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Risking Graduation to Study Japanese — 20 Comments

  1. I enjoyed the Japanese classes I took in college because not only did it help set a great foundation in Japanese but it also allowed me to meet great people who are still great friends 10 years later, create awesome new memories, along with giving me something to look forward each day. My day started at 8am with Japanese so it was the best way to start my day. Also, Japanese homework gave me a nice mental break (it only took 5 minutes to do anyway) from my chemistry major homework as well as well… bumping up my overall GPA when it came down to graduation. It’s nice getting all As in a class that gives you 5/4/3 hours of credit (freshmen, junior, senior level).

    My only regret though was that I didn’t read manga back then or watch anime or listen to music or watch tv. I just studied the language. If I were to go back I would definitely engage much more with native material.

  2. On a related but different note I’ve just started my postgrad which doesn’t involve any Japanese language classes and I’m largely finding myself with too much work to study Japanese much (I watch stuff and read in my down time but rarely get to add anything to Anki/review stuff)

    I’m keeping going by telling myself two things:
    1) My degree is to help me get to Japan so in the long run it’s in my interest to give it priority.
    2) I’m at level 60, and reaching the magic 65 over the next 12 months is not a crazy goal at all (though don’t get me wrong I’d prefer to do it in less)

    I guess it’s about focusing on the end goal and just keeping going. I’m going to try and take some conversation classes while I’m here- I think even an hour a week that is dedicated to doing some Japanese is important for me (plus speaking is the part that needs the most work anyway)

    • If your postgrad degree is going to get you to Japan then it definitely counts as working towards your Japanese goal.

      No matter how busy you get you can always find a way to stick Japanese in somewhere. Sounds like you’ll get where you want to be!

  3. I took Japanese 101 through 104 at the local city college in my first three years of high school, but I’d like to still take Japanese or Korean classes when I get to college. My level is in the low to mid 40s, and depending on the school I go to, I most likely won’t need the language credit. Would Japanese classes be worth it, or should I stick to Korean?

    • Well first you want to be able to immediately skip to a higher level. So make sure that is possible.

      As to whether classes are worth it at a higher level, it depends on how you use them, what the teacher is like, what the other students are like, and how you combine it with your own self-study.

      I’ve talked with some people who enjoyed higher level classes and others who hated them. It’s at least worth a try to see what you might be able to gain out of them.

  4. That’s quite an awesome story to share honestly! I just started a new job and it’s very demanding so I’m always too exhausted to do anything (at least, until I get used to it)… so I’ve started getting up a bit earlier in the morning so I can do a bit of japanese BEFORE I get exhausted… Of course I am not getting a lot of japanese exposure, but I’m getting a bit of everything at least! I just have to make sure that as I get used to the job, I start stepping back up my japanese game too!

    • Yes, it’s always better to do Japanese before you get tired (though in an upcoming post I’m going to talk about the benefits of doing it even when you are tired).

      • Sometimes doing it when I am tired is the only way I can make progress. During the September Anki 0 challenge, it was “do it when I was tired or fail the challenge”. It is much less fun to do it when tired, and quite harder, but it always feels good when completed. I am curious about the benefits you might talk about. I imagine it is going to be somewhere along the lines of, “if you can study Japanese when tired, you can speak Japanese when tired”… We’ll see :’)

      • Looking forward to it! Of course if I have to do it when I’m tired, I will, but as of right now I prefer to do it in the morning haha

  5. I started studying Japanese in the fall when it was too late to take the first semester class. Instead, I immediately went for the study abroad program for the summer. That gave me 8 months to study before ever taking a Japanese course. On the study abroad, there were other students that had been taking the 100 level courses during that same time. It was nice to see that I was better than all of them despite the lack of classes.

    After the summer, I took the normal 200 level course for a year. They were actually frustrating because I couldn’t show my skills very often. And it was impossible to get better than an A- on anything because of all the deductions you would get. This last year of university, I’m not taking any classes because they weren’t doing much for me.

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