My Language Learning Goals
Updated: Jul 14
Humans' most powerful weapon is communication. Humans, unlike any other species, have the ability to interact with one another, to convey complex thoughts and information through languages. Languages have always piqued my interest. Learning a language is a challenge, a challenge which may require your time and effort unsparingly.
So, this year, I've decided to try my hand at language learning. As an Otaku, I've always wanted to learn Japanese. How amazing would it be, to watch anime without subtitles, to be able to do other stuff without worrying about missing the dialogues. This dream soon became a living goal, a work in progress.
Lockdown provided me with the opportunity to begin doing what I was passionate about. I began playing the piano seriously, began working on a novel and my blog/website, and began learning Japanese. Even my mom decided to learn along with me! After all, a language learning partner is the best way to learn a language. And so, I embarked on my journey to learn Japanese. I'd chosen a tough path, but it was also a fascinating one. Japanese uses three scripts, Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. Hiragana is used for native Japanese words and grammatical elements; Katakana is used to write foreign words, mostly English; and Kanjis are symbols that denote certain readings.
Foreign languages are taught in almost every school/university. In my school, we are taught French. I have been doing French for quite a long time now, but I still cannot speak fluently at all. In fact, in my visit to Paris, I was unable to communicate with the locals. I realized that this was due to the lack of listening and speaking exercises, and I made sure that I do not make the same mistakes for Japanese.
So, I made a list of resources available online to aid me in learning Japanese, and bought textbooks for explanations and exercises (I will make another blog relating to that, so keep an eye out). After almost a year of self-study, I finally joined coaching classes, to prepare for JLPT N5. Giving Japanese so much time made me miss out on French. I realised that if I wanted to be fluent in French, then I had to do more than what I was taught in school. Once again, I made a list of free resources available online and also bought textbooks for practise and grammar. I feel this is the best way of approaching any language. There are three schools of Language learning:
1) Input Based
2) School method
3) Speaking from the first day
Some say its best to immerse yourself in your target language right from day 1; some say that speaking right from the start is the key to fluency; some say that solving tons of exercise is the path to understanding the language. I believe a mix of all three is very important. For me, the ideal study plan is, 30 minutes of immersion, 30 minutes of speaking, listening, and repeating, and one hour of grammar/vocabulary/practise.
My language learning goals for 2021 are:
1. I aim to pass Japanese proficiency test N5 this December
2. I aim to reach basic fluency in French by next year April