Upgrading my mission

I’ve been learning Japanese for 3 years now. There are times when I feel that maybe I should just quit, because of one reason after another. Back then I told myself, it’s ok if you hate to go to school, it’s ok if you can’t grasp all the knowledge, it’s ok if you don’t have time to revise or study, but just don’t quit. Once you quit, it’ll be harder to be on track again. You know yourself better, right?

During my elementary level (or maybe intermediate?), we had conversation with the people in the classroom (including sensei) as speaking exercise. There are few times which the question why you learn Japanese was asked and I have the same answer. “I want to be able to enjoy my anime or drama.” If it’s a new anime or drama, usually it will take time for the English subs to be available. When it’s available, I had forgotten about the anime or drama, or I have move on to something else.

But as the time goes, I feel that my mission can’t motivate me anymore.

Right now I’m in Pre-Advance 3 class. Our main activity is speaking or having conversation. Writing and reading are complementary. I took JLPT N4 2 years ago to find out how far I progressed and I failed the test because I didn’t really study.

I’m taking N3 exam (1 level higher than N4) in December this year. As I study to prepare myself for this year test, I found a new goal in learning Japanese. Or I can also say, I’m upgrading my mission. I want to be able to converse in Japanese fluently as I can converse in English.

To be able to understand is good, but a language is to be used to communicate something isn’t it? It may be still a long journey for me (I’m a little behind among my group) but I’m sure, it will be a fun journey.

I feel so glad that I didn’t quit back then. Do you have a mission which need to be upgraded too?

Osh! Let’s study more..

3年以上日本語を勉強しています。いろいろな理由があるので、「止めたほうがいいかな」と思いました。学校へ行くのきらいとか、レッスン中に全然分からないとか、勉強時間がないとか、自分で「止めない」と言いました。

学校で話す練習に「どうして日本語を勉強していますか」と問われました。同じ答えを答えました。(新しい)アニメとドラマを見る欲しいからです。英語サブタイトルを待ってのはきらいです。

でも、あのミッションもう効果的ではないです。

2011に日本語能力試験(JLPT)N4を受けました。勉強しなかったから失敗しまいました。(あの時はまだPA1学生でした)

今はPA3学生です。PA3にもっともっと話さなければなりません。今年12月にN3を受けに行きます。今度こそちゃんと勉強しています。新しいミッソンはもうあります。友達と日本語でべらべらしゃべりたいです。上手になれば遠路だけど楽しみに。

なんとか、止めなかったはよかったです。

それじゃ、またね。

Transformation of a Kanji word

In today’s lesson, my sensei taught us a very interesting meaning behind a Kanji word.

  1. 辛い(つらい – tsu-ra-i): hardship, mentally painful
  2. 泣く(なく – na-ku): to cry
  3. 涙 (なみだ – na-mi-da): tears

And if we do these that word can give us a brand new meaning:

For 辛(い) +  (work hard or hang in there) = 幸(せ)read: しあわせ shi-a-wa-se.
It means happiness and notice there is a small dash on top of it.

For 泣(く)- 氵(mean: tears; lit. water) = 立(つ)read: たつ ta-tsu.
It means to stand up.

For 涙  – 氵(mean: tears; lit. water) = 戻(す)read: もどす mo-do-su.
It means to recover, to go back to original state.

Interesting isn’t it?

Let’s ask ourselves, can we hang in there to change our hardship into happiness? to change our attitude instead crying, why don’t we learn from it and stand up once more? After we stop our tears, we will be ourselves once more.

On top of that, we are stronger than before.

Advice from my Japanese sensei

Sensei (S): you guys want to improve your Japanese right? But never really practice? *smirk
Us (U): *gulp ^^!

S: *smile . Well I know that you are may be busy with other things, until you forgot to study. And sometimes you’re too stress until you can’t sleep well at night.
U: *nod

S: and sometimes studying is too boring right? Well, you should read your notes before you sleep.
U: *puzzled

S: at least you read something then you’ll feel sleepy and you’ll have a good sleep because reading notes is boring. It’s called kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
U: =_=!

*sensei, I’ll study more diligently. >_

Fan Girl talks

On my way home from office today, I had a conversation with one of my colleague. (She is a “die hard” fan of JJ Lin) She knows that Big Bang, a Korea boy band, will come to Singapore. And here are some of QA that I had with her.

Q (her): Will you go to airport, to wait there and to greet when they are arrive?

A (me): Hmm, maybe no. Unless I have a company.

Q: When is their concert?

A: After the formula 1 grand prix in September.

Q: Will you queue for their autograph?

A: I don’t even know if there is any. No news so far that I heard of.

Q: If there is, will you go?

A: (again)  Maybe.

Q: If you can talk to them, what will you tell them?

A: I don’t know.

Q: Will you prepare something like rehearsing some Korean phrases?

A: Not too sure.

(she’s sharing some experience that in some fan meeting events, the fans will need to queue and they will assign to the idol in order of the queue. In short, you can’t choose the idol)

Q: Does the one you like has lots of fans?

A: Maybe, but I think not as popular as X’s (another colleague) favorite.

Q: Then you have more chances to speak.

A: Yeah guess so. The one I like can speak Japanese though.

Q: Then you’ll speak in Japanese than in Korean? What will you tell him?

A: 頑張って?Ganbatte? (trans: All the best?)

Q: So simple?

A: キスしてください。Kisu shite kudasai (trans: please give me kiss)

Q: ROFL! (I hope the whole bus will not look at us that time) You dare to ask the idol to kiss you?

A: Hmm.. well maybe no, but you were insisting what I will ask him. So that’s the only phrase I popped into my head.

Q: Maybe, can I kiss you instead?

A: Ah yeah, that is possible.

So yeah, our conversation ends because the bus arrived at the train station and we went to separate  way. It’s an enjoyable fans talk. Maybe I should learn to become more “die hard” fans.

Are you interested or..?

Interesting quote I read this week from Ken Blanchard is:

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”

After reading those, suddenly learning foreign language popped up in my head. I have been learning Japanese for about a year or more, and recently I also enrolled myself into a Korean class.

So am I just interested or will I commit to learn Korean too?

I always like Japanese and it’s culture. Maybe it’s because I’m exposed earlier to Japanese than to Korean. But my ancestry is actually Chinese, maybe because of the ban of Chinese language and culture in the past and my parents maybe not really forcing me to communicate in Chinese, I don’t really speak the language.

I learned Chinese for 1.5 years after my university study. Though I don’t find it at first, I had interest in Chinese character later. But speaking is always my weakness; because I can’t pronounce it right.

Actually before learning Chinese, I went to a Japanese class for about 3 months. I didn’t continue it, because most of my friends decided to quit.

Maybe it’s my hidden interest or something. After I’ve been working some time in Singapore. My passion to learn Japanese emerged again. So since a year ago, I’ve been learning it. Maybe my progress is not as fast as my other classmates; but at least, I know that now I can understand better when I listen to a conversation. And I’m able to write short story in Japanese. Despite all the grammatical mistakes. It brings me back memory, when I learned English as my second language.

I challenged myself by taking JLPT, a language examination for Japanese, similar like TOEFL or IELTS. I failed; but I feel good because the reason to study more and the stress during the preparation.
(I’ll probably take it again next year)

Now, I’m learning Korean too. Will I commit to this? Or this will be my interest?

Or do you have similar situation?

A new journey

2 years ago, I began my adventure in a new country. It’s 2.5 years since the first time I had my first job as web developer in Singapore. And now here I am sitting on a sofa, writing this post at my home, accompanied by some k-pop music behind.

So, let’s have a little reflection for today.

What have I done for those time?

Continue reading A new journey