My Experience of Learning a Foreign Language

 

There is no genius superior to effort (Slow and steady wins the race )

努力どりょくまさ天才てんさいなし

This is my favorite proverb. It means, if you never give up, your goals can be achieved. If you sometimes feel like give up, try to stop and think. Did you really work hard? Can you say with confidence, “I did work hard”? or “I did everything I could do.” “I tried my very best.” “I gave my full 100%.”

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I have been studying Chinese and English. I have been living in China for a long time, so my Chinese level is at an advanced level. I have experience as an interpreter and translator too. As for English, I studied the basics when I was in junior high school and high school, but it has been more than 15 years since then so I almost forgot everything. I really regret that I hadn’t been studying all this time. Since 2009, I started teaching Japanese through Skype. Once again, I realized the importance of English, so I have decided to restart studying it. After few years of continuous effort, I think that I can almost understand what my students want to say. I intend to try my best from now on too.

 

My Journey to Chinese Fluency 

 

I didn’t speak any Chinese before I came to China in 2002. I had dreams of traveling to a new place and meeting new friends, but I couldn’t express myself. I felt so sad and alone. I had failed English in junior high school, so I had very little confidence in myself.

For the first few months, in order to improve, I tried various methods. I bought a lot of textbooks, listened to basic Chinese conversations on CDs, and trying to write vocabulary words and sentences on flashcards… I also took Chinese classes, but I didn’t understand the teacher’s explanation and so I couldn’t improve at all.

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I thought I wanted to concentrate studying more at places where there were few Japanese people, so I moved from coast city of Hanzhou to inland city Kunming. 90% of people here are Chinese so I improved efficiently, and also I could make friend immediately. Among these, the biggest benefit is that I met my husband and got married. After that, I learned language skills that allowed me to enter university and use my those skills to get various jobs. For example interpreter, translator, etc.

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I realized that what is necessary to mastering a foreign language is by doing a lot of input and output. You can’t have one without the other. Not only should you learn from textbooks at home, but also make sure you learn to express yourself with real life conversations. This is the key to success. You also find ways suit you, and enjoy learning Japanese!

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Posted in How to learn Japanese, Mieko Japanese School Infromation
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