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

  1. #41
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Yeah, I think two years for N2 is perfectly doable - there is a lot of excuse-making about language study. It does take a willingness to make a fool of yourself in conversation for quite a while, but once you get over that and are able to find a study method that works for you (i.e. not just buying a bunch of textbooks, looking at them once, and then berating yourself for not studying) it's easy to feel yourself progressing.

  2. #42

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

    Right? Don't get me wrong, the reason I sound so harsh about it is that I judge myself the harshest. I've learned about as much Japanese as most JETs do in my situation and I know I could have done so much more without sacrificing anything worthwhile. Hell I'd probably be N2 by now if I had cut this site out of my life. Cut reddit and I could see myself at N1...

    And yeah, being willing to just go for it in terms of speaking Japanese helps so much. I was incredible awkward about speaking to people and if I didn't know exactly how to say something in Japanese I would just not speak. Whereas people who are just gung-ho about it are so much better now than I am.

  3. #43
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Word to the speaking part. Before I was speaking regularly, I spent days.. weeks... MONTHS studying kanji (Heisig). I will say it was AMAZINGLY helpful, and really solidified what I had learned in school, but it was almost useless for production. Then I started just regularly using my Japanese, and in the last year (and a half ish) I have easily surpassed many people around me who also started studying at the same time. The big difference is they know WAY more vocabulary than I do, but I am much more fluid in my usage of what I actually know. Also, my listening is significantly better from having just practiced basic patterns over and over again, so that I might not know the meaning of a word but I have a VERY solid grasp of basics regarding modifiers, objects, and verbal structures.
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    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.

  4. #44
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    I used genki Japanese in college, while it and the course was just OK, I saw the biggest difference when I got the audio tracks. I would listen to them while driving, and practice along with them. Another huge help was going to the Japanese tutors in the Academic center. We didn't talk about japan and Japanese we spoke in Japanese (as much as I could).
    I would sit in on the lower level Japanese classes that helped cement previous lessons, exposed me to more Japanese and eventually I became a tutor.

    As I have said before, it's really what you make of it. If you do just what's in the book then it won't be enough.


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  5. #45
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    My fiance is Japanese and doesn't speak English, so I have a daily practice partner built in, but that's no substitute for a tutor and/or proper language study. He struggles to explain Japanese grammar if I ask him about it. Plus, it's extremely easy to be lazy when speaking with him since he more or less gets the gist of what I mean even if my grammar is terrible.

    My Japanese wasn't actually that bad before we met though since I spoke it nearly every day and regularly studied kanji. I think I was probably somewhere between JLPT 3 ~ 2 before we met. Now I'm not really sure. I think I'd really have to study my ass off to pass JLPT 1 simply because a lot of it is very formal and obscure.
    Last edited by Ebi; May 7th, 2014 at 19:27.

  6. #46
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    I don't think your partner should be your language teacher. I never nitpick my GF's English and she does the same of my Japanese.


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  7. #47

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    I never nitpick my GF's English
    she does the same of my Japanese.
    Well I should think not.

  8. #48
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Well I should think not.
    If you're going to nitpick, then shouldn't it be:

    Well, I should think not.

    Additionally, that is not a complete sentence.
    Save the grammar policing for your student please. I am writing this on my phone, grammar goes out the door. The whole grammar policing thing is getting old, it's not an academic essay, it's forum.



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  9. #49

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

    I don't think there's anything wrong with being your partner's language teacher, that's kind of silly--maybe early on in a relationship it could be detrimental. My husband's English is terrible and if I don't help him he has no idea what's going on, there are no schools or eikaiwa for him to attend so I'm pretty much his only source (we speak Japanese at home but he wants to learn English to be able to communicate with your family). As long as the teacher is willing I think it's fine (but it's important to keep in mind that it can be pretty exhausting to be "on" and teaching all the time).

    As far as uni levels go, it definitely depends on the program your institution goes with. Mine was heavily conversation based, probably 4:1 for speaking and reading/writing. So my writing/reading is teeeeerrible. But like windy (or Jiggit.. or both) said, the burden also falls on the learners shoulders so I know it's my fault that I suck at kanji, not my school's. I should have amazing Japanese by this point on JET but I don't really care, tbh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini
    If you are a empty husk of a man with no ambition come on jet, stay forever, drink yourself into a stupor every night, hurl abuse at people on itil like a roided up chimp at the feces olympics and die of thyroid cancer in your early 40s.

  10. #50
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Ah, don't get me wrong. I don't try to force my fiance to be my language teacher, but sometimes through the course of conversation I'll ask him if he can explain something I didn't understand. He doesn't "nitpick" my Japanese either. Occasionally he'll point out a major mistake or something if I don't catch it myself, but that's about it.

    On the flip side, I try not to pressure him to speak English, but at the same time I try to encourage him to use it as much as possible when he wants to practice. He's getting nervous since my family is coming to Japan for the wedding and he promised my dad he'd improve his English before they met again. His comprehension isn't that bad, but his speaking is still limited to broken sentences and Engrish catchphrases. He studied English grammar all the way up into college so the foundation is there, but I don't think he's ever had a serious need to speak English until now. And unfortunately he still doesn't need to since my Japanese okay.

  11. #51

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

    Having a Japanese speaking partner will obviously help your Japanese but I think it'd be better to look at it just in terms of improving your conversation and occasionally asking "does this sound ok" or "can you say this" rather than asking them to explain the grammar. Either get a teacher or a textbook for when you're in "study mode" and trying to learn grammar.

    I mean plenty of us can't explain English using grammatical terminology. I certainly have to look up terminology and rules quite often for lessons and my English language education is better than most people's.

  12. #52
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Weirdly, since I first chimed in, I've found some new motivation somewhere and started studying again. Still not really sure why, but I'm hitting it pretty hard lately and have improved quite a bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
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    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  13. #53
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Having a Japanese speaking partner will obviously help your Japanese but I think it'd be better to look at it just in terms of improving your conversation and occasionally asking "does this sound ok" or "can you say this" rather than asking them to explain the grammar. Either get a teacher or a textbook for when you're in "study mode" and trying to learn grammar.

    I mean plenty of us can't explain English using grammatical terminology. I certainly have to look up terminology and rules quite often for lessons and my English language education is better than most people's.
    Agreed. That's why I often attend a language exchange group or study on my own with kanji apps, textbooks, and websites. Lately I've been focusing more on specialized topics to increase my vocabulary. I bought a few cookbooks in Japanese so I've been trying to learn the terminology and counters. I'm at the point where I can more or less understand everything without a dictionary, but my readings for kanji are still off unless I look them up.

    @word: Good luck! I hope you can keep up the motivation.
    Last edited by Ebi; May 8th, 2014 at 18:48.

  14. #54

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebi View Post
    Agreed. That's why I often attend a language exchange group or study on my own with kanji apps, textbooks, and websites. Lately I've been focusing more on specialized topics to increase my vocabulary. I bought a few cookbooks in Japanese so I've been trying to learn the terminology and counters. I'm at the point where I can more or less understand everything without a dictionary, but my readings for kanji are still off unless I look them up.

    @word: Good luck! I hope you can keep up the motivation.
    I'm sure your Japanese is much better than mine but really think about trying heisig. I find my kanji reading is really quite good after having done it.

  15. #55
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    You guys might not be able to explain grammar but I'm great at it in English and I'm getting pretty damned good at it in japanese.
    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.

  16. #56

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

    I'm probably about as good as you, I just have a more realistic viewpoint.

    Explaining grammar doesn't teach people language anyway.

  17. #57
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    No but it explains how it works when you combine it with meaning (which many teachers don't do)
    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.

  18. #58

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

    Sorry Ebi, that was directed towards ihatefall, not you!

    Dittoing what Jiggit said about explaining grammar, I know it only works for us because I'm trained to teach English, hah.

    Word, please give me some of your motivation. There are so many things I want to give my time to but I usually end up watching hulu in my underwear.

  19. #59
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Having a Japanese speaking partner will obviously help your Japanese but I think it'd be better to look at it just in terms of improving your conversation and occasionally asking "does this sound ok" or "can you say this" rather than asking them to explain the grammar. Either get a teacher or a textbook for when you're in "study mode" and trying to learn grammar.
    After a certain point, though, grammar doesn't really help improve your Japanese - it's more about exposure, context and imitation. Of course you still have to devote time to studying on your own, but I find a lot more interesting stuff in Japanese with my boyfriend than I would if I were just looking on my own.

  20. #60
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far has your Japanese progressed since starting Jet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    I'm sure your Japanese is much better than mine but really think about trying heisig. I find my kanji reading is really quite good after having done it.
    I got a copy of Remembering the Kanji once years ago but I'd already started memorizing a decent amount with my own mnemonics/mental connections so it didn't really click with me. I think it would have been better had I started using it from square one.

    Now I'm at the point where I'm about 90% "green" on KanjiBox for JLPT1, which sounds vaguely impressive but that really just means I can pick out the correct kanji when given multiple choice options. It's different when you're actually reading native text since there are no hints to lean on aside from general context clues. I often confuse onyomi and kunyomi or mix up the readings entirely for a similarly shaped kanji. Without any hints, my accuracy rate is still pretty low. All the more reason I need to read more, but it's hard to rustle up the motivation since I'm really slow at reading.

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