4 In Japanese learning journey (:

Hello 2021

Happy 2021! Year after year, many of us are happy to leave behind the previous year. With the pandemic, it feels like this sentiment is even stronger. So many “good riddance to 2020” memes around.

While there’s really no difference between crossing over to a new year and crossing over to any new day throughout the year, I do like that a new year gives us the motivation to start afresh. After all, things are only meaningful if we believe in it, and I believe in starting the new year on a good note.

For many years, I made it a point to blog on the first day of the year, and share a couple of resolutions for the year (which I may or may not achieve).

This year, I spent the New Year mostly offline, doing the things I love.
This year, I decide not to have any resolutions.

I was never a goal-setting type of person. In fact, I run away from goals. It doesn’t motivate me. In fact, I will dread the thing even more. That may sound hypocritical – given that I’ve set resolutions such as “Get TOPIK level 6 by end 2012” (yes I went to dig up my previous posts). But honestly, I see it as something I would wanna do but I don’t focus on it as a goal that I need to achieve, by hook or by crook. This is why I will never be able to perform in jobs that have quantitative performance indicators, cos I will probably end up underperforming compared to a similar job without the goals. During my school days, I have never set myself goals by grades, and am glad that my parents never though to do that. I perform the best when left alone.

My resolutions in recent years have been worded more loosely (vaguely). This year, I decide to do away with them. Especially when it comes to language learning. All along, language learning is something that I do because I like it, not because I want to achieve any particular goal. So instead of setting resolutions such as achieving N1 by 2021 (LOL), I am just going to enjoy the language and take the exam when I feel like doing it.

Back to the new year. I spent the day doing all things Japanese. I finished watching Demon Slayer and spent a couple of hours reading a Demon Slayer light novel and started watching Bungo Stray Dogs. YAAAS. I am finally back in my anime (and Japanese) mood.

Those who know me would know that I had spent quite a long time away from the Japanese language and I struggled to get back to it again. I am very motivated by media and after Psycho Pass, I couldn’t find the next thing to anchor me back to the language. And I discovered Demon Slayer one night.

The next morning, I went to Kinokuniya in the morning (I reached before the opening hours so I queued to get in – dedication!) to get the light novels! This is how much I love Demon Slayer.

As much as I like reading manga, I find it too expensive to invest in the books so I tend to buy the novelisations of the manga/anime. Light novels are also easy to read and in the case of Demon Slayer, the books are supposedly at an upper-elementary – middle school level. They are shorter than full adult fiction and indeed easier to read.

Demon Slayer (and the books) deserve its separate post (and many posts), so I’m stopping here for now.

It’s been a long time since I sat down for a couple of hours to do my double-reading method. So yes, it’s a good start to the year.

May 2021 be filled with happiness, and loads of language learning 🙂

What do you think of new year resolutions?

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  • Reply
    Eric G
    3 January, 2021 at 5:08 PM

    Happy New Year! I feel like it’s almost against the spirit of this blog to ask – as the clear message regarding reading is to just jump in and read – but I am too curious about the “double-reading method” you mention in this post. Obviously this is _the_ key technique I need to unlock my mastery of Korean 😀 But unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a description of what it is. Do you already have a post that I’m missing which talks about double-reading? Thanks 😊

    • Reply
      4 January, 2021 at 10:39 PM

      Happy New Year Eric! haha I probably write about it every now and then. But if you don’t mind, I will write a full post on it again soon! 🙂 Keep a lookout for that! And I’m always open to questions!

  • Reply
    4 January, 2021 at 4:10 PM

    Happy 2021!

    Been a silent reader for quite some years now. Always come back to find that one last piece of motivation to keep me going on the language learning journey. Been self-learning Korean for years now, haven’t been to any TOPIK yet but my university-exchange experience has put me to be around TOPIK 4 or so. Just wondering, how do you like keep your Korean from getting rusty? I do still read and practice but I feel as if my Korean isn’t as good as before.

    Also, I’m going to start taking Jap classes with some friends as they decided to drag me along, after self-learning for quite a few months and entering adulthood hasn’t make things easier. Hahaha~ Will stick around to get more motivation from as well.

    Thanks again! and Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      4 January, 2021 at 10:42 PM

      Hello Vanvan! yay thanks for reading the blog, even though I haven’t been updating much in the past years 🙂 I think as long as we continue to keep in touch with the language, it’s okay to feel somewhat slightly rusty (especially speaking skills). I think it will help to find something to motivate you to read/watch/speak/write more in the language!
      Woohoo good luck with Japanese too!! heh juggling adulthood with anything else is not easy. Let’s work hard 🙂
      Happy New Year!

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