13 September 2017 @ 02:54 pm
tried watching another documentary in japanese... it was much easier to understand than the one about atomic missiles & stuff in okinawa (also had more english), i got about 80%.

in the 70′s some japanese guys went to the USA to track down american soldiers/their families who had to do with hiroshima. i didn’t know this — america didn’t teach it to me in school — but the bomb also killed a lot of american soldiers (there was a POV camp there etc) whether directly or from radiation sickness afterwards. since no one was told about the radiation or real nature of the bomb, american doctors had no clue how to treat the patients, only the japanese ones really had any clue. also america withheld info even just about the fact that certain american soldiers had died for decades; so the guys' parents didn't even know there was proof that they were dead. info that these japanese guys were able to get easily. among other things, it makes you wonder what america was trying to cover up.

a few things really struck me about this.
1. in the 70's they had no translator, it was simply the TV station guy who went there to the USA with his own (decent) English to interview everyone; in the 90's they hired a Japanese lady translator when in Japan; "last year" when Obama came to Japan, his official Japanese translator was a huge, American, scary-looking "military white guy" with a buzzcut. i was like... what? Obama has something against hiring Japanese people?! it looked like something out of a cult.

2. japanese people act exactly like swedes. i know i keep saying this, but they even SAY THE EXACT SAME THINGS AS SWEDES. americans don't make a WWII documentary showing the side of and sympathizing with the "enemy", but japan does (and so does sweden)! japanese people who were literally born and raised in hiroshima and study the bombing as their main profession sit there going "no matter what your home country, the pain of losing your child is the same" etc. americans don't do this. not modern americans, anyway.
03 July 2017 @ 04:10 pm
the JLPT has a self-evaluation chart per level here (PDF link), it looks useful for other languages as well. i fit in just nicely to the N2 self-evaluation (out of the things i have experience in anyway) so hopefully that means i did actually pass…


now i’ll be studying to get to N1 level before october. it won’t be very serious study since it’s unnecessary, but now that i’m at the point where studying isn’t a chore i think i’ll still get a lot done. and i should study swedish this summer too, considering i won’t be able to just walk to the library and find swedish books in japan… i’m supposed to get info on what my housing will be like for the exchange stay this week!
23 April 2017 @ 10:35 pm
went and joined like 10 anime/manga comms... of course most of them were completely dead but hey!! there's hope for the future!! honestly i'm just waiting for the "next big site" that'll be like LJ/DW, not like twitter/tumblr, and that'll have tons of people. like the good ol' days.

started on some new kimchi; also on making soy sauce, and fermented tomato paste/ketchup (some has garlic and some doesnt: the one with garlic isn't separating and i'm not sure if it SHOULD be separating or not). i'm not sure if the kimchi will taste okay this time, i only put in ginger and onion. my fish (for fish sauce) is fermenting nicely, probably - it was smelling when i opened it today so i think that's a good sign. and i'm trying to make nattou again, i just wish i had an incubator or good heating mat to ensure that it always turns out well...

googling for how to ferment stuff is one of the times where i really, really, REALLY hate english-speaking culture. you just can't find a lot of this stuff in english, and when you do it's usually "lol i'm so crazy that i'm eating anything fermented at all! here's my weird, overly-complicated way to do it i guess i have no clue!". and for example, they're not actually starting from scratch! i looked SO HARD to find out if this separating thing was normal, except i couldn't even find anyone who was beginning their fermentation with actual tomatoes. EVERYONE, even these "look we're so healthy and living off the grid!" people are using pre-bought tomato paste. what?! in this day and age, when everyone has a blender?! you've gotta be kidding. btw when you google in swedish it's often either "lol you already know what to do! just figure it out somehow from the pictures, just like i did" or "go ask your neighbour/grandma".

i finished learning all the N3 words for the JLPT and am only halfway through N2; even so, i took a vocabulary test for N2 and got 73%! and as usual, even though i'm a bit behind in completing my homework and stuff all the classmates i talk to are either the same or much more behind as me, so i shouldn't worry so much. i just need to stop getting behind.

lately i know so many words in japanese that i can actually just sit and "read" things. in the past 2-3 days i've read 1 full (adult - harada collection) manga volume, 3 oneshot doujinshi (more harada actually), 1 manga chapter (chibi maruko-chan for school) and 2 pages of a novel (which seems pretty boring so far). there's still words i don't know of course but it's few enough that i'm actually enjoying reading without thinking too much about it. i need to just finish the N2 and N1 words so that i can REALLY have an easy time!! i just want to be reading in japanese ALL DAY...
11 March 2017 @ 10:28 pm
The third semester of my Japanese degree is almost halfway over. In first semester we studied from "Genki 1", second from "Genki 2". Together those teach almost all the verbforms in existance and basically has you read single sentences, with a few paragraphs each chapter in the back of the book. At the end of these you still basically know zero Japanese but you have the FOUNDATION of Japanese, anyway.

Third semester goes through half of "Tobira", it's basically trying the pound the grammar from Genki into your head by making you read a ton. The focus is really on learning how to understand long sentences and paragraphs, and teaching you "more" ways to say the same thing you already can. At the same time we also have "reading short stories that were written 100 years ago" class, and "reading manga that was written in the 60's and 70's" class.

Whenever I can I study my butt off, so I "finished" the entire Tobira book 1-2 months ago already and now I'm just moving on to other books and stuff. After Tobira you can theoretically jump straight into immersion, but I don't feel like I'm quite ready. I've just started (as in, last week just started) memorizing new words with JAPANESE definitions as much as possible, and in general I'm just feeling more and more confident in Japanese, so the jump to total immersion is planned for this summer.

Anyway. It feels pretty strange to think, wow, it's been 3 semesters (though i did take a semester's break since my wife's family made it impossible to study full-time at one point) since I started learning Japanese in uni. With another year I'll be — in understanding, anyway, but from the hints I'm seeing probably also in writing — at the same level as a certain American who's been in Japan for 7-8 YEARS and who even studied Japanese for 2-3 years before they moved there. But I just want it to go faster. I want to be there NOW, I want to be fluent NOW. I want to prove I can learn Japanese super fast, and in general I don't want to waste time in my life. So it's really, really frustrating that I'm constantly hindered by my wife's family...