After being back in the states for the past two years, I'm now having a renewed interested in learning Japanese and hope maybe finally pass the N3 next year.
I've been looking over my posts on here, some good, some bad, but overall it seems like I've grown. Most of the posts of mine seem like they're mainly out of frustration which either could be because of my bad hearing, lack of confidence, and new to the culture. I also think some of it stems from of my childhood trauma of always being told that I can't do something because it's too difficult, and so I did it anyway to spite people.
Now I can take my experiences from being in Japan, take a step back and see what can I do differently. First would be to tell people to speak up and speak clearly and give the reason why. If they switch to English, I'll still tell them to speak up, speak clearly, and give the reason why.
Have more confidence in speaking because I've already been to Japan and lived there for four years. If I go back to work, it won't be in Tokyo/Yokohama as it's a been there, done that sort of thing. I'm thinking Nagoya since I went there with my ex-boyfriend and he showed me his hometown. The people were nicer and had that country feel to it. Osaka might be a good choice too.
Accept the fact that people will be saying 「難しいですね。」 or 「日本語が上手ですね。」 and just take them at face value since they're part of Japanese culture. I personally don't see any meaning behind them except as conversation filler.
My so-matome books now have more value to them as I've experienced what they present. It's good to reinforce what you already know.
untmdsprt-san, kon'nichiwa Thank you for the updates!! I personally LOVE Osaka, so please do consider that as well
I understand that you'd probably have to hear those phrases (難しいですね。or 日本語が上手ですね。) hundreds of times...but 日本語が上手ですね may be a real compliment! I'm sure your listening comprehension and other skills are now better than before, so good luck!! Hope you'll enjoy our lessons and these comment and forum boards too!
I'm finding the Upper Beginner series is right at my current level. I have been reviewing everything below that though and finding there's a lot of grammar I've missed over the years.
The intermediate will be good to get started in as well as I would love to attempt the N3 again next year.
I think that since I've been listening to Jessi-san speak more Japanese, and since she's a fellow American, it's given me more encouragement that yes we Americans can speak Japanese and why shouldn't we? She's now a role model in addition to the original Natsuko-san, Sakura-san, and Naomi-sensei.
untmdsprt-san, thank you very much for a kind and lovely comment!!
Yes! Americans can speak Japanese
We're very happy to know that you're encouraged by our native host! We always host lessons with two members: one Japanese native and one non-native of Japanese. Those "non-native of Japanese" members speak Japanese fluently, so, like you said, we were actually hoping that they can be role models