So busy … :(

Uni just started again, so now I don’t have the same time to study Japanese as I’ve had throughout my Summer holiday. Can’t study every day as I used to 😦

However, I am trying to keep up with WaniKani. Level 3 now, wooohoo! 😀

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Hard time learning verbs

I am going through season 3 on TextFugu right now, and I’ve reached the verbs part. Before I start learning grammar rules such as past and negative tense, I have to learn some basic verbs.

Here are some examples:

かいます = To Buy
きます = To Come
します = To Do
のみます = To Drink
かきます = To Write
いきます = To Go
まちます = To Wait
もちます = To Hold

I currently have a list of about 50 verbs that I have to learn. The difficult part is that they sound very similar, even if you don’t think about the ます (masu) part.

I am using Anki to learn these words. However, I’ve found that if I try to learn too many new words in one day, I won’t really learn anything. I have to set a max daily limit, which right now is 10 verbs a day. This means that it will take a good amount of days before I’ve learned and mastered (aka I can recognize them without problems) all of them.

What I do with my Anki decks is to search Google Images to find pictures that can help me when I go through the words in Anki. However, some verbs are difficult to visualize, e.g. “to go” or “to do”. They can be a little abstract which makes them difficult to remember. Also, many of the words sound very similar, even if they have nothing to do with each other. An example would be まちます (machimasu = to wait) and もちます (mochimasu = to hold).

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Just keep studying Japanese

“An idealist believes that the short run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.” – Sidney J. Harris [via TextFugu]

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Mind like water – æ°´ã®å¿ƒ

Mizu no kokoro = Mind like water / Heart of water.

I discovered this Japanese saying when I watched a TED Talk called The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

“In karate there is an image that’s used to define the position of perfect readiness: “mind like water.” Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water respond? The answer is, totally appropriately to the force and mass of the input; then it returns to calm. It doesn’t overreact or underreact…Anything that causes you to overreact or underreact can control you, and often does.” – David Allen

I like this way of thinking. Oftentimes, my karate teacher tells us to move smoothly like water.

I’ve created a simple desktop wallpaper with the phrase:


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Today I learned: “to like” and ” to love”

わたし からて が すき です。
Watashi karate ga suki desu = I like karate.

コンピュータゲエム が 大好き です!
Konpyuutagemu daisuki desu = I love computer games!

せんすいふ が すき です。
Sensuifu ga suki desu = I like diving.

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こんにちは, people!

Hello there!

My name is Gustav Dahl, I’m 22 years old and live in a small Scandinavian country known as Denmark.

I have always been fond of Japan and it weird, but lovely culture. I can’t pinpoint exactly what is is that I love so much about the Japanese culture, but as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by it. Sometime in the future I hope to be able to visit Japan.

I have tried multiple times to learn the Japanese language – but without luck … 😦

NOW I’ve decided to try it again, but it’s going to be different this time around. Since mid-JulyI have been practicing using a website called TextFugu (I just started on season 3 out of 8 available). The site has been a great help. I’ve learned hiragana and katakana within a few weeks, some basic grammar and a few kanjis here and there. Using an SRS program called Anki, I am able to learn new words fast. Combined with mnemonics (small associations/stories that help you to remember), I already feel quite surprised of how much I’ve learned. In September, I am going to start on a small classroom course where I’ll learn more oral Japanese. It lasts for half a year, 2 hours each week. It’s not much, but it’s a good supplement to my self-learning studies.

I am not sure what this blog will turn into, but I feel it could be fun to document my journey somehow. Let’s see where this goes! 😀

Ps. The title for this blog post of course spells out “Konnichiwa”.

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