From Dipping My Toes to Wading Knee-deep: The Transition from Elementary to Intermediate-level Japanese
The gently sloping bank of elementary Japanese has given way to the sometimes still, sometimes gushing knee-deep waters of intermediate-level Japanese.
On some days, my feet remain steady. On others, I stumble and look for new ways of maintaining balance. A large rock, a sturdy tree stump, a person’s hand—sources of support in the river. A podcast, a book, an interactive activity—resources in the language-learning journey. Some work well for me, others do not. Some help me gradually move forward, others block my way and frustrate me to no end. Some add the fun element, making my worries disappear. Others make me wonder whether I chose the right path.
The journey has no dearth of adventure and learning. And I continue to pursue it, often saying to myself,
いっしょうけんめいがんばります (I will do my best).
Here are some resources that I have found helpful, engaging, and entertaining as I learn Japanese:
- The Kanji Lookup app
- Takoboto dictionary
- Virtual classes, books, and tips from language learning institutes
- YouTube channels of Japanese tutors
- NHK’s weekly news in simple Japanese
- Episodes of Atashin’chi and Doraemon in Japanese
- Movies from JFF Plus
- Japanese songs
- Graded books in Japanese from Tadoku
- Books that are set in Japan or provide a glimpse into Japanese culture (while I’ve read English versions so far, I hope to read them in Japanese one day!)
Are you learning Japanese? What are your means of support as you dip your toes and then wade into the waters? What keeps you steady? What helps you move forward?