As my first year studying Japanese comes to a close, I shall consider, one last time, the goals I set out at the beginning of the year.
Goal #1: Be able to have a simple conversation with my sister entirely in Japanese. I am now able to pick out many more Japanese words than I might have expected. I can even, to a very basic extent, pick up conversations of Japanese people as they pass. I passed a Japanese couple on the way to school last week, and I knew every word they used. (Granted, it was only a few seconds of conversation.)
Goal #2: Play through a dialogue-intensive Japanese game, and actually understand it. I still don’t quite feel I have a handle on the kanji to handle a text-heavy, plot-heavy Japanese video game. However, my ability to read hiragana is just fine, and there’s a lot to be said for context. Also, I can pretty much always figure out what every katakana word means in the Japanese games I’ve tried playing, as they’re almost exclusively taken from English words or names. My theory is, the Japanese love English culture, and frankly, I think we love theirs too.
Goal #3: Watch a Japanese cartoon, with no subtitles, and actually understand it. Not only is language still a bit of a barrier when watching these cartoons, but I think culture is too. I can usually figure out what’s going on, but some of these Japanese cartoons are pretty weird. I like them though, particularly Doraemon. Grave of the Fireflies was also really good, but it made me want to cry, probably because I have a little sister of my own.
Goal #4: Apply to the JET Programme, and teach English in
Goal #5: Write a short story in Japanese. Aw crap, I still haven’t started. I keep forgetting about this one. Actually, we have a free writing session in class tomorrow, so unless there are particular subject restraints, perhaps I can write it then.