learning japanese

dimitri_can

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Thanks for the quick reply. Kind of unfortunate we can't use SkillsFuture for the prep course, most translator jobs require JLPT N2 or above. Having a certificate definitely boosts a person's employability. But well, it is what it is.

But Japanese translator jobs in Singapore is not so highly sought for... I used to work at a translator at SMBC, not an easy job. I mistranslate a figure (was a big number), that really shocked me and I resigned after that incident.
 

Annabeth

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Hey guys, do you think it's worth it taking Ikoma's N1 prep for July's test, or should I continue to self-study?

If I do self-study, I plan to take the test on July and Dec, not expecting whether I can pass or not for July.

Currently reading light novels in my own free time (Kusuriya no Hitorigoto and Honzuki no Gekokujou series) while absorbing unfamiliar vocabulary, along with nihongonomori's new web service (they have like 800+ 漢字, 720 語彙, and 120+ 文法 taught there), and everyday iKnow! at level 5k currently.

Their grammar explanations are amazing, so I am not worried about grammar.

I've self-studied for N2 and did fairly well, so was thinking if I should do the same for N1, but fear underestimating the difficulty.

I'm interested in the mock tests offered in the prep course, but reading the comment here that mentioned that Ikoma only covers listening, comprehension, and grammar, I'm wondering if it's actually worth it since grammar is easy to pick up and so far I've scored full marks for listening in all my JLPT tests.

The part I struggle with is usually vocab and comprehension, which I'm tackling through reading the light novels I enjoy, and surprisingly learning a lot from.

What do you guys say?

Would just doing exercises on Shin Kanzen series be good enough to substitute mock tests?
 

dimitri_can

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Hey guys, do you think it's worth it taking Ikoma's N1 prep for July's test, or should I continue to self-study?

If I do self-study, I plan to take the test on July and Dec, not expecting whether I can pass or not for July.

Currently reading light novels in my own free time (Kusuriya no Hitorigoto and Honzuki no Gekokujou series) while absorbing unfamiliar vocabulary, along with nihongonomori's new web service (they have like 800+ 漢字, 720 語彙, and 120+ 文法 taught there), and everyday iKnow! at level 5k currently.

Their grammar explanations are amazing, so I am not worried about grammar.

I've self-studied for N2 and did fairly well, so was thinking if I should do the same for N1, but fear underestimating the difficulty.

I'm interested in the mock tests offered in the prep course, but reading the comment here that mentioned that Ikoma only covers listening, comprehension, and grammar, I'm wondering if it's actually worth it since grammar is easy to pick up and so far I've scored full marks for listening in all my JLPT tests.

The part I struggle with is usually vocab and comprehension, which I'm tackling through reading the light novels I enjoy, and surprisingly learning a lot from.

What do you guys say?

Would just doing exercises on Shin Kanzen series be good enough to substitute mock tests?
What was your individual scores for N2 with the alphabets?
The difference between N2 and N1 is quite big.
 

Annabeth

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What was your individual scores for N2 with the alphabets?
The difference between N2 and N1 is quite big.

I got 151/180 and A for both grammar and vocab. At 96.4 percentile.

Lang. knowledge (grammar/vocab): 49/60
Reading: 42/60
Listening: 60/60

I'm working hard on reading and vocab this time because of the score.
 

dimitri_can

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I got 151/180 and A for both grammar and vocab. At 96.4 percentile.

Lang. knowledge (grammar/vocab): 49/60
Reading: 42/60
Listening: 60/60

I'm working hard on reading and vocab this time because of the score.
Reading is a bit weak. If you want to get a just pass, I think your current score should be enough. No need to do prep class.

The main difference between N1 reading and N2 reading is that N1 reading tend to be more abstract (dealing with things like Japanese history, economics, biology, psychology, machine learning etc.). Also, usually there will be 1 passage that is 横書き。You can take a look at the below sample paper. This is based on 2018 Dec's paper.

https://www.jlpt.jp/samples/sample09.html

For listening, you can compare the difference below.

N2 Listening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiRtXlmeVyY
(based on 2018)

N1 Listening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjzTtbBK1Ls
(based on 2018)

Spend more time on grammar and reading. You might also want to go get some N1 practice papers to do to see how you fare.

After you pass N1, then it will be the start of your Japanese learning journey. This is because at N1 level, your vocabulary knowledge is only equivalent to a primary 6 Japanese kid.

I got my N1 in 2010, but I am still learning. I retook my N2 in 2018 and got a 153/180.

がんばってください! =)
 
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Annabeth

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Reading is a bit weak. If you want to get a just pass, I think your current score should be enough. No need to do prep class.

The main difference between N1 reading and N2 reading is that N1 reading tend to be more abstract (dealing with things like Japanese history, economics, biology, psychology, machine learning etc.). Also, usually there will be 1 passage that is 横書き。You can take a look at the below sample paper. This is based on 2018 Dec's paper.

https://www.jlpt.jp/samples/sample09.html

For listening, you can compare the difference below.

N2 Listening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiRtXlmeVyY
(based on 2018)

N1 Listening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjzTtbBK1Ls
(based on 2018)

Spend more time on grammar and reading. You might also want to go get some N1 practice papers to do to see how you fare.

After you pass N1, then it will be the start of your Japanese learning journey. This is because at N1 level, your vocabulary knowledge is only equivalent to a primary 6 Japanese kid.

I got my N1 in 2010, but I am still learning. I retook my N2 in 2018 and got a 153/180.

がんばってください! =)

Thanks so much for the advice! I'll try without prep for July's test, then if I fail I'll do prep then.
 

dimitri_can

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One of the things you must remember: The reason you are doing N1. If you can't answer the question yourself, then even you pass N1, you will forget what you learn after 1-2 years.

Some of my friends who passed N1 cannot even hold a decent conversation nor remember what they have learned after a few years.

For me, even I don't teach N1 students now, I can still remember my N1 grammar by hard...

I remembered 1 time.. a student was coughing and the other student who did N1 said in English... "The guy beside me is coughing. I cannot concentrate. Can I change a seat?"

It made me realized, that student is probably just studying for the sake of studying. My N5 students can answer this question, but an N1 taker could not... -__-"
 
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tababata

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Hi all. I just got a job in Japan, starting around next summer. I speak zero Japanese and would like to prepare as much as I can.

What's a good approach to an intensive start? I was thinking about taking IKOMA's intensive 3-hour daily basic course. But paying someone to teach me hiragana and basic grammar seems stupid, I can do that by myself... Is it better to learn the basics from some free online courses and take intensive lessons later on? It's uncertain if IKOMA will offer higher-level intensive courses (it depends on the number of students signed up), but I think a language school makes more sense at an "upper-beginner" level.
 

dimitri_can

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Hi all. I just got a job in Japan, starting around next summer. I speak zero Japanese and would like to prepare as much as I can.

What's a good approach to an intensive start? I was thinking about taking IKOMA's intensive 3-hour daily basic course. But paying someone to teach me hiragana and basic grammar seems stupid, I can do that by myself... Is it better to learn the basics from some free online courses and take intensive lessons later on? It's uncertain if IKOMA will offer higher-level intensive courses (it depends on the number of students signed up), but I think a language school makes more sense at an "upper-beginner" level.

it's better to learning some Japanese first, then join a class. The homework load is quite high. I know of students who did intensive classes, then after which jump over to my side. When I tested them, they could not remember much.

Just remember: 1 hour of lesson = 4 hours of self-study.

Good luck.
 

Idme231

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What is the estimate time to prep for my N3? Sensei told me it will take me 3-6 months. but i guess i shld have taken abit longer like 9 months to a year to explore the level because its pretty broad and i may miss out what is necessary for the level. he says that he's wants me to learn japanese in the interesting way using manga and shosetsu so he brought me a light novel online since some guy he taught before learnt it by this way and managed to learn japanese well and pass his JLPT. and he wants me to speak in japanese but alittle slower to me since i havent been speaking japanese for a long time. he also advises me to do more practice on the JLPT papers. listening wise it seems its slower for me too but once i got used to it i can listen better to the topic he is talking about. but after all he still encourages me to be confident in using japanese more often to him during lessons, the only weak point i faced is constructing sentences at times...
 
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dimitri_can

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What is the estimate time to prep for my N3? Sensei told me it will take me 3-6 months. but i guess i shld have taken abit longer like 9 months to a year to explore the level because its pretty broad and i may miss out what is necessary for the level. he says that he's wants me to learn japanese in the interesting way using manga and shosetsu so he brought me a light novel online. and he wants me to speak in japanese but alittle slower to me since i havent been speaking japanese for a long time. he also advises me to do more practice on the JLPT papers. listening wise it seems its slower for me too but once i got used to it i can listen better to the topic he is talking about. but after all he still encourages me to be confident in using japanese more often to him during lessons.

Based on my experience, if you spend like 5 hours a week to study outside class time, then it should take you about 7-8 months. Also, it depends on how strong your foundation is. If you are getting 144/180 for N4, then you should be able to pass N3 with a pass.
 

Idme231

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Based on my experience, if you spend like 5 hours a week to study outside class time, then it should take you about 7-8 months. Also, it depends on how strong your foundation is. If you are getting 144/180 for N4, then you should be able to pass N3 with a pass.

My score is like 55-65% , so i guess no. i only have weekends to start cause weekdays barely have time so i meet him once a week to see my strengths and weaknesses. my foundation is alittle rusty so i needed some time to refresh, but probably with alittle help with other reading books or websites besides using JLPT books. but i think i shld be focusing using the vocabulary and putting in conversations so at least i know that i am not learning for the sake of learning.
 
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dimitri_can

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My score is like 55-65% , so i guess no. i only have weekends to start cause weekdays barely have time so i meet him once a week to see my strengths and weaknesses. my foundation is alittle rusty so i needed some time to refresh, but probably with alittle help with other reading books or websites besides using JLPT books. but i think i shld be focusing using the vocabulary and putting in conversations so at least i know that i am not learning for the sake of learning.

Difficult... 55-60% N3 is not easy to pass N3. Focus from N3 onwards will shift towards grammar instead of vocabulary.
 

Idme231

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Difficult... 55-60% N3 is not easy to pass N3. Focus from N3 onwards will shift towards grammar instead of vocabulary.

Agree since i can see that N3 books have grammars from N4 books and subsequently shifting to a immediate level of grammar. so he suggest me focusing alot of times on the papers... but i still told him to take 1 year of my time instead of 3-6 months to do so since there is no rush.
 
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Iamnobodyla

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Hi guys

Sounds like u all are all high level N Japanese...

I’m only starting to learn and wanna take N5. Is going Ikoma recommended? I read from posts below that 1 hour of lesson = 4 hours of preparation? Is N5 so intensive also? Is N5 easy to pass?

I’m intending to take twice a week lesson part time basis.

:)
 

dimitri_can

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For a start, do some self-studying first to write Hiragana. I recommend 4-5 hours per week... at the end of N5, maybe 5-6 hours a week... search for my reviews that I did on this page.

Some people find it easy to start, but hard to continue.....
As yourself what you want to achieve...
 

Iamnobodyla

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Thanks

I think Ikoma is quite good. 4-5 hours per week is on top of the lesson hours ?

My objective is just for conversation.. read that N3 is around there. Not really aiming higher than that.

Maybe until job requires then will wanna further advance to business Japanese that kind of level.. if not, conversational is good for me. :D

Possible to take N5 in July ? If I start my lessons in Jan... 6 months time ok?

Actually how u all use Japanese in ur daily life?

For a start, do some self-studying first to write Hiragana. I recommend 4-5 hours per week... at the end of N5, maybe 5-6 hours a week... search for my reviews that I did on this page.

Some people find it easy to start, but hard to continue.....
As yourself what you want to achieve...
 
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dimitri_can

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Thanks

I think Ikoma is quite good. 4-5 hours per week is on top of the lesson hours ?

My objective is just for conversation.. read that N3 is around there. Not really aiming higher than that.

Maybe until job requires then will wanna further advance to business Japanese that kind of level.. if not, conversational is good for me. :D

Possible to take N5 in July ? If I start my lessons in Jan... 6 months time ok?

Actually how u all use Japanese in ur daily life?

Yes. On top. If you aiming for conversation, dont rush to take exam. Usually its about 1 year of studies for N5. At N5, you need about 150 hours of studying + self study. My students do 250 hours though. Treat it like studying for a degree.

I watch animes, dramas; teach in Japanese; buy Japanese cosmetics, supplements, books, etc.
 

DashJX

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Pm contact pls. TIA!

Does your relative good in computer / internet, and also can read Chinese traditional characters?

I'm asking this, because I'm also learning Japanese in Chinese language.

However, I'm learning Japanese with a Taiwanese teacher.

He has online courses, from beginning up to N1 level.

I bought the course, and whenever I want to learn, I just opened the course and learn. Anytime, even midnight too.

And no, the course bought will not expire. If I bought last year, I still can learn the course this year or next year.

I'm learning from him because:

1. I couldn't find learning Japanese course in Chinese language over here in Singapore.
2. The course is much cheaper as compared to here (about 30% - 50% cheaper).
3. I can learn anytime I want.
4. He teaches a lot of things which typical textbook doesn't teach.

Btw, sometimes he might also do FB live, have a few questions asked by students, and explained the questions and why the answer is this and not that.... This is usually on Sunday nights, 9 pm.

Oh ya, currently he also has published 4 learning Japanese books, and seems like 2 more are also confirmed to be published.
 

nydeidith

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hi guys can give some recommendations for online courses? dont have time to go to the language school for weekly lessons, so hoping to find some online lessons/courses i can learn on my own pace - preferably more serious ones with homework and textbooks.

btw are there any schools offering 1 to 1 online classes where i can move along at my own pace?
 
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