Some details, just rambling about myself, not essential for the question
I’ve been thinking about how realistic it will be for me to get to N1 for a while now. I understand that
- N1 does not equal fluency and that one has a long way to go after even after reaching N1 but I would worry about that when the time comes
- I don’t have to decide this now but I just like having a long term plan of what I’m trying to achieve
- We are here to learn a language, not to reach certain levels of some test (unless you need the test for e.g. job applications which I don’t).
However, I enjoy having measurable goals that I can work towards in a given timespan instead of a vague “I’d like to be able to hold a conversation/read signs in a train station/…”. Having the JLPT to prepare for, with a fixed deadline, has pushed me to study vocabulary and grammar harder and more consistently than I would have without it. (And when I say I “enjoy” it means sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it and I just want to be done with the stress and pressure that I’m putting on myself because of the JLPT. But I partially feel like I can not truly move on from this topic until I haven’t reached N1; I know this is not reasonable… but we can’t all be reasonable all the time! )
Just yesterday, my Japanese teacher told me that N2 is a good goal to have and “most people stop after N2” since afterwards you have to get into business Japanese and she sounded like she does not expect me to ever attempt it.
So I’m wondering if it would be worth the time investment to prepare for N1 since people keep bringing up how “rare” some grammar points are (while others say they are not rare at all) and how you need to get into business Japanese in order to be able to succeed. And then there are people who obviously have been studying hard for quite some time and fail the N1 anyway so I’m not sure if I should even set my goals that high.
- I don’t live in Japan and don’t want to change that
- I neither study Japanese nor need it for business purposes
- I’m quite busy with work, can not study and consume content all day long
… how realistic or stupid is it to have N1 as a goal?
On the plus side, I feel like I have good reading skills in general and am used to reading content quickly in a language that is not my native one. Japanese has been surprisingly easy, at least compared to what I expected. Maybe I have at least that one thing going for me?
What do you think? What are your experiences with N1? Or if you haven’t attempted to take it yet: what are your goals?