A new beginning + 2017 Japanese dramas

皆さん、明けましておめでとうございます !

It’s a long while since the last time I wrote in this blog, so there are so many thing to say that I don’t know from where to start. 2017 was a year full of new things and changes and I was so absorbed by them that I completely neglected this blog. 2017 wasn’t a fruitful year for language learning, but I can’t say that my Japanese didn’t improve at all. I devoted most of the time to learning new words through reading articles, novels, etc. and I believe that my vocabulary has somehow expanded. Even though I tend to forget most of the words I write down in my notebook, reading more extensively than before helps me to learn new words even if my memory is worsening ahah. My writing skills are still awful because despite the good resolutions I didn’t practiced it at all. I really need to devote more time and energies to enhance my writing skills. To make up for it, I practiced my listening skills by watching dramas lol Here are the one I watched in 2017:

  1. 黒革の手帖 (Black Leather Notebook): 10/10black_leather_notebook_28201729-p1
  2. ブラックリベンジ (Black revenge): 10/10black_revenge-p1
  3. リバース (Reverse): 10/10reverse-tbs-2017-p01
  4. 愛してたって秘密はある (My lover’s secret): 10/10i_love_you2c_but_i_have_a_secret-p02
  5. 監獄のお姫さま (Prison princesses): 10/10prisons_princess-p01
  6. 嘘の戦争 (War of lie): 8/10
  7. 楽園 (Rakuen): 9/10
  8. 女の中にいる他人 (Onna no naka ni iru tanin): 8/10
  9. お母さん、娘をやめていいですか (Mom, may I quit being your daughter?): 8/10
  10. A LIFE~愛しき人~: 9/10
  11. 恋が下手でも生きてます (Koi ga heta demo ikitemasu): 8/10
  12. 北斗 ある殺人者の回心 (Hokuto): 9/10 (this drama literally made me cry)
  13. 犯罪症候群 (Criminal syndrome): 9/10
  14. 僕、運命の人です (I’m your destiny): 9/10
  15. パパ活 (Papa katsu): 6/10
  16. 屋根裏の恋人 (Lurker in the Garret): 7/10
  17. 今からあなたを脅迫します (May I blackmail you?): 9/10

I wish you a wonderful 2018, hoping that will ne fruitful for language learning 🙂

 

A news a day

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After spending almost a week reading novels, I’ve decided to spend the rest of these shirt holidays reading a news a day to build my knowledge of techical vocabulary up. In the past, I used to read news about different topics at the same time, but these days I’m trying to focus only on a specific area so that I can learn news words while consolidating the vocabulary related to the area.

These days I’m putting more effort in trying to enhance my writing and speaking skills, too. The other day I tried to translate an article from English to Japanese (which was exhausting @_@). The result is awful lol but I’m glad to have challenged myself to do something more difficult than what I usually do because it forced me to look for the appropriate structures and words to use. As for speaking, I talk everyday to myself in Japanese for abput 10 minutes, and I have to admit that practicing speaking actually works to improve speaking skills ahah

過去を反省して将来を見据える

This week marked the end of the first semester (actually it officially finishes on 31 January, but as I don’t have more exams I consider it over lol)

These first months of university passed really fast. When I think about it, I can’t believe that so much time has passed since I moved to a new city and started this new journey. Now that I have time to reflect carefully on the past months, I consider them as a period of transition: I had to get used to different rhythms, different amounts of work, different daily schedules, different people, different places. At first I felt disoriented and scared, but eventually I started settling into this new life.

Also my Japanese learning journey has been influenced by these changes. Even though I can’t say that my Japanese hasn’t improved, I feel like I could have worked harder to enhance my proficiency, especially as for writing and speaking. I think that in these months the area I have made more progress is listening, which I basically practiced every day. But I regret the fact that I haven’t worked hard enough to improve my reading skills, thus these days that I haven’t nothing to do I’m planning to focus on reading. I especially want to read novels more often, considering the fact that so far I read less than a half of 花の鎖 D:

One of my aims for the next semester is to revitalise my Japanese blog. Yesterday I changed the theme and the title and deleted all the pasts articles. I’m not so unrealistic to say that I will update it weekly, but at least I’d like to write a new article once a month. Since I deleted the past articles, I have something to write in the first post, a 自己紹介 xD

Formal writing

Despite all the resolutions to improve my writing skills I still lack in this area ahahah D:

Even though I can write about general topics using common grammar structures and words, I still have many difficulties in writing about more specific stuff in a formal register.

So these days, although I have to study for two exams, I try to spend some minutes a day reading a report about a technical topic to learn some new words and to understand what kind of expressions and grammar structures are used in these cases.

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As for the topic, I’ve decided to pick something related to my studies so as to improve Japanese while learning more about the field I’m majoring in. There are still so many things to learn xD

As you can see from the picture, I note down the translation of unknown words during the first reading, and during the second reading I pay attention to the expressions and the language used. This afternoon I also found this useful website, which provides very interesting information about the structure of essays, reports, etc and the expressions you should use while writing them. I think I will read it more accurately writing down some notes as soon as all exams are over ahah And then I’ll try to write something by myself if I find something I can write about.

砂の塔

It seems that I’m continuing to update the blog less often than I used to D: 

These weeks have been quite busy, but I’ve managed to keep the good habit of studying Japanese every morning (: During the past days I studied a new chapter of the grammar textbook and learned some kanji and new words. I listened to podcasts while going to university and watched dramas ^ ^

So far, my favourite drama of this season is 砂の塔. This suspense drama is so good that I even thought to stop watching it because I couldn’t bear the tension ahah

Yesterday I watched the 6th episode and, well, I fell in love with the antagonist after seeing how beautiful she was while wearing a kimono lol


I like the OST too, especially because the lyrics are connected with the themes of the drama (;

そこに住めば どんな願いも 叶うと言われる 愛の城
だけどなぜか みんな笑顔は ハロウィンのパンプキン

早く寝なさいと ママの爪が光る
あなたは今 どこにいて 私を見ているの

探しても 探しても 目の前は砂嵐
積み上げた 喜びも すぐに埋もれた

幸せも 裏切りも いつもそばにあるよ

上に行くほど 傾いた塔 安定はしない

南向きの大きな窓のガラスははめ殺されている
北から来る神のヒントに振り向くこともない

下から帰って上から召されてく
甘い匂い染み込ませたパーティー始めよう

誰よりも高い場所から誰かにこっそり見られたい
雲に太陽のライフが刺さって

教えてよコウノトリ 私はどこへ行くの
ボ口ボ口の未来図の毛布にくるまれ

探しても探してもすぐにまた砂嵐
温かい母の手をいつか握りしめ

オレンジの馬車に積んだ黄色い力ーネーション

上に行くほど傾いた塔

安定はしない

太陽に近い 

(source)

Japanese language updates

I can’t believe that the last time I updated the blog was almost a month ago D:

During the last weeks there were the first partial exams, thus I was so abosorbed by study that I had little time to devote to what I like. So I didn’t study Japanese as much as I wanted to.

Anyway, let me write some updates about what I did to improve my Japanese.

Grammar

As for grammar, I studied only two units of Kanzen Master. They aren’t a lot, but considering that even during high school I used to study an average of 2/3 units per month I can’t complaint too much ahah Now there are only six chapters left to finish the textbook, so I’m quite excited because once I finish it I can start the N1 textbook ^^

Vocabulary

I’m really disappointed by the fact that I didn’t work enough on vocabulary \: My main method to learn new words is reading novels/new articles, but it takes time, so this month due to the lack of time I learned few words (most of which using my vocabulary textbook and Memrise). Basically I wrote only two pages of vocabulary, most of which in the last two days lol Must work on vocabulary harder in the next monrths.

Listening

This is the area where I made more progress. Listening to podcasts every morning and watching dramas almost every evening paid off ahah During the exam period I also started listening to NHK高校講座’s 古典 podcasts. Listening to these podcasts the evening berfore the exam is like a therapy to relax xD So far I learned about Izumi Shikibu’s diary and some 漢詩 poems. I can’t describe with words how much I love Japanese literarure and Classical Japanese: it’s just so beautiful and charming!

Writing

Well, there isn’t the need to write that I neglected it as always

Now that the first partial exams are over it’s time to do my best with Japanese studies too! I hope I can do everything I plan to do (:

 

New routine

Finally found time to write a new post! I can’t believe I haven’t updated the blog for so much time D:

I’m still really busy with my studies and it’s always difficult to find some free time, but I’m starting managing to “create” time to devote to Japanese learning. Basically I get up everyday earlier to spend some minutes learning some grammar points or some new words. Then during commute time I listen to Japanese podcasts (even though I usually hear less than 50% of them because of the uproar of the city -_-) and if I’m not too tired, I read Japanese news. Then, after dinner if I don’t have anything to study, I watch dramas. Now the fall season of dramas is starting, thus I’ll have some new dramas to watch ahah

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The last week I went to a Japanese restaurant with some course mates. I was so glad to eat sushi again after ages lol

The next week there will be the first exam, so I’m quite anxious xD But on the weekend I’ll come back to my hometown for two days, thus I’ll have the possibility to relax a little and to study all the stuff I’m neglecting these days to study for the exam ahah