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日本語さいかい September 8, 2006

Posted by ayasawada in Japan, Personal.

I’ve signed up for more Japanese lessons. For the last few weeks I’ve been mulling over the SOAS evening classes. Well, I popped along to the SOAS Language Centre open day on Wednesday to find out more. To my surprise they offered to do a level assessment there and then. What I thought would be a quick 15 min chat turned into an hour’s written exam, through which the true extent of my Nihongo amnesia was revealed. I didn’t do too badly, but was shocked at the amount of grammar I had forgotten, as well as my inability to recall the kanji for 時(hours) and 分(minutes). I am bizarrely knowledgable about some intermediate kanji and colloquial speech, but can’t string a simple sentence together. Must be all that anime full of “えええ!” mutterings….

Anyway, the teacher agreed that I could still enter the Lower Intermediate class and that’s what I’ll be doing come October (money is so easily parted from my hands…. though at least these classes are cheaper than most). A beginner level may well have been too easy, but it does mean I’ll have to do some frantic catch-up in the first few weeks.

The good news is the classes look good. Andrea told me that SOAS has notoriously bad Japanese classes (though their mandarin classes are apparantly top-notch) but I figure I’ll give it a term and see. Format is very similar to the JLPT syllabus so it will definitely help for December. Moreover, they use proper textbooks – Minna no Nihongo – as opposed to EIC’s internal stuff. Not that they were bad, it’s just hard to judge your level without a certain amount of standardisation. I struggle to recall what verb forms I know simply because I’ve never been taught the categories. Also, I have no idea how many kanji I know but estimate that, at some point, I must have been familiar with at least 200.

I am looking forward to starting Nihongo again, though not the difficult initial period ‘getting back on the bike’. がんばります!


1. Izumi - September 9, 2006


Haha, anyway how are you Keat? ^_^ No time no speak! Good luck with your Japanese… do you know many kanji? I thought maybe you meant hours as in 時 not 持 (they do look a little similar). 持 is 持つ as far as I know. ^^;

2. ayasawada - September 9, 2006

You’re absolutely right Izumi – corrected! That’s what happens when you try and post really really quickly ^^; As you can see, my kanji is really rusty andi my eyesight ain’t what it used to be….

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