Languages: Japanese, Part II

I just drank a glass of sparkling (mmmm, 🙂 ) since this place managed to destroy the post I had written. 🙁 (sparkling was :)) though).

I’ll try to write the majority.

The goals I set for myself the last time:

  • Enabling the writing systems (hiragana, katakana) on my computer
  • Learning the katakana
  • Listen regularly to Japanese music //which is not difficult at all since I’m doing it quite a bit right now due to the fact that my usual stuff has quite bored me, 😛 //
  • Memorizing & understanding certain word-lists

Done. All of them. There’s a catch though. 🙂 I learned the katakana, but I can remember only about half of them right now.

A bit understandable since they seem to be less necessary than katakana if I’m learning Japanese (and not the other way round). I’ve also enabled the writing systems on my computer through the use of another word processor which allows me to: にほんごがかきます。 カタカナカキマス。==> I can write in hiragana, katakana (and kanji), but I need to copy it to any other page where I may need to use it.

Also, about music: listened to it quite a bit (actually Japanese bands
and Koit Toome sums my last month in music up pretty well, 😉 ) however quite a bit of my listening is made up of Capsule — and a decent amount of it is in English (very good though!!!).

So, some goals for the next month as  well, I believe.

    • improving usage of katakana
    • familiarizing myself with hiragana
    • learning at least one word-list per week, preferably two
    • processing one chapter of Heisig’s masterpiece on kanji a week as a
    • listening to more Japanese-language music (== less Capsule 🙁 )
    • finding at least one audiobook to listen to even though I’ll understand very little at first.

That is all for now. I’ll try to make the next update a little bit closer to the actual +1 month that I set for myself, and not edit the date. 😉


Ainus võimalus edukalt jätkata, võita, saavutada uusi kõrgusi, laiendada teadmisi, olla rahul ning nautida igat jätkuvat päeva..–

Selle annab teadmine, mis toimub mujal; mis on ukse taga, kust sisse astud; mis on sinu enese südames.

Being Stuck…

Hmmh. What makes a day enjoyable? I think I can remember "awful" days that I have very thoroughly enjoyed. I might say that this present one is similar.

After around three hours of sleep during which I was interrupted twice, I got to the Norwich (International) Airport, and started suffering from psychological warfare by KLM ("We really do not suggest you to fly", "KLM does not want you to fly", "We cannot guarantee you a flight even though you’ve got a ticket"). Nevertheless, the principle of "nothing ventured, nothing gained" won. Plus, I suppose, adventure. 🙂 Interesting. In any instance, after holding my own against those people who had to admit that KLM cannot stop a passenger from flying if he (or she) wishes to, I got on the plane. Now, on the plane I had the excellent opportunity of sitting in my seat for nearly two hours in Norwich while the plane waited for clearance from Schiphol. Granted, I enjoyed a book (by Charles Seife) on ‘Zero’ which makes for a very interesting read. Around this time, I reflected that if I need to wait in Amsterdam as well, I’m in a danger of running out of books. And I got some more sleep. That has to count for something.

Having arrived in Amsterdam around an hour or more later than my plane left, I had the excellent opportunity of waiting in KLM queues. Don’t really suggest anyone tries to do the same unless you really need to. Flight rebooking through a variety of other destinations did not work out (Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Helsinki, Riga) so I now have the opportunity of staying in Amsterdam-Schiphol for a rather decent time. Then again, airports are interesting places. [Especially so since only half of the sockets I need to plug my laptop into do charge it, very interesting.] All the planes flying to whatever places around the world. Infinite possibilities?

And now? Reading the Economist (online version). Listening to FictionJunction Yuuka (I recommend!). Writing this entry (offline once again, because their online access is timed and costs rather decently).

Despite everything that’s wrong, I can only really complain of one thing — I could make do with an armchair.

Languages: Japanese, Part I

So, after taking up a book by a crazy Irishman which explained how to learn languages well and effectively, and so that they could actually be used (those six years of school-time Russian/French that I really can’t use are therefore left out), there was the recommendation that creating a blog-entry with the goals and targets in mind is assisting, I have decided to do just that.

A short introduction:
Since coming to the UEA, I’ve found myself a part of the Japanese Society and that led me to pursue some skills in the Japanese language. For the first month or so, what we did was basic introductions and whatnot (‘Je m’appelle…‘, ‘Kus sa elad…’, etc), but after that I turned a bit more serious and ordered myself a grammar book which assisted me in picking up some of the basic stuff that the Society lessons did not mention. In any instance, since that time I’ve also picked up the hiragana writing system (I’ve yet to enable it on my computer though), and a few useful expressions. With difficulty, expressing basic sentences is possible (success!!!).

So, I’ll list here what I plan to do by the 8th January (which coincidentally might be one of the hardest things since I’ll be in EST for the majority of the time between now and then):

  • Enabling the writing systems (hiragana, katakana) on my computer
  • Learning the katakana
  • Listen regularly to Japanese music //which is not difficult at all since I’m doing it quite a bit right now due to the fact that my usual stuff has quite bored me, 😛 //
  • Memorizing & understanding certain word-lists

I’m sure there’s something else that I’ve forgotten since this currently seems to empty, but it’s all that my partial to-do list contained. So, we’ll see exactly what happened in a bit less than a month.

EDIT: I forgot to add why I wish to learn Japanese… 🙂 To read (once my skill is considerable enough) the books that I’ve up to that point read only in translations. ‘The Master of Go’ — it can only be better in Japanese, to name on example. And, why not use it for other, more mundane tasks as well…

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