日本

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Archive for September, 2010

Tumbling Toward Fluency

In the never-ending search for ways to integrate Japanese into my very Western life, I have started a Tumblr blog that I am writing solely in Japanese. For those who haven’t tried out Tumblr yet, it is rather on the buggy side but very handy for micro- and photo-blogging. This miniaturist layout is especially useful considering that I can barely eek out 2 or 3 sentences of Japanese at a time.

I see this as the natural progression from trying to keep a 60/40 split of English and Japanese (respectively) on my Twitter account.  It is a brilliant feeling when a Japanese word or expression spontaneously comes to mind, rather than attempting a laborious translation from English. Yet the hard work must be done, and mistakes have to be made.

To that end, I have put a request in the sidebar of the new blog for all corrections and comments on my pre-school 日本語 to be left in the comments. I learn best by being corrected, not only because it leaves a deeper impression, but also because there are more than just one lesson to be learned.

For example, I was writing an email asking someone to read my blog so that I could have their opinion. I immediately remembered a correction from a native speaker on Lang-8 that 読書 (どくしょ) is only used for reading books, or discussing reading itself; the form 読む (よむ) is much more appropriate for internet reading like blogs and online articles. It may seem a small point, but I haven’t forgotten it.

99.9% of the bloggers I follow are on Blogger or WordPress, so it will probably take a while for me to get integrated into this new community. If you have a Tumblr then have a look-see at leaving me a few corrections.

It only takes one to Tangorin.

One of my worst blog titles. I promise, the post is much better!

Over on the philosophical/bioluminescent/日本語 wonder that is Gakuranman’s site, he recently held a competition for short entries on Japanese student learning methods. Considering how confusingly I worded that concept, I barely have enough mastery of the English language and therefore did not contribute anything personally. There are some excellent entries (click on the winner’s names to see their comments) and I look forward to his completed article on study methods.

おいしいいいい!

Being a beginner myself, I’ve got nothing in particular to offer. However, I did want to give props to one of the most clicked bookmarks on my browser toolbar: Tangorin. The site is the lovechild of Grzegorz Bober and the JMdict/EDICT collective, and the fruit of this vocabular orgy is – in my opinion – the best combination dictionary and grammar tool. (speaking of tools – see picture at right)

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