Now its been two weeks since last update, but although that might indicate that ive had a nice and relaxing time, it is actually quite the opposite.
Since this is now the last rush before the winter break, the pace has been gradually increasing. This last week we did 2 chapters worth of vocabulary, 2 chapters of incredibly convoluted and confusing grammar and also new kanji that i swear are just miniature paintings or jigsaw puzzles. Here is the kanji’s we had to learn this week.
And here is the frustrating thing with kanji compared to western characters; With western characters, almost all of the time the sound of the character changes slightly. There are many exceptions of course, but not even close to kanji. Lets take a simple one first: Minute. 分 This is pronounced “Fun” Fu as in full. That one changes only in 3 simple ways (as far as i know). Depending on the word it is attacked to, it can either be “Fun” “Bun” or “Pun”. Every number except 1,3,4,6,8 and 10 is “Fun” The rest is using “Pun”.
That is not to complicated, since they are still very similar.
But fish 魚 has 3 different ways of pronouncing that symbol. If it is the kanji by itself, it is always “Sakana” fish. But if connected with other words, it can become “さかな:Sakana” “ぎょ:Gyo” and “うお:Uo”. But since the words containing this kanji all have a meaning related to fish, the nature of the word can sometimes be understood. Like “きんぎょ金魚” (Kingyo): Goldfish (also convenient because the two kanji’s used here, is literally money and fish) “うおいちば魚市場” (Uoichiba): Fish market. But trying to read a sign of a kanji combination you dont already know, it is very difficult to know how to pronounce it.
And sometimes the kanji’s we use on a daily basis are very easy to understand what they mean and how to pronounce, but they are a pain in the rear to write. The highest stroke count for one kanji this week is 18.
But it is not all bad. The more you learn, the more you start to notice them around Japan. Just standing on the buss looking at advertisement can be used as practicing your kanji memory. Although as i said, if you actually pronounce it correct is another thing entirely…
And a big reason as to why ive been so very occupied this last weeks is because next week i will have 2 big tests. One in the school where we do a check on the last 3 chapters we have done, the other is my JLPT test to take a test and get a grade on all my Japanese i learned my first 6-7 months here in Japan, so that i will actually have an actual grade.
You can take from level 5 to level 1 (1 being the most difficult) And where i am now, i could take the level 4 test, but since id prefer having more time to refine all the things in the 2nd book before taking such a test, i decided to do the level 5, more guarantied to give me a good score, and then probably take the level 4 score back in Sweden after having the chance to go through it again in my own pace.
But taking those to tests means i have alot of studying to do. And i probably know all the things i need for the Level 5 test, but i do not want to jump into things feeling i am not prepared, so ill go through the entire First books vocabulary and kanji again to freshen up, and while doing that, redoing the 3 last chapters we have had this month. I can almost feel the vains around my neck break.
Thank god i still have my dear video games to relax with and some good snacks to chow down on!
Might not be the healthiest of ways, but i see it like this, whatever makes me calm down, is good in my book!
And for people who have read my entire blog from the start or atleast a few months may have noticed me complaining about the stress and pressure my studying is causing, it is not all that bad. Sure, i dont travel and enjoy things as much as my classmates (i even have a classmate that refuses to do anything outside of school than the 1 page of homework we get each day, but still she gladly complains and whines about how difficult and hard it is to remember things(Which is infuriating, because what right do you have to complain about a problem, when you refuse to actively do anything about it?!) And i do not mind complaints, if people actually do anything to help with those problems (And i just realized i should stop this rant since it is getting out of hand, but anyway, you should not complain if you refuse to do anything about said problem!!!)
(Where was i? Oh yes!) But i still enjoy it. I am a person who enjoys working hard. People who know me, knows i am very laid back and even slightly lazy. But when i actually have a purpose in doing something, i am sure going to work my arse of see it through, especially if someone expects me to do well. If i get an assignment that has no meaning, or just is there so i have something to do, i will not have much enthusiasm for it.
If someone ask me to write and essay on what i did during my holiday, i will do it half ass’ed, but if my teachers, who help me learn and improve, wants me to do well on a test, you are darn sure i will study as best as i can. It is okey to be laid back and even lazy, aslong as you make sure you give your energy on things that matter, or people that matter.
With this much studying, i will never grow restless. I have something to do everyday and getting to use my Japanese in daily conversations is pure bliss. I am enjoying every second i spend speaking with Japanese people and seeing their amusing interest and surprise of a Westerner speaking their language. And while i do love Japan so much, i do still plan on returning to Sweden at the end of march next year, since after 1 year of being on my own, giving me lots of things to think about and ponder over, i need to return to my family and a special friend back in Sweden. Heaven is great but there is no place like home.
And with that ill sign of for today. I have to spend my last 4 hours this evening to wind down and enjoy this lovely weekend while i can. Ill write to you all as soon as i finish my JLPT test next sunday and inform you on how it felt.
Wish me and my fluffy slippers good luck!