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The process of achieving n1 certification

I’d like to share my journey of learning Japanese, expect to be able to contribute for the orientation and motivation of those who are making steps on the road of conquering this language.

Chapter 1: Starting from the beginner (N5~N4)

I studied Japanese beginner’s level at a language teaching center for a year. In general, Japanese has 4 alphabets Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji and Romaji. For basic Japanese, you should start with Hiragana and Katakana. Through this phase, you will learn vocabulary, expressions, and grammar related to the JLPT N5~N4 level. You should learn slowly but surely because it is applied a lot in everyday conversation.

I have been studying Japanese language for almost 4 years now. During this period I made many mistakes, these are few points I think important.

– Set your goals to learn Japanese clearly
– Learn about Japanese culture to enjoy this language.
– Create a Japanese learning environment, such as making a group for study
– Give compliment to your classmates, we strive together.

The point is, you need to combine learning 4 skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Besides studying, you should search more about Japanese cultural products. For example, movies, cartoon, comic, YouTube videos with subtitles to create a habit of listening to Japanese.
About study methods, basically you will study from textbooks, listening to CDs of books, and doing homework. In addition, you can also download some apps for learning japanese on your smartphone, that is convenient for learning words or listening anytime, anywhere, and also practice speaking Japanese with your friends, or making Japanese friends.

Chapter 2: Intermediate (N3~N2)

From my point of view, this phase is the most important in my journey. Because knowledge you need to learn is getting bigger, if you don’t study hard every day, it will be easy to forget. After graduating from university, and working as an accountant staff for a foreign language teaching center for a year, I have decided to study abroad in Japan. In 2018, I went to Japan and studied Japanese at Takushoku University for a year.
I just studied at school and practice taking some online exams. It is very important to take the practice test before the exam. It helps you to understand the exam structure and can get the answer quickly. After 7 months, in December 2018 I passed the JLPT N2 certificate. After graduation, I applied for a job and I’ve worked for System Square Corporation (SSC) for a year now and I think it is a good place to work.

Chapter 3: Coming to N1

After joining the company, I focused on getting used to the new job, learning office skills and IT vocabulary for work. In workplace, the senior staff in Comtor group have taught me a lot. With her support from detecting basic mistranslation errors to training meeting translation skills, I have been able to better understand the developer’s expression as well as connect the communication between the team and the customers (SSC). Daily Japanese documents translation, also makes me familiar with reading Japanese documents, and improve my ability to read faster. When I got used to the job, I was settting my goals to take the N1 certification exam. By practicing mock exam questions in a month, I passed the N1 certificate in December 2020. If you ask me how I passed the N1 exam without having to study much? The answer is because I have been living and working in Japan, moreover, SSC & WFC has helped me a lot in the process of improving my Japanese ability.

Here is my entire journey to achieve N1 certification lasting 4 years. N1 certification is the highest level certification in JLPT what most people strive for. However, always remember that passing the test is not the ultimate goal. I have to learn more and more if i want to become a translator or interpreter. I hope with my journey, everyone can understand how to learn Japanese and create needed luggage for self-development in the future.