i've been learning japanese for now 70 days, one lesson of 30 minutes audio each day, and i'm at lesson 70 of 90. in 20 days, my course will be over: "pimsleur's speak and understand essential japanese 1-3".
theoretically, that would mean i'd be at some kind of intermediate level, whatever that's being defined. i can read and write hiragana, but avoided kanji like the plague. i learned vocab on smart.fm, but that site's going to be turned into a cash cow at the start of april. dusted off ANKI and imported the "core 2000" goal, but i'm kind of ... irritated with this program. quizlet.com is kind of fun and effective, so i'm using that now.
after all the learning of basic structures, being able to say things like "didn't you do a business trip to oosaka last month, too, miss tanaka?" or "please go this road straight ahead for approx. 50 meters, then turn to the right, and in front of the post office, there's my house", i found myself hopelessly dumbfounded by even short lines of chat with japanese natives.
the structures being taught are nothing like that. they're not even close. no native ever used desu or masu with me, and when i did, they told me to not be so polite, as it would sound totally unnatural. hum. i couldn't reproduce something like "doko iku no?" at all. i'm having a hard time even understanding that kind of expressions! i could express that content like this: "doko ni ikimasuka?", and in return get a "nobody talks like THIS!", in either words, or, more likely, between the lines - IF i'm able to get that.
mind you, i'm talking about the everyday japanese used in chats, on the net, between friends and so on. i don't talk about moving to japan and talking to random strangers, asking them for the way to shinjuku eki! i also don't talk about going on job search or having discussions with co-workers. i'm also not talking about joining the yakuza or cosplaying kurosaki ichigo, running around with an oversized bread knife, yelling "iku ze" or "temee" at random people. i'm talking about good, healthy, working japanese for everyday conversation with friends.
i've surrounded myself with lots of japanese online friends, but i'm unable to converse with them in japanese - they even use roumaji with me, because they KNOW that this is the easiest way for me to pick up new words, phrases and the like. and yet ...
i tried to find "informal/casual japanese" courses on the net. you would expect that with millions of websites, there must be ONE that has something like that. something that teaches you stuff like "doko ga hen na no" is girly-speech, "tabete kure" is macho style being used when you're angry/irritated with someone AND you're male ... and so on.
see, pimsleur taught me a lot of formal japanese. gokazoku to isshou ni nihon ni irasshaimasuka?
i feel that after 70 days of daily studies, i should atleast be able to get a grip of the basics. i realized i had to learn the dictionary forms from scratch, because reverting back from masu to dictionary will be a pain and is not easily been done. i'm slooooo(insert 20more 'o' here)ooowly trying to do that by picking conjugations like ~nai, writing up short texts containing only stuff like sushi wo tabenai, oosaka ni ikenai and so on, to post them on Lang-8, where they're being shred to pieces by native speakers.
i wanted to learn human japanese. what i got was ... i don't know. japanese that's only useful as a millionaire on a business trip to tykyo?
so, if you know how to START to fix my problem, maybe a first step, some website that shows by example, or some ... well maybe even youtube informal japanese series or -whatever-, so i'd see a light at the end of the tunnel, i may be motivated to pick it up again to start moving. right now i feel stuck with "plastic japanese". nice, clean, watch, but dont touch.
doumo arigatou gozaimasu!
PS: i know, my english isn't good. so please excuse me, i did what i could.