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Japanese — A Week

January 29, 2012


It must be day seven or eight of my Japanese learning attempt. Not sure given my sleeping hapits. And I made it through the first unit of the Rosetta Stone software course. Eleven lessons from “ridiculously easy” over “no idea what they are talking about” to a mixture of all lessons stuffed into the last lesson.

Not sure if I grasp the concept of the course. It is supposed to mimic the way children learn a language. By listening to the language and making connections to things you see. While this worked quite well for me during the first few lessons (especially the “numbers” one ;)), it became a bit of a charade during the last few lessons.

After seeing a sentence a few times, I start to recognise the crucial word or the sentence’s shape in the little box it is presented in. So I have to force myself to ignore that I know the answer and read it all nevertheless. I am not always successful in doing so. So sometimes, I run through the exercises only hunting for the crucial words, longest sentences or boldest font, with no errors at all. But do I learn something that way? Not sure. That might be part of the “unconscious learning” approach, the software follows. As I said, not sure yet if it is working for me.

To be on the safe side, I decided to start another course in parallel.
Rocket Languages
They have a trial online course so no money needed for the first few lessons. They go the more usual way of starting with basic introduction and short conversations.

So far I like it since the material seems to be high quality. Only the speakers are a bit too enthusiastic for my taste. It sounds like the audio to a billboard advertisement for a generic enterprise IT product. But well, so far I have only been working through the first two conversations, so their enthusiasm might actually be helping once you have gone through weeks or months of studying. :D

For now I will be repeating the last few lessons of the first unit of the Rosetta Stone course and finish the trial on Rocket Languages. In parallel I have to repeat and repeat and repeat the Hiragana (especially the compounds) and start the Katakana.

Dinner time. :)

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