I moved to Saitama about three months ago, which gives me a commute time of roughly 40 minutes to work. This is longer than the 10 minutes or so from my previous apartment in Tokyo. Well, something interesting happened to my language studies as a result. I find that I am learning a lot more Japanese! For the record, I am a full-time Japanese-English translator; contrary to popular belief, translators still need to constantly learn new vocabulary and industry terminology to stay competitive. This game never ends!
In this series, I’m going to share how you can better use your commute time for learning a foreign language. In today’s post, I will talk about the benefits of studying on your way to work or school.
Continue reading Stop texting and start learning! Studying during your commute: Part 1
When preparing for the JLPT, one of the biggest problems learners face is the large amount of Japanese vocabulary. If you live in Japan or at least get enough Japanese input then the listening section of the exam is easy enough. You can cram on the grammar and learning kanji intelligently will greatly ease your pain. With vocabulary though, there’s no getting around it. You have to expose yourself to the language and put in enough time to learn it.
Continue reading App Review: i-Sokki Japanese Vocabulary for JLPT
“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”
Learning another language can be a lonely and frustrating process. Sometimes we need a gentle push to give us a break and boost our motivation. In this post, I am going to introduce a couple of books that serve as inspirational and practical resources for those who want to forgo expensive and ineffective language classes and go it alone in learning any language.
Continue reading How to learn any language
Do you ever feel like all your time and effort studying your target language hasn’t amounted to much? Ever feel frustrated with your progress? Well, join the club! Once you pass the intermediate threshold, it gets harder to judge your growth in the language. You are entering what I refer to as intermediate fatigue. It’s one of the bumps along the road to mastering a language.
What’s intermediate fatigue?
Continue reading It all adds up! (Or how to master a foreign language)
EDIT: The situation has greatly improved since this post. Please read this update on how to find good Japanese content for the Kindle.
Happy New Year everyone! I don’t know about you, but the New Year has got me motivated to get back to studying languages and reading more Japanese. I also plan to take the N1 this summer. I will touch on that in future posts. Another of my long-term goals is to become more literate in Japanese and to read books that Japanese people read.
I like reading Japanese news and blogs like Itai News on my PC and iPad but I have always wanted to read more Japanese content offline. It’s more relaxing with a book and looking at a screen all day makes my eyes sore. However, I hate looking up kanji and new vocabulary manually. It takes a lot of time and distracts me from the book I am reading. This and a lack of space in my tiny Japanese apartment has meant that, over the years, I haven’t bought that many books in Japanese. Up until now, there haven’t been many Japanese e-books available either. Well, I have finally found my solution.
Continue reading The Kindle Paperwhite: A godsend for Japanese learners (if you’re in Japan)
This is the first post in several about how to learn a different language on your own. Is it possible to learn “difficult” languages like Japanese or Chinese by self-study alone? Absolutely. We did it and so can you! This post tells you why determined self-study beats language courses every time.
Continue reading How to learn a different language with self-study