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14 July 2010 @ 21:56
First off, this might be the most awesome photo ever.

Another link, this time Star Wars-related.

I think everyone has seen the "I Write Like..." meme already? My SFJ.com blog comes up mostly with Dan Brown. Is that really a bad thing? He has an enjoyable voice and style... it's just his plots, characters, twists and lack of research that are the problem. I'm going to assume that my blog is fast-paced and dramatic. Having said that, since so many people are getting him, I suspect it's the default option just like when you're writing online quizzes. I got Nabokov when writing about Tenimyu though. Why would that be, I wonder...?

The first chapter of my original fic was Douglas Adams. Oh dear. Adams had a very simple style which perfectly conveyed his ridiculous and intricate plots. And he was funny. I'd love to be able to write stories like him, but I don't want to write like him. Does that make sense?

(Apparently this journal entry is like that of Edgar Allan Poe. What?)


I mentioned previously that I was going to the Tokyo International Book Fair. One of the first stands I saw was for Dianetics, so pretty much all credibility was lost immediately.

However, I did see a stand for the J.TEST which is a TOEIC-style test for non-native speakers of Japanese. One of the main advantages is that, unlike the JLPT, you don't have to select a level for yourself (except between Special A - D and E - F tiers). You don't fail, you just get a lower number of points. Apparently, not only do you take your test paper home, the results also tell you what questions you missed.

It has to be said that their level descriptions and corresponding JLPT levels don't really match up though. I initially decided that I was probably 'able to undertake a business trip to Japan' (I take part in a lot of curriculum-planning meetings, after all) but not yet able to 'conduct business in Japan'. Then I read the small print: these descriptions are above the equivalent of JLPT1...

Unless I hear something negative, I plan to take the test in November. They also have one in September, but I might be too busy with A Midsummer Night's Dream around that time. Anyone want to join me?

Also... anyone want to come to the Tokyo Toy Fair this Saturday or Sunday?
キモさ満々♡ 미친 외국인: COFFEE GOES IN COFFEE GOES INdilettantka on 14th July 2010 13:15 (UTC)
I'll go in with you on the J-TEST! I have wanted to take that one because you can get a lovely point score, and there's also a speaking component if I remember correctly. November sounds doable.

Not up for toys, sorry :)
Williamgenkischuldich on 14th July 2010 13:20 (UTC)
Great... we'll be taking the same test this time too, so I hope we get a nice CD drama about mecha pilots. :)

People don't seem to be very clear on the speaking aspect, but I'm hearing that's it's only if you get over 900 points. I think there's also a legit writing section, which sounds great.
(Deleted comment)
Williamgenkischuldich on 14th July 2010 13:39 (UTC)
I know! Improv Everywhere do a whole bunch of stuff like this, so check out their archives. :)
Susan Sto-Helitpenelope_z on 14th July 2010 16:08 (UTC)
Oh, I was at the bookfair too! Not too impressive overall.
Williamgenkischuldich on 15th July 2010 12:58 (UTC)
It was my first bookfair and I didn't really know what to expect. When literary agents go to American ones and report back, they always come with a list of the hottest books on the market and what's going to be big in the near future. This... wasn't that.

I got so bored I actually considered taking a Scientology 'stress test' to see if I had Galactic Overlord Xenu living in my brain. But I liked the chai and snacks at the Saudi Arabia booth. That's the only positive thing I can say.

Are you still in Japan?
Susan Sto-Helitpenelope_z on 18th July 2010 08:36 (UTC)
It was much smaller than most international fairs, even the Beijing one is bigger, not to mention BEA, Frankfurt, London and Bologna, but I guess it's bigger than the national European ones, and that's about it.

Also, bookfairs are a lot more business orientated, and the fact that this was open to the public made things difficult. Fairs don't even look like this normally, there are stands, with tables for meetings, not stalls to sell books. Oh well. Nah, I was just there for two weeks, half holiday, half work, but in the UK now.
Williamgenkischuldich on 19th July 2010 21:55 (UTC)
In Japan, whenever there's a bug event like this, usually the first two days are for business and the second two days are open to the public. Maybe the first two days were more like a traditional bookfair.
Jyuu: Black Jack☆An old fairytale told me ajyuufish on 14th July 2010 21:13 (UTC)
I sort of envy the people who get Lewis Carrol. I think it would be fun to toss around curiousers and curiousers
Williamgenkischuldich on 15th July 2010 13:00 (UTC)
I think he may be like Douglas Adams, in that it would be rather nice to have written his stories. However, if your style is similar to his and you're not already famous, you may be writing nonsense... ;)
ext_109169 on 14th July 2010 21:44 (UTC)
My Ken finds Keigo in abandoned house ep got a "Nabokov" response.^^

Otherwise, the only conclusion I could draw from the meme was lack of consistent writing style. I think the frequency of the James Joyce result just means incoherent drabble.

Williamgenkischuldich on 15th July 2010 13:02 (UTC)
What is it about young boys that get the 'Nabokov' response...?

I'm sure it's something to do with sentence length, syllable count and MAYBE a few choice words. Unless it's a coincidence, 'companion' seems to trigger 'Lovecraft'.
j-mee: bulmacoika on 14th July 2010 23:46 (UTC)
I think it's because a lot of the people I've known who passed JLPT1 still can't hold a conversation very well. Kind of like how a lot of Japanese people are book smart and well read in English, but can't hold their own in a conversation.

I just took new level JLPT 2 and the listening was so easy. The grammar/writing is on a completely higher level which is just boggling. Like most things here reading/writing skill is emphasized more than actual language usage skill.
Williamgenkischuldich on 15th July 2010 13:04 (UTC)
That would probably be perfect for me. Last year, I passed two sections of the JLPT2 and totally failed the listening. The opening question, where there were four absolutely *identical* boys and you had to guess which one the speaker was talking about, really threw me off.
j-mee: bulmacoika on 19th July 2010 06:41 (UTC)
Sounds like it might be up your alley. I took that JLPT with the boys question, but that wasn't so difficult for me and passed that section without problems. On the other hand I couldn't really pass the reading section at all (the grammar/whatever I barely scraped my butt by on) for another "oh-so-close-but-no-cigar" fail. ;A;
Jesshideincarnate on 15th July 2010 18:19 (UTC)
This J.TEST sounds interesting. I personally don't like the JLPT because it's not designed for all learners of the language, and they only made it harder because they were pissed off that Koreans and Chinese were passing it so easily - it happens when your languages are related, guys.

If you do take it anytime soon, do let all of us know how it goes. I'll try to look into it more, see if I can take it from the US. =/
Williamgenkischuldich on 16th July 2010 11:04 (UTC)
I thought they made it harder because there was a huge gap in the centre, between three and two.

I'll let you know, although I have no plans to take it until November.
Jesshideincarnate on 16th July 2010 15:25 (UTC)
It was probably both. To fix the gap between the levels, and to discourage foreigners.

Alright! I did look over the site you linked to, and it looks like it's only available in Japan and China. But I would still be interested in hearing your thoughts on it after you take it.