The past five days or so has not been entirely enjoyable: I contracted a virus of some kind and was feeling pretty nasty come Sunday night. Foolishly, I decided to go to work for the next three days, under the delusion that I’d be able to fight it off.

I couldn’t.

Common sense (Ayako) prevailed on Thursday; I took the day off and visited the doctor, who gave me an injection of some kind and various other medications to take for the next few days. I’m currently taking seventeen pills a day and there’s no chance of a cheeky pint for the duration of this three-day weekend. Bollocks. I am feeling much better, though, so at least the drugs are working.

On Wednesday I finally received my JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) result, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I passed. I had been thinking I’d either scrape a passing grade of 60% or, more likely, fail by the tiniest of margins. I ended up with 77%, which wasn’t too bad at all. Listening turned out to be my weakest point, and writing/vocabulary my strongest, which is no way surprising.

Now, don’t think this in any way means I’m fluent in Japanese. I only took the third grade level out of four (with one being the toughest), so I have a long way to go yet. The second grade is, by all accounts, much harder; my current knowledge of kanji is around the 300-400 mark, but I’ll need to have mastered over 1,000 before I can even think about entering. If I can manage it before the end of the decade, I’d be more than chuffed!

Anyway, one thing I’ve learned from studying Japanese is if you don’t use it, or at least have a crack at it on a regular basis, it will quickly disappear from memory, which I imagine applies to all languages. I’ve been talking in Japanese a lot more recently, although my lack of vocabulary becomes absolutely mind-bendingly frustrating if I have to explain something I haven’t studied beforehand. I feel stuck in a bit of a trough with that at the moment, and really need to kick myself out.


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4 Responses

  1. The difference between level 2 and 3 is insanely different. Passed level 3 myself, but not level 2…. Gotta get back into studying Japanese…. Do you study at a language school?

    Great site by the way.

  2. Andy,
    I am delighted with your results. I have been sitting at this flipping computer for two hours just to do a few tasks for my computer class tomorrow and am fed up with it . Clever Cloggs is watching the telly! His motto for never doing anything wrong is “don’t do anything.”

  3. Mike:

    Cheers for the comment!

    Yeah, I’ve heard that the difference between level 3 and 2 is ridiculous. At my current rate of progress I’ll probably reach retirement age before I ever pass it. I studied at a school for around four months last year; really enjoyed it… should start having lessons again, but my inherent laziness will no doubt prevail.

  4. Hi Andy,

    Found your site from the link on Mike’s Blender

    Congratulations on passing level 3, I’m currently studying Japanese and I’ll be happy if I pass level four this year.


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