Author: Inhae

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 …

Book review: 『切り裂きジャックの告白』by Shichiri NAKAYAMA (中山七里)

Presentation Title: 『切り裂きジャックの告白』(Confession of Jack the Ripper)Author: Shichiri NAKAYAMA 中山七里Editor: 角川文庫355 pages. Shichiri NAKAYAMA is a prolific author of crime fiction. 『切り裂きジャックの告白』is the first novel to introduce the police detective Hayato INUKAI (犬養隼人). Setting The novel is exactly about what its title refers to: a serial killer who calls himself “Jack”, murders similar to those of Jack the Ripper, a police investigation to find the killer. But there is also more in this novel than a simple chase of the murderer. The story addresses the topic of organ donation and transplantation and contains several discussions on this topic. Review: Very interesting, difficult to read and not very suspenseful. First of all, I found all the debates and thoughts surrounding the medical and ethical aspects of organ donation both interesting and difficult to read. This book was definitely not an easy read, both because of its topic and its language level. There was a good amount of vocabulary I had to look up, especially all the medical terms. For example, there is scene that describes how …

Language diary #7: monthly review

March has been a strange month. I have done my third trip to Japan, and of course, it motivated me a lot. It also slowed down my progression for the JLPT preparation, and it was hard to keep studying the week after my return from Japan. I have been able to find my study rhythm again at the end of the month, and I was finally able to achieve my JLPT goals. My goals for March were: Reading Goals I had no reading goals this month. I was able to finish the books I wanted to read before the trip, and I have started my 2019 reading challenge last week. I am reading 『切り裂きジャックの告白』by Shichiri NAKAYAMA (中山七里), and it is not an easy read. I thought it would be a classic police thriller with a serial killer and police officers who try to catch him. In fact, it is exactly that, but the novel also contains a lot of thoughts and debates on organ donation and transplantation in Japan. I am not usually interested in …

JLPT Journal #7: Reading!

In February, I took a practice test (the one that is available for free of the JLPT website), and I found the reading part to be very difficult. I took the JLPT N2 twice in 2017 and got 60 and 59 points in the reading part. I remember that I didn’t find the texts to be challenging, and I even found some of them interesting. In 2018, I spent the whole year reading Japanese genre fiction, and I naturally thought that my reading level had improved. As a consequence, it was a shock to discover that I could not understand some of the N1 texts. At least, not in a limited time. I read them, more or less understood all the words, but still could not understand what the author meant. I think that there is a huge gap between N2 and N1 when it comes to reading. The N1 texts are much more difficult than any mystery novel I read. To be honest, this practice test discouraged me a little. It was more than …

Language diary #6: Book haul and reading challenge!

I was in Japan last week for a trip in Tokyo, and of course, I took the opportunity to visit several bookshops and buy Japanese books. (This post is long, scroll down to see the list!) Reading Challenge #2 Last year, I set myself a first reading challenge: read all the 13 books I had bought in Japan (in December 2017) before the end of 2018. This meant reading roughly one book per month. This challenge was a success, it got me into the habit of reading Japanese genre fiction regularly and helped me improve my reading pace. This year (2019), I start a similar challenge: read all the 23 books I bought in Japan before December, 31st. As we are already in March, this means reading 2 to 3 novels per month. I think that it is doable, given that I bought mainly detective and mystery novels, a genre that I am used to reading and is not too challenging for me. How I chose my books Usually, I buy my books in Korean …