Today I read a 30 page book about Earthquakes and Tsunamis.
This book was so cool! I learned so many new words without a dictionary. Though, I might not remember them all, it doesn’t matter. I got practice with the patterns running through my head. The extra vocabulary is just extra details. The trees in the forest.
I know many of you might be choking on that for a bit. “Why is he so careless about vocabulary?!”
Let me show you why it doesn’t matter so much. Here’s an example from the book.
行方不明者 ＝ いなくなった人
It translates to missing persons, right? Does it really matter if I don’t know this word? No. Is it nice to know? Sure. Can I pick it up later when I need it? Absolutely!
I’d be more worried if I didn’t know what いなくなった人 meant. And honestly with the way some people study (from vocab lists) They would probably understand 行方不明者 and use it awkwardly in a sentence and not understand いなくなった人.
Sometimes you just gotta let go. Don’t force it. If you need the word, it will come. Or you’ll figure out a way to get it into your head.
When would you want to force the words? Maybe if you’re taking an entrance exam, or if you’re an interpreter and you have a new client who deals with manufacturing plastics or any other technical field.
Obviously if you need specialized vocab, study it! If not, just have fun and let go. It will come as long as you continue reading and listening. You can look words up too if you really need to know. But try to break that habit if you’re using graded readers for extensive reading.
My favorite part from the book was on page 6:
I had the exact same experience! It was my first day in Japan and I felt an earthquake in Bic Camera! I didn’t fly out of the building of course, but all of the other people in the department store just stood still like It was nothing! Nobody was running and screaming like in a big Hollywood disaster film.
The book explains that running and screaming during an earthquake is a bad idea. It goes over what you should do in many different situations. The only time where you should move quickly is when you live close to the sea. You need to run toward higher ground or climb all the way up on a tall building. This is of course after the shaking stops.