Alright, so I really have to come clean right now. I've been living in Japan for a little over a year. I still only speak limited Japanese and can't read it. Correction, I can now read 20 of the basic hiragana characters. I don't know why. I feel like I've basically let myself down while living here so far.
I got all 3 levels of Rosetta Stone six months before moving to Japan. Yep, I've had it since September of 2009. Can we say wtf am I doing not speaking Japanese then? But in my defense, there were some problems with the tracking file in the program, so it would always make me repeat lessons I had already completed and wasn't tracking how far I'd gotten in the lessons at all. After a few frustrating phone calls to the Rosetta Stone customer service line, they reset the pin for the program. So basically. Uninstall, reinstall. Luckily for me, I didn't have to do any uninstalling since I was just going to put the reset program on my new macbook. Um....anyways. I just did that. Installed it on the mac. Like, two days ago. I've had this computer for, oh.....6 months. Haha. 6 months seems to be the trend in this story. But sadly, no. The whole one year thing is the trend. One year living in a foreign country, surrounded by it daily, and I'm still not speaking it.
Oh, a little off-topic rant. I've always hated when people in the US declare "Learn English or get out" or "I shouldn't have to press one for English, this is America!" Well, you know what. You all can suck it with that attitude. It's difficult living in a foreign country and not knowing the language. But you know what....I'm a foreigner in Japan. And maybe some of them feel that way, but to my face everyone is extremely accommodating for me, since I don't speak Japanese. I hope all of you that say that never, ever go on vacation or live abroad anywhere unless you are completely fluent in the language. But wait, even if you do, they should speak English for you, right? Because it's the universal language? Ha! Until you've lived it, you have no idea how frustrating, difficult, and embarrassing it can be when you don't know how to say something that you need/want to. I'm actually loathing going back to the states because of the rude attitudes everyone has in America. Seriously. Hate me if you must. But it's true. I'm going to have culture-shock upon returning because I'm not going to be used to everyone being such self-involved, unaccommodating twats all the time. (No, I know this doesn't apply to everyone in the US. But compared to here....a lot of people seem mean and self-absorbed.) Oh, and P.S. Unless you're Native American, someone along the line in your family was a foreigner in America, too. Just a heads up. *Steps down from the soapbox*
Phew! Sorry about that. Anyways. My mom got me these amazing self-teaching workbooks for hiragana and katakana for Christmas. I cracked one of them maybe twice before, but it was a half-hearted attempt. Well, I'm diving in head first. I've already learned and memorized 20 basic hiragana. From there I'll move to the basic 46. And then the derivatives of those. From there I'll move to Katakana characters. And then Kanji. And so forth. While also doing speaking lessons, so I can read, write and speak it. My goal is to pass the JLPT 2....sometime within the next couple years. It's going to be hard work. But I want it. Why? Because then I can work internationally. I could translate for people. I would be certified bilingual. Yes, there is a JLPT 1 test. Yes, I would love to pass it. I've heard it's extremely difficult. If I can pass 2, I'll be happy. And probably at least try to pass one then. By the way, there are 5 levels of the JLPT. Gotta start from the bottom at 5. I'm making it a priority to study everyday, at least for a little bit. You can't learn a new language without really putting in some effort, especially a difficult one like Japanese. But I want to speak it. I want to be able to write it, read it, type it....everything. And hopefully it will be beneficial to me in my life.
So....that's the news. Teaching myself Japanese. I'll try to update as I progress. Maybe even in Japanese? :]