My journey in self-studying Japanese: A start

I came across a blog today called ‘Kaito Monogatari’. It belongs to a high schooler from Italy. Just a cursory glance over his past blog posts gave me an insight into how he studies Japanese. In a short period of time he seems to have progressed enough to want to go through proper Japanese novels. He even says in one of his blog posts that he’s progressed far beyond his initial estimation in just a year. What excited me about finding this blog was initially the main header of the blog – My journey in self-studying Japanese. That resonated with me. I was so glad that someone out there had taken the time to maintain a blog and I instantly wanted to reach out to him and say, “Hey there, I’m studying Japanese too. Let’s be friends.’ Now this might sound creepy to some, but it’s hard to find someone who’s learning a language, much less learning the same language as you. There are apps out there to talk with native speakers but they haven’t helped me learn much. Sure I can ask them to translate sentences for me when online translator websites fail. But most of the time it is me who ends up teaching them English.

What I find myself looking for is that one person who is dedicated to learning a new language as much as I am and to making new friends. Anyway back to the blog, I did reach to him and say hello. If he’s up for it I’d like to start a group where dedicated individuals can cheer each other on while posting their daily accomplishments in grammar, Kanji and vocabulary.

His blog was interesting because it was a simple record of his journey learning the language. There were posts about the books he’d read and he seemed very knowledgeable about Japanese history too. I’m glad I feel excited about studying Japanese again. I find that coming across such inspiration on a regular basis is the only way I can keep myself focused and motivated.

Thank you Riccardo.

Thanks to his blog, I have a feeling that maintaining a blog about my journey would be an excellent way to keep a track of all that I’ve studied and maintain the same for review when it’s time for the exams.

So here goes.

I’ve been preparing for the N3 exam that is due to take place this december. And I have a lot to do. I’ve been going through N3 level grammar and although they’re easy, they’re just too many. I might have to go through them again to see how they differ from the earlier points I’d covered in the past

So today, I covered など、なんて、なんか、~ からには、~きる、~ぎみ、~がち

a) など、なんて、なんか

Although I’ve come across these words before this is the first time I would be studying their usage.

While など is formal, なんて is less formal and なんか is informal, they all mean the same. They are used to express etc., or suggesting there are more options available. I feel they can sometimes be roughly translated to ‘such a thing’ or ‘something like this’

eg: I had no idea she had got married.

結婚したなんて….. ( I had no idea she had done something like that)

They are also used to express arrogance, disrespect and contempt.

Although なんて、なんか can be used interchangeably if placed after a noun, the same cannot be followed if placed after a verb or an adjective.

b) ~ からには

This can be translated into ‘Now that I am/ he is/ we are etc.’

c) ~きる

This can be translated into ‘To finish till the end; Completely/ All of it

I found that it was very hard for me to understand the meaning of the sentence by using just this definition. So I decided to make a small list of words to remember while reviewing.

疲れきる:To be exhausted

出し切る: To use up, to do one’s best

食べきれない: More than one can eat

売り切れる: To be sold out

It is also used when a person feels strongly or says something with confidence.

言い切る:To declare, to assert

踏み切る:To take the plunge

押し切る:To overcome resistence

思い切る:To abandon/ to make a decision (Funny word)

d) ~ぎみ

I made it a point to go over Maggie Sensei’s blog to understand the nuances of using this and ~がち。You too could go over to her blog for more information.

~ぎみ is usually used when stating a condition. (Slightly cold, slightly odd, bit overweight)

e) ~がち

Can translate to ‘To be inclined towards something’. This something is mostly a negative situation.

For example:

忘れがち:Tends to forget, forgetful

疲れがち: Get tired easily

遅れがち: tend to be late

So that’s all I studied for today. I have a lot more to cover in order to finish this chapter. Hopefully I finish it all tomorrow. See ya!


3 thoughts on “My journey in self-studying Japanese: A start

  1. “I’d like to start a group where dedicated individuals can cheer each other on while posting their daily accomplishments in grammar, Kanji and vocabulary.” –This seems a great idea. Self-studying is a bit harder than I thought and it would be nice to keep in touch with people with the same goals. 🙂

    1. I’ve tried being part of LINE groups, but the different timelines and no proper objectives made it very dull. I was thinking something along the lines of a pic of our notes, or a blog post…. to check each others progress, so that we don’t slack off. Also share resources.

      If you have any ideas I’d be glad to hear them!

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