Welcome to our NOMIKAI! This is where we get together at the end of every week, have a virtual drink (as long as you’re of age ^^), discuss the week’s happenings, and talk about future endeavors with Chasing Japan and other ventures. We may even rant about current events or drool over a new anime series. You never know what will happen when drinks are involved! (We promise to keep it PG!)
Let’s get started!
Nick: So, Louis, it’s been a pretty busy year, wouldn’t you say? We’ve gotten a helluva lot done, culminating with the launch of Chasing Japan. Want to walk us through what this past year’s been like for you?
Louis: Sure thing, Nick-san! This past year has been quite a battle indeed. From Nihongo studies, Kanji practice, web design/scripting language, playing with my cameras, as well as writing – all the while keeping up with my full-time job as a Metrologist tech working in a different country.
Nick: To each his own I guess! As far as getting into translation, I just decided to take the leap. I can understand everyday Japanese TV shows and newscasts without English subtitles, so I figured I could handle translation. The hardest part of translation for me, though, was actually translating the Japanese into comprehensible English. When I study Japanese now, I study it in Japanese, so that means new grammar explanations, word definitions, kanji meanings are all in Japanese. When I’m translating, I fully understand what’s being said, but having never seen an English translation for a lot of the common words really slowed me down at first.
But that’s the great thing about Anki! It definitely helps with retaining and building my vocabulary. I review it every morning on my laptop, where I’ll practice speaking the sentences and writing the difficult kanji or new grammar structures. I also have my Anki deck uploaded to my phone, so while I’m at work I can get a ton of reps in. When I use my phone, I go through reps quicker because I’m only focused on understanding the sentences as a whole instead of focusing on writing and speaking. Aside from Anki, though, I get a lot of speaking practice with my Japanese wife (and she lets me know very quickly when I make a mistake). She brought a lot of books over when she moved in, so I pick them up and read them when I’m bored, but I normally read raw manga. And any word I see that I don’t know, I write it down and put it in my Anki deck for future study. How about you, Louis?
Louis: Very amazing, indeed! So for me, in the Study of The Japanese language, I have gotten through RTK 1 [amazon affiliate link here], where I learned the core meanings of the Kanji, and for upkeep I also use the Anki app with a complete deck from all three RTK books. I also keep my Raziko app handy [Raziko google play link here] and listen to various stations live from Japan such as TBS, NHK, J-wave, and Tokyo FM! Listening skills wise, this has helped me tremendously.
Upkeeping and improvement wise, I am looking at RTK 2 [Affilliate link] where I am learning the readings of the Kanji themselves! Continuing my passive listening during wake up/sleep/home hours, as well as speaking with people from Japan!
Nick: Well, my wife can always help with the speaking practice! Can’t live in Japan if we can’t speak the language well, right? ^^
Speaking of living in Japan, it’s our goal. And speaking of goals, do you have any personal goals for this year?
Louis: From what you have been telling me, a strict teacher at my side wouldn’t be a bad idea. Make the magic happen!
So goals! Awesome! JLPT N1 coming up this Dec. 4th is definitely on the list! So if Sakie can give me that strict Korean style teaching, that would be awesome! (not saying that I’m a masochist, （笑）)
Having our blog flourishing with amazing content that helps others is another goal! With our stories, behind the scenes peeks, and content for our readers’ journeys, I hope that we can not only help keep ourselves accountable with this blog, but help inspire others to pursue their aspirations as well!
Another goal is to get a service rolling out to our readers that can help contribute to them vastly! But more on that later, it’s still in the hush hush stages! ^^’. So those are the big goals, other goals include becoming a better content writer, photojournalist, as well as touching up my drawing to make a manga strip for our readers’ pleasure!
Nick: Haha, very nice! That answered my next question, which was “What are your hopes for Chasing Japan?“, so since there’s no point in beating a dead horse, I won’t ask you to say the same thing twice. Good thing we’re on the same page as far as the blog is concerned (Fu-sion!)! I also really hope we can give people the courage and/or motivation to go after whatever it is they want to pursue. To me, that’s what life is all about – pursuing your dreams, and not living someone else’s. I’m looking forward to the next few moths! Hashing out great content, updating the site, creating products, and studying Japanese. Pretty much gonna be doing the same thing as last year, except we’ll be doing more executing as opposed to studying ^^
So, any last thoughts you want to share before we head home?
Louis: You pretty much closed it out the same way I was going to. Our focus is now shifting from research mode to execute mode. We have covered quite a bit, now it’s our time to shine and make magic happen. The next few months towards the close of the year should be interesting – where we take our lives back into our own control and make a pivot to being full-time entrepreneurs. This is it, Nick! Power levels over 9,000!!!