5 In Japanese learning journey (:/ N2 Journey

N2 Journey: Where did I learn this?

Making use of the public holiday to get out of my learning slump! I realised the importance of having motivators or what I like to call “ties/connections” to the language. I think I have talked about how fangirling is one important factor when it comes to language learning because it keeps you motivated and connected to the language and provide that spark for you to want to learn. Of course it doesn’t have to be an idol, but you still need that connection to the country – for example Korean food / films / architecture / history. Anything.

But recently I have been losing a few of the “connections” I’ve built up for Korean. For example, I totally lost interest in k-dramas or k-pop. No Korean films have caught my eye recently, I’m not going back to Korea anytime soon, I’m not particularly keen on anything related to Korea(n) right now. Same for Japan(ese). I got over my anime phase, not watching any Japanese dramas etc. Of course I’m not saying that I have lost every connection with the two languages (that’s not possible) but having no keen interest in anything particular makes it difficult for me to willingly work hard for the languages. Especially when I’ve been super busy and tired.

hahaha totally in a slump / bottleneck.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing and I see it as a natural part of the language learning journey. There are bound to be times when your interest wanes or periods of struggle. It’s how you choose to address it that is important.

I’ve been trying to slowly build the connections again. Going to start with Japanese first since I have a goal to work towards this year – N2! I’m not going to ‘study for the exam’, but I like that it gives me some motivation and a direction to work towards to!


Working with these books today <3

The way I learn Japanese grammar is very different from the way I learn Korean grammar and I really struggle with moving outside of my ‘usual method’. For Korean grammar, I had relied on textbooks with each chapter introducing a number of grammar points via a passage / dialogue. For Japanese, I have yet to come across such a textbook after I have finished Integrated Japanese Intermediate. I know people have been talking about Tobira but I am not inclined to get such an expensive book when it might overlap with the Integrated Japanese book. I want something more advanced and I haven’t found it yet.

So what I’ve been doing is making use of the green N2 grammar book which basically groups grammar points based on functions. So each theme might have 4-5 grammar points and by using that book, I am more able to see the subtle differences between similar grammar points. I loathe to learn grammar via such “dictionary-like” books. But I’m doing it because somehow the grammar points that I’m learning so far are those that I have seen in books and I actually could understand their meaning.

It’s hard to explain but I feel that reading Japanese novels have paid off because I somehow learn grammar while reading?! It’s a very strange feeling… because I would not have been able to do it for Korean ;;;

So I don’t understand how I can miraculously pick up grammar while reading Japanese novels. In fact, I seldom come across sentence constructions I don’t understand in those novels. Most of the time, it’s the vocabulary.

I should stop trying to figure out this mind-boggling situation hahaha. Learning to break out of the “Korean-studying-method”mould and try something new!



Mandatory picture of my Japanese notebook! This one is for grammar.

I was thinking that it would be really cool to create a picture gallery / slideshow of language notebooks!! I loveeee seeing notebook pictures from other language learners!!

If you are keen, send me pictures at shanna@hangukdrama.com and I’ll compile them in a blog post or something 😀 😀 Can be any language!

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  • Reply
    20 July, 2015 at 9:55 AM

    i cannot relate personally. i have a never ending que of japanese movies, tv shows, books, music…

  • Reply
    12 August, 2015 at 9:18 AM

    I’m also studying for the N2 (got a little sidetracked recently though). I started writing the grammar points and example sentences in my notebook but my handwriting isn’t as nice as yours XD

    I’m trying to get into the habit of reading more Japanese books (as in, not just manga or light novels) but it’s a struggle to stay focused and continue reading :’)

    • Reply
      14 August, 2015 at 9:44 PM

      Hi Perla! hahaha I’ve been sidetracked for a long time lolol. Any light novels you recommend?

  • Reply
    24 September, 2015 at 6:49 AM

    Hi Shanna! I am also studying Japanese, I am somewhere between the N3 and N2 level. I can totally relate to what you are referring to in this post. I was just wondering if you have come across the Try! series. You should definitely try to check them out. If you do, let me know what you think.
    Kisses from Greece

  • Reply
    24 September, 2015 at 6:55 AM

    One more thing. I have already studied both the Integrated Intrmediate Japanese and Tobira textbooks (all three of them) and my opinion is that you most probably won’t like them. The reading parts are way too boring. Very culture oriented. Good grammar though? Also try to check out the Dekiru Nihongo if you haven’t already. 🙂

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