Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

I’ve always had in the back of my head a vague idea of what I’ve wanted to do with Japanese, but today I’m going to write explicitly what I am most interested in doing with Japanese.  I think this exercise will help me prioritize my study into the future.  Also, since I’m getting close to be able to read and follow along with real Japanese, it would be nice to start crossing things off the list saying “Finished.  I can do that now.  Woo-hoo”.

I’ll actually create two lists, each with the same items, only the ordering will be different.  The first list will be prioritized by which is most important to me – the stuff I want to be able to do most.  However the things I want to be able to do most might not necessarily be the easiest to achieve, so I am want to pick some of the low hanging fruit sooner than the tastiest.  So the 2nd list will be sorted more in the order that I plan to take these projects on.

Skills by importance:

  1. Hold conversations entirely in Japanese
  2. Exchange pleasantries in Japanese (eg how are you doing?, have you been here before? what was your favorite food?)
  3. Watch Japanese movies + TV (with Japanese subs, or raw)
  4. Read a Japanese menu and order food in Japanese
  5. Shop confidently.  (be able to ask for longer pants, organic milk, paper or plastic and understand answers from salespeople)
  6. Read Japanese non-fiction
  7. Read Regular NHK, Asahi Shimbun, etc
  8. Read NHK Easy
  9. Read Manga

Skills by order of study

  1. Read NHK Easy
  2. Read a Japanese menu and order food in Japanese
  3. Exchange pleasantries in Japanese (eg how are you doing?, have you been here before? what was your favorite food?)
  4. Shop confidently.  (be able to ask for longer pants, organic milk, paper or plastic and understand answers from salespeople)
  5. Read Manga
  6. Watch Japanese movies + TV (with Japanese subs, or raw)
  7. Read Regular NHK, Asahi Shimbun, etc
  8. Read Japanese non-fiction
  9. Hold conversations entirely in Japanese

The lists are somewhat an inverted version of each other since the things which matter most to me are also the most difficult.  For instance, If I’m able to hold a conversation entirely in Japanese on virtually any topic, it’s likely that I can do pretty much anything else on the list.  However there are some notable exceptions such as manga, which I’m not so interested in itself, but will help me with some of the conversation stuff so it’s closer to the middle of my priority list.

So we’ll see.  This list may evolve and I’ll likely work on several skills at the same time.  But I thought it would be helpful to explicitly prioritize certain things over others to guide my study.

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