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Re: [Lingo] 遅過ぎる

On 7/6/2010 5:08 PM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
I *think* that when I was learning some of these things I was able to
speed up the process by immersion -- avoiding "bitch about Japan
gaijin parties" :-) and hanging out with the local musicians instead,
using a standard "New Kanji Dictionary" (ie, K->J, not K->E) and only
using J->E when I was really lost, using maps and guides written in
Japanese only, getting a Japanese girlfriend, etc.  But it took a huge
amount of effort to maintain that pace, and I think it would have been
impossible if I hadn't been living in Japan.
I spent almost 3 months in Japan about 3 years ago to study Japanese.  Part of that was a full-immersion course in Japanese in 代々木.  The other students were mostly Chinese with a few Koreans, one Englishman, a German and me.  For me, this was a waste of time.  I still remember one point where the instructor spent about 1/2 hour trying to get an idea across to me.  She finally looked around to make sure no one was listening and said in english "passive verb" and I finally got her point.  But then I think I'm particularly dense when it comes to learning a language.  I'm also 64, which doesn't help.  

Also, it almost felt like learning to read/write was discouraged.  That seemed really strange since most of the other students were Chinese so shouldn't have had the fear of Kanji that most of the Americans I know have.

Right now I'm mostly studying Japanese on my own -- having completed all the courses the local JC has several times.  I've reached a point with my Japanese where I'm constantly encountering kanji i know in words I don't know.  It feels like my vocabularly (and sometimes my brain :) is exploding.  But it's almost entirely reading.  I have a few Japanese friends but don't really spend time in 日本会話.

I'm also studying the culture.  Currently I'm reading "Reprogramming Japan" by Marie Anchordoguy.  Do you know it?  Fascinating book...

I'm trying to get to the point where I can use a Jap-Jap dictionary but still encounter too much Japanese that I don't know.  It seems like I need to continue with the vocabulary.

I recently started working more with Japanese movies too.  Some of the movies have the Japanese dialog as sub-titles and trying to read along seems to be helping.

Long term, I'd like to get back to Japan for at least a couple of years.  How realistic is this for an old guy?  What are chances of finding a job where I also have time to experience the culture?

Steve Smith

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