Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My most AWKWARD experience in Japan

I should be doing my homework instead of writing this but I don't feel like doing work so I will write this :p

I'm sure many of you who have seen some of my videos know that I'm sometimes kinda awkward... It never really bothered me since I was able to make fun of it all the time. I was so glad when I got some emails asking me if I was ever caught in awkward situations while abroad and the answer is obviously YES. I don't think I remember all of them and some of them are more or less private affairs but I'll tell you as much as I can!

Before I departed for Japan, I did a lot of research on the culture and knew approximately what were not good things to do. Once I was in the country, I picked up things fairly fast since it was similar to the Chinese culture. However, some things are not in either culture I'm familiar with and I had to learn the embarrassing way sometimes >///<

The first thing was the whole dating thing in school. Many couples don't show their affections publicly opposed to what I'm used to back home where everybody's all over each other. I didn't know a lot of people around me were dating unless somebody told me since there was absolutely no hint for me to know.
Second thing was tied to this. I never really liked how shy some Japanese people were with the fact that hugging each other wasn't in their culture. They usually have a lot of body touching (?) between friends of the same gender but rarely between boys and girls. I was obviously not aware of this and kept on hugging everybody until a guy asked me if I liked his friend since I kept hugging him...

And finally, my appearance is not very different from local people so many thought I was either a Japanese girl from Canada who came to exchange in Japan... Or I was full on Made in Japan. It was pretty hard for me to justify some mistakes and actions I do unless I tell everybody I was a foreigner. After a while, my school mates knew but when I was in public, I just look like a dumb Japanese person to the others around me. It doesn't really bother me since I proclaim myself as a pretty positive person and I usually make jokes out of my awkward experiences.
Many are worried if there will be racism in Japan, but from what I've been through, there is a very low chance of that. It might sometimes sound like they're mocking you but in reality, they don't really mean it.

I hope this helped you out somehow. If you have anything you need me to know please leave it down below in the comments or stalk me on...
Instagram @migoko2

How I learned Japanese


It's been a long time since I posted... Oops...
School has been unbelievable recently since I'm in my last year everything just piled up T_T

This post will be dedicated to my journey in learning Japanese before going on exchange and I hope this will help you!
Here's a video if you don't like to read and please don't mind my hair...

I started learning Japanese in grade 7 and continued until grade 10. It was a good four years of in class learning in my life. I went to two different Japanese schools for two years each. The first one was during Saturday mornings from 9 to 12. This is where i began to learn Japanese in a classroom as I pretty much self studied it before this. 
In that school, a lot of students were Canadians wanting to learn Japanese as a second or third language out of interest and it does go up to a pretty high level. We used GENKI I as the textbook for the first year to start us off with the basic reading and writing skills along with fundamental conversational skills. It also teaches you Kanji! I think this is a pretty good book since it has both English and Japanese text which is much easier to understand. I think it works best in class though only because there would be a teacher to help you out when you have questions. It explains a lot of the easier grammar rules in the language in English but I find it a bit confusing sometimes. My second year there, we were using GENKI II which is essentially the part2 in the GENKI series, with slightly harder grammar and Kanji. 

The second school I went to was organized by our school board to encourage international language learning. It's free but if you don't have the textbook, you need to borrow one which needs a 60$ deposit. It counted as a school mark and credit so it was more serious. Many of my classmates were either Japanese or half Japanese because they would get a free mark booster through the course. It went by school grade opposed to levels so I was put in the beginner class for the first few weeks but I soon begged my way out to the grade 11 level. They started to use GENKI II in that level while I was already halfway through so it was still very easy for me. The next year, they tried to finish the book and at this point you should be at a certain level of fluent in the language. Again, this depends on the person since we all learn differently. 

I find I learned most of the useful conversational stuff by watching animes, dramas and TV shows in Japanese. That's just how I learn, I imitate what I hear and see. 

I hope this post was somewhat helpful to you. If you have any further questions please leave it down below or you can contact me by...

Instagram @migoko2