Learning and Speaking Japanese in Second Life

こんにちは、みなさん。 I’ve just joined Wanikani this month and noticed a topic about learning Japanese through Genki 1 upon browsing the community forum.

This might be a bit late for me to share but I’m also currently learning Beginner Japanese via Genki 1 Textbook Second Edition on a virtual platform called Second Life. Every Saturday 10pm JST (5am PST) / 11pm JST (6am PST) depending on Daylight Saving Time, a couple of Japanese volunteers guides us through the textbook, with light homework / revisions to discuss the next Saturday.

If you don’t have the textbook, the lesson page of the day will be displayed like a whiteboard anyway so you can still follow along. However, if a less-structured Japanese speaking exercise might interest you more, every Friday at 10.30pm JST (5:30am PST / 6:30am PDT) there is a weekly Shiritori event, but in a form of Japanese and English Language Exchange.

Over there, we’re encouraged to speak mostly in Japanese to each other and the relaxed atmosphere makes it feel like we’re at home, rather than in a classroom. In fact, they rather not call it a school because the setting is more casual. I was astonished that they don’t charge at all, where locally (Malaysia) it would be hard to find such an interesting Japanese learning experience, especially with a native Japanese teacher too.

So far we have classmates from Australia, America, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Spain. This also makes it an interesting place to learn about other cultures from different countries while speaking Japanese.

For the Genki Textbook, we’re in Lesson 10 now, so if anyone don’t mind jumping in midway into the lesson, as well as going through the learning curve of using Second Life as a virtual platform, you’re more than welcome to join us. And don’t be taken aback by the Lesson 10 mark because in the last class, I still struggle to describe Sailormoon to everyone in Japanese (つきのうさぎはどの人ですか).

Once you are in Second Life, search for ‘Cypris Japan’ and you will see a Teleporter to ‘Nihongo Tea Room’, where we have our events every week. If everything still seems too confusing, feel free to IM me in Second Life (my account name is Haruka Flores) and I’ll do my best to help explain things in more detail. Below are snapshots from some of our sessions (photo credit to Cypris Japan founder Mystie-san).

Edit: I totally forgot to add that Cypris Japan has security set to kick newbies (mainly to avoid trolls). Admins would have to manually add a person if their Second Life account is younger than 2 weeks old. So if you’re new to Second Life, please send me an IM before coming by, and then I will inform Mystie-san so that she can add you in a safe list. Looking forward to welcoming you to our Japanese learning community.

よろしくお願いします。

Hopefully last Edit: More info and pictures inserted since this thread is added in a wiki.

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This sounds really fun, as long as you are not here just to plug or promote some other service. :slight_smile:

Otherwise, welcome to Wanikani. We have had a couple of Genki study groups over the years. Kanji study alongside grammar study is a good mix, if you have the time for it.

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Thank you RoseWagsBlue for your kind welcome. I’m so glad to have found WaniKani because my Beginner Japanese homework is starting to use Kanji more in-depth (having to remember JLPT N5 Kanji now).

“We have had a couple of Genki study groups over the years.”

As a newbie in WaniKani, I’ve just noticed that too. Really excited to try many other options to learning Japanese suggested in the forum.

“Kanji study alongside grammar study is a good mix, if you have the time for it.”

I think you’re right. Forcing oneself to allocate time to learning Japanese, even if it’s just a short few minutes in a day, is one of the keys to improving.

“This sounds really fun, as long as you are not here just to plug or promote some other service.”

If it looks like I was doing so, I deeply apologise. I was sparked to share about the free lessons I have been attending in Second Life since end of last year when I saw people sharing other Genki study groups to supplement their Kanji learning in WaniKani.

To be honest, at first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to even post what I have written. This is because unlike Discord and other similar interactive / chat platforms that are easier to use, Second Life has a steep learning curve because it is an older virtual world, compared to the newer ones like VR Chat etc. Second Life can be quite clunky if you have a lower spec computer and it’s very confusing for many newcomers. I remember when I was new in Second Life 12 years ago, it took me a couple of months before being able to navigate around with relative ease.

However, with the lockdown happening in many countries, I think people might be looking for ways to have an interactive learning experience, especially as most have to stay at home. I thought maybe they could give Second Life a try since it is immersive while being able to maintain anonymity using 3D avatars, unlike when using Zoom or other video chat.

Another additional reason is because Second Life has quite a poor reputation thanks to the trolls, and like in real life, for its ‘oldest profession in-world’, if you catch my drift. Constructive activities such as classes, creative outlets, panel discussions and so on, are becoming more of a shadow, or hidden gems. Despite all that, the Japanese friends that I knew there are volunteering to teach Japanese for free during their spare time. I just wish more people could come and support their effort and dedication while benefiting from them at the same time.

Hope that makes sense and I’m sorry for the long reply. Thank you for your time reading this and looking forward to climbing the Kanji mountain together :slight_smile:

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By the title I thought you meant that you didn’t have the chance to learn Japanese in your past life before you died and now that you’ve resurrected you’re learning it using Genki :eye: :lips: :eye: anyway this website looks cool and welcome to WaniKani

ps @hikaru1412 I SEE UR PROFILE PIC BRO :sob: :sob:

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That made me chuckle and smile because it’s not too far off from the reason why I’m re-learning Japanese properly now. I did make my early effort to learning Japanese die (about 20 years ago for an elective course in university).

And when recently realising that I wasn’t able to have long conversations with my Japanese friends, I’ve resurrected now and learning Japanese again using Genki, and of course, WaniKani :wink:

Thank you so much for your warm welcome too, theMusicalninja. Congratulations for being at Level 60! Hope to see you there at the top someday.

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There is a big set of regular welcome wagon people here. I am not usually among them, but I welcomed you because I know that they might tend to avoid welcoming a person that sounds like they are here to push another service. Especially since, at the time you first posted, you were still a level one non-paying user.
I am just explaining why you didn’t initially get the whole welcome wagon treatment that some other new users get. :slight_smile: There is a whole history of new users here showing up only to plug some app or service, and you can get a reception based on that history.

I love my WK community, but you eventually you will see what happens if a new user wanders in and comments on the changes that should be made to Wanikani. You will see them get eaten alive!

Your Second Life program does sound interesting. Wk is similar in that we are from all corners of the Earth. I have heard many people say how much their English has improved from WK and from the forums. The forums are a great hub for learning material and ideas. If you keep posting more details about the virtual platform that you use, eventually it will get the attention of other people.

Good luck here! If you haven’t found them yet, there are some guides on how to progress very efficiently. If you want to finish in a year, and are willing to do four short review sessions each day and manage them properly, it is one hundred percent doable. It is important to get up to level 20 or 30 so that you can read things without too much lookup, because it is reading that will really cement these kanji into your brain.

頑張ってください!

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I was wondering why I was notified. Did not even see that tiny mention. All I’m going to say is I am immensely proud of them. Their #1 was well-deserved. Now for this topic, I definitely think it’s pretty amazing, but I tried Second Life YEARS ago and it was such a weird experience. I ended up flying and found a weird castle in the sky that I will not talk about. :joy: Once I build a better computer that can run VR (or any game in general rip), I would like to try something like this on VR Chat or something similar. Good luck to OP with their studies. This sort of study group will do wonders to compliment their time here on WaniKani.

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As someone who has been in Second Life long enough, you don’t need to explain about your castle adventure indeed. I can almost picture the furniture in them too :sweat_smile: Let’s just say it’s usually one of the places I’d avoid after experiencing it for the first time too, lol.

Btw, your idea to try organise a Japanese study group in VR Chat or something similar is brilliant! VR Chat, for example, is way more user-friendly and far newer than Second Life. I think that will surely be a useful addition for many WaniKani members.

Thank you for your well wishes and good luck for your Japanese studies too!

P.S.: Editing this reply because it might be on topic. The other day, NHK World featured a Japanese company that organised the cancelled Comiket 2020 (or to be precise, it’s called Comic Vket because it’s virtual) in VR Chat! And what struck me was that it made Comiket more accessible to people all over the world, especially those who can’t afford to travel to Japan. Too bad I missed out because saw the news much later than the event dates. Maybe they will keep on organising Comic Vket next year onwards, seeing how beneficial it might be for many parties.

There is a big set of regular welcome wagon people here. I am not usually among them, but I welcomed you because I know that they might tend to avoid welcoming a person that sounds like they are here to push another service.

That makes your welcome even more special to me and I really appreciate it! :sparkling_heart:

If you keep posting more details about the virtual platform that you use, eventually it will get the attention of other people.

Just as what I’ve hinted to hikaru1412, I think Second Life is a bit of an old tech that I personally think should have died a long time ago, lol. I’m just going to post this once because it’s currently an existing Japanese study group I’m attending regularly every weekend, but I’m more in support of similar study groups being done in contemporary virtual platforms like VR Chat in the near future. Perhaps it might have already existed too.

If you want to finish in a year, and are willing to do four short review sessions each day and manage them properly, it is one hundred percent doable. It is important to get up to level 20 or 30 so that you can read things without too much lookup, because it is reading that will really cement these kanji into your brain.

Thanks to the tips you have given me, I’ve looked into something that I can try to match my slow-but-hopefully-steady pace. To get to level 20 or 30 will definitely be a challenge for me to keep up, as I’d want to avoid being burn out. Hence why I think your suggestion is very useful :slight_smile:

RoseWagsBlueさん、ありがとうございます。

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