Hello once again WK community. I’m here to vent a bit and ask YOU about some stuff in hopes of perhaps finding some advice that could help me.
It started back around… The end of Level 7 I think.
I had felt like I got over a big barrier, Kanji felt easier to remember, and so did vocab.
I was actually feeling pretty good, and on top of that I had been slowly learning some very handy grammatical concepts. I found myself at a point where I could hold VERY basic WRITTEN conversations with some Japanese pals (of whom do not speak any English) and be understood as well as sometimes understand what they are saying without needing a translator or dictionary.
And then something happened half way through level 8, I started to feel like everything I was learning was flying over my head. Sure I can recall the meaning and pronunciation of the Kanji, but I’m just not sure how to describe it- the more complex looking the Kanji was, the harder it became for me to remember it when I saw it in a vocabulary word. Even worse, the stuff I had learnt the past few levels was slipping from my brain! I would hear these words or see them and my brain would know of them, but fail to make the connection (if that makes sense).
What’s worse now is that I’m being introduced to what feels like a ton of vocabulary with very similar, but slightly different meanings now… I feel like I’m actually STUCK on level 8 because I am mixing up or struggling to truly understand words like 入場、入所、反対、対立、間 etc… I am limit myself to 5 lessons a day because I am spending time trying to study these words and understand them/their nuances.
Then the listening part, I can also tie in conjugations (you’ll see why in a moment) here as well to keep this as short as possible. I’m finding it REALLY hard to understand spoken Japanese, even like simple news videos, I hear the word, and then if a Japanese subtitle pops up and I see the word I will usually at least recognize it. I think to myself “wow… I should have known this word, but if it weren’t for the subtitle I’d have no clue what it was that was just said”.
Conjugations are making this even harder for me… Less so for polite form because this is what I spend 90% of my time learning as well as communicating (verbally with my tutor and written online). Informal form is a huge struggle for me (I should mention I have gone through and studied it, past, negative, potential, let’s, etc). I found a website that you can practice informal conjugations with, and I have also started to practice informal form with my tutor, I’m at a point where it’s easier to identify informal speech when written (and ultimately understand the word) but with spoken Japanese it’s still extremely difficult, if not impossible for me to understand.
Now to end this with immersion, I feel like I need to be immersed in content that is close to my current abilities to maybe try and overcome all of these hurdles.
The problem is I have found NOTHING to immerse myself in that is my level, I guess I am an extreme beginner?
The people I talk to online all write WAY above my ability, unless they are talking with me (which I am thankful for). I can’t seem to find any way I am able to immerse myself that is actually useful.
In just about everything I try (news articles, videos, music, personal posts) I find myself understanding a whopping 1-5% of the content… It’s so frustrating. I haven’t a clue how any of you guys have book clubs
To give you an idea of where I am at grammatically, I would say the level of someone who finished Genki 1 (I almost finished it but ditched it after chapter 10 for 80/20 Japanese, which I have found infinitely more helpful than Genki but that’s a opinion/thought for another time. For those who have used 80/20 Japanese I’m on Chapter 10, noun phrases).
Thanks for reading… I’m sure everyone has been in this position before. What did you do to keep pushing forward and not give up? How did you approach this barricade? Listening, remembering similar meaning vocabulary, and helpful immersion is really hard!
I’m also wondering if you guys know of anything I could use to immerse myself more? Particularly very basic content, stuff that a first grader would be able to comprehend. That’s my guess of where I am at right now…