皆様、こんにちにゃあ！Welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online; if we were a television programme, we’d be syndicated twice-over! We’re your hosts, your guides to Japanese language and culture, Kiki+Koko! And, we could not let this special occasion go without mention. This is a very special milestone for not only us, but hopefully, you as well. As you may have already guessed from the title and thumbnail, And this— this is a special blog post. We have an announcement that you’ve probably already guessed from the title and the thumbnail. 200投稿目になりました！！We’ve reached our 100th blog post!! And with this milestone, it’s brought with it an important topic and concept we’re going to delve into today. With every endeavour in life, it can be very easy to find yourself only looking forward to the next accomplishment or milestone, the next task, the next step. And though it is certainly important to continue in any of your life’s journeys, it’s always important to note that one should never stagnate. It’s when you’ve found equilibrium that this can slip away instantaneously. Life is about continuing to strive for more, however because of this, it’s more important than ever that one learns to relish in the now and the accomplishments one has already achieved.
It’s very easy to form a sort of tunnel in one’s vision, looking only at what is on the horizon without realising how far one has travelled. And, though it’s important to continue to move forward, looking back is something we advise even in your studies. As time moves on, one can slip away from the original source material which could drastically alter their course. Pronunciations can fall away, stroke orders can become disordered, or vocabulary can take on incorrect meaning. That is why it is important to not simply give one look at any accomplishment, or in this case, lessons, because the mind can give an ever-changing snapshot very unlike a camera. Rather, each time you access the memory, it can differ or warp. That is why we are lucky that we have more accurate documentation to give an even more true-to-life recount of these previous accomplishments on the site, which we consider your accomplishments as well!
Though we had always planned from the beginning that we would continue our mission through and through, it was still such an unreal feeling when we reached the first milestone of 100 posts! Now, seeing we’ve done that twice over along with you is something doubly unreal. We took some time to go back and re-read our 100th blog post celebration articleーAnd we recommend you do so as well if you like, because we realised that we honestly have the same feelings as 100 posts ago, and we wouldn’t fancy simply repeating ourselves when it might be a bit more enjoyable to get a first-hand look yourselvesーbut in looking back at that post, it really put everything into perspective.
We certainly hope this blog stands as an example of perseverance and determination, because as we provide more resources for you, you’re equally joining us along for the ride. If these bilingual twins and a computer robot can create this many lessons, we hope it makes you feel like you have the ability to absorb the lessons. Though, of course, making these lessons and sharing this key to opening the portal to an entirely new world that was right there in plain sight all along still serves as our passion, it has taken countless hours, countless cups of tea and coffee, and dozens of all-nighters to get to this point. Though it may be difficult to conceive, we just hope that you as a student or visitor can be able to see this, the hours of coding, the lesson planning, the visuals, and think to yourself, ‘if these space cats can do all of this, then maybe I can learn Japanese afterall…’ That isn’t to say you should place your abilities in how others measure up, but we’d really truly hope that maybe it could motivate someone, even one person, to think to themselves that they just might be underestimating what they can do.
If we had initially thought of this blog as the hundreds and perhaps even thousands of articles we’ll eventually create, the undertaking of all of that would have felt like 敷居が高そう, shikii ga takasou, seeming to have a high threshold to enter, that we might have been too overwhelmed to take it on. However, when we first stepped in, we thought of it as something that would add up day by day, article by article, and lesson by lesson. And, we feel that’s something important for anything in life. Everything isn’t a source of instant accomplishment, but rather, something with smaller pieces of dust piled up or larger milestones that become something far larger. Each article or lesson itself is just one paragraph to the next, each word stacked up to create that paragraphーand if you take any project or large venture, and you break it up into manageable pieces, you’ll eventually find yourself at the finish.
However, through all of this, we think it’s important to never have an attitude of simply getting through each step, or you’ll find you’ve spent all of your time simply getting-through-it rather than actually enjoying it. Again, it’s easy to find yourself focused on the end goal, but we come back to the idea that in life, you shouldn’t really ever think of your life accomplishments as complete. Of course, each endeavour or project can be complete, but when it comes to yourself and your life, there should always be something else to reach in a positive way. Life is about the journey, and that is why you should always have a journey to continue on. However, that is what brings to light the importance of being mindful of each step of the journey, because it is the tiny moments that build up to the larger experience, and if you find yourself thinking of each piece of every accomplishment as something that is only work or only studying, you’ll have built up something that isn’t enjoyable. Rather, your attitude during those little moments makes everything. That way, throughout the journey, you can be content in the moment. That isn’t to say there won’t be difficult times, but a positive attitude can turn things around at least mentally, which can fuel you to move onto the next step, the next milestone, the next accomplishment.
And, with that, we want to remind you, though we’re behind the scenes and on the front-lines creating these lessons and articles, you’re there studying and going over them, hopefully as many times as we do, if not more. And, we’re going to sort of practise what we preach by going back and giving you a sort of idea of some of the milestones you may have reached by learning along with us! This won’t be comprehensive, but we also don’t want to rush anyone who may have just joined us. But, it’s seriously never too late! We’ve been celebrating the idea this entire time that little bits of effort add up on a microcosmic level as well as in a larger sense of learning an entire language. But, as we always mention, even fluent speakers of Japanese always have more to learn, so again, relish in the milestones and what you’ve accomplished as it should hopefully not only solidify your knowledge you’ve revised, but also fuel you for your future milestones!
Setbacks and Accomplishments | 挫折&成果
Though, we’d love to end this sentiment there, we think it’s important to note that even in our own perseverance, such perseverance wouldn’t be as mentionable unless there were some difficulties. Of course, the last of anyone’s worries during a pandemic would be the welfare of an altruistic language learning site run by twins and a computer robot; but we think it’s still important to mention that everything isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and that’s sort of what makes it more important to always have a positive attitude!
Setbacks|挫折We won’t delve too deeply, but it might be well known by now that we always end up suffering from computer issues, coding issues, and internet issues. We’ve been through a couple of computers and we don’t know what we would have done without a wonderful patron helping us out. But, of course, even with that assistance, our rubbish internet certainly tried its best to get the better of us. And, in what we would call the ‘before’ times, we were able to at least go to another location if we were desperately running out of time. But, once everyplace was shut down and of course the shops weren’t safe to begin with, we’ve been left at the mercy of the rubbish internet. We do hope that we’ll be able to get better internet after the end of the pandemic no matter how far away that may be, but in the meantime, just know that each and every lesson and article is a miracle of nature to even exist on our servers due to the difficulties of it ever reaching the surface.
And, of course, we hate to mention the excessive noise issues we’ve suffered from when it comes to recording in our flat which we did mention in our Kiki+Koko News Network broadcast. This has still set back the release dates of almost a dozen podcasts we’ve recorded where it was assumed the stomping and swearing of the persons arguing above our flat (of whom we feel deep sympathy for) had been curbed amply, however we’ve had to do our best to either do the impossible and edit out entire pieces of the podcasts or simply re-record those and our videos after properly soundproofing in a way that still works for flat life. But, again, we certainly want to mention that any setbacks shouldn’t be the thing focused on, rather getting over those setbacks. We hope that when we’re able to finish soundproofing that we’ll have even better audio quality and content overall. Of course, setbacks are frustrating and no one wants to have to do more work than they may have needed previously, but it’s just better to focus on the positives of better quality and even possibly better content which is much more motivating.Even with all of the frustrations, it’s the motivation of getting out another useful and essential or fun lesson to the lot of you, present, past and future. It’s been our personal axiom that stands as: ‘The best you can do is the best you can do’, which we think may be just the most important saying of our existence thusfar. It’s something that really has brought us through, and we really hope it’s something you’ll take to heart. We have very lofty goals to provide so much for you, but we have to know that the best we can do at the moment is the best we can do and that in almost all cases, it was already above and beyond what anyone could ask for, anyway. So, when you’re doing your best studying, be sure to remember that the best you can do is the best you can do (right at that moment) and that you should be patient with yourself every step of the way on your journey.
This is certainly the part of the article that we find most important, because this is a chance for you to also look back and possibly see what you’ve learned, or maybe even realise that it may be time to take a bit of time to catch up. Either way, even though these are lessons and articles we’ve made for you, it’s equally a chance to see your own possible accomplishments. Again, this won’t be comprehensive, as it would take much too many pages, but these are just a few of the things that you may have also accomplished in these 200+ lessons.
Reading and Writing Hiragana
Coincidentally, our exact 200th lesson/article was actually the completion of the diacritical marked hiragana characters. Though there’s blends and other concepts we have in store, those who’ve been with us since the beginning can savour in the fact that you may have learnt all of the basic stroke orders and pronunciations you’ll need for mastering hiragana. (Of course, there’s some blends we’ll be teaching, but it still takes on the sounds we’ve been teaching over these two-hundred lessons– But, no time to focus on that, we’re focusing on what you have already accomplished, which is extremely impressive!)
But, don’t forget a couple of other reading concepts like The Necessary Nebulousness of 「ん」(The Mysterious Maverick of Japanese Morae), 促音とは？｜What is sokuon? | The Sound of 「っ」, 長音とは？｜What is chouon?, as well as all of the concepts we’ve taught you along the way, woven throughout each lesson.
Creating Basic Sentences
In order to communicate, of course, one of the most important things is creating a coherent thought, and these coherent thoughts usually present themselves as sentences. By now, we’ve taught so many of the concepts below that it may seem like only a small microcosm in the scheme of this universe of knowledge, but it’s this concept that allowed the use of any of the concepts we’ve presented thusfar and those that will continue to be presented after. Once you can understand a basic Japanese sentence, you’ll understand the vast differences between Japanese and English in order to fully cement the concepts in your mind. And, getting that far is a feat on its own!
Asking Questions and Spatial Concepts
Whether talking about here and there or asking what a word means, these concepts were not only vital, but vast, and though we know we’ve provided quite a bit on each of these topics, there’s certainly so much more to cover. But, again, we’re focusing on accomplishments, and with all of the vocabulary presented in lessons like 🔊I Want to Tell You | 11 Basic Japanese Questions (First Meeting)| 基本的な質問 (初対面)|| Part 1 or Here, There, and Everywhere| Basics of Japanese Demonstratives (kosoado)| 指示語の基本（こそあど言葉）| PART 1, onward, you’ll have quite the expansive vernacular within your reach.
Understanding some Parts of Speech and Many Particles
We’ve covered so many particles so far, and we’ve introduced you to many concepts like adjectives, nouns, and verbs, but most importantly, we’ve introduced you to their Japanese equivalents and how they’re treated. From the beginning, we’ve wanted to be sure that these concepts are thought of in the small pocket that is Japonic language because these ideas can find similarities in English, but once someone latches onto this idea, it can end up actually making things more confusing. That’s why we’d begun this journey by instructing you to almost forget everything you know about language and start from zero, everything except fine dining and breathing. And, we really hope that the building blocks we’ve given you have started a nice foundation and a proper shelter out there trying to survive in Japanese language.
Basic Politeness and Conjugation
These concepts differ from language to language, and Japanese is no exception. Understanding the basics of conjugating verbs in order to make them polite is no easy feat, and we did our best to try to explain this concept in great detail in order to ready you for future concepts and conjugation. But, again, we’re focusing on accomplishments, here! Just think about how you may not have been able to use the vocabulary you learned in a polite way with strangers or in formal situations, but now, you should hopefully be able to, at least eventually, take vocabulary words you’ve learnt and use them politely. On top of this, there was connecting lists of words, so now you can hopefully have sentences chock-full of all of the vocabulary you’ve learnt over the course of these lessons. Talking of:
Hundreds of Vocabulary Words!!
From the vehicles to space vocabulary to even every single country in the world, we’ve tried our best to not only introduce you to new vocabulary, but also to teach you how to use these vocabulary words in everyday speech. Each step of the way, we’ve done our best to give you quizzes and practise activities in order to provide ample opportunities to truly learn these as concepts rather than only memorising words.
On top of this, there are so many vocabulary words that are unique to Japan, such as the various Japanese pronouns. We’ve only just begun to introduce you through personal pronouns, but we can’t wait to go into further depth with the complex hierarchy of Japanese pronouns.
Japanese Culture Concepts
Though Japanese culture is a vast and diverse one formed over so many years, currently combining tradition with modern concepts, we’ve done our best to present several of them throughout the course of these 200+ lessons. One of our favourites was certainly between 月見、Tsukimi, and Valentine’s Day, but we loved each of them equally. Many had no idea about the dream eating tapir we mentioned in 初夢, hatsuyume, and countless others that we can sometimes take knowing for granted. Learning more about the breadth of the world and its cultures can really broaden the way you look at everything and allow you maybe to even appreciate more about the world around you that was always there, but you just may not have known, yet.
Over 88 Words via Word of the Week
We couldn’t talk about accomplishments without talking about the words introduced every single week! Whether you’re a casual learner or completely set on fluency, this is the perfect example of little steps building towards larger accomplishments. This didn’t start at the very beginning of our time here at ieindigoeast.com, but even with the late addition, so much learning became available over such a short time. And with almost every week having a bonus word and all of the vocabulary able to be gleaned from the sentences provided, the vocabulary truly introduced has to be well into the hundreds. But, even still, just think about the main vocabulary words and how over time, a small fortune of knowledge and vernacular could be achieved.
After the first 100 posts, we reckoned it was long overdue to properly set ourselves up in the world of social media. And, luckily, we’ve been doing our best to maintain all of the channels. And, if anything, it’s a useful channel for quick communication about new articles or projects, other than Patreon, of course. Either way, the accomplishment may be both on our part and on the part of followers, in this case. We’ve taken all of this time to do our best to get almost every article and lesson uploaded to places like Pinterest, and we’ve been doing our best to simply get some use the others for sharing the articles and lessons as well as Instagram for posting fun photos. Though, even after these 100 more posts, we’re still taking a bit to get properly used to social media. It’s an entirely different world, but we’ll definitely continue to do our best to hopefully utilise it in a useful way and maybe become better ‘gurus’ as time goes on for the benefit of everyone here.
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