Japanese Immersion: October week 4

The more I write these Friday posts, the more I doubt whether “immersion” is the good term for them. Initially, I wanted to create a Japanese environment around me to be sure that I was absorbing as much Japanese as possible.

I find this harder to achieve than I had imagined. The problem is not the lack of things to listen to or read in Japanese (on the contrary!), but my own disposition. I am more keen on absorbing cultural/entertaining contents in English than in Japanese. Furthermore, I have realised that a passive immersion in the language does not help me that much. Letting a Japanese audio run the whole day long won’t make me progress in my listening abilities if I don’t consciously listen to it. As a result, I found that working on an audio for 1 hour is more useful than hearing Japanese all day long without making an effort to understand it.

Anyway, this is what I did this week!

シグナル: reached episode 8!

The drama『シグナル』will certainly be the first Japanese drama that I watch entirely! Only 2 episodes to go. I am very happy about it because my attempts to watch Japanese drama have seen me going from frustration to frustration. 『シグナル』is a drama that I like watching for its story, I also like the actors, and I can understand most of what is said. Towards the end, however, we have to bear with good ones that are ridiculously good and bad ones that are ridiculously bad, but… I still enjoy the drama.

I have transcribed the episode 7 and 8 and with the exception of some scenes (always involving the same characters), I could write down a good amount of what was said. The length of 45 minutes is perfect to me. Writing down also made me more confident with a lot of kanji. When I started this exercise, I had to check the writing of a lot of kanji, but now I can write most of them without looking them up first.

Sapio magazine

I talked last week about a political magazine I bought because it has a dossier on the Emperor.

I have read the second article of the dossier, which was on the Empress. As I mentioned last week, every article is written by a different historian/academician, so the writing style is different. I found this second article to be very easy to read, more than the first one. I did have to look up several words and check some references on Wikipedia, but except for one or two passages, I can say that I understood it very well.

I really appreciate working on paper rather than reading on my phone. I can write down vocabulary and notes, and this is what the article looks like once I have studied it:

Sapio 9.10 2018 (pp 16-17)

I think that this amount of vocabulary and references search is okay. I don’t have so many things to look up that I would feel discouraged, but I still have the feeling that I am studying, making progress in reading and learning new words or facts. For example, the article mentions the Japanese colonists settled in Manchuria and their difficult journey back to Japan after the capitulation. This is an episode that I didn’t know well and I have read more about it since then.

That’s it for this week! It is not as much a continuous immersion than targeted study sessions, but no matter the form it takes, the most important thing is to devote some time every day to the language we learn!