I’ve always wonder what I can do at level 10,20,30…60. I can’t find much info so I thought I’ll write my own.
I plan to record every milestone 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and of course 60 - so I have records of what I can do at those level, and remember how far I’ve come. Hopefully it encourages you too.
I am self-studying Japanese.
I can speak Cantonese/some Mandarin, but I can’t read/write. It’s more ‘useful’ to learn Chinese where I am, but I am much more interested in studying Japanese. So as I study WaniKani, I also learn the reading in Chinese and put it in the notes section.
I am also studying grammar with Minna No Nihongo, the Handbook of Japanese Verbs, and listening to Miku Sensei/ Japanese Ammo with Misa on Youtube. So I have some understanding of grammar. I think my grammar is at N5 - N4 level (though still very weak).
On top of that, I am collecting kanji/vocab/sentences I see in the wild e.g Youtube/ movies into Anki.
Recently, I bought ‘Common Japanese Collocations: A learner’s guide to frequent word pairing’. Hopefully this helps me construct natural sentences.
WHAT I CAN’T DO
The fact is, at level 10 there is still much I cannot do
CAN’T READ COMPLETE TITLES IN NHK News Web Easy I often visit NHK News Web Easy to see what titles I can read. Unfortunately, most of the time I am only able to pick up a few kanji. The only title that I can consistently read on NHK web easy is: 新しいコロナウイルス 気をつけて
NOT SURE WHAT SENTENCES MEANS Although I could read some lines in the news or manga, I can guess what it means but I am not exactly sure. I need stronger grammar for that.
CAN’T FORM SENTENCES I am still unable to form sentences/ express my thought in Japanese. Sometimes, I try to translated what I said in English to Japanese. While I could construct some simple sentences at level 10 (due to learning more useful vocab), I still find it hard.
CAN’T READ MY FAVOURITE MANGA I tried reading ドラえもん Doraemon. I thought the drawings will help me understand. Nope. I didn’t know it’s that difficult! Do you know at what level I would be able to understand ドラえもん Doraemon?
WHAT I CAN DO
But there is also a lot of things that I am beginning to be able to do:
KANJI CONFIDENCE I am no longer blind to/ scared of kanji. When I see kanji, I would think “Hmm. What can I read?” Instead of “Oh, random Japanese alphabets that has nothing to do with me”.
TRY TO READ KANJI INSTEAD OF ROMAJI. When I study Japanese textbook, I normally read it in romaji. But at level 10, I begin to read the examples in kanji instead of the romaji e.g ‘The Handbook of Japanese Verbs’ textbook. I am surprised that I am able to read the full sentence of some examples!
FIGURE OUT JAPANESE FOOD WRAPPER I could read simple instructions on Japanese food wrappers and guess more complicated ones. There was a Japanese gummy where you’re suppose to tear one by one. On it, there is ‘すき’, きらい’, and 占. Then it rang a bell: it’s a fortune telling gummy!
PICK UP MORE WORDS WHILE WATCHING MOVIES I can recognize a lot of words that I learned from WaniKani while watching Japanese dramas/ anime e.g 研究 and 美しい in ‘Atelier’ on Netflix. Before this, many words were meaningless to me.
READ SIMPLE TITLES IN CHINESE NEWSPAPER I am able to pick up simple titles in Chinese e.g 世界最美, ‘world most beautiful’. Even if you can’t read it in Chinese, at level 10, you would know what it means.
SEEING THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY I navigate the world with some kanji knowledge that makes life interesting.
I was at a bento shop and saw: 弁当. The big banner was there forever but it was some kanji I didn’t know. Now, my thoughts go like this: that is ’triceratops’ and ‘wolverine’ - ‘tou’ ‘correct! Then I got it, 弁is probably ‘Ben’. The ’Tou 当’ from ‘Bentou/弁当’ and’ Hontou/本当’ is the same’!
There was also a Japanese speciality food shop called 正直屋. Now I know their motto is honesty!
Which level are you at and what can you do now that you cannot do before?
Oh, I can’t wait till I reach level 20 and share with you more of the things I am able to do. And eventually 60, hopefully