Tag Archives: Learning Japanese

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

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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!

こんにちは。

わたちは ニルス です。
にほんごが すこし わかります。
やった!

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


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


Moving forward

もしもし, everyone!

Today marks the beginning of my conversation practice. I am using the book Genki – An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese for this. It seems that it was a good idea after all to learn the ひらがな beforehand, as most of the initial lessons are written in this script. I will work on the Katakana soon however so that I also have this in my arsenal.

The First Lesson, or rather Lesson Zero, involves some of the most common Greetings in Japanese. This actually proves to be a good practice for myself as I can now write and read these Greetings fairly easily, and learn their pronunciation and meaning at the same time.

I will however not use this book exclusively, but rather try to get my knowledge from a couple of sources. I might try out Pimsleur too, as I heard many good things about it. As for the Katakana and Kanji, I will work with Heisigs books, as they have already proven themselves very useful and effective. Continue reading


A first step is taken

And it’s done. I have worked my way through Remembering the Kana I, and thus learned to read and write the ひらがな.

My total time in the lessons clocks at 100 minutes, but this does not include the time I spent (and plan to spend) repeating the kana symbols, reading as much as I can and simply practicing a lot.
I do want to include the number though, to show you how “easy” it is to learn something that us westerners often consider very abstract and plain out of our reach. Let me be the first to tell you that it’s not hard at all. Yes, you do have to sit down and work, but success comes so quickly that soon you will forget all about the apparent hardship.  Continue reading


The practice continues

もしもし, everyone!

Almost finished with the book Remembering the Kana by James Heisig

From then on, I will learn the Katakana, followed by focusing more on the conversational aspect, before learning the Kanji symbols. Of course, it would be nice to read all those yet cryptic passages, but what’s the point if I don’t even understand them, nor their greater context. Continue reading