Yay!!!

Soooo…I’ve just finished my first Japanese light novel! I’ve been obsessed with sports anime lately, so I read a light novel regarding one of my new favorite shows: Kuroko no Basuke! I LOVE the characters there! Oh my goodness. And I watched Prince of Tennis, so I’m used to all the sports moves being blown out of proportion and amplified with characters glowing and flying into outer space and stuff so the unrealistic-ness of it doesn’t phase me too much! I like how the anime puts a lot of focus on improving in basketball, but the light novel that I read (Kuroko no Basuke-Replace) goes into a backstory of their lives. If it were to be animated, they would be the filler episodes that no one really wants to see. I like fillers (when they’re done right) so I liked reading the novel. And let me say I learned A LOT of words! I was going to settle for reading ~20 pages/day but I got so caught up and motivated to keep going that I wanted to read more. I bought the novel as an e-book from BookWalker. At first I wanted to buy the original light novel, then I thought about the shipping costs for the series. I’m still jobless, so anyway I can save money, that’s what I’m doing. SO, I bought the ebook, downloaded the app on my phone (I couldn’t screenshot the pages from my computer >_>) took screenshots on my phone, uploaded them to Google drive, gathered them in a document using Pages (my student Microsoft account expired and I can’t find our original CD T_T), then printed out all the pages from the document. The ebook was 329 pages on my phone, but I could get 4 pages on each sheet. So I technically used 83 sheets of paper (which isn’t bad coming out of a 500 sheet pack). I may or may not do this again to finish the series. There are 5/6 volumes (don’t remember) and I want to finish them all. For now, having them printed out on paper is best for drilling the Kanji/words into my head, but maybe after reading so many volumes, I won’t need to go to a dictionary to look up every other word, so I won’t feel the need to print the pages out anymore. For now, although the process is repetitive and boring, it works for me. And I was extremely excited to get through my first book! ^______^ I think part of the reason I was able to get through the book quickly was because I was completely focusing on Japanese. I always try to balance out my Japanese and Korean, so switching back and forth was probably more tiring than I realized. For now I really want to up my Japanese, then maybe Korean can come after that.

Rough draft of how I went through the book:

November 16: Ordered Kuroko no Basuke-Replace

November 17: Started reading it.

November 30: 80 pages in. Decided to start reading 20 pages/day

December 3: Started reading 1 chapter/day (total of 6 chapters but chapter 1 was ridiculously long)

December 9: Finished the novel

In the midst of this I finished 3 anime series: Diamond no Ace, Yowamushi Pedal, and Future Diary. I’ve also been keeping up with Haikyuu! (the anime and manga)

It’s official: I need a life @_@

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My Goodness!

It’s been awhile again huh? >< But! I’m not complaining! I applied for a job and I’m in the midst of applying for another. If I get either one, I get to use either my Japanese or Korean skills! I haven’t been doing nothing! And because these are jobs that require a higher level of the languages that I’m studying (JLPT N2 and really good business Korean. They didn’t measure Korean using TOPIK so I’m not sure about that one), I’m forced to study more so I can be up to par with everyone applying! which leads me to: this has been a productive week so far! I took a mock TOPIK I test and got 183/200! I haven’t forgotten my Korean! Watching those dramas really helped! xD I was going to take practice tests all week to test my week spots in my languages, but on Wednesday, I just decided to jump right in to studying! I won’t disclose my schedule, but I’ll upload it when I’m finished with everything. No matter how I try to put stuff on my blog here to hold myself accountable, it doesn’t work. SO, this time, I’m going to go through with the schedule (hopefully) and THEN upload so everyone can see what I did (and how crazy I am ^^;)! It’s only been 2 days and I’ll be going for about 8 weeks so….I have quite a ways to go. I won’t say I’m doing well until 2 weeks in. but I don’t know if it’s because of the jobs I applied for or the way I changed my study habits or what, but I really enjoyed the last 2 days and my brain doesn’t hurt (yet) from overstudying, cause that can be just as bad as not studying enough @_@

I leave you all with this! My embarrassing recording of me reading an entry from 연세 읽기 3! Hopefully I’ll get a lot of these up (but I just looked through the book and a lot of the passages are LONG so I doubt it @_@). I had to record this in parts cause the passage was pretty long and I kept messing up. So you guys can probably hear where I stopped and started and paused and clipped and everything >_< But take it one step at a time right? Right.

Yonsei Reading 1

Sighs

I looked over a TTMIK story time a couple (hundred) times. First, I used it as dictation and wrote the story out as I was listening. Then I made corrections between what I heard and what was actually said. I haven’t gotten to looking up the new vocab yet…that’s literally all I did (in terms of study) this week. I didn’t even look at any Japanese study material…

Welp…it’s only Wednesday…there’s still a half of this week left…then we go into September! Yikes! This year is flying by…hopefully I can kick myself in the butt and get through this self study thing…*sigh*

Can’t Keep Up

*sigh* As soon as I get “my mojo” back, I get lazy-ish. -_- In my defense, it’s been a busy week with a lot of birthdays, and my Uncle Dwayne came to town, and I Skyped with my Japanese friend. We spoke in Japanese, but just for a LITTLE bit. Like it’s not even worth mentioning how much we talked (in Japanese of course, the regular conversation was over 3 hours xD).

I’ve come up with a plan that can get me to Japan or Korea, so I’ll work on that. Then when I get over to one of the countries, I’ll want to study all the time! Mwahahahahahaaa!!!! Or at least I’ll be forced to interact with people which in turn will become a form of study. I won’t mention it here at the moment, but know that I am working on something and not completely letting my life go to waste! Until then, I’ll get back on track with my used to be good study habits!

My Mojo!

Thanks to Talk to Me in Korean (TTMIK) I got my mojo back for studying Korean! They have a series called Story Time where a teacher has a short story that they tell (through video) and the video has Korean subtitles. If you subscribe to it I think you get a Korean and English transcript of the video with a breakdown of vocab and grammar. I still don’t have a job, so all of my money will have to be saved at the moment, but I’m making it work on my own… (at least I think so xD) They also have a News in Korean series that I wanted to work on, but for the samples, they seem to only put the audio. If I can’t check what I’m studying, I don’t wanna get into the habit of studying the wrong way. Habits are hard to break. So I’ll hold off until I have money to subscribe or the listening skills and confidence to do it without the transcripts. Anyway, for the Story Time series I watched the video once (경화 speaks soooo quickly @.@) to see how much I could catch (without reading the subtitles). The first time I wasn’t able to catch much of anything _-_ But after writing out my own transcript (using the subs) I would read along to what she was saying. Then I tried to start shadowing her. It was such a painful process xD But I enjoyed it! *I’m not a masochist guys* Now (after hours and hours of shadowing) I can ALMOST say the full script with 경화! Progression for the win!!!

I’m following the same structure I was doing for Japanese with the Kanji sheets. I started listening to the story, and the first time I listened to it (after learning the kanji, I listened to it once when I first got the book) I probably understood a little more than 50%. By the time I listened to it over and over and over (probably a good thousand times) I understood about 90%. I could probably contribute that to knowing the flow of the story by the last time I listened to it, but as they say: repetition is key!

I love when I can see the progression I’m making! It’s such a good feeling!

너무 오랜만 이지?

Ummm…I’m not dead >.< Sooo…..I GRADUATED!!!!!! I also met my Japanese friend! She came to America (she’s wanted to do that for so long) and stayed with me for 2 weeks. It was a tiring 2 weeks (in a mostly good way), but it was fun. That was probably the most fun I’ve had that school year. I can’t tell if I was in a depression at that time, but there were definitely times when I was feeling down (similar to now). I’ve been to Six Flags (an amusement park) for my brother’s birthday, then Universal Studios for father’s day with my dad and youngest younger sister, and I spent a week with my mom while my grandma was in Tennessee taking the BAR (for the third time). I REALLY hope she passed this time. Other than that, I’ve spent my summer doing nothing. I got caught up watching “Plan with me” videos and decided to make a planner for myself. However, making the planner made me realize at the moment, I have nothing to plan…-_- So it’s become more of a journal to keep track of what I’ve been doing. I just made it out of a regular notebook, and I used washi tape and whatever else I could find/afford to buy to decorate it. That is something I’ve managed to keep up with. I started in May, and it’s now August.

I did meet up with the girl I was helping for the Japanese classes and she did pay me! Man she knew the struggle was REAL! I am soooo grateful to her. Helping her out made me realize I just might become a teacher. At this point, I think I don’t want to do it simply because that’s what everyone else does, however, at the moment, that seems to be the best way. I’ve been fighting against it for so long, but maybe I’ll find out I have teacher-like qualities…I don’t know.

Before writing this post, I read over all the posts before this. I wanted to see what I wanted to accomplish and compare that to my goals now. I realize my goals haven’t changed much. I knew I wanted to improve my Korean, but I didn’t remember what level I wanted to be at. I still want to be at JLPT N2, but I may not make it by December…I haven’t studied Korean from a textbook, but I have watched dramas/variety shows with and without subtitles. I also shadowed some lines *I didn’t take note of exactly what I did, I just know I haven’t opened a Korean textbook in a long while*. so I haven’t completely given up on Korean. I just feel like I don’t know how to effectively study it anymore. Before, I thought I had a Korean schedule all figured out and I didn’t know how I wanted to study Japanese. Now it’s the complete opposite. My Korean is completely in limbo, but I have a study method for Japanese that I love. I haven’t studied this past week (I just came up with a study plan 2-3 weeks ago) because this is when I was at my mom’s. Basically, I’ve created my own custom Kanji sheets to go along with the Breaking into Japanese Literature book that I ordered at the end of March (I can’t seem to stop ordering books ><), but I just got into it at the end of July xD But that’s because I thought of this great plan! In order to practice writing Kanji (if I write it, it stays in my head longer) I made my own Kanji sheet that looks like this:

Kanji Sheet

First I read one page (the book is small and the first few stories are short), and (attempt to) write all the characters I don’t know/forgot. Then, I made the sheet so I can practice writing a character 10 times and have sample compound words along with the readings (furigana) at the bottom (at the moment I haven’t done the written part for the first story). Then I handwrite all of the readings AND meanings of each character next to the character. First, I make sure I can find the Kanji on jisho.org, then I look for the Kanji again and write the info. Once I finish a page, I go back to the beginning of the story (like I said, it’s short enough to do that) and reread the pages I’ve already completed to see how much of the Kanji I remember. Constantly rereading the pages REALLY helps me. As I read, I see how much of the story I understand, then check the English translation (however, if I’ve already read the translation of a page, I won’t read the translation again because I want to understand the Japanese part of it). This is the first time I’m trying this, but since you can also listen to the story, I will do that at the end of the story so I can get listening practice in too. By the time I finish studying all of the Kanji, I should understand the story enough to be able to listen to it with little problem. I may shadow the reader too, so I can get speaking practice. This way I cover everything: reading, writing, listening, and speaking….oh and Kanji practice! It also helps that I get a context that the words are used in, so if I wanted example sentences, I can look at the story. I will also make extra examples/sentences which should help increase my vocabulary as well. Luckily, jisho.org tells whether a word is a common word or not, so I know I’m not using some obsolete word XD

Korean Vitamin posted something about Korean Graded Readers here and here which seemed similar to the Breaking into Japanese Literature, so I thought I wanted to check that out. BUT, I wanted to hold out without buying ANOTHER Korean book (it’s only $5-6 on Google Play), but I just may have to try out one or two books. If it’s like the Japanese Literature book, it may make reading soo much easier and motivate me to read the books I already have….at least that’s what I’m hoping for…

Happy March!

I hope everyone enjoyed February and had a good start to March! Did you know, today (technically yesterday if you’re on the other side of the world ><) is the day Korea celebrates 삼일절 (Samiljeol)/the March 1st Movement? According to Wikipedia (the most trustful source on the Internet….note my sarcasm), “This day commemorates the March 1st Movement in 1919. On March 1 of this year, 33 Korean nationalists and students declared their nation’s independence in Seoul. It started a nation-wide civil protest and was a catalyst for the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea (April 13, 1919).”

SNSD member, Sunny wrote this in celebration of the movement: “역사를 잊은 민족에게 미래는 없다 (There is no future for a country that forgot its history).” A lot of Japanese fans took that as an insult to themselves, and Korean fans quickly defended her. It’s not surprising that a quote like this sparked controversy, but I agree with her statement. Korean history is very similar to African American/Black history, but in a shorter time span. America seems to want to erase the bad things that happened in the past, or completely sweep it under the rug, but not facing the problem is becoming the problem. Not talking about it still creates a lot of ignorant people, who, when confronted with the truth, can either take it really well, or really….not so well. Haha lack of word choices >< But there will always be someone fighting for justice, spreading the truth, and keeping the knowledge alive. It would be terrible for a culture, especially one that contributed so much to this “land of the FREE”, to be wiped out/erased. Black people no matter where they come from are amazing and America teaches a great deal of ignorance towards them. I’m not great with words, so despite having more to say about the subject, I’ll stop here…

On a lighter note, I’ve almost finished the application for grad school in Korea! I wonder if I could really get the scholarship…