Over the past few days, I finally understood something really simple: I need to practice in order to improve.
Put this way, it sounds stupid but what I mean is that, even if I learn vocabulary, grammar, try to decipher basic texts…, I will not get better if I don’t express myself in Japanese.
I’ve done the firsts for quite some time now but I’ve reached the point where I make no progress. This is a dead end. It dawned to me while trying to find the kanji 年 for five solid minutes. I had no real problem reading or understanding it should I come across it in a sentence. But on my own, it was totally different.
It’s an issue I face in English and German too. Starting this blog was kind of a pain for me. What should I write? What if I make mistakes? What kind do subjects should or shouldn’t I bring forward?
To be perfectly true, it’s part of my personality. I tend to listen much more than speak and to evade answering questions by asking questions. That can be useful in my job but it’s a real pain in the back when trying to learn a new language.
How should I overcome this? I’ve been using Lang-8 for a few weeks but still face the “what should I say?” question. I’m trying to tell whats happening to or around be, using some very dull, badly structured, poor vocab sentences but it’s not something I find useful or interesting for any contributor. I don’t want to fall back on writing exercises there for it falls in the same useless category as the first one and seldom offers the opportunity to use or write sentences related to everyday life and situation. I’ll stick to the everyday life theme at first and maybe offer some Paris related stuff later on.
Back at work, I’m also trying to write my todo list in Japanese, trying this way to learn work related words. Too much at once but some seems to sick in.
Then, I also came back to about an hour grammar work every morning with my morning coffee, doing my best to practice as I go.
On the whole, it seems I’m starting to find a pace that suits me. But still, the practice bugs me.