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Life after JLPT N1

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A few weeks ago I anxiously logged onto the JLPT website to check my N1 result. I passed! Great! Now what? The long journey towards fluency is now over, right? Not even close. I still come across new words and phrases on a daily basis. I spend more time studying (or rather, being exposed to) Japanese than ever before. The journey has only but begun!

Recently I have been investing a lot of time into reading native material. Reading Japanese (print) books has always been a pain for me. Looking up unknown words/kanji can be difficult if you are not sure how to write them. You can quickly lose motivation if you stumble into a string of new words. Is there a better way?

Enter the Kindle app (I’m reading on a Nexus 7). If you long-press over any word a popup will appear with the reading and definition (in Japanese). If that is not enough, you can also easily copy words/phrases into any other app of your choosing (e.g. other dictionaries, Anki, etc.). Highlighting words will create a bookmark allowing you to view them again in context later. I usually do this for all new words and phrases. The Kindle app makes reading Japanese a much more pleasant experience!

Amazon Japan has a large selection of both digitalized novels and manga. I enjoyed reading 雨の日も、晴れ男 (a novel) and 日本人の知らない日本語 (manga). I have been trying to read for about 1 hour everyday before bed – a modest target that hopefully ensures I won’t burn out. I think eBooks are great for non-native speakers – give it a try!

Category: Japanese, JLSP | Tags: , , ,