Friday, September 17, 2010

Does Watching J-Dramas/Anime Improve My Japanese?

Answer in two words: No leh.

Samurai T asked the question after seeing me glued to the laptop screen for several days obsessively watching the anime "Itazura Na Kiss", which was in Japanese with English subtitles. Dejected, I answered in the negative. After 8 freaking lessons, I cannot even catch a single sentence, just the most basic of words that I ALREADY KNOW before taking Japanese lessons, and a handful of everyday terms which I had learnt in class.

The upside is that I can now say "Tadaima! (他だいま)" which means "I'm home!" and "Okaerinasai! (おかえりなさい)" i.e. "Welcome back!" with a true blue Japanese accent, and in a "kawaii" manner. Oh, and also "Arigato Gozaimasu", "Sayonara", "Gomenasai" and "Ittekimasu - I'm going off!". How very pathetic, I know. I could not even properly decipher what is "I Love You!" in Japanese despite the numerous declarations from Kotoko, the female lead, while I already know the Korean version - "Sarangheyo!!!!!" So I just googled and in 2 minutes found out it is "Ai shiteru" (あいしてる) - hmmm, I thought I did hear something like that. God I am such a baka バカ x 10000000! (Don't ask me to explain THAT term.)

And after a term break last week, I have already forgotten half of my hiragana alphabets. Obviously, watching the anime did absolutely NOTHING to refresh my memory. So much for "immersing" myself in a Japanese environment, no? Most discouraging. I wonder how long it will take for me to be even mildly proficient in the language. Then again, I studied German for FOUR years and I don't think I could sit through an entire German movie without subtitles. Bleh.

Loving languages is one thing. Mastering them is another. (And I still want to learn Korean too!). Is it a case of - gasp! An old dog cannot learn new tricks?!!? Oh well, wish me luck. Time to do my Japanese homework.

P.S. I have dug out more Korean drama serials from my dungeon and added to my "Lelong" list. If you are interested do go back and take another look.


Ying Ser said...

Learning japanese is going to be a life long proccess for me. I am still thinking whether I should attend Jap classes again, it will help my grammar tremendously. It really helps if someone speaks Japanese to you all the time. I am attending a yoga class conducted in Japanese and English. I think I only understand 5% of the teacher's japanese.It really helps if you visit Japan often, new words are learnt in situations. Even train announcements are a good learning tool. Yes, go to both Kyushu and Hokkaido.

FatGeisha said...

Yoga in Japanese sounds cool!! Yes, definitely practice in Japan, although I may be too embarressed to use the language there. Haha. Unless it is using to flirt with a cute Japanese man.... :P Gomenasai! Samurai!