All posts filed under: motivation / daily study

A year of reading in Japanese

For my last Monday post of the year, I would like to look back on the books I have read this year in Japanese! My favourite books (story only) If I only take the story into account, without considering the language level, I would say that my favourite books this year are: 『豆の上で眠る』by Kanae MINATO. I read this book in January, and I think that it is my favourite. I was totally gripped by the story, it deeply resonated with me, and I was emotionally involved in it from start to finish. 『コンビニ人間』by Sayaka MURATA. I loved this book because I could learn a lot about Japanese society through it. But I also identified with the protagonist and I felt like the novel was touching some unpleasant moment of my own experience.   『赤い指』by Keigo HIGASHINO. To be honest with you, detective Kyoichiro KAGA is a hero to me. This novel is the 7th of the detective Kaga series. I loved this book for its story of course and because we learn a little more about …

2019: More Books! JLPT N1?

It is time to plan my studies for next year! (I know it’s a little early, but I cannot wait!) More easy books, more difficult books. I have greatly enjoyed 2018: finally, I was able to read a wider range of novels, mysteries and detective stories.  I could go on like that in 2019, but being able to read best-selling authors like Keigo HIGASHINO does not mean that I can read any literature in Japanese. There are so many books that are still out of reach, fiction as well as non fiction.  To progress, I will have to go out of my comfort zone and tackle books that are above my level. I think that reading books I can tackle easily helps me to progress, but only a little. I feel more and more at ease with Japanese sentences, I can read faster and faster and I learn some new vocabulary… But to really make significant progress, I know that I have to read a book that is a little too difficult to me and …

My progress in 2018

We are in December, time to look back on the year and see what progress I have made! 2017’s hardcore study vs 2018’s relaxed tempo I feel that I haven’t worked as hard in 2018 that I did in 2017. When I say “work hard” I mainly mean learning tons of vocabulary and spend a lot of time in grammar books. In 2017, I took the JLPT N2 twice, in July and in December. It definitely helped me to make progress in Japanese. I worked with the Sou-matome series for the test of July and with the Shin Kanzen series for December. I have learned a lot of grammar, made a lot of exercises, and my Anki literally exploded with N2 words. While preparing for the JLPT helped me to improve my level, it was also a little too much in the end, and I wanted nothing more than to relax and take advantage of what I had learned to read novels in Japanese. Even though I had in mind to try N1 in December …

Monthly Review: November 2018

I cannot believe that November is almost over… While I have more or less completed my goals for November, I do not end the month with a feeling of satisfaction. 😕 Let’s see how far I went in my November Goals: First of all, I completed my reading goals. I did start the novel 『リカーシブル』, but I only read a little less than a third of it so if I want to finish it this year, I will have to read a lot in December. I read one short story of 『往復書簡』and two of 『探偵倶楽部』, and I think that I will finish both in December without problem. As for the other goals, let’s say that I have lacked motivation and did my best in spite of it.  I have written in Japanese only half of the month. I did well during the first two weeks of November, only skipping some days, but then I started skipping more and more days and last week was not a success, to say the least.  As for Japanese History, …

Back to study!!

After two weeks away from Japanese, I now feel the urge to study again! The last two weeks, I was more interested in other hobbies, and I have left my Japanese studies almost untouched. This break has been a good thing since I now feel a new motivation to learn Japanese.  So I will start with a one-week challenge to get back on track. I will transcribe a short Japanese text into French every day for seven days. I already started yesterday, and as I was both idle and motivated, I made two transcriptions:  First I worked on an article from Mainichi. It had been weeks and weeks since I opened the Mainichi website…The article I chose was an easy one, about the idol industry in Japan and the lack of regulations, even when minors are involved.  Then I worked on the novel 『こころ』by Soseki that I had also left untouched for a very long period of time. One chapter is only 2-3 pages long, so I transcribed a whole chapter.  Except for one or …

Taking a break… but not completely!

I have already mentioned it on Friday, but I am not studying at the moment. This does not mean, however, that I am doing nothing in Japanese! I think it is necessary to stay in touch with your target language on a daily basis. If you don’t want to or cannot study for a long period of time, try to define one or two short and easy activities that you will perform every day no matter what. It might take only 20 or even 10 minutes to do, but at least, you will have worked on your target language on a daily basis. I try to always keep good feelings attached to my target language, and I don’t want to feel the burden of mandatory homework on it (this is why I prefer to learn on my own than in a classroom.) If I am more interested in other things than learning Japanese, and if I skip my study sessions to practice these other activities, I will inevitably feel guilty. As a result, Japanese will …

How to start writing in Japanese

One of my goals for November is to write in Japanese every day for a month. I have been thinking about how to write in a foreign language if you don’t have a native to correct you, and I thought that I would write about it today. If you are like me, writing is not as much difficult than discouraging. You take the grammar and the vocabulary you know, build your sentences, and while you don’t really struggle to write, you end up full of doubts and incertitudes: “what I wrote does not sound Japanese”, “it sounds like an example sentence, but I doubt whether a native would say that”, “is it even correct?”, “why do I keep using the same grammar over and over again?” and so on. A method to write in English To begin with, I would like to present a book I find truly inspiring. Originally, it is a book for Japanese who learn English and is called 『Q&A Diary 英語で3行日記』. This book was translated into Korean for Koreans who learn …

Monthly Review: October 2018

October has been a month for discovering new paths: I have started studying Japanese history and I have watched my very first Japanese drama. The two books I had ordered about Japanese History have finally arrived, but before that, I had started reading as many things as possible on the Internet. I am taking notes in a notebook too, which allows me to use the new three Pilot Iroshizuku inks I bought this month (namely, 深海 shin-kai、月夜 tsuki-yo and 松露 syo-ro). I have finished watching the drama 『シグナル 長期未解決事件捜査班』(シグナル ちょうきみかいけつじけんそうさはん) and this is the first Japanese drama that I watch from start to finish. I am looking for other detective dramas now! But most importantly, I have achieved my goals for the month, which were: It was not a difficult challenge, but it helped me to stay focused and make an effort to finish the books I had started before commencing new ones. I finished『流星の絆』at the beginning of the month, 『未来のミライ』two weeks ago and 『日本語びいき』this weekend (I will write my review on Wednesday). I wanted to …