I'm Learning Japanese

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Having More Fun in Japanese

Posted by drivers99 on December 30, 2010

I’m in the middle of reading Ramses Oudt’s short ebook “How I Learned Spanish” which just came out for free to his mailing list subscribers. He is talking a lot about the importance of having fun in Spanish (but I’m sure it applies to any language).

I will admit that lately I often think about quitting Japanese. I feel a lot of pressure in the form of real world responsibilities on which I am not doing as well as I could be. (However now that I think about it, those two don’t really have anything to do with each other.) At the same time, I know that I refuse to give up. Reading his ebook is really inspiring to me because he talks about some of his struggles until he started making it more fun.

So I started thinking about ways to make it more fun. I already loaded up my car with Japanese music, and that is working well. I’m actually liking it more and more. I should keep exploring different groups and finding more stuff that I like, so that I have more to listen to all the time.

I thought about what would be interesting to read. Then I had the idea to find out if there are Japanese pen-and-paper role playing games. That is a link to a wikipedia article (in English) about the topic. Here is a website (in Japanese) for a game called SwordWorld 2.0. I’m surprised that the rulebooks appear to be fairly inexpensive compared to the super-expensive (e.g. $40 per volume) RPGs you typically see in English. One interesting thing I found out is that there is a genre of fiction called replay. From what I can tell it is a kind of light novelization of campaigns (sessions) played in a given RPG. That seems potentially interesting as well.

Some other ideas are that I should try to look at more video media and try to find more stuff that I like (anime, manga, TV dramas, movies, youtube videos). Especially stuff that I will like even though I don’t understand it yet.

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6 Responses to “Having More Fun in Japanese”

  1. Amanda said

    I’m in the middle of reading the spanish-only ebook too!
    just out of curiosity, what japanese music do you listen to?

    • drivers99 said

      Right now I have loaded in the CD player:

      Shing02 – 歪曲 (waikyoku)
      Emi Meyer – Passport
      MC Soda – Link a Passion
      SCANDAL – Temptation Box
      Bubblegum Crisis soundtrack
      Tron Legacy soundtrack (oops… not Japanese)

      I should write up a blog post about my favorite songs from some of these, with links to videos and stuff. Thanks for asking!

  2. “I should try to look at more video media and try to find more stuff that I like (anime, manga, TV dramas, movies, youtube videos)”

    Absolutely! Video content is ideal because you have so many visual clues to fill in the context. You can even try watching American movies you’ve already seen dubbed into Japanese. That way, you already know the plot and can just focus on the language. And don’t forget podcasts, one of the best language learning tools of all! They are free, many have transcripts, and you can listen to them while doing chores and running errands (something video content is not very good for).

    Good luck!

    • drivers99 said

      Oh hi John. I just started reading your ebook today too. I never heard of podcasts with transcripts. Oh, maybe specifically educational ones?

      • Thank you for buying Master Japanese: Self-Guided Immersion for the Passionate Language Learner. I hope it is both helpful and enjoyable.

        To see transcripts on an iPod touch or iPhone, just hit the middle of the screen once. For older iPods, click the center wheel 3 times. If nothing shows up, there are no transcripts included. They can be added, however, via iTunes. LingQ for example doesn’t have transcripts included on the podcast (as they want you to come to the site), but you can always go to LingQ, copy the free transcript, and then paste it into the lyrics area. Just right click on an episode in iTunes, click “Get Info”, then “Lyrics” and then paste the transcript. Voila! Instant, portable listening AND reading input!

        JapanesePod101 podcasts DO have transcripts already integrated into the podcasts (not to mention fairly good voice actors), but be forewarned that they can get a little pushy on the up-sell front.

  3. Ramses said

    Don, thanks for linking to my blog and promoting my free eBook :-). Hopefully you will get some more useful things from it.

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