I am a native speaker of English, and a fluent reader, writer and speaker of Japanese. I passed the highest level on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in 2003. I spend most of my working days translating Japanese documents, but I don’t know everything, so I still study.
My study mainly consists of working towards qualifications in my specialist translation fields. Last year, I passed a skincare exam and a cosmetics exam. This year (2021), I’m working towards another cosmetics exam, and two pharmaceutical-related exams. Next year I’m going to take another pharmaceutical exam and an exam about food and ingredients.
I also read fiction and non-fiction. My favourite fiction writer is Matsumoto Seicho. Here are some of his books. They are mystery and suspense novels written in the 1950s/60s.
And for non-fiction, I enjoy reading books by Nakamura Tempu. Kind of no-nonsense self-help books.
Languages from 2020 – 2023
I am taking the 4th grade of the HSK Chinese proficiency test in September 2021. I aim to pass the highest level (6th grade) in September 2022.
These are the books I am using. Some of them are in English, and some are in Japanese. Learning another language through Japanese helps improve my Japanese at the same time.
I aim to pass level 3 on the Diplome d’Aptitude Pratique au Francais, which is a test for Japanese speakers, in June 2021. I’m hoping to pass level 1, the highest grade, in June 2023. Here are some of the books I am using. I am studying French through English and Japanese, depending on the textbook.
I’m also dabbling with Spanish, but not seriously yet. Just when I feel like it! I might also have a look at German when I feel like a change from French and Chinese.
Languages from 2023 – 2025
I aim to pass the highest grade on the Korean TOPIK exam, and the highest grade on the Test of Russian as a Foreign Language.
Languages from 2025 – 2027
I completed my Master’s degree in Bulgaria, and while I was there, thought the language sounded fascinating. I don’t know of any tests to take though. I aim to pass the highest grade on the Spanish proficiency test.
Languages from 2027 – 2030
I studied German at school for five years, so I have a head start (well, not really, as I don’t remember anything). I aim to pass the German and Italian proficiency tests conducted in Japan.
Languages after 2030
Arabic, Farsi, Cantonese and…. I haven’t decided yet!