Friday, October 23, 2009

合格!JLPT 2 !

for those who wanted me to write more. this is my gift to you.

this is also my bragging blog.

for foreigners living in japan there's a test called the JLPT (japanese language proficiency test) with 4 levels.

level 4 is crazy easy

level 3 bumps it up a bit, and then a HUGE gigantic king kong size climb in toughness to...

level 2. the test required to be considered for entry into japanese universities, and get jobs as a foreigner in japan.

level 1 is like...i dunno, i guess if you wanna be a doctor in japan or if you want to be the next emperor maybe.

i have no desire to be the next emperor (besides that was a lie about becoming the emperor if you pass the test. sorry) so i took level 2 today. its a 2 hour test that is insanely boring, but made even more painful when you have a bad cold. anyway, i ran out of time and took my remaining 10 seconds to guess on about 8 of the remaining questions...naturally those questions were all worth 5 points each rather than the usual 1, or 2.

i got every single one those 8 wrong. minus 40 points right there. ouch. this is why i don't play the lottery.

a passing score is 240/400.

i got 315.

now im about to brag, but hey, i'm stoked. in order for learners of japanese to prepare for these tests, there are about a billion books with sample problems, essays, previous years tests, study points, grammar patterns...are you bored yet? cause i was after about 5 minutes of buying one of these books. i got through the first 2 pages and just couldn't bare to open it again. i think its in my closet somewhere.

how long could you spend trying to memorize such useful phrases as:

This bill was approved by the National Diet.

i know that comes up all the time in my conversations.

forget that. i learned the basics about 2 years ago at a japanese school (and would actually recommend that as a good starter point if you're like me and never know where to begin). but now i just watch tv. i hang out with my japanese friends. i owe a LOT to my old roomies in california who corrected a lot of my mistakes (thanks meg and chaki!...and shinobi), and listened patiently to my broken japanese for almost a year. i only read comics in japanese. i only read japanese novels. its insanely hard at first, but you get used to it. eventually things just start to make sense. i don't know what an intransitive verb is, or whether "manabu" is a group 2 or 3 verb, i couldn't tell you the object and subject of a sentence in english for cryin out loud (sorry mom, but its true), and i sure can't do it japanese.

but somehow, i can usually tell when a sentence is wrong, and when its right.

of course im not perfect, and like sebastian in the never ending story i still have a LONG LONG way to go. i've strayed off the japanese road to fluency a number of times, and completely given up on this beast of a language. i still misunderstand things, or don't understand them at all. i can only read 500 of the 2000 some odd characters. creating my own correct sentences is ten times harder than listening to japanese people's sentences. but im up for the challenge, and rather than struggle to stay awake reading boring textbooks, why not continue reading that novel about street gangs in tokyo?

oh, but the bummer is, today's test didn't count. the real deal is in december, but i didn't sign up to take it. the test i took today was the test from about 2 or 3 years ago, done just as practice. so while it doesn't count for anything on paper. im just glad to know i could do it.


Ash said...

haha love the ending of your story :)

and I loved the Bastian reference too. I told that story to some new friends of mine recently and they all got a good laugh out of it.

great job on the test, even if it didn't count.

Anonymous said...

awesome job. it's always nice to find out that you're brilliant :)

debby said...

Like Scott, you're a freakin' genius! No surprise here. I'm so proud of you! And, hey, I can't diagram a sentence either, but I know when it's write and when it's wrong.

ryan said...

thanks mom, and ummmm was that a joke? ill give you the benefit of the doubt.

mom said...

silly boy

mom said...

what do you think the wink was for?