In April I took many planes, a few boats and spent some time away, one week back home in Bologna and 4 days in Visby to visit my boyfriend. It was not always possible to follow a consistent study routine: every second spent with loved ones who live far away has the priority.
How did it go last month?
Using Asana to schedule my studies helped me a lot with keeping track of what I had to do, making it much easier to get things done. Also, I practiced a bit of writing in my target languages joining the #IGLC, Instagram language challenge.
I did well with Swedish and accomplished pretty much all of my goals. I noticed a lot of progress, especially with reading. Of course spending some days in Sweden with a Swede, practicing conversation and pronounciation, was a big help.
I’m satisfied about French studies too: I read some useful posts on Bonjour Marie and a few articles about the presidential elections – scary times uh.
I watched one movie and got great recommendations in the comments of April’s Clearthelist, so I’m sorted with French flicks for a while!
In Japanese I wrote a few posts on Instagram and watched some movies. Except for this, I’ve really been struggling and I’ve been looking for a reason why it’s happening. I think I’m close to an answer, but I’ll write about it in a different post.
I watched one sweet animation movie in French, Tout en haut du monde. It follows a strong and determined girl through her adventure towards the North Pole on the traces of her grandfather, a famous explorer. It’s nice to see such an independent female character, who doesn’t need a hero to save her, especially in a movie for a younger audience.
A Country Doctor (カフカ 田舎医者 Kafuka: Inaka Isha), based on the tale by Franz Kafka, is a short movie by Kōji Yamamura that won him the prestigious Ōfuji Noburō Award. It captures amazingly the atmosphere of Kafka’s writing and you can watch it on YouTube. Recommended for a rainy day.
I looked forward to checking out Shin Gojira シン・ゴジラ and wow: Hideaki Anno (creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion) made the best Godzilla movie since the great original from 1954. An impressive monster, a strong political message and a much needed reflection on Japan, its society and its relationship with America: EPIC result.
Flavour of green tea over rice (お茶漬けの味 Ochazuke no aji) by Yasujiro Ozu is a classic. It is the delicate portray of marital difficulties in a Japanese couple, an intimate look inside a family and its dynamics and a peek at youth unwilling to follow old traditions. Ozu is one of Japan’s finest directors, so his work is always worth your time.
Finally an old favourite, A Scene at the Sea (あの夏、いちばん静かな海 Ano natsu ichiban shizukana umi) by Takeshi Kitano. It’s the tale about a deaf-mute couple: a boy willing to learn how to surf and his supportive girlfriend. Silence prevails over words here, so not much language to pick up, but nonetheless a beautiful movie. Kitano pays homage to the sea, the real protagonist of this film, with a melancholic declaration of love.
For more recommendations check out my Japanese cinema board on Pinterest.
Goals for May
As things worked well last month I’ll just go on the same way:
- 100 words on Memrise – Swedish deck 5
- 1 lesson a week on Babbel (affiliate) and 1 lesson a week on Learningswedish.se
- 2 hours of music per week, 2 movies per month
- 30 minutes of reading a week
- Practice writing, conversation and pronunciation weekly
- Read and comment one article or blog post per week
- Watch 2 movies per month
I’m definitely stuck here. This month I’ll concentrate on why this is happening and what I can do to overcome it.
I’ll engage in activities I enjoy: every week I’m going to listen to 5 songs and sing along (yay for songs with subtitles) and watch one movie. Maybe it’s even time to organise a karaoke night with my Japan geek girlfriends?
Hopefully next month I’ll have some good news on my Japanese studies. Fingers crossed!