JLPT BC 8 | Expect the Unexpected

JLPT Surprised lookHappy holidays everyone!  I hope you are enjoying this holiday season however you spend it.  I personally have 10 days off and I’m loving it.  I have to do a lot of cleaning to get ready for the new year, but who doesn’t want a clean house right?

Anyway, today, I want to talk about expecting the unexpected.  When you start studying a language, you pick up a lot of books and discover that there are a lot of vanilla conversations in them.  There isn’t anything too racy or ‘dirty’.  It’s pretty much straightforward stuff.

But real people don’t talk like that right?  We tell raunchy jokes and also about delicate topics that aren’t usually covered in the vanilla textbook.  I relay one such story in the podcast about a guy that likes butts.

The point here is that on the test and in real life.  You will encounter situations that don’t fit into the cookie cutter stuff you found in your textbook.  I’ve found on the test that the listening seems to be pretty vanilla, but the reading is a different story.

I’ve read stories in the reading that range from economic stats to kids putting parking cones on their heads and pretending to be penguins.  On the N3 that I just took a couple of weeks ago, there was an essay about 1000 yen haircut places.  So, you can expect to see anything on the test.

How do you combat this?  Do a variety of reading and listening from a variety of sources.  You can mix real materials with materials specifically designed for learning the language.  Both will give you a clearer picture of how the language is used.  They will also create a type of synergy and feed off each other.

Action Steps –

1)  Has there ever been a time when you’ve been a bit surprised by something you just heard in Japanese?

2) What was it?  Why was it surprising?

P.S. I’m now in iTunes.  If you like the podcast, please be sure to visit iTunes and leave me a review.  If you don’t like the podcast, by all means let me know in the comments why or contact me and let me know what I can do to improve the show.  Thanks!

Photo by Orin Zebest, Music by Kevin MacLeod

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