Month: May 2012
Keep Your Feet on the Ground!
I have to stop every once in a while and remind myself that learning a language, especially Japanese, is not something I’m going to complete sometime soon. In fact, it will never technically be complete. Ever. I realize this, but sometimes I still need a reminder. It’s like telling your significant other that you love them. They know this (or they should), but it’s really nice to be reminded of it. However, it’s also nice to have a reminder every once in a while that you cannot set unrealistically high goals for yourself and expect to meet them. Aim for failure instead, and success becomes that much sweeter when it happens. For instance, I got a question the other day: “You’ve been doing Japanese for almost a year now, why aren’t you fluent yet?” Really? I’d like to see anyone […]
Podcasts + Text = Podcastle
Part of immersion is listening to audio, such as podcasts. However, most Japanese podcasts do not come with written transcripts. This represents an issue when studying because it can be difficult to correctly understand what you hear. This is where Podcastle comes in. Podcastle is a project funded by the Japanese government for foreign Japanese language learners. It provides a speech recognition system to automagically convert the audio into text. While you play the audio, it tries to keep up but can sometimes become “desynchronized”. It helps if you know enough Japanese to be able to tell when it’s messed up, as it can sometimes be off by a few words. Knowing kana at a minimum may be enough to be able to tell this. While its speech recognition is not all that accurate (let’s face it, though – none […]