Level Up! レベル アップ!

Last December I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. In 2013 I tried level 2, the second hardest of the 5 levels, and didn’t pass, so this time I tried level 3. And after three months’ waiting, I finally got my results back.

前の十二月、日本語能力検定を受けた。2013年に二級、五級の中で、二番難しいレベル、やって落ちたので、今回は三級をやってみた。それから、三ヶ月の待ち時間の末に、結果をもらった。

And I passed! I expected to pass, but it felt good to have something official to validate my language skill. The Japanese are really good at that. Making things feel official. I remember when I first applied to study abroad in Japan, when they sent the acceptance packet, it was full of multiple forms and official documents sealed in a fancy envelope. When I received my brown belt in Aikido, it came with a very official document on special paper with special Japanese signatures and seals on it. I would expect no less from the official Japanese Language Proficiency Test!

パスした!パスするはずだったけど、言語能力に正式な証明をもらうことがいい感じです。日本人はそんなことが上手です。ものごとに正式な感じをくれること。最初に日本留学に応募したことを思い出して、承諾書が送られたときに、たくさんの用紙といろいろな正式な書類が入っているきれいな封筒だった。そして、合気道の茶色帯をもらったときに、特別な用紙で日本語の署名と封印が書いてあるとても正式な書類をもらった。それで、さすが日本の正式な日本語能力検定です!

And yet I feel like I have so much more to learn about the Japanese language. A fellow foreigner once told me that passing Level 1 of the JLPT is really just the beginning. I’ve always thought that learning a language is like eating a whole whale, or some other gigantic beast. It’s just such a huge task, you can’t expect to do it all in one sitting, or one month, or one year. It’s a journey. And if I’m really still at the beginning of it, then it must be a long one!

ただ、日本語に関して、習わなければならないことがいっぱいある気がしている。ある外人は私に「日本語能力検定一級を受かることが実際に初めだけだよ」と言った。言語の一つを習うことは鯨とかほかの巨大な野獣の一頭を食べることだといつも思った。一回、一ヶ月間、一年間で出来る期待が出来ないほどそんなに巨大な一仕事だ。遠路だ。そして、私は本当にまだ初めにいるなら、どうも長い遠路だねえ!

In the meantime, I’m still waiting to hear back about my application to JET. No doubt countless friends and family have asked on multiple occasions if I have heard back from JET yet. Early April. It doesn’t seem that far away now. Anyway, until then, I wait with hope, and hope doesn’t disappoint.

すでにして、JETの応募について聞くことはまだ待っている。間違いないで、多くの家族と友達が返事をもらったか何回も私に聞いた。四月の初めだ。今そんなに遠くない。とにかく、希望を持って待ってで、希望は失望に終わることがない。

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About Stephen

My name is Stephen Gabriel Falke, and I am passionate for all things Japanese. I have been accepted to teach for the JET Program starting 2015. In the past, during my time in college, I also had the chance to participate in a study abroad at Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, for Japan's 2012 school year. On my blog I write about my love for Japan, my journey to get there and stay there, and my adventures studying and teaching there.
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