About this page…
Well, I’ve been studying Japanese on and off now for over a year. Now, normally I would be much farther along in my studies, but I tend to lean toward the lazy side of… well, everything.
Despite my overly lazy nature, I also seem to always pull through when something is actually expected of me (appointments, work, etc…). So, I’ve been trying to come up with an idea that would give me an obligation to study my Japanese.
People have suggested that I should get a Japanese pen pal, but I’m a little hesitant to do that. While I am rather poorly versed in the general state of Japanese culture, most people I come across have no idea how to properly use the English language. On the off chance that this is a general rule the world over, I would really like to avoid the possibility of picking up incorrect Japanese until I have a decent foundation with the language.
Well, it occurred to me about two days ago, when I was on my Mommy’s blog, that such a thing just might work for what I want.
So, what I plan to do with this blog is quite simple. I intend to force myself to post every day about what I have learned, what I’m having trouble with, or possibly even questions I might have from my lessons, and hopefully give others a peek into what it’s like to attempt to push oneself through the learning process.
Now I understand that this would be a somewhat boring read if I were to only stick to those points, so I’m going to have to set some other goals for myself. On December 17, Final Fantasy XIII will be released in Japan I intend to find a way to import it, and hopefully by the time that date comes around be proficient enough with the language to at least fumble my way through the game and write a proper review for everyone.
In addition to the goal of reviewing Final Fantasy XIII (and likely others as time goes by), I intend to review my various language learning products. I have a fairly small collection (which I’ve heard is rather rare), but it includes several large names like Rosetta Stone.
I’m sure most people would agree that it would be impossible to become familiar enough with a language in a little over a month to play through something like FFXIII. However, I do have a head start on the matter, having already learned all of the Kana (Hiragana and Katakana) and working on various things with my collection of language learning supplements. Also, I tend to have a rather easy time remembering anything that interests me (an Eidetic memory), so hopefully that will be to my advantage when it comes to the work I’m doing here.
But, why Japanese?
Ah yes, the question that literally every person I told I was studying Japanese has asked. It’s a fair question, but I can’t help wondering how many times I’d be asked it had I chosen a more common language to learn. Well, as you are possibly another person that would wonder why I chose this language, I shall detail out my reasons for you. For organizational purposes, I will (attempt to) create a bulleted list of reasons (and likely fail).
- It is supposed to be one of the four most difficult languages to learn for an English speaking individual. I’ve wanted to learn a secondary language since I was about six, and there’s a certain part of me that would love to have the bragging rights of having actually learned the language.
- I enjoy Japanese cinema. I’ve been watching animes and older Japanese movies (I’m looking at you Zatoichi) almost all of my life. It would be pretty nice to watch these without having to rely on subtitles and companies actually importing them.
- I love video games. I have always been a fan of video games and, let’s face it, there are a ton of great games that either haven’t been imported from Japan or took several years before we got them. With the advantage of no region lock on the PS3, this feature is even nicer.
- I admit it, I like Japanese women. I know I shouldn’t list that as a reason, but it’s true. You’ve got to admit, speaking the language can’t hurt my chances. =P
Ah yes, now it’s time to detail myself. Well, as you can see from above, I am not very well versed in HTML (okay, I couldn’t code my way out of about:blank). Fortunately for me, my Mom (formerly Mommy =P) is rather well versed in the subject and has managed to explain enough code to me to get this page functioning.
With so many references to my Mom, most of you are likely somewhat curious about my age. For what it’s worth, I’m 22 years old. I’m unfortunately a rather old 22. I like older video games and movies, I know what manners are, and those darn kids play their new fangled music too loudly.
*ahem* Anyway, I spend most of my free time watching TV/movies, playing video games, pen and paper gaming (D&D, WoD, BESM…etc), and reading. I suppose I should tackle each of these subjects on their own in some attempt to show you why I enjoy these things.
So, let’s start with TV/movies. I have on a wall (or two) behind me (now that I think of it, in front of me too) well over 200 movies. I know actors, plot lines, and quotes from every last one of them. I can sort of thank my brother for that last part, as we used to play a game in which you had to guess which movie the quote came from. I’d list the kind of movies I like, but really I have yet to find a single genre that I could not pick out a movie that I enjoy from.
For TV shows, it’s hard to top Law and Order. Of course, I haven’t liked it as much without Jerry Orbach. I recently became hopelessly addicted to Babylon 5, but while my shivering body experiences withdrawal waiting for the third season, I’ve found myself looking into quite a few other shows. Most recently I discovered an anime known as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, or When They Cry. I’m actually enjoying it quite a bit more than I expected I would, considering how the first episode went. I am also surprised at how good White Collar, is and I’m looking forward to more episodes of that.
*Whew* All of that just on TV. This could take a while. Alright, next on the list is video games. I need to put this in perspective. One of my first memories (from about age 2) is playing Super Mario Brothers over at a neighbor’s house. So, really, video games have sort of just been part of my life since forever. Now, I can tell you that I am two things when it comes to gaming. I am, first and foremost, an RPG gamer. Everything from Dragon Quest to Baldur’s Gate. It’s my favorite way to waste away endless amounts of my life. Secondly, I am a nostalgic gamer. I can’t help but look back on the old days when games had a soul (or at least some challenge in them).
I don’t want to make you think that these are the only games I play, as this would give you the wrong impression. I am startlingly good at fighting games. It’s more sad than it is amazing. You see, the computers can never provide a challenge and nobody that I know can put up a fight. Of course, games now have the internet to set up matches, but I haven’t felt like dropping $60 on a game just to find out if the people online can put up more of a fight.
For a while there, I actually started to get pretty darned good at FPSs. Unfortunately, I had an accident at work, which injured my right shoulder (it just had to be my dominant arm, didn’t it?) pretty severely. To make a very long story short, I’m still in recovery, and games like Quake still hurt too much to play.
Alright, pen and paper gaming time. Well, I’m a lover of complex rule systems. I’ve mastered something like 12 different pen and paper game systems, and still have yet to play one of these games in real life. I spend some time looking for online games (or PbP if you will), but I have yet to find a game that lasts longer than, at most, a few weeks.
I know I cut the last section short, but I figure I’ve been going on about this stuff for a little while now. To be honest with you, I’d be surprised if any of you are still reading, but here’s hoping.
And finally we come to books (I really should have added music to that list, but I think that’s a topic for another day). I’m a fantasy novel fan, plain and simple. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional Sci-fi – but it doesn’t get much better than fantasy (with one very large and amazing exception). Now, I mostly read D&D novels (or rather, I did), specifically Forgotten Realms. However, with 4e coming around and ruining my favorite series, I have been forced to find refuge with other authors. I enjoy Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series (although I’m having a hard time forcing myself past that third book), and last, but certainly not least, Douglas Adams is AMAZING. Now, the Hitchhiker’s Guide and Dirk Gently (I need to get around to this series) may not be fantasy, but I love the way that man writes.
Err, what’s a “Felirc”?
I almost forgot this one. =P Well, the name comes from a World of Warcraft character I had. I initially meant to call him Felric, but I made a typo during character creation. I didn’t notice my mistake until around level 30 (which took a while back then) and didn’t really feel like renaming him. Spending a year+ in a guild being called Felirc has really made the name stick, so I’ve decided to use it as my general internet name.
Alright, I think I’ve gone on long enough. So, I hope I gave you all a little insight into my mind, and you can at least understand why I’m making this little blog.
The banner for this page is a “Panorama of Japanese Garden Sainan-in Taima-dera.” It was created by the wonderful Hamachidori and added to the Wikimedia Commons.
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