miércoles, septiembre 30, 2015

Self-studying Japanese in Japan while your full-time working.

Let's say you are super lucky and all the starts got aligned exclusively for you, you find quick a not-so-cheap room, a decent job, a lovely and intelligent girl, had two or three friends to drink and talk with, and 5 years resident VISA in Japan, then what?.

Time in Tokyo goes faster than anywhere else --I think-- I don't know why..., back in small town, the days are long and feels so slow. For my personal notes I arrive to Tokyo on Saturday March 28th at 21:30 aprox, (flight time was delayed +1 hour)
"now it has been 6 months living in Tokyo, I can't belive" -- Plucas
I pay my tuition in advanced for 6 months (±400,000 Yens) but I couldn't finished because I got  a job and I had to quit the school at 3rd month, that was a sad decision, because I really want to learn the language, but my budget even if I got arubaito (temporary work) since day 0 I wouldn't have the money to pay the tuition and living expenses, so I decided to get the job, the visa, and then see what will happened, and I think that was a wise decision. Either way 1 year studying Japanese for a foreign non-kanji country person it's difficult, I think you need at least 2 years, making the budget for 2 years of studying and self-sponsored all the process, for a developing country like Mexico it's almost impossible. Yes celebrate if you came from a developed country you are lucky. :p

Then here I am, I got few hours within the week to self study, I do 55mins door-door from home to office. so I arrived home around 7pm, and have my meal, so I'm ready to start to study at 8pm and normally sleep at 12pm.

What's next?, I want to continue the system of the school, they were using the みんなの日本語. I and II, I started from lesson 6 and finished until 25 in a 3-months term, and self-studying I was just able to do from 26 (of the 2nd book) to 36 that I am now studying, it's only 10 lesson in the same 3-months, looks not so bad, it's 50% of the speed, but I do not know if the learning is the same quality:

  • Advantages: You go at your own peace and can think the sentences and get back anytime you want, you can practice, there is a grammar explanation book for every language, got a book for writing sentences and practice also.
  • Disadvantages: No ones it's explaining. The books are meant to be explained by someone, and if you have a question no one will answer, and also you need someone who learn how to teach the language, even a Japanese normal people can't explain and understand the language, in my case I am super lucky I can get the explanation by Eri.
The kanjis it's almost the same, in the school we were reviewing 3-4 kanjis a day, but it was just a 20mins to show how to write and practice some words, It's not enough to learn it, you have to learn by yourselve, I've trying several methods, but the one that it's good is to actually write the kanji in paper+pen, and it's also the longest, you can do that for 1 or 2 hours it's too much time, because I usually study also the words for the test, but now there are no test so I'm using apps from the iPhone.

Also I am collecting my questions in Evernote and also small written scenarios and I'll check with Eri on weekends, and we can practice anytime we see each other any lesson I want, so it's nice and looks like fun practice for 15-20mins.

Learning a new language from scratch it's top, and if you are 36 years old it's worst, and if you have distraction deficit, and you're brain it's sending dopamine and serotonin every 5 mins... WORST!..

I am used to learn fast, and also I consider myself fast reader and I am able to put in practice what I learn immediately. But that's not the case for Japanese, that's where all the frustration comes, I set my goals to high, but sometimes that makes me feel really bad when I just can't go as fast as I want. So I explain this to Eri, and he told me something that completely calm me:
"You have 35-40 years to learn the language, why the rush?" -- Eri
So here is the plan for the rest of the month, at 2 kanji a day and 1 lesson a week, I will be able to finished the N4 book by start of December 2015,  and the book II the 1st or 2nd week of the first month of next year. with that in my mind I'll consider by Jan 2016 myself a N4, (now I'm N5), my objective it's to get N3 next year middle, and sincerely after finishing the books form the school I didn't know what else to continue. But I wont worry about that for now.

So that's it, there are my goals, later I'll write how do I do, and what study techniques I am using that work and the one that won't work for me too.

Cheers.
Angel.