My Journey to Japanese Fluency

Photo of the author in Kochi, Japan

はじめまして。Teena 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. After that, I will take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

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.

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…

Keep reading

Get the Most Out Of Practicing With Your Language Partners

Having language learning partners has been super beneficial to my learning experience, but getting into a rhythm took a little trial and error. I was excited to make new friends, but I also want to maximize the benefit of having language practice partners. I use Tandem (check out my review, HelloTalk or Tandem: What’s better…

Keep reading

An Important Lesson From My First 6 Weeks Of Seriously Studying Japanese

I’ve only just begun my Japanese learning journey, but I’ve learned something important that I want to share. Before school started, I was casually listening to Japanese podcasts and watching television in Japanese for exposure, especially since I learned The Game-Changing Language Learning Advice That Eased the Pressure. When school started, I started studying in earnest.…

Keep reading


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

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.