Project: TTDMITS

June 27, 2008 at 11:43 am | Posted in Personal | 7 Comments

I think I mentioned this briefly in one of my Shugo Chara! posts, but I’ll mention it again for everyone who doesn’t pay attention. I’m spending this summer trying to improve my Japanese.

We’ll call this project TTDMITS, or Trying To Drive Myself Insane This Summer because that’s what’s happening.

This summer I’m spending at least an hour every day trying to go through and translate stuff from Japanese into English. I already do that every week with my episode summaries for Shugo Chara, but now I’m trying to translate manga and magazines.

Yes, all that stuff I bragged about is ending up with an alternative use. Hurray! This is great…

…or not. Because I’ve only been at this for about a week and I already feel like knocking myself out with a bat.

I guess the problem is a lack of money…just like always. This would probably go smoothly if I could buy a nice textbook or something, but for now all I have is a basic Japanese-English dictionary I bought the other day and a crappy “Japanese Character” dictionary I got from the library. The dictionary I bought is fine, but I’m having trouble with the library dictionary because it’s incomplete. Ugh! I’m talking about the katakana and hiragana section too! No one expects all the kanji to be in there (I’m not even really interested in kanji right now).

Also the characters are all written by hand before they were printed in the book so they never look exactly right and it makes things harder.

I mean I keep looking for the same three characters when I’m trying to go through and translate parts of chapter 30 of Shugo Chara! and it’s not working. *headdesk*

Basically, if you read this and know a good dictionary, can you point me in that direction? The thing I’m using was first published in 1950 and last published in 1990 and I’m ready to throw it out the window. Besides, I need to buy something anyway since what I’m using is from the library.

Oh and before anyone asks…no I’m not going to give manga spoilers on this blog. I’ll give you guys some images when I get Nakayoshi and I’ll give my usual thoughts on the chapter, but…other than that…no. I’d rather not be responsible for spreading around false spoilers thanks (and that’s likely what would happen).

I guess the point of this is to mark my starting point of learning all this…stuff. I plan to sort of record my progress in this blog as I go along. You may ask, “Why?” but the answer is really quite simple. I’m tired of people asking me how I learn Japanese. This way I can just point them over to these posts, and that’s that.

So, you can feel free to ignore all of these posts. I’m not even really using pictures much. They’re just a way to get out some frustration, document some achievements, and hopefully get some help from people when I need it.

Like now…what’s a good book that can work like a dictionary for kanji that also has a nice section for katakana and hiragana? I know there’s websites everywhere, but really…I’d rather have a book. It makes things easier.


  1. Good luck. T_T I got a brain overload from trying to remember all the katakana and hiragana characters (I’ve only got about 10% of them remebered ==;) I don’t even WANT to try kanji (the only kanji I’m able to recognize is “ai” ==;)

  2. just get yourself Genki I and II and you’re set

  3. Seconded on Genki.

    Also, have you tried to download ebooks on studying Japanese? I’m sure you can find some free ones from a torrent site.

  4. You need to get yourself an electronic dictionary. It’s much more relaxing to use when reading manga – you don’t have to put the book/magazine down and flip through pages to find what you need (which is very disrupting!).

  5. Haha, so Japanese is givin’ u a hard time, huh?
    I guess it’d be very dificult! Once I went to a site spanish-japanese to see if that could help me a bit with the japanese, but it all the characters gave me a headache… So good luck~!!
    [I wish I could learn some Japanese…! Instead of latin, which is not useful at all ¬¬ But I think learnin’ 4 languages at once it not very advisable]

  6. Well, hopefully you won’t drive yourself insane too much learning Japanese. Just make sure you don’t threaten random people and make scary noises.

    Not that I’m saying you might. ( o_o )

    In all honesty, I’ve never bought a book, so I can’t really recommend on what books to use. Same with dictionaries. Taking courses is advisable only if you intend to use Japanese to work in Japan. It’s also faster, but it comes at a cost. Other than that, it’s pointless. That’s what the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) 1-4 is there for.

    So, until you get the books, go online and learn all the Kana’s first. After that, go for the Kanji (I can’t quite remember how much you needed to learn just to be considered literate, but it’s a really big number). After you get pass this hurdle, everything else is a breeze. That is, if you don’t give up trying to learn Kanji.

    Also, try typing it once in a while. It helps. Really.

  7. Well, good for you (and a little sorry for you, too, I guess. ^^; ) on your plan to learn more/improve on your Japanese. *applauds your effort* Haha, I’m actually planning to do something similar only instead of Japanese, I plan to take up Mandarin and after I learn that (god, I think I’m gonna die trying before that happens), I’ll start on Japanese since the characters will be much more easier to read (from what a friend of mine told me). *sigh*
    That stinks that said dictionary is so unreliable. :/ But from skimming the other comments, I think you’re pretty much covered…I hope.
    Ok, then, good luck to ya. I’m sure you’ll be fine. ^^

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