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Thanks for following along in my Japanese project! Right now there should be two weeks left, but realistically what was initially a three month project has morphed into a two month one. This final month has led to another secret project of mine taking over!
[Edit: Several months before this Japanese project, I had written my first published book, Fluent in 3 Months. Since it was written, I presumed I'd not be occupied by it further, but with the announcement to launch it coming shortly after this point and immediately after my trip to Japan, it turned out that the publisher had many requests on my time to help to promote it. Unfortunately, there were so many things to do that it completely took over what should have been my third month learning Japanese]
Sadly, this second project took up all my time after recording my 2-month video and I didn't have any time to continue working on my Japanese. So sorry about that!
Even though this major setback is a big disappointment, I'm so glad to have made the progress that I did in those two months and am really proud of my final level of Japanese in that time in the Skype conversation with my italki teacher Yuri!
This means that the next times I use Japanese will be on location in Japan! I can't wait! The last two weeks of intensive learning will be in Thailand – sadly, it's time to leave Spain in a few days.
For now though, it's time to leave Spain in a few days. I'm so glad to have successfull proven that you can make serious progress in a language even if you are in the wrong country. Another win for virtual immersion!
2 week shift in timeline & final analysis
Another roadblock in this project that was initially due to run out on December 16th (since I started this Japanese project on September 16th), was that I was incredibly ill for one week straight (I was genuinely considering going to the emergency room at one stage when I could genuinely barely breathe, but I found a private doctor before it became dangerously serious), and then needed an entire week just to catch up on my work backlog, since I can usually keep work at bay with about 2-4 hours invested per day.
As such, I've essentially been 2 weeks behind since then, so my final stage is ultimately the result of 6 weeks of proper intensive learning. I initially thought I could just “work extra hard” to make up for the time lost, but that was a pretty silly idea considering I was already working as intensively as possible!
At that “6 week” point, I was at the stage where I was able to have pretty good conversations, as long as I was controlling the direction the conversation was going in. I still couldn't understand normal speed Japanese, and that's why it's great to chat to Yuri who speaks slowly and clearly. As well as this, my pronunciation still needed tidying up.
My guess is that I made it to a very solid A2 level, with good beginnings to hit the B1 level if I were to have continued intensively for longer.
Huge news coming January 10th!
[Edit: This was to prepare readers for the announcement of my book, Fluent in 3 Months]
About half of the work I've been doing this entire year, has been related to what I'm secretly referring to as the “Berlin project” that I took 3 months to spend 100% of my time to work on back in March, and have been working on part time ever since.
It wasn't learning a language for myself, but is more about making a real difference to language learning to help you in YOUR language learning projects. So, after Christmas, I'll get back to work on that project, until I can finally tell you what all this has been about! There are so many things to tell that I'll have to split the announcements in two and give a second one a week or two later! It'll be worth the wait, I promise!
A fun 2014 awaits!
I am sorry if any of you who were waiting for “the” final update video over the next days! I've always said that the purpose of these 3 month projects has never been to lead up to ONE video. I've never had “the” 3-month video; since these projects were always about preparing for improved cultural immersion. I'm not passionate about learning languages quickly just to know a new language, I'm passionate about using them!
If you have a specific goal and a time limit (in my case, usually three months), to push yourself to as high a level as you can in as short a time as you can, you'll get much better and faster results than you ever would by vaguely trying to just generally improve. That's the true power of intensive projects.
I'm happy with my overall progress, and this will ultimately allow me to enjoy my time in Japan all the better. Since my visit is intensive and since my focus will be on exploring, rather than improving my skills, I may not end up recording another video, since you won't see any kind of improvement on the one I did analysing my trip to the Manga Hall. I'm going to call that my “wrap up” video as a result.
Thanks so much for joining along with me in this journey, and I hope you enjoy any cultural updates I share from my Japan trip. I am so glad to be able to say that I'll arrive in Japan, able to speak at a useful level of Japanese, which was not the case, just over two months ago!
I'll have lots of other fun things in store for my 2014, and can't wait to share them with you!