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The Road to Fluency

I am nowhere close to fluent in Japanese.

On a good day I can communicate basic needs, but I usually remember all of the right things to say after the conversation has ended. Reading Japanese becomes easier every day, but speaking Japanese is altogether terrifying and different. My brain has a lot of trouble connecting spoken words to the written words I know.

It’s usually an exciting feeling when I realize that the word someone is saying is something that I read every day, though!

That aside, I’m working toward passing the Japanese Language Proficiency exam. I go to a private lesson with a volunteer teacher every week and slowly fill in gaps in my Japanese knowledge. I have been studying kanji diligently for almost an entire year, but I’m doubtful that I will be ready for the exam with my current progress (I took the 2nd level of this exam before).

Currently I use Anki flashcards to study level 2 kanji and vocabulary as well as practice listening.

Does anyone else study Japanese? If anyone has a study trick that they think works brilliantly, please let me know! There are only a few months left before I shell out quite a bit of money for this silly exam.

I predict that, because of the turmoil that’s happened the past several months, I will falter and choose to take the 3rd level instead of the 2nd.

I think it’s important to try my best and give it my all, but I also want to be honest with myself and realize what I am and am not capable of in my current state of mind.