My Journey to Japanese Fluency

Photo of the author in Kochi, Japan

はじめまして。ティーナです。

Nice to meet you. I’m Teena.

I’ve wanted to learn Japanese since at least the 7th grade, and in Fall 2021, I enrolled at my community college to fulfill this dream and earn an associate’s degree in Japanese.

This is where I chronicle my journey to Japanese fluency. If you’re here because you’re learning Japanese too, ようこそ!

  • I do not use romaji.
  • My posts are mostly in English with some Japanese.
  • As I progress in my journey, I use more Japanese. If you want to see my earlier posts, with study tips for beginners for example, start here for my very first post.

Featured Posts

  1. My Favorite Tools for Learning Japanese and When to Use Them
  2. Tips for Choosing a Tutor and How a Preply Tutor Transformed My Language Learning Experience
  3. I Just Finished My First Year Studying Japanese in Community College—This is What I Needed to Hear as a New Student

Recent Posts

Are College Classes Worth It to Learn Japanese?

I’ve made several attempts to learn Japanese over many years, and those attempts often started with formal classes through a local community college. I tried night classes, but they were after a day at the office and so late (ending around 9pm), that I couldn’t concentrate. In 2020, I made another attempt because the community…

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My Favorite Tools for Learning Japanese and When to Use Them

I’ve been studying Japanese in earnest since September 2021, though I’ve made many attempts over the last 10+ years. In that time, I’ve tried dozens (maybe hundreds!) of tools, books, videos, and apps. The journey to learning a new language is not going to be the same for everyone. You have to figure out what…

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Below is a small gallery of photos taken during our trip to Japan in 2019. These help me stay motivated to keep learning so I can use my language skills to be more conversational with the locals next time we visit.