My Experience Self-Studying Japanese | Blushing Geek

My Experience Self-Studying Japanese

Konnichiwa minna-san!

As I’ve mentioned in my previous article, I am finally taking on new Japanese lessons starting this month. But before that, I decided to create this short “poorly” edited video talking about my experience learning Japanese.

I know I made a promise about creating a video update for my Japanese self-study, but after thinking about it for a long time, I decided to just continue doing written update instead. Why is that? Well, if I do the video update just like what I do with my written updates, it will look like a cheap imitation of Misa sensei’s Japanese tutorial and I wouldn’t want that. Plus, it was really so hard creating a video. My! I am not really cut out for this lol.

So to make up for that, I decided to create this video instead. It was obviously poorly edited and I don’t think I was able to say what I wanted to say clearly (because obviously I’m not for the camera), so I included an (improved) video transcription below. Just click on the tab to read it.

Video Transcription

When did I start wanting to learn Japanese?

Well, I’m not exactly sure when but I always wanted to learn Japanese. It’s just that, life has always been so busy for me plus I don’t have the resources, the time and ofcourse the money. Then last year, I finally decided to go for it. Ofcourse I still don’t have the money and my time is still limited so instead of enrolling for a Japanese class, I decided to challenge myself and look for some free tutorials online.

So, how did it go?

I thought it’s going to be easy, but heck, it wasn’t! Looking for free tutorials online may be a piece of cake but what’s hard is to find the perfect tutorial for me. I can’t count how many failed tutorials I did and I was already on the verge of giving up until I accidentally saw this tutorial in Youtube. Her videos were so easy to follow and understand. I’ve only been studying for 5 months but it feels like I learned so much. So if you want to learn Japanese by yourself too, then you have to check out Japanese Ammo with Misa in Youtube.

What about my schedule?

Well, as I’ve mentioned, I only have limited time available and that’s every Sunday afternoon. I take up atleast 2 lessons each week and this schedule works perfectly for me. Ofcourse it would be great if I learn the language quickly, but I’m not really in a hurry right now, plus I find spending 1 week studying 2 lessons over and over again effective for my retention. Can you imagine that even after taking a break for 5 months, I can still clearly remember what I studied last year?

5 months studying and then 5 months break

I started self-studying Japanese August last year but then because of some personal issues, I decided to take a break for 5 months. I was only planning on taking a break for 3 months but well, life happens. But even if I took a break for taking new lessons, I still use each free time that I could get checking out my notes and my recordings. Which I guess was the main reason why I still haven’t forgotten what I learned last year.

How do I study?

I always take notes. I learned a long time ago that I can study best using my own handwriting than reading on a printout. So yep, I am already keeping 2 notes right now containing all 39 lessons that I studied last year.

Also, I still don’t have any Japanese textbook yet. I decided to complete this free Youtube tutorial for now and see what will happen after that.

Aside from that, I also have a separate notebook for my exercises. Before I started taking lessons from Misa sensei, I already familiarized myself with Hiragana and Katakana so aside from translations, I also do the kana writing in my activity notebook to practice my writing.

Did you really learn something?

I’ve learned a lot but there’s still obviously a long way for me to go. Whenever I start a new lesson, I always get excited and that’s still the case now that I’m already heading for lesson #40. Japanese language is definitely interesting to learn and I don’t think I’ll get tired learning it.

What are the things you find interesting while learning the language?

As I’ve mention, Japanese is an interesting language to learn. One of my favorites are learning about:

  1. Particles – (they’re like markers that tells us the role each word plays in a sentence)
  2. Adjectives
  3. Verb conjugation
  4. Formal and informal speeches

And I’m sure there’s still a lot more now that I am continuing self-studying Japanese.

Any tips?

As for the tips, well, you just have to study and study hard. Plus, always take notes.

Also, I have this weird technique that also helps for my retention which I’m sure would be familiar to others. Whenever I go to bed, I always put my Japanese notes under my pillow. Ofcourse you need to study your notes in order for it to work, lol.

So, can you really learn Japanese by yourself and for free?

Ofcourse! Well, it actually depends on you. If you want to learn, you really have to study and work hard for it. It’s always easy to say, “I’ll study this” or “I’ll study that”, but it’s hard to maintain it. You have to make sure that you’re always motivated and I’m sure you’ll continue learning the language and eventually learn how to speak it in the future.

My Experience Self-Studying Japanese | Blushing Geek

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