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Thread: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

  1. #21

    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyr View Post
    All Japanese girlfriends do is leech your English.
    Only if you have a girlfriend who is basically trading vagina for kaiwa. My friend who had a non-English speaking girlfriend for a year and a half's Japanese level went up massively, simply because he would spend hours on end with her and absolutely HAD to use Japanese. If your girlfriend has better English than you do Japanese then yeah, I imagine it'd just be too awkward to try and use Japanese most of the time unless you really committed to it.

  2. #22
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Quote Originally Posted by RomulusLupin View Post
    It definitely helped me a ton to have studied before coming here–I don't want to try to discount that at all–but unsurprisingly living here for three years has done way more for my ability than just studying ever did. Anyone who arrives with Japanese has an automatic leg up, but the frustrating part is how unhelpful it seems when you first arrive. You may have studied for four years, but you still feel barely able to communicate at first. It's a better position to be in than being exposed to Japanese for the very first time upon arrival, but there's something about knowing how much you don't know that's really scary when you've studied a lot and still don't know how you could possibly learn enough to live.
    I found that after I came here I basically spent the first 6 months almost, just sitting around unlearning all the Japanese I had ever learned at uni and re-assembled the parts that were relevant back into something useful. Frankly, I could've just skipped that part, come here with nothing, and just fought my way up to the same level in the 6 months anyways. I'm pretty sure it's my linguistic syntactic knowledge that has helped me more than most things at understanding it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  3. #23

    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    I feel like I didn't come in with much more vocabulary than my self-study friends but everyone I know that has self-studied has the most atrocious accent.
    Quote Originally Posted by MJN View Post
    Since when does awareness of surrounding make an ALT better? Chances are if they didn't have a clue and got lost in the forest and eaten by bears on the way to work, the school would be better off and the ALT would in turn be a better ALT.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Only if you have a girlfriend who is basically trading vagina for kaiwa. My friend who had a non-English speaking girlfriend for a year and a half's Japanese level went up massively, simply because he would spend hours on end with her and absolutely HAD to use Japanese. If your girlfriend has better English than you do Japanese then yeah, I imagine it'd just be too awkward to try and use Japanese most of the time unless you really committed to it.
    That was my ideal. Sadly my Japanese wasn't up to getting such a girl.
    And of course I happened to meet a girl I like but had the small disadvantage of speaking English.

  5. #25

    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    After 3 years of sorta half-assing it, from zero to registering for the N2 this summer. If I had to guess I'd say right now I'm bottom rung N2. Arrived with high Mandarin proficiency and have pretty much just taught myself with those crappy CLAIR books and other random supplementary materials.
    Soft like butter, hard not t'pour : A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast 'n bulbous. Got me?

  6. #26
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Arrived with two months of frantic cramming and nothing else, then promptly forgot almost everything to do with writing in the first few months here whilst learning a lot more ways to apologise for messing things up. Now I'm, what, seven months in? Or something? I'm now at the level where I can complain that my strawberries are expensive, but can't answer why I bothered buying them.

  7. #27

    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Studied in college/studied abroad in Japan, pretty conversational. I graduated a year before I started JET and didn't do much studying. Since I arrived, I'm back to about where I was in college for conversational ability, plus a bit more keigo. For reading, much better than I was in college. I still suck at writing Japanese.

  8. #28
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    I think its all what you make of it.
    Good Learner, Bad Learner - YouTube
    Is a good example of two approaches.

    Apparently, the 'good learner' came to Japan with no Japanese at all, that is a little less than one year later. While you don't have to be as much of a 'gaijin entertainment clown' as he is; I think being outgoing, involving others with your studies, asking lots of questions, and being proactive are best ways to improve your J-go skillz.

    This is another dude who came in with no J-go and made this after 2 years I think. (He has a blog post about it.)
    100,000 Kanji - YouTube
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

  9. #29
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    I used to do something similar to the 100,000 kanji guy. I used to write out on an A4 page, 29x24 (696 kanji) and would use about 1/2-3/4 a page a day. When I was done I had this nice ritual of just putting it in the shredder because once the page was done I knew I had just done over 600 kanji in the previous 2 days. I kept that up for about 6 months. Probably shredded a good 30-40 pages at least, which if I did just 40 (pretty sure I did more, but the whole point was not to keep track of how much) I would've easily passed the 25k written mark.

    My friend used to do it in those little B4 notebooks that the kids use. He had 7 books for his pre 1 kanji test.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  10. #30
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    I need to do that myself. Writing kanji by hand is definitely my weakest point. I got one of those fancy tilted line notebooks to practice with too, but I just haven't had the time or motivation to actually sit down and do it. That mosaic idea is pretty cool though. It'd be good for a birthday present or something.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Arrived with rudimentary skills, my listening has sky rocketed in the last 9 or so months. My speaking has gotten much better but hasn`t progressed nowhere near as much as my listening, but that`s my own fault, I should speak more.

    EDIT: My writing is atrocious, but that is because I don`t practice at all, I type everything either on my laptop or on my phone. Very rarely am I required to write anything other than my address.
    Last edited by yingyangryder; May 1st, 2014 at 08:42.

  12. #32
    disobedient avocado Lianwen's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Hmmm. I did undergrad Japanese classes for all of college, but since coming to Japan, what level I was on has dropped. My listening and speaking have improved, but I never write anymore (I blanked on ね the other day, that's how bad). Reading hasn't really improved or gotten worse...even though my writing's gone down, it's because I type everything, but I still have to be able to figure out what kanji, etc to use. I don't even need to write my address. If I need to have it written, I just ask the person at the counter if they can write it for me (I show them my gaijin card) because I might make a mistake (it's happened, and when you're writing in pen and you have to hanko all your mistakes, it's fcking annoying) and it'll take them 2 seconds compared to my 4minutes of child handwriting.

    My accent is still terrible. I try. I try soooooo hard. My Japanese friends say it's cute, but won't bother correcting me, even though I tell them it's okay and I want to learn.

    Although I don't know why I care some days. It doesn't matter how well I can order in Japanese at McDonalds, when I'm still going to get "You eat here? Here is your change."
    Quote Originally Posted by Lianwen View Post
    I am a competent, semifunctioning adult of modest landwhale proportions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    how many more threads in which BJ declares his love for lianwen do we need?

  13. #33

    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lianwen View Post
    I don't even need to write my address. If I need to have it written, I just ask the person at the counter if they can write it for me (I show them my gaijin card) because I might make a mistake (it's happened, and when you're writing in pen and you have to hanko all your mistakes, it's fcking annoying) and it'll take them 2 seconds compared to my 4minutes of child handwriting.
    Dude, seriously? I feel like I'm just bullying you now but... that's pretty pathetic. I didn't study Japanese at all in college and I started writing my own address within a few months and without looking at my card for at least a year.

    I suppose this gives some more insight into why things always go horribly wrong for you even when you "explained it in Japanese".

  14. #34
    disobedient avocado Lianwen's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    I can write my address without my card, but I can't get it to fit in most cases. I probably could if I practiced more, but I can count the times I've needed to write my address on one hand in the past 3 years. Just didn't seem worth it to practice writing it when I'm only going to need to write it once or twice more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lianwen View Post
    I am a competent, semifunctioning adult of modest landwhale proportions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    how many more threads in which BJ declares his love for lianwen do we need?

  15. #35

    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    What do you want me to say?

    It's just... you know, pride? Dignity? Having an iota of self-respect? If I'd studied Japanese at college or lived in Japan for any length of time I'd be disgusted at myself if I ever had to ask someone to write my address for me.

    I feel like an ass saying this but really, it seems like a lot of the shit that happened to you could be avoided if you had a bit more self-respect and stood up for yourself.

  16. #36
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    I'm one of those annoying people who discounts my college Japanese. But that's because the program was simply awful. Our teacher laughed in our faces if we made any mistakes when speaking, so I never spoke at all. The textbook was written before I was born, so we were studying about the work ethic in East Germany and reading conversations between oji-san about how "junior high schools seem to have a lot of pools these days, don't they?" And of course all of the English translations were awkward as hell. I gaman-ed through it since it would have cost too much to switch schools again (I came in with an associates, so I only needed 2 years at a "real" university).

    Anyway, I came to Japan with a smattering of high-level vocab I'd never need to use and no practical knowledge of how to hold a daily conversation. Through self-study and persistent usage, I've improved so much that my minor in Japanese finally sounds believable. I get the opposite reaction now: people who won't believe me when I tell them I nearly failed my classes since I didn't understand the content and couldn't speak a proper Japanese sentence to save my life. I feel like I have a long way to go, especially with reading and writing, but I'm working on it.
    Last edited by Ebi; May 2nd, 2014 at 17:07.

  17. #37

  18. #38
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    The good news about university in Latvia is that tuition costs as much as a bag of potatoes.

    Ha, just kidding. No one has that many potatoes. Is only dream.

  19. #39

    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    College Japanese courses are pretty variable.

    I don't think people who discount minors, even majors, are just being annoying because the truth is the curriculum takes an academic approach to everything. It'd be nice to hear how other Japanese programs are. Reputable colleges in the US range from those that offer a BA in Japanese and those that only offer it as a minor, or focus as part of an East Asian studies major of some sort.

    In general, the format is a beginner/intermediate/advanced level course line, each of which runs the length of 1 academic year. These are the only actual language courses required. The rest of the required course curriculum, if you are looking to gain language proficiency, consists of electives that will range from generally completely worthless (literature in translation, culture, theatre, film) to challenging (reading actual novels and translating them).

  20. #40

    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    There were people taking JLPT N3 with me last time that had studied Japanese in college and lived here the same amount of time as me. Obviously a class is better than no class but I seriously think language study is something that needs to be a mostly personal effort and you won't progress unless you make a serious effort to. Frankly, most JETs, myself included, have pretty abyssmal Japanese but it's entirely possible to get N1 (or whatever equivalent level of fluency) in 2 years with a moderate amount of regular study and forced immersion, even with no previous Japanese language education.

    Edit: That's going to sound like bs and some people who've failed N1 or N2 might disagree with me but seriously if you actually studied for 1-2 hours every day instead of making up bullsh1t excuses and living in a little gaijin expat bubble of western friends and western media like most of us do then I think it would be possible. And if you think otherwise, tell me truthfully that you actually managed that.

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