This post is WAAAAY overdue. This is a follow up to the AJATT Immersion Challenge post I wrote over 2 months ago, promising to follow up in a month. I could make excuses about how I kept forgetting, but no the reality is that this post was always in the back of my mind. Like an annoying fly I’ve been meaning to swat away. To be honest… I haven’t been very diligent at following any of my challenge.
SONG OF THE DAY: Vortex by The Gazette– An angry song for an angry me! To myself! haha 😛 (J-Rock is not usually my thing, but I’ve been trying to get into it lately.)
So truthfully… I followed my challenge completely for about 3-4 days. I know, quite impressive. For about a week after that, I lagged behind and towards the end of my “challenge” I think I had almost dropped learning completely! Yes, completely!!! I don’t think I respond very well to being forced into doing something, even if I’m the one doing the forcing! Perhaps it was the fact that I was being held accountable for the results on my blog? Usually that type of motivation is helpful, so I don’t know what happened. But of course, I am determined to learn this language, so I ended up picking up my slack through the next month.
Here is how each of my challenges worked out for me:
All Japanese music, All the time– yeaaaaaa….. NO. I was the least confident about keeping this challenge up and I was correct! I only managed for a few days, but I went nuts because there really isn’t a lot of Japanese music that I like yet. Music is something that’s very important to me and it keeps me going. I can’t just cut out a bunch of music that I like COLD TURKEY! However, I have put a lot more effort into discovering new Japanese music, and I do listen to it a lot more than I ever have. I have been curbing my K-Pop craving by downloading a lot more Japanese versions of their songs. It helps.
Japanese While You Work and Sleep– Hmm… I didn’t do as well as I had wanted on this goal, but not too bad. I did the sleep thing for a few days, but after that it was out. I’ve tried it a few times after (and once unintentionally just fell asleep while a podcast was playing lol), but I don’t think it’s for me. I don’t like noise while I sleep and it doesn’t help that I sleep like a maniac. I couldn’t find my iPod in the morning, that’s how bad it was. During work, it got to be a bit boring listening to people talking without understanding. So I’m back to JPod101 podcasts, which are much easier to handle. I often replay the Japanese dialogue and I find it more beneficial since I can understand it after reviewing the lesson. I still go back and listen to podcasts I’m subscribed to on iTunes Japan, just not all day long.
Japanese Learning on the Go- OK! Finally a goal I didn’t completely screw up! I’ve actually been following this one quite well…umm… sort of. I haven’t been going over vocabulary as much as I have Kanji. I still want to do reviews on all my ipod apps… so I’ll keep the details to a minimum here. I’ve been using the Kanji Flip ipod/iphone app which I faithfully study everyday anywhere from 5-20 minutes. I am quite proud of myself when I recognize these kanji in any Japanese writing. And it’s actually not that bad! Yea, it’s frustrating but when you can quickly and conveniently “flip” through them everyday, it is much easier to stomach. Believe me… it is extremely rewarding to look at a kanji and be able to remember all of it’s meanings and readings… and that is no easy feat with some of these!!
Talk Japanese to Everyone- Still driving everyone crazy with my random Japanese sayings! I also get a bit of practice in with friends who are also learning Japanese. But the person I should be talking to the most, my tutor who also happens to be a Japanese native, is not getting as much attention from me. She really tries to incorporate Japanese into a lot of our conversations, yet I continue to switch back into my comfort zone of English. I forgot how embarrassing it feels to speak a language you’re learning in front of a native speaker. I was even invited to her house warming, which should be taking place soon, and that all of her Japanese friends will be attending. Ahhh I tremble at the thought! I need to get over this fear soon if I wish to become proficient. Opportunities like this (outside of Japan) don’t come around too often!!
So I didn’t reach all of my goals, but just setting them has helped. Before this challenge, I listened to a lot less Japanese then I do now, even if it’s not 24/7. Could AJATT work for someone else? Yea. Sure. It’s just not my thing. I told myself when I was beginning to learn this language that I was in for the long haul, and that’s ok. I want to have a life outside of Japanese learning and I don’t mind if it’ll take me a few years longer that way.