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Passing the JLPT

So I’ve decided to try the JLPT again. This test brings up so much emotion for students that bust their butt to pass this test. It is the one validation of months, if not years of studying Japanese. I’ll admit that I’m more than a little nervous. When I signed up, I got to see the scores from the last time I took it back in 2005. I took the level 2 test and failed by about 5 points. This time, I’m taking the level 3 test, the new one bridging the gap between levels 2 and 3, and I am encouraged that I can pass, even after no formal study for years. My goal, with lots of study and practice, is to take the level 1 test next December. That would take me places, even live in Japan I hope! Even still, the economic and political environment in Japan is questionable at best. Things do not look like they’ll be on the upswing anytime soon unfortunately. I often wonder if I should found my efforts on a more “useful” language, and I keep coming back to the fact that I like how Japanese sounds coming out of my mouth. It’s a beautiful language with depth and character. Then aside from that, the culture grabs me like no other. It is a stark departure from the many other nations I’ve been to and studied. Just as there is only one New York, there really is only one Japan.

I keep this all in mind as I study in my various ways, using old JLPT books, reading manga and the free Japanese newspaper, practicing kanji on my Nintendo DS, listening to music (and singing it at karaoke)… It all goes hand in hand and will help me to be a better speaker and reader.

I hope to do well!!