Sunday, February 3, 2013
Well, I failed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Again.
I really thought I had it this time. I studied a lot - especially kanji, which I really didn't know that well when I took the Level 4 test the first time in July. Reading was what failed me last time, and it's what did me in again.
It's frustrating and embarrassing to have failed again. I've been here for two years now, I should be able to pass the second-to-lowest level test. I enjoy studying, but maybe I'm just not studying enough? Should I up my classes during the week? Academics always came so easy to me in my high school and college years. I mean, I was pregnant during my first year of college and still only made one C grade (Texas government - bleh). Studying and retaining information has never been a problem, yet it's taking a really long time for me with Japanese.
Will I try again? Who knows right now. I'm disappointed, and not sure if I wanna invest the money in a test I've already failed twice. I think what it all comes down to is this: I need to speak more Japanese. I need to stop being afraid of messing up and just take a chance. My friends aren't gonna judge me if I use the wrong particle or if I mess up a verb conjugation, so I need to stop judging myself.
On Friday night, I took a taxi home after spending some time with friends. Usually the taxi drivers are quiet, but this one was particularly chatty. I kept up a conversation with him for 20 minutes while he drove me home. Of course, my Japanese wasn't perfect, and several times I didn't understand what he was saying, but we made it work. I realized then that I do know more Japanese than I give myself credit for, and that I can keep a conversation going, even if it is just a simple one.