25 March 2017 @ 03:40 am
Intro post: Exchange to Sendai  
Hey guys, this is my intro post I guess. I'm going on exchange to Sendai (Miyagi University of Education, 宮城教育大学) for a year, starting autumn 2017. By that time I'll have finished 3 semesters of Japanese in University. Here's a run-down of what I've done and am doing:

— 1st semester in Uni: Genki 1
— 2nd: Genki 2, Tobira (I "learned" all of Tobira in December and January, but that's just memorizing vocab, it's not like I can use all the grammar perfectly)
— 3rd: Tobira review; Remembering the Kanji; manga/stories we read in class
— Summertime (prep for the exchange): Dictionary of Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Grammar; studying to get to N2 and N1 on the JLPT.

During the exchange I'm just going to "live life", "talk to the natives" etc as much as possible and do everything I can to NOT study.

After finishing Tobira and having learnt about 1,000 more words on top of that is when I really started being able to "understand stuff". Right now I'd say my understanding is 70-90% for the average text or manga aside from political/legal stuff, 30-50% for most spoken (interviews, adult anime, songs etc) things. That includes doujinshi without furigana, novels and so on. Ever since I finished Tobira I've been seeing clear improvements from week to week in how much I understand.

If you want to take advice from me, manga is CLEARLY the best reading practice / exercise tool AND has the most useful words out of anything you could possibly use to learn from. Time and time again I'm shown that a grammar point my classmates can't understand, or a word they don't know, shows up a billion times in manga with clear examples. Manga also more closely matches the spoken language compared to basically all other types of writing, so if you're weak in slang and spoken stuff like me it's a big help.