How I Will Study Japanese in 2018

One of my major New Year’s Resolutions this year is to study Japanese. I want to take the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) in the summer.

I’ve been thinking about my Resolutions for several months now, and the thing that I keep coming back to is what I want out of my “manga-reading” life. I’ve become frustrated with the lack of titles in English that I’m actually excited to read – and find myself settling on things that I’m less interested in.

51JNWB37QFLI’m ravenous for 60s, 70s, and 80s shoujo manga! But, we’re lucky if we get 1 or 2 titles a year in English. It’s entirely frustrating.

I NEED to learn Japanese in order to read the books and series that I actually want to read.

That’s what this year is for! I’m going to spend the next 7 months studying for the JLPT in July. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll try for the N5 or N4 exam yet, that’ll come later. But, I figure the JLPT is the FIRST step that I need to take in order to become reading-fluent. I’d love to also be speaking and listening-fluent… but reading is my ultimate goal.

I’ve decided on a few study strategies that I will employ to study over the next 7 months… and beyond.

  1. I will keep going to Japanese classes for the listening and speaking practice.
  2. I will review my old textbooks. Just enough to get my grammar back to where it needs to be. It’s always a good idea to review old grammar… otherwise it’ll be impossible to learn new grammar.
  3. 51fOzhuUUbLI will go through the JLPT practice and study books that I’ve purchased over the years. This isn’t the first time I’ve considered taking this test. I’d actually registered a few years ago, when the testing was in December. It was blizzarding here that week… and I decided to stay home rather than take the chance driving on a treacherous highway to another city.
  4. I will study vocabulary using the Leitner box method. You can check out tutorials on YouTube about this. But basically it’s a particular technique to help you learn new words and concepts in a reasonably short period of time. It will take quite a bit of my free time to do, though. I’m not super thrilled with that. I don’t have that much free time to begin with.
  5. I will write key sentences as well as construct my own to help solidify the meanings of words and the use of grammar.
  6. I will memorize the required Kanji. I have a few ideas how I’d like to accomplish this, but I’ll have to test them out before I commit to anything.
  7. I will practice translatinge manga. My ultimate goal is to be able to read manga.

51OBMkbzS1LI might as well get some regular practice in… even if it is incredibly difficult to translate manga when you actually don’t know the language…

I would also like to start listening to some Japanese podcasts, Radio programs, YouTube videos, and Japanese dramas. I need as much practice to listening to Japanese as I can get. If you have any suggestions of good and interesting titles/shows/etc. to listen to in Japanese, (without English subtitles) I’d love to hear about it!


3 thoughts on “How I Will Study Japanese in 2018

  1. Best of luck with your goal. I hear that Japanese is a tough language to master. Wish I could understand it, as could then play all the cool games that never come to the west.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good luck!
    If you’re able to get your hands on scripts, unsubtitled versions, or Japanese copies of the manga, I’ve been thinking that Cardcaptor Sakura would be a pretty useful learning tool. I’ve been noticing that even without subs, I can generally make out what’s being said in each episode. I think the language isn’t very complex, making it perfect for learners!


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