Learning Japanese Downtown

こんにちは everyone.

Finally, I get around to write a post again. Once more I like to bow deeply and say すみません to all of you. This whole broken bone deal brought things out of balance and my usual learning schedule suffered, simply because I have to take care of many other things, which take longer now, as I can only use one hand.

But enough lamentation! What have I been up to in regards to learning Japanese? Continue reading

Quick Update

もしもし everyone!

I apologize for the lack of updates and activity right now, but unfortunately I broke part of my hand last Saturday and still have to get used to it. I haven’t stopped learning Japanese or anything, I just need to change a few things in my daily life for the next 8-10 weeks so my focus is a bit all over the place this week.

I’ll make sure to post some more updates soon :)

Take care everyone

My Japan Travel Song

おはよう everyone!

Another music post. This time it’s a much calmer song, with a very special meaning to me.

I have never been to Japan, yet I definitely plan to visit the Country one day. Now, I love to to backpacking through the Countryside, just moving where the wind or my whims take me. Whenever I think (or dream) about doing so in Japan, this is the song that plays in my head. At first, I did not understand any of the lyrics, but the song felt like a traveling song anyways. As it turns out (or rather, one translation lookup later) this is actually true. I like how the band manages to capture this feeling so marvellously well, every tune seems to say “go, walk into the world and enjoy.” Continue reading

Why am I so interested in learning Japanese?

こんにちは everyone.

I thought it might be a good idea to explain to you in a bit more detail why I fell in love with the Japanese language and take such a great interest in it.

First of all, I came into contact with Japanese at a young age. I must have been around 8 or 9 when I stumbled unto Animes (thankfully just subbed) and was immediately hooked. It was around the time when I began reading books about Buddhism and especially Zen practices. Now, given my young age, I obviously did not understand most of it, and was soon drawn to the martial arts side of Shaolin monks, samurais and especially ninjas (to a young boy, all these looked like super heroes anyways). And so, over the years, the Japanese culture (and the Shaolin) had me. It was always an up and down, at times I had lesser interest and other times it was all I read about. Continue reading

I can type now

もしもし everyone!

In my last post, I mentioned how much hassle it would be to turn my laptop into full blown Japanese mode. Well, turns out silly old me did not look in the right places. Now, my laptop is still in English and German, buuuuut, I can now type in Japanese!


わたちは ニルス です。
にほんごが すこし わかります。

See that, I just typed it with my keyboard. This makes things so much easier for me. Continue reading

Time to get immersed

もしもし, everyone!

There is something missing from my learning experience, and it is completely my own fault. Sure I am practicing daily, reading, writing, listening and talking (to myself that is) but all this is somewhat separated from my daily life. I still do my groceries, work on projects, do the dishes, cook some food, clean up in German or English.

What if I did all this in a Japanese mindset? Now now, I don’t mean that I act like someone born in Japan. This is not about deluding myself. Rather, why not make the effort to immerse me as much as possible into the Japanese language. What exactly does that mean though? Continue reading

Badly synchronized Anime

もしもし, everyone!

While waiting for Crayon Shin-chan to begin this morning, I happened to watch an episode of an Anime called Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings. Now I don’t want to talk about the quality itself, which I can’t judge anyways given my lack of time with this Anime, but the German synchro for the main character (the guy in red armor) was so horrendously bad, I couldn’t help but make fun of it. Basically, he was screaming all the time, as if the guy responsible for the voice, did not know what he was doing, but wanted to sound all emotional. The other characters were okay, but this guy.. oh boy.. it was too silly to watch really. I don’t know how he sounds in Japanese, but I’ll bet it’s nothing like this. What were they thinking? Sadly, this is actually rather common, as other dubbed Animes I’ve watched, were often equally bad. Continue reading

Going sloooowww

もしもし, everyone!

The last couple of days saw little serious language learning on my part, as I seem to have lot’s of other “open projects” lingering in my mind. I still learn a bit Japanese every day, repeating the Hiragana, repeating the Pimsleur and the Genki Lessons, but not nearly enough to make substantial progress in my opinion. I am not regressing however, so that’s a good thing.

Things are about to change a bit though, once all the clutter is out or taken care of, I’ll see to it that I listen to more Japanese Music, watch more Japanese Movies and Animes, chat/befriend more people from Japan (basically Penpals) and just practice having conversation in this language daily.
I know that I could learn faster, but it’s just not possible at the moment. So I do what I can, that I at least won’t forget what I learned so far.

I’ll keep you guys and girls updated. More good stuff is coming soon :)

Apparently I am learning an overrated language

もしもし, everyone!

Today I was told by a random person that I am learning an overrated language. I took no offence or anything, just laughed and told them that no matter how “overrated” it may be, I still love learning it. The statement was probably not meant offensive anyways, and even if, my happy nature won’t let such negativity into my life :D

The funny thing is though, in a way I would agree to that statement. Let me explain. Continue reading

Pimsleur practice

Aside from my daily ひらがな practice and dabbling with the Genki book, I also started learning with Pimsleur today.

Finally, I learn some real conversation which I can actually use in daily life, should I happen to meet people speaking Japanese.

With Pimsleur, you will repeat a lot. And I mean a whole lot. But this actually helps, at least from my experience, with remembering the meaning behind your utterances. It also helps losing any accent you may have (whether that is a good or bad thing is debatable – though I strive to emulate a native Japanese speaker as closely as possible).

In any case, the first Lesson starts simply enough: Continue reading