Tim suggested this wonderful idea to blackout everything I couldn’t read on my Newtype Liftout Gate way to Full Metal Alchemist.’ Second time reading through these two pages and was able to pick out the more readings for the kanji. But in the end, the page is quite black.

Reading eventhough I don’t understand 50+% seems utterly stupid but it reinforces the reading of kanji as well as being able to grasp the meaning of the few sentences I can (partially)understand alot quicker. Quite the opposite when you read  ハンサムな先生’s writing, which I have to read two to three times(or even more) to understand.

Here are the non-blackout copies for your reading pleasure.

For those who are studying and want to improve in their language proficiency, should head over to Khazumoto’s All Japanese All The Time . Khazumoto is quite amazing, he’s been able to learn Business Japanese through what I call ‘Immersing yourself in the language.’ How a child learns his/her first language, is by living in the environment, listening, reading and speaking in a language 24/7. We, the seemingly busy students can’t possibly do something like this, the aim is to incorporate as much of the language into your daily routine. For example, listening to Jpop, learning a kanji a day, reading books , speaking to a Japanese friend in Japanese etc. In one of Khazumoto’s videos, he discusses this method, with the annoying Cantonese Dub version of DBZ playing in the background. Taking it to the extreme? Maybe but I believe the accumulation will assist you in improving in the language. For me I listen to Japanese Music (99% of my songs are Japanese), occasionally read Japanese manga( helps with kanji reading since furigana is provided), try to read the Japanese New Type, study Japanese at school(haven’t learnt much at school though in the past 2years), go to Japanese tuition where I do a heap load of writing,speaking and some listening practice, watching Gaki No Tsukai and Sekai HattemadeItteQ (Jap TV Shows) without subs(feel left out when I don’t understand a joke and they’re all laughing), thinking in Japanese (comes out subconsciously alot of the time ),study because I have to, MSNing with 一輝(I need to do this more often) and watching anime.

To measure your proficiency, you should take a language proficiency test. These only test grammar,vocabulary,reading and listening skills, so they aren’t a great indicator, but for certain jobs, you may required to take the test and having it handy won’t hurt. I passed level 3 JLPT last year and hoping to do level 2 in the near future!

So what do you do to improve your proficiency?