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Author Topic: Your language learning experience  (Read 434 times)

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Offline heinrichk.05

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Re: Your language learning experience
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 08:30:51 AM »
I was born in Brazil, so my first language is Portuguese. However, as I've always been exposed to different cultures — I studied at a bilingual (Spanish/Portuguese) school, and my grandparents are Japanese (thus I had contact with anime/manga/LNs/VNs since I was a little kid) —, learning new languages is relatively easy for me. To be honest, I'm kind of jealous of people who have an awesome background story about how they went to learn another language.

Now I speak Portuguese, English, Spanish and Japanese, but I want to learn French and Italian someday.

By the way, what was the manga you wanted to read?

Offline crimsonex

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Your language learning experience
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2015, 10:37:03 PM »
This is a thread to talk about your journey of language learning. You can talk about what inspired you to learn a new language, your joys and woes of learning that language and how far you've come to.

I'll start first. It was September 2007. I was 15. I bought a Japanese manga magazine for the first time, after a long halt of publication and being fed up waiting for the scanlations. (the manga was not popular so only a few people worked on the scanlations, and no one scanned the magazine either). I still remember the price of the magazine. The postage fee was the same as the magazine, since I EMSed it. lol!
I couldn't understand anything, but from the pictures I knew a main character died in that chapter. I was so frustrated that I didn't even know what happened and how he died!!! That's when I thought, "I should learn Japanese so I don't need to rely on someone any more!"

I actually tried to learn the Japanese syllabary just for fun when I was 11, but I failed miserably. This time with motivation, I picked them up pretty fast. Katakana was a bit more difficult to memorize than hiragana though. The te-form was also quite a pain in the ass to memorize, but after repeating them in my head for the whole day, it stuck. After that the self-learning process was quite smooth. Kanji was not a problem since I am a HKer. I just had to remember the pronunciation.

I have to thank my teacher Rikaichan, Aedict/Aedict3 and the Japanese radio programmes I kept listening to. My preferred learning method was to listen to radio programmes and tried to wrote down what they said, word by word. You could imagine that it was.........extremely agonising, but also rewarding. Since there was no subtitles, I couldn't understand even 5% of their words at first. Eventually I picked up the vocabs and could understand more. It also really helped my accent and learnt the way Japanese talk. When I couldn't understand something, I just typed in Rikaichan. It was a fast way to learn. I think without Rikaichan I would not even achieve N4 level JLPT.

In 2009 I started going to Japanese school but I learned more at home than at school.  :XD:

I still didn't know how much I have learned, until August 2010 - I have never read a Japanese novel, played eroge or visual novel before and decided it was a right time to challenge myself, so I picked Fate/stay night + hollow ataraxia. Yes it is famous, not only for the story and characters, but also for the length of the story and the amount of words, not to mention Nasu's infamously eccentric style of writing (*vomit*). That was exactly why I wanted to play it. I launched it, and was surprised that I could understand most of the words! I expected it to be much more difficult. I realised my teacher was right: "Japanese grammar is very very easy, once you understand the structure of a Japanese sentence you will have no problem reading a novel. Only vocabulary is the hard part."

So, after 200 hours, I finished both games, understood every word and realised I could pass a N1 JLPT now! Yay!! I reached a milestone. I was not in a rush to get my certificate though, so I waited until 2012, after my temporary stay in Tokyo. (It was the first time I lived by myself. The stay made me reflect on my life and appreciate what I had back at home. :) Of course I also learnt more about the Japanese culture and bought many books and toys there.)

I achieved a high score in JLPT and was very proud of myself for once.....

Sadly, since I passed my JLPT, I had no more reason to push myself hard, so my Japanese got more and more rusty. I moved on to other interests and seldom read things in Japanese now. The last Japanese program I watched was Gaki no Tsukai Do Not Laugh 31-12-2013. I moved to the UK few months ago and was horrified that I could not understand what people were saying in both English and Japanese!!!! :( I will have to practice both languages harder, but I am busier than before... :dark:

Anyway, that is the end and I am eager to read your story too.  :2one: