An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese

I almost reached the end of this book, which I been learning grammar with, for the past 17 or 18 days. Currently I am working on chapter 13, which leaves only 2, and I am done. And thank god I am! This must have been the longest days of my life, no joking! Coming fresh from KO.2001 and jumping right back into AIAIJ, I thought I could work through it in one week. I thought that because I have been able to type in hundreds of sentences and vocabulary cards, that this would be an even faster process, and I would be done with it in no time. Obviously I was not able to do that.

It took hours to create 45 cards. It was boring beyond all measures. I was worn out to a degree, that when I did one chapter on one day, I had to take a days rest on the next. It has taken too long, even though there was nothing complicated in terms of grammar, nothing that I wasn’t able to understand, or anything else. Just sitting over the book, and creating cards, did it for me. You would wonder how creative I became to find activities, that kept me from working through another chapter of the book.

To distract myself from working with AIAIJ, I started reading and working through 感动心灵的日文哲理故事. This book contains stories written in Chinese, but has also translations in Japanese, that’s why I could read them. But being able to read the stories doesn’t necessarily follow that I was able to understand their meaning. Maybe I will post some of the stories here, but this one is about AIAIJ and my grammar studies. Doing it, was actually a good thing, because I learned new vocabulary, and reinforced already learned words.

Finally I was able to overcome and start to work through chapter after chapter in AIAIJ day after day. This brought me to where I am now. 119 grammar points learned, and all of them learned well, 508 cards in my deck, and a very good understanding of the differences between similar points. The only letdown is, that there weren’t many new words from the book. But by defining certain words and looking up definitions in Japanese, I could add a couple of hundreds of new words. I kept adding translations for sentences in the beginning, but skipped it, once I reached chapter three. I don’t need them anymore as it seems. The only translations right now consist of word definitions, and even those are being replaced more and more by Japanese ones, with the occasional look-up for words in definitions.

I feel well prepared for my JLPT books now. And by finishing AIAIJ in the next two days, I will also fulfill one of my last years resolutions for this year. I might even be able to finishing another couple of books, before the New Year arrives, with priority to the JLPT books, of course. And I am thinking of the reading book of the 総まとめ series, which is an 4 week course. As for right now, I will enter the last couple of grammar points, from chapter 13. I don’t want to fall behind.

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