself with the book version and look up words I didn’t know. Finally, I write lines of kanji that I forgot or couldn’t write. It may sound boring, but I actually enjoy doing this exercise very much. The exercise …

Japanese News: July week 1

The topics I studied this week are: The labour reform: a recap Post-Abe: a list of the 5 candidates who could succeed Abe Football: Politicians’ reactions to the last match and a Korean digression The execution of Aum Leader Matsumoto. Labour reform On Friday 29th, the Diet enacted the Labour Reform bill. Despite many criticisms, the 高プロ was not removed from the text. As it stands, the reform contains three major topics: The system “同一労働同一賃金” will ensure that regular and non-regular employees get the same salary if they do the same work. I think that nobody criticises this point. A maximum cap for extra time “残業時間の規制”. Even if the opposition welcomes this instauration, they criticise that it is only fixed at 100 hours per month, which is higher than the 過労死ライン. The so-called 高プロ or 高度プロフェッショナル制度. This is the most controversial part of the reform. According to this system, some skilled professional workers with high salary will no longer be concerned by the working-hour regulation system: 高収入の一部専門職を労働時間規制から外す. According to the opposition, the 高プロ will only increase the number …

Book review: 「虚ろな十字架」by 東野圭吾

「虚ろな十字架」is both a typical Keigo HIGASHINO and a surprising one. Typical in its setting, its characters and the way the story unfolds. From the very beginning, I felt that I was on familiar grounds, reading an author that I appreciate and whose writing style seems to be unchanging throughout the years. The novelty of this novel was in the topic it chooses to handle: the capital punishment. The whole story, though absorbing in itself, can also be read as a debate over the death penalty. In this respect, the novel has a social dimension and an interest that reaches much farther than the pleasure of reading a mystery novel. As for the story in itself, it reminded me of some other novels by Higashino that I have read. It is not a traditional detective story with an investigation made by the police. Murder is to be solved, but instead of tracking down a murderer, the reader will start a journey into the characters’ past. Also, Higashino forces his characters to face difficult moral choices, a …

Half-way through 2018! Time to check our yearly challenges.

We are halfway through 2018, it is time to check our New Year’s resolutions! How are your challenges doing? It is now the perfect time to adjust them if it didn’t work or even drop it all and make a new start with mid-year goals. As for me, I had a lot of ideas and things I wanted to do for 2018. As I passed the JLPT in December last year, I felt free from learning vocabulary and grammar and thought I could just enjoy myself, so ideas were flowing. The problem is that all these great ideas never made it to the organisational phase. I cannot even say that I have given them up, it is just that I never made concrete plan, goals and schedule for them (for example: listening to more Japanese, watching more Japanese films or drama, even cooking Japanese dishes…). I guess that the formula “I want to do more…, watch more…, read more…” is not concrete enough. I should have made a list of the 10 films I want …

Japanese News: June week 4

Politician criticises the press Let’s start this post with a shocking statement by Taro ASO, who is both Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. Seeing that the LPD had received high support among people under 30 during previous elections, he used this result to criticise the press. He said: “一番新聞を読まない世代だ。読まない人は全部自民党(の支持)だ.” To me, this is a strange way to attack the press. I guess that he wants to criticise the newspapers which, like Mainichi, make a lot of reports about political scandals and point out the problems of the government. Young people who don’t read newspapers are not “corrupted” by them, or at least, I think that this is the core of the message. But it is then easy to reply, as did a member of the communist party: “新聞を読んで真実が伝われば自民党支持にならないというのは、ある意味でその通りだ” (source) The most shocking part is that Aso says that people should not read newspapers: “新聞(の購読者増)に協力なんかしない方がいいよ。新聞販売店の人には悪いけど、つくづくそう思った.” 購読・こうどく: buying (a book or a magazine) and reading it つくづく: really, keenly, deeply, profoundly, (think) from the bottom of one’s heart IR Bill or Integrated Resorts Enabling Act …