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fryfry
May 10th, 2016, 10:10
I knew a caucasian girl in college who grew up in Japan as a missionary kid. I remember asking her how she is so fluent in Japanese while having no Japanese accent when she switches over to English. One of her remarks was that, when she came home from school every day as a kid, her parents would make her repeat everything she had said in Japanese that day to them, only in English.

As I've been accepted to JET, I am looking for ways to drill myself in useful Japanese using what I know and the resources I have at my disposal. I was wondering if anyone thinks that the above-mentioned technique would be good in reverse- that is, working what I have done/said each day into Japanese. A journal of a sort.

I can see a potential flaw in this, in that some things do not translate well between these languages when done word-for-word. I'm willing to grapple with this, although I might be going with my gut in some situations.

mothy
May 10th, 2016, 11:55
Do you have anyone checking your language production? Without that I think it's usefulness would be fairly limited. Especially if that was basically all you were doing.

Ananasboat
May 10th, 2016, 11:57
I find the local bar is the best learning resource.

mothy
May 10th, 2016, 11:59
That's almost the only way I improve my Japanese, but seeing how shit my Japanese is I can't recommend it.

fryfry
May 10th, 2016, 12:16
I'm still in America. Though, I suppose I COULD still go to a bar to practice my Japanese, and see what happens.

It's not all I'm doing, but I've been looking for a way to make my Japanese studies relevant to my day-to-day life; not just rote Kanji and vocab memorization. I might be SOL until I've actually moved to Japan. I guess I just feel like I want to be more literate than I currently am, going into a working environment.

acpc2203
May 10th, 2016, 13:43
The less time you spend thinking of how to study Japanese and the more time you spend studying it the better.

Gizmotech
May 10th, 2016, 16:10
That's almost the only way I improve my Japanese, but seeing how shit my Japanese is I can't recommend it.
I've had amazing success with this approach.

mothy
May 10th, 2016, 17:04
I probably don't do it frequently enough.

Ebi
May 10th, 2016, 20:42
If you have a willing audience, then I think it's really useful since they can give you instant feedback and you can guage how well you described things.

Even if you don't, practicing saying things out loud or even just practicing a dialogue in your head can help you organize your thoughts. I wouldn't worry about trying to translate everything 100%, however. Like you said, the languages are different so it would be tedious to try to do a word-for-word translation.

When I retell stories I usually just take the gist of things and focus on capturing the same "feel", even if a few details need to be added, subtracted, or restructured to be easily understood in the other language.

Ananasboat
May 10th, 2016, 22:00
I always, ALWAYS plan what I'm going to say to people in Japanese beforehand. That way I can collect my thoughts and get my point across...

Though without fail, "hello, I was wondering if I'm able to blah blah next week," always turns into, "ah, next week... uhm. Can I... Uh. Blah?"

Missing ingredient? Beer.

fryfry
May 11th, 2016, 02:31
The less time you spend thinking of how to study Japanese and the more time you spend studying it the better.
Point taken. Lately I have been drilling myself flashcard style and trying to read Doraemon, but not much else. :) I'm also in the market for some appropriate reading material that doesn't include pictures.


If you have a willing audience, then I think it's really useful since they can give you instant feedback and you can guage how well you described things. I actually know an older lady willing to tutor at her house. That might become more helpful than anything else I'm doing.


edit: I'll ask if she has any booze, too. This seems to be the most agreed-upon solution thus far.

acpc2203
May 11th, 2016, 08:57
I would say the only "shortcuts" to Japanese competency are very intensive classes (several hours a day for months) or a similar amount of disciplined self study. Having fancy study aids or techniques can help a bit but you still need to put in a ton of time.

Frap
May 11th, 2016, 09:12
I would say the only "shortcuts" to Japanese competency are very intensive classes (several hours a day for months) or a similar amount of disciplined self study. Having fancy study aids or techniques can help a bit but you still need to put in a ton of time.

dedication's what ya need


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jzWRYr-b_Y

Cbill1
May 11th, 2016, 09:15
Honestly, if you've been accepted for JET, I'd spend the next two months thinking about preparations instead of studying Japanese.

If you wanna get better in Japanese, you'll get a lot better in Japan, but if you're still in your home country (and especially if you don't know if you have a native speaker willing to help you), most of the Japanese you'll learn is going to sound awkward to natives anyway.

By all means learn the basics, but if fluency is what you're aiming for, you're gonna make most of your progress here.

fryfry
May 11th, 2016, 09:49
I would say the only "shortcuts" to Japanese competency are very intensive classes (several hours a day for months) or a similar amount of disciplined self study. Having fancy study aids or techniques can help a bit but you still need to put in a ton of time.

I've actually put in quite a lot of self-motivated study (though it was years ago), so I know you're pretty much right there.
I'm not really looking for a "shortcut" to becoming fluent, but I feel I should focus my studies to become useful as an ALT. Effective communication in the workplace is pretty important to me.


edit: that said, I know that it is not THE most important thing. I just don't want to slack off on it either.

Isola
May 11th, 2016, 15:20
Can you understand "read page 42 of the textbook" in Japanese?

If so, you are ready to ALT.

fryfry
May 12th, 2016, 02:10
yeah, in retrospect I feel like I was probably worrying too much about this. Thanks people.
I chalk it up to boredom. Which, in other news, I've heard also qualifies me to be a JET. So, hey, two items off the checklist. :)

moonbeam
May 17th, 2016, 09:41
Are you still in college? Check around your university for conversation tutoring.

fryfry
May 18th, 2016, 02:08
graduated '08.
though I really should be seeing if there are any options with the community college I live close to anyway.