312 Learning Japanese


Eli talks about learning Japanese.

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Todd: So, Eli, how are your Japanese classes going?

Eli: They're going OK. Japanese is a very difficult language and I think as someone who has never learned another language before I'm struggling more than other kids are. I feel that a lot of theother, say European kids, that this is there third or fourth language, that they can speak fluently, they pick it up very quickly, and for me it's slightly more difficult.

As I say, our school is quite advanced and it moves very, very quickly in conversation. We're not learning any Kanji, which is kind of difficult cause that's one thing you really do need to learn if you're living here, but the conversation moves very quickly and we learn a lot of new stuff, so it's quite difficult to practice it all. I think that's the problem I'm finding, and a lot of my friends say the same thing: they're learning it all but then they don't have time to practice. It's actually crazy to think, you're in Japan but it's quite difficult to actually practice the Japanese language. You see all my Japanese friends they want to practice English with me, so, you actually end up being very lazy, and not talking that much Japanese, so I think that is the problem, just you have to have conversation thru conversation all the time and I'm not really doing that at the moment, so yeah, it's difficult. I think I'll get there. I'm just about starting to understand stuff now.


Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

I'm struggling

I'm struggling more than other kids are.

If you are 'struggling' with something it means that it is very difficult for you.

Notice the following:

  1. I need help with my maths homework because I'm struggling to understand it.
  2. I think I might need to practice my piano recital. I am really struggling with one of the songs.

fluent

They can speak fluently.

If you can speak a language 'fluently' it means that you can speak it naturally and without any mistakes.

Notice the following:

  1. She is fluent in five languages.
  2. I am going to practice my French everyday because I want to become fluent.

pick it up

They pick it up very quickly.

When you 'pick something up' it means that you learn it. We use this phrase when a person doesn't take lessons, but learns something by hearing, seeing or doing it.

Notice the following:

  1. I think they will pick it up quite fast. They are intelligent children.
  2. My boss thinks it will take about 2 weeks for me to pick up everything I have to do in my new job.

it's crazy

It's actually crazy to think, you're in Japan but it's quite difficult to actually practice the Japanese language.

When something is 'crazy' it means that it does not make sense and seems odd.

Notice the following:

  1. I bought this dress at full price last week and now it is half price in the sale, it's crazy!
  2. It's crazy. I've been sitting in this traffic jam for two hours.

I'll get there

I think I'll get there. I'm just about starting to understand stuff now.

'I'll get there' means that you will succeed with something eventually.

Notice the following:

  1. It will take time, but I will get there.
  2. If I practice a little bit everyday then I will get there.

 

Answer the following questions about the interview.

 

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
struggling • fluent • pick up
it's crazy • there
  1. I'm not , but I speak well enough to communicate.
  2. Reading is difficult for him, but with some extra help and practice he'll get .
  3. how much time you spend at work.
  4. Vietnamese is not a language that you can easily .
  5. I am really with my math class this semester.