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[Learning Languages] Top Language Lovers 2014


Hi everyone, here am I again! A day after my last post. (HEHE~!) Anyway, I am here to share this~ I received a mail from the bab.la and Lexiophiles team yesterday. What this means is that I AM nominated for “Top Language Lovers 2014″. First of all, a BIG THANK YOU to whoever who had nominated for me. I don’t know who you are but I really thank you for nominating me for this. (Well, I would also be glad if you can tell me who you are! :))

To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to do a post about this since I felt I wasn’t so much a regular blogger since the last Top Language Lovers (2013). However, looking back and reflecting, unlike the other years, I felt that I have gotten better at reflecting. Perhaps this is a sign of advanced learners? Nonetheless, there had been many learning points since the last Top Language Lovers. I am happy to say that I had made the move to work on my speaking. Yet I also like to say that with the constant output I now have, I realized the need for even more input. Well, I shall dwell on that here since the purpose of this post is to:

1) Thank the person who nominated me. I really can’t thank you enough.

2) Thank you all who have been followers of this blog from way back or recently. A big thanks. I hope you managed to get something from my blog and learn something as well.

3) YES~ last but not least, vote for me if you find that you enjoyed what I had put out. It’s big indication to me that you enjoyed my posts. Well, I have put up a voting box on right on the top of the page, so if you like my posts, please click on that button to vote for me.

That’s it for this post~ Anyway, I have come across some amazing materials which I like to share with all of you so look out for my posts! And have a good week ahead!

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[Japanese Language] The Japanese Culture of Listening


I just got back from Vietnam last week! And no, this post is not about my trip in Vietnam, rather it’s post on Japanese.

Well, previously I mentioned that I got to know a language exchange partner from Shanghai and am doing a LINE language exchange with him. After I got back to Singapore, I got to know another Japanese student studying in SG and yes, I’ve also just started doing this LINE thing with him. I find that I am slowly getting used to thinking in Japanese more quickly since I think you know that the thing about messaging is the speed. I think it’s great that it’s helping me to think on my feet and reacting instantaneously in Japanese. I find it a very valuable learning experience. In fact, I have quite a few language exchange partners now, but the thing with adulthood is, not everyone is free when you are free so I think it’s great that having a few exchange partners helps in a way since it gives me more exposure to the language when some of the exchange partners are busy and I could still do exchange with those who are free. Nonetheless, having said that, I think the whole purpose of language exchange, other than language exchange, is to build a friendship. Well, how should I put this, I mean only if you genuinely want to have a friendship with the other party, can the language exchange session be “smoother”? Anyway, that’s just my thoughts about that.

The whole purpose of this post is sharing this video I had watched. This video is about あいづち and I find it a great video. Micaela hit the spot on many things. Well, I think it’s important to learn  あいづち right from the start. I find that unfortunately not a lot of emphasis is placed on learning this.  あいづち is like this major aspect of conversation. Though there are many who knows the language well or even close to, or are at the native level, yet sometimes it is quite obvious that their reactions are still very foreign-ish. 

The other thing mentioned in this video is the mention of “そうですね” and “はい”. I totally agree to this. I think a lot of foreigners think that the Japanese counterpart is agreeing to what they are saying but honestly, the Japanese counterparts are just acknowledging what you are saying. It is NOT that they are agreeing to you.

I think Micaela’s video is very educational for all those who are learning Japanese. And one major learning point about her video is the difference in cultural reactions. I think misunderstandings can occur when we don’t really understand a culture well, which in this case, the Japanese culture. I hope the above video helps you to understand more from the Japanese culture and well, you can also start using and practicing あいづち when conversing with Japanese. 

Well, that’s it for this post. Hope all of you learn something from it. Oh, by the way, Micaela has an awesome Youtube channel and I can’t recommend it enough. Do subscribe to her channel to learn more about the Japanese culture!

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[Japanese Language] Updates


Hi people, it’s been a week. And things just popped up during this 1 week. Was tasked to go to Vietnam again next week. So here am I, trying to get a lot of things in perspective again. These days, I have to spend more time at work as other than the Vietnamese project, I am also involved into 2 other projects so life is extremely hectic for me. Submitted my task 3 for my school stuff. And I’ve yet to start on my task 4. I really feel stretched to my max this year. Time is such an extremely precious commodity to me and I mean it.

In spite of the crazy schedule, I FINALLY met up with my language exchange partner yesterday. I found my Japanese turn rusty from my complete lack of usage in my life. Still it was great to be able to catch up with her. I swear I have to work harder at finding time. Thank goodness, for the new LINE language exchange partner, I have the chance to message him everyday to keep my Japanese “alive” in a way. So, haha, no way to slack~! hehe~ anyway, I’m still trying to work around how best to squeeze time out of my ridiculous schedule.

In any case, I had some time to relax and visit Kinokuniya bookstore earlier this week and I got this book for elementary students. It’s like a book on the Japanese society for elementary students in Japan. Honestly, I can’t believe it’s for elementary school kids. Cos I think I probably learned some of the concepts when I was older. Nonetheless, it’s a a great read. Still reading it though.

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Anyway, I got this thing to read elementary school stuff from Kanadajin3. I’m actually a follower of Kanajin3 and totally enjoy the videos she made cos they provide great insight to the Japanese society. Anyway, some time back, she made a video saying that she hit a wall in learning Japanese and that she found she already knew the advanced stuff so she came up with a “rebirth” method, i.e, learning from books for elementary kids and progressing from there.

I can’t say that I’m adopting everything she said from her video cos I can’t stand reading stuff in pure hiragana (I find that a pain in the a**) so I had gone and looked at books for older elementary kids since they offer a good mix of hiragana n kanji. Anyway, I totally agree to what Mira-san said in the video and I am trying her method because I am finding the existing methods that I am using a bit boring. Well, no harm in trying out this method and up till now, no complaints about it. It’s been quite fun doing it.

Well, that’s it for this week or so, I have to go get some of my work done. Hopefully, I can get some Japanese stuff done later on!

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[Japanese Language] Language exchange for busy people


Just in Feb, I came up with a post. “How to learn a language without losing yourself?” and in just less than two months, my schedule got crazy and yes, somehow finding myself eating my words about finding time to do it. Honestly, this really bothered me like a lot. And just when I was thinking of how to overcome this, I received a message on language exchange and this time round from an expatriate Japanese who is based in Shanghai. And yes, this means good news for me cos we are both busy! Well, you must be thinking I must be going crazy from my tight schedule~ You must be thinking how in the world do busy people do language exchanges, well, there are ways to do it. Thanks to the suggestion of my language exchange partner, he suggested doing it on LINE. Since then, for the past 4 days, we have been chatting on LINE. Honestly, I have never thought of using instant messaging tools for language exchange and was rather skeptical at first. Yet I think I am wrong to think so. I have discovered how LINE is really helping me to keep with my Japanese in spite of my tight schedule for many things. And since LINE is a messaging tool, in a way, it’s very short and sweet and at the convenience of your chatting partner and you. Honestly, I am like super grateful that this language exchange partner came and dropped me a message for this at this point of time when I’m struggling to think of ways to keep my Japanese going. So now, I’m just going to share this new tip on how to learn a language without losing yourself.

How did I do it? A~ Message? LOL~ well, I just messaged my exchange partner about random stuff, and then we start chatting from there if he happens to free at the same time. Well, if he’s not, then he will reply when he’s free and then I’ll reply when I’m free. So the exchange goes in this manner. All at our own free time. I find this slightly awkward in the beginning but then, I think I got used to it. So right now, at random moments when I need a short break from my school stuff, I drop him a message or maybe I could taking a super short break from my work n I check my phone and I take this short time to reply his message. This is like the easiest way for busy people to do language exchanges. I mean, don’t tell me, you don’t have time for toilet breaks, stretching breaks or drinking water breaks and so on~ there are bound to be this short moments when you can pick up your phone n message a person. It doesn’t take you that long a time. Of course, if you want an extended period of time for exchange, evenings and weekends are the best cos that’s when you n your language partner are free.

So well, there you go~ my latest tip of doing language exchange for busy people. Honestly, there is no such thing as no time if you try to manage it properly, I know we all have many things on our plate but it can be done so hmm, you have to continuously try to work things out. Well, that’s it for this post. I’m going back to my assignment~ Till the next post~ Think it’ll be soon~ cos I’m submitting my task tomorrow~! Wheee!! You have no idea how happy I am over this thought, that I will have MORE time. It’s a luxury really, and I’ve already planned what I’m going to do for this week! (Hehehe~!) And by the way, I’ve started adding new pics on Tumblr~ so do check it out!

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[Japanese language] Nodajiman World 2014 のど自慢 ザ ワールド 2014


I came across this amazing video that a friend posted on his Facebook today and really wanted to share it with everyone (unfortunately I was unable to find the original youtube link to it. Nonetheless, the videos are from Nodajiman World 2014 and they feature a Singaporean, Jeremy Teng, singing two songs, ここにしか咲かない花 and 三日月. He was totally superb when he was singing these songs. I have to admit that I was extremely moved when I heard him sing the first song,  ここにしか咲かない花. He DIDN’T sound like a foreigner AT ALL. Of course the judges were all extremely moved by his performances. Well, just like to share that with all of you~ and can I say that he didn’t sound like a foreigner at all. Thumbs up for his efforts and performance. I think we can only guess the amount of efforts he put in to get the pronunciation and accent right. And did I say he came up tops for his brilliant performances?  

 

 

 

 

 

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