Now that the summer has wrapped up, it’s time to dive back into language learning, and let’s start with some thoughts on non-European languages! For that, my hyperpolyglot friend Judith Meyer is back and has written up this excellent post for us. I met in Esperanto gatherings and always see her busy answering Quora questions, […]MORE
After almost eleven years of travelling the world, I finally had the time to learn some Japanese and visit this unique country. I had a whirlwind adventure over several weeks, and am right now in as opposite a culture as I can imagine, in Texas (to launch my book Fluent in 3 months when it […]MORE
“Japanese is really freaking difficult.”
“Japanese is really freaking vague.”
“Japanese is really freaking illogical.”
These statements have three things in common.
What a whirlwind few months! Rough start, but a good first two months Back in September after announcing my Japanese project, I jumped in and started speaking spontaneously my first weeks, and was able to share a prepared speech pretty confidently. But I quickly ran into a hitch of being desperately sick, just when I […]MORE
Time to give you my update from Japan! I got into Okinawa just over a week ago, and have been settling in, exploring that beautiful island paradise, and have just got into Kyoto, where I’ll be spending the next 2 weeks.MORE
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 […]MORE
Note: While I was initially aiming for 3 months, unfortunately preparations for my published book took up all of my time and I had to end the project at this 2 month point. Summary of the project is given here, but this video below represents the end point of the 2-months that were intensive in […]MORE
We are now coming into the final days of month two, so it’s time for another video! In this video I stuck to the topic of my travel plans in Japan, so I edited it to stay on that topic. As such, my italki teacher Yuri didn’t get a chance to show how good she is and how well she can communicate with learners – sorry about that!
I’ll take a break from uploading Japanese videos next week so that I can keep focused on improving my comprehension to interact with natives better, (which will be more of a theme next month, as me doing most of the talking has been the theme this month) as well as finally tidying up the last of my basic vocab and grammar issues so that I have a solid level to improve from for the final weeks of the project.MORE
This week, I can finally do what I had wanted to do last week and give you a full example of how my conversations tend to be going, right now a little after my half-way point in the Japanese project!
At this stage, I can handle straightforward question and answer exchanges pretty well, but my grammar and vocab still need serious improving, and will continue to be the focus for the next weeks. I’m also not so confident about explaining a concept for a few minutes and did a really poor job at describing what “Couchsurfing” was, especially when the lack of important vocab held me back.
As well as this, my accent and pronunciation need lots of improvement. I’m aware of such issues, but they will definitely take the back seat to higher priorities for now.MORE
Sorry that this video is so short! Starting next week, I’ll get back into weekly updates until the end of the project with maybe just one break (so that’s six more videos up until the week my 3 months runs out), but I hope this teaser snapshot shows you more or less how I’m doing right now!
The reason the video isn’t longer is because my Skype recording software crashed after 4 minutes, which is a pity because Yuri asked me interesting questions and we had a real exchange (you only hear her say a couple of words in this video), discussing how my parents visited me here in Valencia.MORE
Last week on Wednesday, I reached the one month point of my Japanese project. After an excellent start, I had a little bit of a bumpy final bit of my first month that slowed me down a little, but am back on track now to hopefully make up for lost time by the end of […]MORE
Wednesday was my one month point in the three month Japanese challenge, so to really make my mark I wanted to record one last video with a prepared script before I get into recording spontaneous Skype (or in person) chats for the next two months. To really make it count, I decided to record a music video!
This video is quite an oddity because it is entirely in Japanese… and yet many of you who will have never learned any Japanese will understand quite a lot of it even without reading the lyrics that are edited into the video. And that’s because the video is made up entirely of words Japanese has borrowed from English, but said as closely as possible to the Japanese pronunciation (written in the Katakana script every time).MORE
I’m quickly approaching my one month point in Japanese, and can give you some updates on how I’m doing there soon! In the mean time, I got this interesting guest post suggestion from William Peregoy. I’m quickly seeing that the scare tactics used on Japanese learners, like in every other language that I’ve come across, […]MORE
A little tradition I’ve kept up since starting the blog, is to give you a video tour of almost every place I temporarily call home! For instance, in English I showed you my penthouse in Rio, my lovely flat in Medellín, the flat around the corner from the Danube in Budapest, and the beach cottage […]MORE
In a change from my initial plan to wait a month before uploading conversations, here is my 10-day update in Japanese. This video is entirely in Japanese, and absolutely and utterly non-scripted (apart from the intro). I messaged my Facebook page, targetting just those in Japan, and Junpei offered to let me record a chat […]MORE