Not all those who wander are lost

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rowanexer
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby rowanexer » Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:50 pm

I found your language log from looking for experiences with Assimil and I've been really interested in your explorations in Japanese.

Are you doing any study of the language, like using textbooks or audio courses? I'm just wondering how you're getting on with the native content you're using.

AJATT was all the rage when I first started learning Japanese but I didn't find it very worthwhile and I disliked the "language guru" nature of it. Drilling flashcards is boring and it's easy to overload on it especially when you've got so many RTK kanji drills.

I used a bunch of materials when I was learning Japanese--Pimsleur was boring but really really useful for getting me conversational. I also used a textbook called 'Japanese for Everyone' for self-study (different from 'Minna no Nihongo' which I used in formal classes). It was pretty good but it packed a lot into such a small textbook. For the past 2 years I've been using Genki to teach a beginning student and it's really good. There are a lot of supplementary materials that are so helpful (videos for each grammar point and dialogue, 3 listening exercises per chapter, online interactive exercises etc). I think it could definitely be used for self-study as well. There is an answer key and the majority of the exercises are possible on your own.

Anyway, glad you're still enjoying your studies with it and good luck!
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sfuqua
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:21 am

2 x
I'm at less than 1000 Kanji still, but Iḿ starting to understand a lot more of Japanese. :D

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sfuqua
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Wed Jan 25, 2023 5:41 am

One of the things that is amusing about the video in the last post was that there were several times when I "knew" the kanji, in the Remembering the Kanji way. When Yuta revealed the meaning, I could see that the meaning of the word they stood for was generally related to the meanings I know.
Interesting. I'm getting somewhere, I guess. 8-)
I started Assimil, and it seems to be working OK in the first few lessons.
I'm going slower than I usually would, right now I'm using three cards for each note:
1. Furigana and sound -->meaning
2. Kanji-->sound and meaning
3. sound-> meaning.
I like listening cards a lot more than I like l1->L2 translation cards. Translation is a way of practising language, but sometimes it is harder than just talking.an
Along with anki, I shadow the lessons.

Shadowing Assimil feels very liberating

I did some analysis of Assimil, and I'm a little discouraged. There are only a little over 1000 kanji in the whole course. Of course there could be way more words in the course (multi Kanji words), but I haven figured an easy way to check this using a Linux command line..
Maybe spoken Japanese, when transcribed, only uses a few characters.
I wonder if Assimil would prepare me for manga or anime.
I think I will need more...
8 x
I'm at less than 1000 Kanji still, but Iḿ starting to understand a lot more of Japanese. :D

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gsbod
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby gsbod » Wed Jan 25, 2023 1:50 pm

Don't be discouraged! Learning kanji is not like learning an alphabet, since the characters normally encode both meaning and sound, it works a little differently. I think there is a tendency to think you need to memorise all the kanji, learn how they are pronounced, and then you can tackle the words, which makes the whole thing feel like a Herculean task given how many they are. But since kanji are closely intertwined with the words they are used to represent, there is a similar statistical distribution. In the same way the most common words make up the majority of words in a text, the most common kanji also make up the majority of kanji in a text too. You get a lot more for your effort with the first 1000 kanji than you do for the next 1000.

I think the most important thing for a beginner is to get a good understanding of how kanji work in general, while also learning the most common characters and the common vocabulary associated with them. That will provide a good foundation to keep adding to as you learn more kanji and vocabulary as you progress.

As for whether you'll be able to understand anime and manga, since a lot of manga comes with a furigana gloss and anime is more about your listening ability anyway, the number of kanji you have nailed down is much less important than your vocabulary and grammar knowledge (as with any other language).
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sfuqua
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:13 am

Of course, learning Kanji, or rather the English meaning of Kanji, is just a beginning, and the less common Kanji are way less important.

I ran into a resource online that got me excited enough to drop ASSiMiL, at least for now. https://www.amazon.com/dp/4874248500?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details seems to be an extremely useful product for someone who like shadowing. It is made up of pages and pages of sentences in Japanese with facing pages that have other languages, including English.
My copy arrived today, and it seems to be more or less what it claims to be. The book doesn't really contain anything but the basic materials for shadowing. There are no explanations; it reminds me of glossika in those ways -- a very useful resource, but far from a whole program. There is nothing but Japanese in the audio.

I shuffled some things around and this is what I am working on, at least for the next couple of weeks...

1. Continue my "Kind of, sort of" Anki deck on Kanji. I have figured out a new way to learn and review the cards. For me at this point, the mnemonics are pretty unimportant, wasting time looking for a deck with the best mnemonics is unimportant. What is important is making sure that I recognize all the radicals in a given Kanji. There are only 214 of them, and if one can learn them and all the variations that they take when combined with others, well, remembering the meaning of the character is usually easy.

2. I am letting my Kana deck wind down. I make a mistake sometimes when I am not paying attention, but it only takes a couple of minutes a day. It is probably a waste of time, since I read kana every day in my other studies. I know kana.

3. I've restarted another deck which is very interesting. I guess part of what I like about it is that it flies in the face of all the advice from the "gurus" in the Japanese Comprehensible Input community. The deck https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/911122782 explicitly teaches grammar, and uses romaji, both of which are anathema to the CI gang. However, it does contain a ton of cards made from Subs2srs decks, and it has audio and images directly from the original dramas and anime. If one doesn't like the Romaji on the cards, it is trivial to switch it to Furigana or Kanji. The author of this deck has a small deck that teaches the Japanese counting system, and he is developing a new intermediate deck on the Patreon.

4. And I'm going to shadow through the new book I mentioned above.

The structure of the Shadowing book reminds me of an old system of organizing language courses for the Peace Corps that was popular in the early 1970s. The course was arranged around "microwaves". In those days audiolingual drills. Learners would develop the ability to handle both sides of the microwave, the question and the answer, the greeting and the response, or whatever. After they had mastered the new microwave, they would practice shuffling up microwaves to make longer conversations. This was not really a teaching method, but it was a way to organize material for developers, teachers, and students.

The Shadowing book doesn't have all the structure of the old Peace Corps structures, but so far it seems like it would be easy to organize a course this way.
7 x
I'm at less than 1000 Kanji still, but Iḿ starting to understand a lot more of Japanese. :D

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CDR
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby CDR » Thu Jan 26, 2023 6:39 am

sfuqua wrote:I ran into a resource online that got me excited enough to drop ASSiMiL, at least for now. https://www.amazon.com/dp/4874248500?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details seems to be an extremely useful product for someone who like shadowing. It is made up of pages and pages of sentences in Japanese with facing pages that have other languages, including English.
My copy arrived today, and it seems to be more or less what it claims to be. The book doesn't really contain anything but the basic materials for shadowing. There are no explanations; it reminds me of glossika in those ways -- a very useful resource, but far from a whole program. There is nothing but Japanese in the audio.


I've seen this book a number of times, but I had read before that this book did not come with audio?! So I was confused at how it could be used for shadowing. But now I see in the corner is says "audio download"... Not sure how I was led so far astray. Thanks for bring me back! I will order it once I finish this first batch of learning materials I bought... who knows when...

Not sure if it's easy to find on the American version of Amazon, but there is a volume 2 of this series for the next level:
https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/%E6%96%8E%E8%97%A4-%E4%BB%81%E5%BF%97/dp/4874248993/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=SHADOWING&qid=1674714711&sr=8-2
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sfuqua
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Thu Jan 26, 2023 1:19 pm

To download the audio takes some careful reading and attention to detail.
They try to check if you actually own a physical copy of the book,vby having you letter the page number where a certain feature is. The have an image of the page, so you can find it. If you get the book, ask me and I'll help you get the page number to unlock the audio.:-)
2 x
I'm at less than 1000 Kanji still, but Iḿ starting to understand a lot more of Japanese. :D

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sfuqua
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:02 pm

I just had a long fight with Kinokuniya bookstore website software trying to get them to recognize my credit card, but I believe that I have the Intermediate version ordered. :D
Who would have guessed that for some reason I included my middle initial on that credit card. :lol:
Between this and my super beginner Japanese, I had a hard time figuring out what was wrong. :o

I really think a book like this could be much more valuable than a high-priced subscription to some online guru's site. :D
6 x
I'm at less than 1000 Kanji still, but Iḿ starting to understand a lot more of Japanese. :D

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sfuqua
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Fri Jan 27, 2023 5:17 am

Remember, I am a beginner at Japanese.
But I am not a beginner at studying languages. :D
I have found actually shadowing Japanese to be very liberating, and I seem to notice things when saying things, that I don't notice if I just hear them.

I can't find the reference now, but I seem to remember reading a paper which suggested that production might actually help comprehension. I think it does for me sometimes.

I am still very impatient with my Japanese progress, but I have demonstrated a couple of times that increasing my anki cards quickly leads to a crash. I seem to be moving ahead pretty briskly as long as I don't go over 20 cards a day. If I get too many cards, I just can't seem to get them to stick.

Shadowing doesn't seem to have the same limitations. I haven't found any limits yet. 8-) :o

The big limit on my shadowing is that I am trying to finish Blindsight by Peter Watts, a delightful hard science fiction book that has noting to do about Japanese :D Wikipedia reports that it is available for free on the web, but the link seems to be dead.

PS. I guess the link was down only temporarily :D
4 x
I'm at less than 1000 Kanji still, but Iḿ starting to understand a lot more of Japanese. :D

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sfuqua
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sun Jan 29, 2023 6:19 am

I just experimented with the Ankidrone Starter Pack https://tatsumoto.neocities.org/blog/basic-vocabulary, which is billed as a first step in Japanese.

After about three hours, of beating my head against it, I deleted it from my anki decks. It is too hard the way that it is set up for me, at least if I am going to do anything else besides this one deck. I think the deck might make more sense after I complete my run through the Jouyou kanji. :o

This is the problem with Japanese... It is hard to get a handle on it. You need to know everything to learn anything else. It is hard to get a handle on it, so you can break it apart. There is no obvious thing to start with. If I try to just power through sentences, my brain starts shooting blanks and I don't learn anything. I am making slow, slow progress through learning the English meanings of the kanji. I recognize a little more every day. It's pretty clear to me that the real problem is the writing system, which is very hard, even for native speakers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJNxPRBvRQg&t=106s
(this is actually the video I thought I was linking to up a few messages in the thread) :D

The Jlab deckhttps://ankiweb.net/shared/info/911122782, which I installed with the addon he recomments is very insteresting for breaking through the logjam. The deck starts out with roumaji, and begins teaching some simple grammar and vocabulary with very short sentences. Each note in the deck spawns two cards, one "listening" card, which has romaji, and a second "reading" card, which starts out as roumaji, but which can be progressively modified as one studies the writing system. With the addon that comes with it, you can use the cards to gradually learni kana, changing the cards to use the kana that you select from a list (I assume the kana you have learned already), until you have all the kana, and no roumaji. Then you can use a similar process to replace kana with the kanji that you learn from one of the Heisig based decks. :o

I'm going to continue with the RTK deck, and I'm going to go through the process with the Jlab deck, which will slowly lead to me reading a couple of thousand sentences from subtitles to anime and j-drama. The author of the deck is working on an intermediate level deck, but I'm a long way from there yet. :D

I continue to be enthusiastic about learning Japanese, and I continue to be frustrated by my progress, but I actually felt the same way about Spanish way back when. It takes time.

I actually have decided that there is no point whatsoever in struggling with stuff that is hard for this language (or perhaps any language). I'm going to use furigana, and extra reviews and audio, whenever a deck seems hard. If I keep plugging away, I hope to learn something. :lol:

I have an important challenge in Japanese coming up in a couple of weeks. I ordered a book from Japan that is being delivered to https://usa.kinokuniya.com/stores-kinokuniya-san-jose here in San Jose. Can I actually pick up the book without using English? Probably not. Can I do better than last time? I hope so. 8-)

I'm pretty happy

Take care everybody. It's still cold at night, but the flowers and the trees here are all saying Spring is right around the corner. The birds are flirting. It looks like we made it around the sun again. 8-)
10 x
I'm at less than 1000 Kanji still, but Iḿ starting to understand a lot more of Japanese. :D


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