Countering the Degrade

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I never thought I’d do it this year, but in the midst of my boredom, I decided to rewatch the 4th season of Maria-sama ga Miteru–without subtitles.

I had watched most of the 3rd season unsubbed (the OVAS), so I thought, why not the 4th?  Unfortunately, in the episode where Touko was describing Yumi, I couldn’t get some of the words she said.  That made me frustrated.  So off I went to dig through my archives to get the subtitled episodes.

It’s probably been a couple of years since I last studied Nihongo seriously.  The last exam I took was in 2009, and it was a heartbreaking one–I was short of 4 points from passing!  And I’m sure that if I hadn’t spent a lot of time doing overtime, I would have passed.

But that’s the past.  Now a lot of what I had studied back then I can no longer recall.  Although, I can still understand simple sentences, and a lot also depends on the vocabulary used.  While watching anime I can still pick up some new words, but I wonder how many are lost in return.

Why am I rambling about this now?  Because recently I’d been thinking about whether to take JLPT N3 or N2.  It is possible I might pass N3 if I give it a decent review, but it would take a lot of effort to pass N2.  However, the bigger question in my mind is, should I do it just because I can do it?  What’s in it for me now?  As an anime blogger it doesn’t give me an edge as I’ve already exited the aniblogging rat race–I don’t do episodic posts anymore.  There’s no series I’m so gaga over today I’d resort to watching raws–perhaps the only thing that will make me watch raws once more would be another season of Maria-sama ga Miteru.  There is still enough material (I think) for an OVA, a ‘fifth’ season.

So why am I being tempted to jump back into the JLPT fire?  Well, it feels like unfinished business to me.  I’m still watching anime, I should be able read manga with furigana (albeit slowly).  I’m still in contact with the Japaneses language.  And I think this has hindered me from moving on to other languages.  Yup, I have tried to study French and German.  And I haven’t remembered anything really useful.

My dear (handful of) readers, any suggestions?

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