Sunday, September 11, 2011

Learning Japanese, Six Weeks In

Six weeks down, 79 more to go.  Sounds like a lot, but with how much I've learned these past six weeks, I'm starting to see how I can become fluent in this time frame. 

Work has picked up this past week, demanding a lot of overtime, but I'm still working on my language skills.  As you may have seen in my previous post, I'm trying to start work in Japan this coming April.  While I can and will continue my Japanese studies while I'm there, I want to be functional when I arrive.  This program takes the long view, so I'll probably have to learn some key phrases before then. 

The program is still focusing on kanji, to the near exclusion of anything else.  Thanks in part to work, my studies have slowed enough that the program has caught up to me.  I'm working to get ahead again, but not too much.  There was an 'optional' step given twice this week of buying a book on the kana, another writing system used by the Japanese.  I already have the book, but I'm guessing that we're approaching our kana studies sooner than I expected. 

The part I'm most looking forward to is reaching that threshold moment when you realize that you are listening or reading Japanese without translating it back to English.  That's when learning the language accelerates because you can learn more just by using it instead of relying on memorization and study aids.  It's still a ways off, but I know it'll be there waiting for me.

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