The Japanese Challenge: Assessment Day


So, today, we got assessed for what we achieved over the past week. Unfortunately, our teacher made the assessment far too easy, and it turns out that the assessment sheet she used is one for children. We may well have given her the impression that we are indeed kids in our minds, as our learning process involved a lot of giggling and fooling around. However, the assessment sheet doesn’t really reflect what we can and cannot do. This means that you will have to take my word for it:

  • We can have very simple conversations amongst each other, telling each other where we’re going or what we’re doing and we can ask each other simple questions like “Would you like to have some coffee” etc.
  • We can answer simple questions.
  • We can speak about ourselves in simple sentences, saying who we are, what we do for a living or who our friends and family are.
  • We know about 20 verbs, which we can use in the present and the past tense, affermatively, negatively and as a question.
  • We can say what people do now and what they did before. We also know most relative time adverbials like “yesterday”, “last month” or “last year”.
  • In a limited way, we can describe objects and people using adjectives.
  • We can count: up to a million, as well as small objects, flat thin things, long slender things, days, days of the month, hours and minutes, small and big animals and people.
  • We know roughly 1000 words.
  • We can make simple sentences, but we cannot yet make any complex sentences.
  • We can read hiragana, but not katakana or kanji yet.

All in all, we’ve reached a level which we can be proud of and which we can build upon. Maybe we’re not quite as good as the red-haired brethren, as we call them, from Babel, but what we achieved is not bad either and seems to be more realistic for a language like Japanese.

The next step for us will be to sit an official Japanese language exam as soon as possible.

Over the next few days, I’ll post a few texts snd videos which document last week’s learning process.


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