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How long does it take?

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How long does it take?

Postby Smooth » Tue 03.29.2005 11:05 pm

I want to know how long it took those of you that passed JLPT level 2, from the moment you learned your first Tango until you could hold a basic conversation correctly in Japanese.

I can't wait until I can hold my own in the language, but it seems the more words I learn the less I use them. I mean Hooki is a word I've known since day one. In five months I have yet to use that word out in town. Although I've been here five months I've only recently decided to skip learning katakana and learn some kanji to keep me motivated.


A question for all of you is where should I focus my attention to learn the language as fast as possible? should it be grammar and vocabulary, Kana's or Kanji, or something else?
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RE: How long does it take?

Postby dreamingxashley » Wed 03.30.2005 12:35 am

Do you plan on writing the language and reading it more than you plan on speaking it?

I think its a good idea to learn both/all. What if you go to Japan, or have to go there, and all you know how to do is one or two of the three? Although its kinda unlikely that you wouldnt know how to read if you can write the language I guess... >_>
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RE: How long does it take?

Postby Ady001 » Wed 03.30.2005 10:19 pm

I think better learn the grammar first. Then Kana, and then Kanji. When you got hang of the grammar, it makes kana and kanji easy.
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RE: How long does it take?

Postby Taiko » Wed 03.30.2005 10:34 pm

im still learning but i know a lot of the basics and stuff it didnt take too long cuz i'm good at remembering things i write down...so try writning them down if you have problems^^
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RE: How long does it take?

Postby Taiko » Wed 03.30.2005 10:34 pm

im still learning but i know a lot of the basics and stuff it didnt take too long cuz i'm good at remembering things i write down...so try writning them down if you have problems^^
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RE: How long does it take?

Postby Smooth » Thu 03.31.2005 1:37 am

Well the first three or so months here all I focused on was hiragana. All the while I was studying grammer and vocabulary, but I was really discouraged. I would get excited as I learned, and sort of mastered, a particle at a time. But then I'll be mad because I don't have enough nouns, adjecitives and verbs to form sentences.

It was tough, but I learned speaking more from performing in the street than anything else. I would stop people and say, "Sumimasen. Watashi wa Magician desu." And they would get really excited.

Either way, I took my time to learn how to read and write hiragana. But it sucks because the majority of the signs I see are written in Kanji and katakana. But it is cool because I impress a lot of the Japanese people with my knowledge of hiragana. Not like there is much to know besides correct brush stokes, etc ... .... ..... ......... ....... ......

It is like a vicious cycle. You need to know some words to use the grammar. And then you need the grammar to use the words..

And I thought that learning the kana would be better to do first because then you could start applying the language fast.
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RE: How long?

Postby kinch » Thu 03.31.2005 9:30 pm

I haven't taken the JPLT tests yet, so I don't know "how long" it will take until you're good enough to pass them but.... to get to the point where you can hold a conversation (not just listen and understand, but also reply using natural speech and not have to spend 10 minutes translating stuff in your head) will take years. Maybe, if you're smart, and you study for a few hours every day and (like you) you have the benefit of being in the country and totally immersed in it, it might take you less than 2 years. Maybe.

There was a humourous, sarcastic post somewhere about how long it takes to learn japanese, and lots of stuff that says "you can learn japanese, it's not that hard". Garbage. It *is* that hard. You *can* learn japanese, but it will take a loooooong time.

Yes, I'm slightly pissed off at my slow progress through the language in case anyone wants to point out how I'm being bitter and unrealistic :)
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RE: How long does it take?

Postby Mukade » Thu 03.31.2005 10:12 pm

There's always a lot of talk about what to study first, where to place emphasis, in what order to tackle kanji, vocab, etc......

But when it comes down to it, the BEST way to learn is to USE it. If you are in Okinawa right now, go find an Izakaya where no one speaks English and struggle your way through some conversations with the owner and the regulars. You'll realize during the course of a conversation what your weak points are and what would be best for you to study.

Everyone has different interests, and so the type of vocab and grammar that would be best for YOU to study are going to be different.

Many times you won't know that you need to learn a word until you are mid-way through a conversation and realize you need it.

And you won't really start retaining words until you use them over and over and over. Not just look at them on a flashcard, but USE them.

---

I studied Japanese at an American university for two years before going to Japan for a study abroad. I studied here for a year at a Japanese university. At the end of that three years, my conversational ability was high-beginner, at best.

Then, a few months before I was scheduled to go back to the States, I started frequenting a local pub. I think I learned more Japanese in those few months than all three previous years put together.

Sure, the first several weeks were painful as I stuttered and bumbled my way through (basically the same) conversations with the regulars. But I did get better.

A lot better.

In a short period of time.

---

So, grab a good dictionary and some beer money and go learn!
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