Anybody who really knows me knows me that I have about 0% desire to return to America. If it weren’t for my sister and her kids I probably wouldn’t even be going back for Christmas (and some business I have to take care of). I came here for a reason and I’m trying to carve a life for myself here.
And, one of the biggest steps to do that is, speaking the language.
I studied the language for four years in college, studied abroad at Kansai Gaidai and then, stopped. So many of the things I learned and knew have since left my brain. Being here for a year (Today is my Japaniversary!), I’ve re-input a lot of the things that I forgot, but I have a long way to go. I want to eventually become fluent in a second language, which is something that I always thought would be impossible for me.
So, in an effort to become fluent, I’ve started taking Japanese language classes and studying as much as I can. The progress is slow, mostly because I use English all day, every day. But I’m doing my best. My listening skill is getting much better, but my speaking continues to be pretty low. Even though I still feel pretty low, I’m going to take the N5 level of the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) in December.
You can find some information about the JLPT here: http://www.jlpt.jp/e/
I’m taking N5, which is the lowest. I took the practice test online and it was really easy, so I feel pretty good about my test in December. Next July, I want to take N4. It’s going to be a long and difficult road, but I want to start really establishing a life for myself here, and I think this is one of the first steps.
Wish me luck on my journey! I have a feel it’s going to be a wild ride from here on out!