Update on Japanese Studies!

18 Jan

One of the things I want to write about more this year is how my Japanese learning is going and what I’m doing. I enjoy following others’ progress and I realized blogging about my own progress would be a very good way to actually keep track of it. (I knew that before, but it didn’t sink in until just recently. Lol!) So today I’m going to start by talking about what I’ve been doing most recently in regards to this.

I review WaniKani daily, and am currently at Level 11. I anticipate leveling up sometime next week. At the WK community forums, a member started a thread called “Community Translation Project”, which lists a translation challenge daily for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners of Japanese. Beginners must translate a sentence or two, intermediate folks a paragraph, and the advanced people an entire page or selection of text. Generally they are all pulled from the same article. Participants are allowed to use dictionaries, but not translation services. The challenge ends 48 hours after the post, and participants are ranked according to how well they translated the piece they decided to translate. The goal is not to win (there isn’t a prize or anything like that), but to improve. You get feedback from a fellow WK user who is intermediate/upper-intermediate (the thread starter, who also participates and asks others to point out his own mistakes) and you get to see other people’s translations and how they might perceive differently the same section of text.

So…yesterday I tried my hand at translating in the beginner challenge. We’ll see how I did tomorrow, I think? Anyway, I think this is really good practice! It’s text set before you, so you don’t have to retrieve it yourself, and it’s broken up into manageable chunks for beginners and intermediate learners so that it isn’t an intimidating wall of text. In addition, since it’s a daily challenge, you can participate daily! I think this removes a lot of the excuses one would whip out to try to justify not trying.

It inspired me to look more closely at the Japanese text I encounter on a daily basis. It made me realize that I could do this on my own with sections of text I find. I don’t know if I could post it on Lang-8, but maybe I could? I also thought if I do it more often, the goal not necessarily being translation but to soon be able to read Japanese without having to translate it to English at all, then I could indeed pick up more quickly the nuances and grammar that I feel I am lacking at the moment, among other things.

Hm… As of late, that’s really all I’ve been doing in the Japanese-learning area, aside from reading Japanese Tweets and comments on Youtube and Hello!Project info and stuff like that~ I have plans for other things! We’ll see how I do. ^o^

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