sol’s Weekly Update #3

So last week there wasn’t an update. Because of work, for one, but mainly because there really wasn’t anything to update, let alone talk about. Yeah I know, I’m less entertaining than an old guy beating a tree with a stick, but you know what, nothing beats that.

Blog Update
So recently I found out about this pretty neat app called, Duolingo. In case the name itself didn’t give you any ideas about what it’s for, it’s an app that helps you learn different languages. They have a pretty nice selection, and I think they’re still adding some languages as they just added Japanese about a week ago, or so I heard. It’s completely free and I heard about it from one of my mother’s co-workers, who heard that I was currently studying Japanese independently and was looking into buying Rosetta Stone as an efficient learning method.

I’m not 100% sure how well this app will teach me in depth about sentence structure, grammar, etc., but I’m loving it thus far and it’s doing pretty well. I’m not that far in, just learning the hiragana portion (which I already know the majority of myself), so it’s too soon to say.

The way Duolingo is set up is like a game. You have a streak that you’re supposed to keep and you get awarded medals for keeping that streak, as well as others medals for other accomplishments. It basically does a good job at motivating you, especially if you’re competitive, just like me. The gaming method aside, it does pronounce the words to you, which is helpful. And they break down everything into sections/categories. For example, with Japanese you start with learning the basic hiragana characters:

あ – a    い – i    う – u    え – e    お – o

Of course there are plenty more, but those are the really basic ones to learn out of them. Right now the only downside I have found is that it doesn’t teach you how to write the characters, which if you ask me would help to implant the character into your memory if you were to practice writing it, apart from obviously teaching you how to write in Japanese. At least a part of the game aspect of this app has you matching the characters with the vowels/particles, and so it’s got a bit of a “memory game,” which does help to learn the character. You’re pretty much just learning how to read Japanese and translate it. Which is a step to learning it, but we need to learn how to write it too. But even so, I’m just beginning and they did just add the language, so I’m not too sure what’s in store for the later lessons and if they’ll add things later. I also haven’t tried other languages to see how these go… so, meh. If you’re really are serious about learning Japanese and you try this app, I suggest going through each section a few times at first, and then go through it again while taking notes. Of course, even after that, keep going through them each (or every other) day to refresh. The note part is just a means of studying. When you take notes, things tend to stick with you a bit more because you’re taking the time to write things out and think about them.

Really, I am obsessed with this app and I fiddle with it EVERY day. It is a pretty neat and effective independent way to learning Japanese, as it has helped me out quite a lot. I actually pulled up a raw manga chapter, just to test myself with reading some of the basic hiragana used in the script, and I was able to read the characters pretty well. So with that progress in mind, I think it is something that will be very effective the more I stick with it! But really, the important part is how addictive and fun it is. It makes learning fun and actually MAKES you want to learn. And let’s face it, nine times out of ten, when we are learning, we don’t want to learn. Or perhaps, to re-word that: it’s boring. Just think back to those times when you were in class gazing out the window, looking at the ceiling, twiddling your thumbs, counting the wrinkles on your teacher’s face, before finally face-planting into your desk and falling asleep… yeah that kind of boring. But when you want to learn, you feel more motivated and as a result the material tends to stick with you more. I for one, hate studying. To be honest, I never really had to study for anything before, unless it was trigonometry related… fuck trigonometry. But even though becoming fluent in Japanese is pretty high on my bucket list, I haven’t pursued it as much as I should have, mainly because studying it seemed like such a pain and so difficult on my own. But with Duolingo, it’s making it easy and fun, and I actually enjoy studying Japanese to the point, it’s all I want to do. Yeah, I wasn’t kidding about being obsessed with this damn app.

Site Update
I actually have more to say relating to the topic above, so I think it’s time to introduce a new segment on my blog “sol Discusses” (I know, so creative) where I just talk about certain topics that pretty much consist of/relate to my life. I won’t be posting them weekly, they’ll be spontaneous. So if you want to read the full story, check out this post here: (⌐■_■)

Also, yes this update was posted a little early, since there wasn’t an update last week.

Aside from that, the next update is that I recently posted a translation of the anime, Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi’s image song, Hohoemi no Ame (Smile in the Rain). For the longest time after it came out, I couldn’t find a translation, so I translated it myself. It’s still been ages since then and so, since I had decided not too long ago to share my translations, I decided to post it.

The last update to speak of is an update on the status of my OZMAFIA!! reviews. I was hoping to have at least a few of them out by now, but my work schedule isn’t set in stone and so it changes every week. It just so happens that this week and next week have similar days and hours and they have picked up quite a bit, leaving me little blogging time. They’ll all be out soon, I promise.

That rounds up this week’s update. As always minna-san, stay frosty. ヾ(⌐■_■)ノ♪♬


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