Learn Japanese – JLPT N4 – One Step Closer

by Cath

Last Sunday was a very special day. I took a japanese language test. There are two days (in Portugal only one) in a year that allow you to take this test. The test is called “JLPT “Japanese Language Proficiency Test”. There are 5 levels, N1 is the most difficult one and N5 is the easiest. Last year I signed up for JLPT N5 and I’m happy to report that I passed! This year I decided to try out JLPT N4.

It’s weird to think that I’ve been studying japanese for so long (three and half years)… Everything began because I liked manga and anime and I wanted to be able to understand japanese without needing translation, but slowly it grew in something different.

Learning a language by yourself it’s not easy, specially when we talk about Japanese which requires you to learn three new alphabets! To be honest I’m not sure why I need to learn japanese but I just want to prove to myself that I can do it. Call it stubbornness but I’ve been making progress and signing up for this test it’s a huge motivator.

I’m not sure if I passed the test and only will know in a few months, the listening part is always quite complicated for me. However, I felt the test with a feeling of accomplishment. Because I was able to reach this stage. Because I committed to something and been doing my best to fulfill it. Because I work full-time and I’m away from Portugal several months every year on business trips and still ended up doing something.

But let’s be honest, JLPT N4 is equivalent to 2nd grade! And you know what? I don’t care, I feel happy anyway. These three and half years weren’t only for studying, a lot happened which prevented me from it and there were also pauses (some of several months to be honest). And let’s not forget that for some reason I’m inclined to have a huge range of interests which make me not want to study japanese sometimes. Despite everything, I’ve reached somewhere, it might look like insignificant but I feel truly proud. Understand a few words when I watch anime, being able to read kids manga (with the help of a dictionary), these small moments are priceless.

What have you accomplished this year that makes you truly proud?


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