What's your JLPT story


Contributions: 3,925
RE: JLPT 2013
I think that's simply because, as Frostschutz said (and that's no problem at all), Japanese only happens to be a hobby on the side.

For example, my Japanese story is as follows:

Started in the VHS in April 2004 and did it there for about 2 years. In 2005 I did the JLPT 4. In 2006 I started Japanese at university and in 2006 JLPT 3. In 2008 I tried JLPT 2 for the first time without success, then no more JLPT for a few years, then N2 in Dec 2011, N1 in Dec 2012 and now Tried the N1 again in July 2013 (hopefully passed this time). That means, I may have only passed the N1 after 9 years of learning Japanese.

I wouldn't say the JLPTs are necessarily hard now, though. However: I'm not someone who can study Japanese for 3-4 hours every day. I practically cannot do things like writing texts or the like without external pressure (= course), and otherwise my Japanese learning is mostly limited to learning vocabulary. For example, I also did Chinese on the side, I had another subject, etc., etc. I am probably a victim of the modern Internet generation, which cannot concentrate on one single thing for long

However, from an objective point of view, there are also a lot of people who do practically nothing for Japanese. For them, of course, the 2 is very difficult, the 1 is then unreachable. Unfortunately, these people are also mostly the ones who shout the loudest about how difficult the JLPT is (instead of saying they are not studying enough). I think this view is persistent in the Japanese world.

The last one, however, is mainly reserved for Japaneseologists who can’t do anything. As I see it, there are two groups here in the forum: self-learners who only do Japanese for fun, but do a lot of other things on the side. For them, N1 is really a proud achievement after 10 years.
On the other hand, of course, there are the people who do Japanese at university. The JLPT (or a similar level) can actually be expected much earlier. And here in the forum there are actually less of these "failed Japanologists" who cannot even come up with two words in Japanese even after completing a master's degree.

It would be interesting to know what the Japanese world would look like without this floating “Japanese is so difficult and the JLPT impossible” view. I think a lot more people could do that.
The problem that the level of learning through such self-fulfilling prophecies (or as it is called in German ) is strongly braked, you have it everywhere. In Germany you generally have a problem with math. It's just seen as too difficult, even though it's not really that (at least that's school math). In Japan you certainly have that with English: If everyone around you can't speak English, and it is even considered uncool to speak English, and you think in advance that English is impossible to learn, then you most likely will too can not.

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