To make a long story short: I’ve been learning Japanese for four years at university and almost passed N2 exam. I graduated from uni 3 years ago. However, I do not use Japanese language daily and only from time to time, like once in a couple of months, I try to refresh my knowledge. But every time I have to go through the same grammar and kanji again and again (because I forget everything); I start from N5 every time because I forget even such easy things.
And now I’m going to start working on this seriously (I need it for my business), but when I think that I have to go through the kanji books, Minna no Nihongo and all that stuff one more time - I’m ready to give up.
Do you have any resources or tips and tricks to revamp Japanese skills?
It would be greatly appreciated!
Welcome to the forums!
What kind of Japanese usage are you hoping to get? for example - Being able to write or read emails / essays / business briefs, conversational (business vs. casual), teaching Japanese to other learners, etc? Depending on what is the most important part is, there may be some shortcuts for you.
Like you said, if you don’t use, it starts to go away, so the best plan of action is to never stop using it.
In my neighbourhood, the university and the community center (community learning) have meetups open to the public to practice different skills - some are for reading (they actually sit together and read through newspapers & magazines together), composition (a retired teacher volunteers his time to correct short essays on weekly topics), and there’s another that do conversation practice over sushi dinner once a month.
If you are somewhere remote, or someplace with not many other Japanese learners, there are practice groups that do online meetups via video chat.
I personally love reading, so I just find books that interest me and read them in two languages at the same time (like Harry Potter).
Also, watching Japanese movies / tv can also be helpful, just to get used to the speed and tempo of the language again. Don’t worry about following along too closely, and turn on subtitles if it really drives you crazy.
I know it’s tough to get started again when you get the stupidest grammar stuff wrong after a long break, but I suggest focusing on what you do know and then keeping the Japanese part of your brain always running. Then the little mistakes are less important (and easier to recognise/correct) when the motor is already running.
Best of luck!
That’s why you’re here at WanKani, so you don’t have to go through all those books
Since somewhere in your head you still know the grammar you’ve learned, I would suggest trying BunPro.jp. It’s an application that uses the SRS system like WK but for grammar.
Since you’re not learning everything from scratch you should be able to quickly remember the grammar points you already know and you won’t have to go through all the stuffy textbooks again.
Thank you for your reply!
Unfortunately, it is impossible for me to catch what actors are talking about even with subtitles on, cause that’s too fast for me at this moment
But I would definitely try other tricks. Thanks once again!
Bunpro looks like a great solution. Thanks a lot!
I’m a broken record when it comes to really appreciating the teachings form the youtube channel and / or articles on the website of KawaJappa CureDolly. She basically developed a method around what she perceived to be flaws in the way that many English teaching resources explain Japanese.
So her approach would be a bit different, but I find that her way of framing Japanese as Japanese, without the lens of Western grammar, to be incredibly clear, and logical.
With certain resources, I would have to just try to force myself to remember things through rote memorisation. For some reason, with the way she shows how logical the language fits together at times, I find it all far easier to remember.
The presentation isn’t optimal, but for me, the content was a huge boon to my grammar.
Welcome to WK and I hope you can find your swing and joy for Japanese again!
Thanks a lot! Will check it out
Unfortunately, the only way you can improve listening skills is by listening. And watching a show provides you with visual cues as well. Try watching with Japanese subtitles and pause every once in a while to really look at a sentence, and see if you can’t figure out the meaning. Since you have N3 level grammar knowledge, the problem might be mostly vocabulary based. Train your ears to the language and you’ll be able to understand spoken language a little bit better each time.
Edit: Also just watching a Japanese show you like for fun, will help with not falling out of the loop of Japanese so much?
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