The year is drawing to a close and things are winding down here in Osaka. Final exams at my school are finished and the students only come in for half-days until the second semester officially ends about a week from now. It’s been an unusually warm winter thus far and though it doesn’t feel too much like Christmas is upon us, the stores are awash in lights and other decorations. I’m afraid I’ll have to miss the traditional Japanese Christmas dinner of Kentucky Fried Chicken and strawberry cake this year as I’m spending my winter vacation out of the country.
I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), level 1, last week. I don’t think I passed, but fortunately from next year levels 1 and 2 will be offered twice a year, so I might try again in June. I bought the book with last year’s test in it and worked through that for practice the day before and scored a 256. To pass, you need a 280. I thought the reading section on the actual test was a little less difficult, but I’m not sure that I got a better grade on it. My biggest weakness is still kanji and vocabulary. I got a great vocabulary flashcard program for my iPhone called Japanese Flip that shows you words that you miss more often so that eventually you remember them. The program breaks the words down by JLPT level and for level 1, it has 6,000 words. Of course I already know a lot of the words, so I’ve been going through about 1,000 words a month, but I only got the program two months before the test so I still have about 4,000 to go.
Well, this will be my final entry here. I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading a little about my life in Osaka. Thanks to Paul and Hitomi for letting me post on Japancast. Sayonara!