Friday, June 04, 2010

Intermediate Japanese? 中級レベルかなぁ?






話が上達するためにどうしたらいいですか? もっと頑張らなきゃ!

I wonder if I can consider myself to have Intermediate Japanese?

Soon it'll have been two years since I started studying Japanese. I wonder how much Japanese I've actually managed to learn. I would like to think that I'm at an intermediate level. However I feel like everyday I make very basic mistakes. For example things like verb conjugation or particle placement I seem to make many mistakes.

I've already returned to America but the two years that I did live in Japan I got used to living there, and I also improved my Japanese alot. After living there every conversation became a challenge. If I was able to get across my thoughts and feelings with with my limited vocabulary and ability I considered each conversation a small victory. Of course there were also failures, but I got used to that challenge and I came to like it. I also came to like the fact that I couldn't always understand %100 of everything I hear or see. I told myself I needed to study more. Most of my foreign friends thought my Japanese was very good, or good enough, but I didn't think so. My friends said I was too tough on myself but again, I didn't think so.

If Japanese people live in an English speaking country they learn English so quickly and within one year or so they become more or less fluent. Ok that may be somewhat of an exaggeration but I've met many people that are fluent after living only one year abroad. With foreigners living in Japan they can live there many years, but in very few cases are they fluent. I wonder why this is? Of course there are foreigners that are fluent in Japanese but in my experience I've only met two people to whom this applies to.

Because I can do it slowly at my own speed and with a dictionary I'm able to convey my feelings and thoughts in Japanese, however when it comes to speaking the words just don't seem to come out. I get nervous and I use crude or clumsy Japanese. Basically when I come face to face with someone I just can't say what I want to say at the right time.

What can I do to become better at speaking? I guess I just gotta keep trying.

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