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’ll chronicle my journey to Japanese fluency.

Photo of the author in Kochi, Japan

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. I found myself getting frustrated then learning important but unexpected lessons. Here’s what I found frustrating and how I managed it. I didn’t remember how to study. I haven’t been in school for years, and even when I was in school, I didn’t study that […]

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HelloTalk or Tandem: What’s better for language learning partners?

I’m new to learning another language, but I was inspired to find practice partners early in my learning journey. Here’s Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Wait to Find Language Learning Partners. If you’re trying to choose between HelloTalk and Tandem, I’m going to talk about my experiences with these apps and compare the two. Keep the following in mind as you read through my comments: I wrote this blog based on my own experience with these apps in the Pixel 3XL Android environment. Some of the things that I noticed or was bothered by may not bother other people. I’ve only […]

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Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Wait to Find Language Learning Partners

My Japanese language skills are still very basic since I only recently got serious about learning. I already knew hiragana and katakana, but my vocabulary was limited and I only knew how to construct basic sentences. I knew I eventually wanted to find a language learning partner to practice with, but I assumed I would wait until I was a little more advanced in my skills so I could hold an actual conversation and feel more confident. But then I watched somewhat.jp‘s video, how i learned japanese, and how you should too, where アレックスさん recommends HelloTalk, and I was inspired […]

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What to Consider When Choosing Shows to Watch For Language Learning

I’ve been watching Japanese dubs for the last few weeks, and I’ve found them super helpful in my process of active listening. My How to Watch Japanese Dubs on Netflix to Practice Listening Comprehension article gives detailed instructions on how to change your language settings, but how do you decide what shows and movies to watch in your target language? If you’re interested in focusing on listening while you learn a new language, here are some factors to consider. Familiar shows aren’t necessarily better practice. I started with Cardcaptor Sakura because I have seen the show many times in Japanese with […]

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The Game-Changing Language Learning Advice That Eased the Pressure

My first post about learning Japanese talked about how I switched schools to earn an associate’s degree in Japanese, but I don’t think I mentioned that the new school term starts a month later than the original one. I was excited to use the extra time to focus on what I need to improve the most: vocabulary.  Especially if I’m going to take the JLPT in a couple years, I’ll need to know thousands of vocabulary words, including kanji and conjugations, so I wanted to get started on that right away. But I was nervous because, while memorizing new words […]

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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.