For the past couple years a few conditions have interfered with my ability to freely set my schedule: some good; some bad. The first thing cut from my schedule (after shaving, of course) to make time, is my Japanese study. So, imagine my surprise recently when I pulled out a set of over a thousand kanji cards and – starting from the difficult end of the stack – found I knew most of the characters.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I cut my formal Japanese study from my schedule. Without awareness, I spend a fair amount of time studying everyday. For example, when I hear words I know I have studied before but can’t recall the meaning, I pull them up in my electronic dictionary and mull them over: often searching through other uses of the same word. Also, many readers know I was married 11 and 3/4 months ago, to a wonderful Japanese woman. Although my wife speaks a fair amount of English, she rarely does so with me. At least 99% of our communication has been in Japanese. Sharing your life with someone means you need to be able to express nuance. Just spending time with my wife has increased my speaking speed and proficiency, polished my expressiveness, and increased vocabulary for loving (and fighting).
Further, my wife’s main hobby is cooking, so I am learning how to express culinary terms in Japanese.
Hopefully, I will get back into my study groove, but rest assured – learning never stops.