It is early autumn, the leafs are still green, but the weather and temperatures have dropped sharply. In other words, it is the perfect season for staying inside, spending some more time with books, and other Japanese related activities. Learning, surfing the internet, chatting, and reorganizing my life on top of that, have kept me from writing here. Since I received a request for the 日本語総まとめN２ deck, I thought to let you know that I still exist.
My goal for the longest time now is to start writing in Japanese. Writing about it feels like playing a broken record that repeats itself at the same spot time and again. I delayed starting to write many times, and I had many excuses for not starting. One of the first was “I lack the necessary grammar and vocabulary”, “I want to write about interesting things”, “I want to be able to express myself like an adult of my age.” There are probably more that even I have forgotten, but this is perhaps one of the saddest of all excuses I could have come up with “Communicating in the language is not that important to me, getting better at reading and listening is, so starting to write can wait ad infinitum.” Wanting to write but feeling unable to do so is frustrating. The easy way out of it is to find excuses why something isn’t working, as opposed to working on the problem to improve.
Today I am going to share with two resources that I find can be very useful for beginners to even advanced students of the Japanese language. The one is a website called 子供の日本語ライブラリ which contains videos, learning materials such as vocabulary lists with roughly 1,000 items well formatted, topically arranged, and formatted as .pdf file, Grammar, Kanji lists and worksheets, Flashcards, teaching materials and many other things. I haven’t been checking everything that can be found under the teaching section, so you might or might not find free material in other categories than the サイトオリジナル as well, just browse through the list. You can find the teaching materials if you click on 基本検索 and then 教材. On the following page you have to click on サイトオリジナル which is almost at the bottom of the page. All the other materials, most of all of which are free can be found by clicking on one of the other categories displayed after clicking on 基本検索. All material is in Japanese, so it would be better to know at least a little Japanese, to find your way around the website, and to make use of the material.
I made it! Another book of the 日本語総まとめ２級 series is history, the reading one. A fun book to learn with. I enjoyed the way it presented the reading material, and I was able to learn quite a bit from it, so it was a good investment. The reading passages are solely written in Japanese, with only a few explanations and words here and there, translated into English. This means that I now have even more time to enjoy with so called ‘real Japanese.’ Judging from how far I made it already, and how comparably easy reading has become now, I have little to worry about the JLPT. Grammar, however, is a different story, which will take a bit longer. Currently I am reading and trying to apply what I am learning in my Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar. That is, as long it’s no outdated grammar or is considered as such. In other words grammar I can’t find being used in the wild by Japanese people on blogs, or in real life conversations.
Reading is my life, i love it, and I couldn’t live a single day without reading something. This can be a book, a forum, articles on websites, other blogs, some learning resources and other things. Today I will introduce you to material that I am reading in Japanese.
English Japanese The Student Dictionary of European Modern History
This book is full of short articles about European history. This is great! You can open up any page, look at the headline, and start to read whatever you find interesting. Here is a sample article from the book.
Ypres, Battle of(1914, 1915, 1917) イーペルの戦い
第1次世界大戦 （World War I） 中、ベルギーの都市イーペルにおけるドイツ軍とフランス軍との会戦。1915年4月～5月の会戦では毒ガスが使用された。イーペルはドイツと連合軍とのたび重なる激戦地となった。17年の第3次会戦はパッセンダーリの戦い（Passchendaele, Battle of）と呼ばれる。
Ypres, Battle of(1914, 1915, 1917) Battle of Ypres
During World War I, the German armed forces and the French military engaged in a battle in a Belgian city called Ypres. Between April and May 1915 poisonous gas was used in the battle. Ypres became a repeated site of bloody battles between the Allied Forces and Germany. The third battle in 1917 was called Battle of Passchendaele.
Dear Reader, yesterday I was able to finish Kanji Odyssey Level 1, in a very long sitting. That I was able to finish the program yesterday was only because Zorlee, a highly valued member over at forum.koohii.com, inspired me to do it. I surely didn’t plan to sit down and work my way through 40 frames, adding 290 sentences and vocab cards, and review all of them. But I am glad I did! Also the past entries in the The “I have finished KO.2001 Please Congratulate Me” thread added to my wish to sit down and get it done. I started around 10:30 a.m. and I was done at 11:03 p.m. I was overjoyed when I typed in the last sentence, and realized, that I really did it! I finished Level 1 of Kanji Odyssey!