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Getting back into it

KijntheRelar

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So I have learned since I was 12 years old and am now turning 23 but I have yet to attain fluency in Japanese due to I suppose bad study methods. Despite my somewhat awkward mix of advanced and intermediate knowledge, my speaking sucks, my listening is better but still sucks, and I still don't know all the Kanji.

I am going through the Genki series from square 1 and making my foundation rock solid, fortunately being an advanced learner despite the holes, I will probably be able to zip through the first book. What I want to make sure of is that I get out of this translating habit and also think in the correct word order and I think going through the genki series will help alot here because I want to do all the exercises in the book without translating first and thinking only in japanese. In addition, I am constantly trying to think in english in a japanese sentence order to reprogram my brain to think in the right information order rather than awkwardly trying to form sentences in japanese from a bunch of words in my head.

I really wanna get out of this rut and I hope this will help. Any other tips? I already listen to J-pop music all the time so that's good.
 

mdchachi

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The more exposure the better. J-Pop is not really a good introduction to Japanese any more than American pop music is a good introduction to English. But it should help.

Rather than thinking in English try to think in Japanese. Hold conversations with yourself. I found that's helpful in surfacing grammar and vocabulary I didn't know. Anything from "I wonder if it's going to rain today" to "These are not the droids you are looking for."
 

Mike Cash

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Do you ever have any occasion to have to interact with anyone in Japanese?
 

nice gaijin

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You've been studying for 11 years? have you taken classes? Have immersed yourself in the local Japanese culture (assuming there is any), or gone to Japan? Have you tried duolingo or some similar online tools?

You're never going to attain fluency if you don't immerse yourself in the language.
 

KijntheRelar

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You've been studying for 11 years? have you taken classes? Have immersed yourself in the local Japanese culture (assuming there is any), or gone to Japan? Have you tried duolingo or some similar online tools?

You're never going to attain fluency if you don't immerse yourself in the language.
Honestly, it's sort of off and on but year 11 freakin years. Immersion is hard considering there isn't much of any Japanese culture around where I live, and I can't afford to go to Japan or anything... unfortunately :( I hate it, I think may'be I just might be a bit out of sync with the language because I already notice how I can sort of form fluid sentences about most things and have conversations with myself in Japanese pretty easily.

But yeah story of my life is no one speaks Japanese here, there are no classes except at universities which I do not go to. I am 100% self taught. I suppose I can write in Japanese but I have no idea how to immerse myself in any of my current situations. I went through text books, Tae Kim's grammar guide and have tried for a while now listening to japanese radio and youtube Vlogs but I can only understand around 50-60% depending on the topic.
 

Toritoribe

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例えばその自分自身との会話の一部やラジオの聞き取れなかった箇所をここに書いてみるというのはどうですか?このフォーラムには(あまり使われてはいませんが)それ専用のセクションもありますし、同じようなことをやっているメンバーもいます。いずれにしても間違いの指摘を受けたり、より正しい表現を教えてもらえるという利点はありますよ。ここはそういう用途には最適ですから。:)

Please do not hesitate to ask about where you can't get, if you have.:)
 

Mike Cash

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I can sort of form fluid sentences about most things and have conversations with myself in Japanese pretty easily.
The problem with that is that you have no feedback on whether you're getting it right or not.
 

mdchachi

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Immersion is hard considering there isn't much of any Japanese culture around where I live
Maybe true but you have all kinds of technology available to you today. Real-time video chats for free to anywhere on the planet. All kinds of content on youtube etc.
But primarily you just need a lot of interaction with real people at this point it sounds like.
 

KijntheRelar

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Maybe true but you have all kinds of technology available to you today. Real-time video chats for free to anywhere on the planet. All kinds of content on youtube etc.
But primarily you just need a lot of interaction with real people at this point it sounds like.
Oh yeah, I'm gonna see about findIng people to chat with on skype or something. Besides that, I'm now constantly listening to japanese in the background as much as possible. More so talking than just music and learning sentences in anki which seems to be helping alot so far. I am trying to take in as little english as possible because I have not been immersing myself and I think that's the issue.

I tell you the hard thing about it is that Japanese internet is kinda different from english speaking internet, there is a different format, different almost methods to finding things. Like if I want to find an article on some art related thing, it seems to be hard to find it online but I guess the struggle will pay off. But I am really enjoying it now, which is another extremely important factor. I do also have a guy at my animation school who lived in japan and speaks Japanese pretty fluently so i'm gonna talk with him as much as possible too.
 
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