Author: Inhae

My new study method: the One-week challenge/immersion!

I think I got it at last! The method that suits me best to learn a language. Learning Japanese on my own has been a mess of trials and errors, of abandoned study plans and seemingly revolutionary but unrealistic study methods. But somehow, it has been fun trying different things, and designing study plans is definitely one of the reasons why I love learning things on my own. But at last, I think that I have found a method that I can stick to, and that will help me improve my Japanese while being entertaining enough to not feel like hardcore study. One-week challenge/immersion study method My problem is that I regularly come up with things that I want to do on a daily basis, and of course, if these daily tasks pile up, it becomes impossible to do them all every day, and I end up dropping some of them. As a result, I am always a little anxious because I feel that I am not doing what I should be doing. If I …

Japanese Immersion: September week 2

どうぶつの森! I woke up this morning to hear the good news: Animal Crossing is coming for the Switch! To me, Animal Crossing is closely linked to learning Japanese: it is a game I play in Japanese, and it created an unconscious association between “Japanese” and “a fictional world I love, where the smallest acts of kindness matter and make you smile, your efforts always rewarded, where everybody is nice and where animals talk”. I started playing Animal Crossing because it was a refuge against the real world where your efforts are not always appreciated, people are not always nice and animals don’t talk. What is funny is that I watched Animal Crossing New Leaf videos in Japanese this week. I like the channel of a YouTuber called くるみ. I like how she creates stories (she’s dating the cat ジンペイ) inside the Animal Crossing world and makes a game released 6 years before feel fresh and new. LDP election But of course, my Japanese immersion of this week is mainly due to reading the news. I …

Currently Reading: 『流星の絆』by 東野圭吾

To me, the best way to start reading again after a long period of trials and errors is to start a novel by Keigo HIGASHINO. The magic worked this time too, with the novel 『流星の絆』(りゅうせい の きずな). It is a very long novel (617 pages), but I am confident that if you like Higashino’s style, you will like everything, from the shortest short stories to the longest novels. I felt committed to the story right from the beginning. I don’t know why I sometimes stay indifferent to what happens to the characters and sometimes feel immediately involved in their story. The author’s style maybe… Anyway, the beginning of the novel is completely engrossing, with a murder and a criminal investigation. This is exactly what I needed to start reading in Japanese again. After having made several attempts to start a novel, starting several books and giving up after a few pages, I was happy to feel engrossed in a story and read the first 100 pages without even realising it. Given the length of the novel, …

Read the news in Japanese: one-week reading challenge!

I have decided to try something new this week and start a “reading the news in Japanese” challenge. I will read and translate one news article per day this week, starting today and ending on Sunday. I think that the more often you read the news, the easier it gets. Not only because you improve your reading skills in general, but because you get familiar with a certain vocabulary and know what the main topics of the moment are. Which articles? I like reading the site Mainichi.jp, so this is the news website I will choose. To avoid losing time every day in looking for articles worth studying and to be sure to pick a topical issue, I will choose mainly the editorials. As you can see on their website, they usually write two editorials per day so I can choose the topic that interests me the most (or even study both if I am motivated). I also like the editorials because I find that they are the most interesting articles. The others tend to …

Japanese Immersion: September week 1

The main thing I did to listen to Japanese this week was watching episodes from 『ちびまる子ちゃん』. I also re-watched the film 『舟を編む』which is one of my favourite films. I love equally the novel by Shion MIURA (三浦しをん) as the film by director Yuya ISHII (石井裕也) I really recommend this film to anyone interested in the publishing world, dictionaries and the pursuit of one’s ideal against sales and profit considerations. This film always makes me feel that hard work and dedication can always win against the lack of immediate recognition and approval. I also have to fight an impulse to buy a paper dictionary! JapaNews24 I have found a YouTube live video called “JapaNews24 ~ 海外へ日本のニュースをLIVE配信” on the channel ANNnewsCH. I wish I had known sooner that such a live video exist. Apparently, they take broadcasted news in Japan, put them all together in a YouTube live video for people living outside Japan. I don’t know exactly when they add new contents, but it seems to be always news from the same day. Anyway, I like …

Book non-review: I give up reading 『光』by 三浦しをん

I still want to believe that I will pick up this book again and read the remaining 60 pages of 『光』. If you follow my blog, you know that I have loved 三浦しをん (みうらしをん)’s other novel 『舟を編む』, but I cannot say the same for this one. I struggled to read 『舟を編む』because the Japanese level was too high for me, but I struggled to read 『光』because I was never able to get into the story. The reason why I am not enjoying this book is better explained using Nancy Pearl’s four doorways into a book. I first heard of these four doorways on Kazen’s blog Always Doing and it was a revelation. It helped me understand why I love or dislike a book. While I cannot really judge for the language doorway, I think that this book is mainly focused on the story and the setting. But to me, the characters door was completely shut. I couldn’t relate to any of the characters, they didn’t feel real enough to me. To be more precise, I found …

September, at last!

September is here at last! (I don’t like Summer in Korea because it is too hot and the air conditioner everywhere makes me sick.) Only four months to go before the end of the year…! It’s time to look at the goals we set for ourselves in January and make some last adjustments to be able to end the year with a feeling of accomplishment. I always feel a new energy in September: I want to set new goals, and I am sure that I can achieve more during these remaining four months than I did until now. But let’s be honest with ourselves: if we could not perform well on a certain objective during the past 8 months, we probably won’t be able to achieve it until December. I think that a good way to define realistic and doable goals is to draw a third column table: In the first column: Write the goals you want to achieve, ideally. In the second column: Narrow it to something realistic. In the third column: Transform the …

Japanese Immersion: film, anime, magazine and news!

I am quite happy with my immersion in Japanese this week! I watched the film 『ちょっと今から仕事やめてくる』and several episodes of 『ちびまる子ちゃん』. I also spent a lot of time reading and translating the magazine 『趣味の文具箱』. Finally, I started reading the news again. 『ちょっと今から仕事やめてくる』 This film by Izuru NARUSHIMA 成島 出 (なるしま・いずる) is an adaptation of the novel (same title) by Emi KITAGAWA 北川恵海 (きたがわ・えみ). While I loved the novel I have mixed feelings concerning the film. As long as the film follows the novel, I found it quite okay. The actors are good, the setting is good, the slight deviations from the novel are good too. I loved the scenes at Takashi’s workplace, that really convey the daily’s nightmare to work there. The end of the film is however completely different. While the novel mainly focuses on Takashi, the protagonist, the film wants to give more place to Yamamoto, the other character. At some point, it leaves the novel behind to follow its own step and add new scenes to the story. This is where I felt like watching a …