An expected failure and Injecting Vocab into my Eyeballs: Tuesday 6th September

We got our marks back for the JLPT exam today, and rather unsurprisingly I had failed spectacularly, failing to register over 50% in any of the three sections (reading, listening, and language knowledge). I had been expecting to fail, so whilst slightly disappointed wasn’t massively disheartened, and was definitely ‘cheered up’ by my neighbour’s comment of: ‘But I don’t understand how did I pass and you didn’t, you work so much harder than me.’ The only response that I could come up with was: ‘because my Japanese is terrible’, although ‘awful’, ’embarrassing’ and ‘an affront to the people of all nations’ would all have equally sufficed.

A spectacular failure!

Whilst the exam result was an expected failure, it does slightly irk me that my Japanese is not better than it is, and my position as bottom of the class is becoming a little weary. I am pretty certain that I do more private study than anyone else, and yet my Japanese is by far and away the worst. And as someone who has always found hard work to be a substitute for their lack of intelligence I find the current sate of affairs a little disheartening. However, I refuse to be beaten: I will master this damn language, even if it means melting down vocab lists and injecting them into my eyeballs. Obviously I would prefer a more conventional learning method, but if that’s what it takes then that is what it takes.


About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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4 Responses to An expected failure and Injecting Vocab into my Eyeballs: Tuesday 6th September

  1. Mike says:

    You’ve been here how long, and you’re already attempting the mid-level course? That’s madness! And your kanji is already better than mine–I just picked up my Nintendo DS and realized that over a year of no study at all has dropped my writing ability to sub-elementary school levels.

    And I congratulate you on your failure! The worst thing you can do is squeak by a pass. I somehow eked out a pass for Level 2 about 6 years ago, and it just demotivated me–I had been prepared to study like mad to pass the next year, but now that I’d passed, that motivation evaporated. Even worse, I knew I wasn’t really even at Level 2 yet, which made trying for Level 1 preposterous. The barely-pass just left me with too huge a gap to bridge. Haven’t been back since, and I’ve largely stagnated.

    • truehamlet says:

      Thanks Mike, I agree that it was probably a little early for me to be taking N3, but my scholarship make us take N2 this December (after 14 months), so just wanted to get some practice in. There is absolutely no way that I will pass N2 in December, but I reckon that with another year of study I’ll be able to pass it well. In the meantime, 頑張りましょう!

  2. Jess says:

    Oh sam, really sorry to hear about N3!! I wouldn’t be too disheartened though – I’m not sure I’d have passed it either at the time you sat it – my Japanese only felt like it really started to come together AFTER I’d left naganuma and i had some time to intensively build my vocab and kanji (and without overloading on what was already being taught in naganuma lessons) because to be honest thats mainly what the jlpt is all about. I have a lot of faith that you will be able to pass N2 in December given how hard you work.
    And good for you, with your positive attitude! It’s always best if you keep daiwas ambitious goals in perpspective of what is really the most important outcomes for learning Japanese – and you can be good at it without a jlpt pass, trust me x

    • truehamlet says:

      Thanks Jess. Like I say I’m not too disheartened, as I would had been amazed had I passed. Pretty confident that a combination of honesty, work placement, and learning at my own pace is going to be a great help though! And we need to meet up!!!! Might pop round sometime before the weekend one evening if you are about, lots of gossip to fill you in on.

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