Page 1 of 8

alaart's log (mainly JP/CN)

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:21 am
by alaart
I study rather unstructured and just dig into material spontaneously. I tend to learn a lot of new things, but I often don't review said material. So by making this language log I hope to get a clearer understanding of myself and improve my learning process.

Japanese: (upper Intermediate)
I'm studying Japanese in university for my 3rd year now, and I will be studying in Japan for a year starting next month.

My main goal is to expand my vocabulary dramatically, grammar I will hopefully continue to learn in class. I should do more reading, and learn to speak Keigo. I'm aiming for fluency eventually, which I would define as casually reading books, and watch movies without any problems. - since written Japanese is still frustrating me, I assume still have a very long way to go.

Recent study:
I watched a bit of Japanese Netflix drama, translated some songs, and I'm working with a Japanese language partner. I started learning the basics of Kansai-Dialect, going through the website, and through some youtube material, as well as trying to speak the dialect with a teacher on iTalki. That said, the results weren't good, and I can't quite get away from standard Japanese, tend to forget the Kansai grammar, pitch accent etc. again rapidly.

Chinese: (lower intermediate)
I was attending a language course for 1,5 years but quit in February, and since then have stopped learning grammar, and writing Hanzi. I use the traditional characters.

Here too I mainly focus on extending my vocabulary for now. I should start writing the characters again, that are not used in Japanese. I should start reading material. A good solid aim would be to get some sort of language certificate, preferably a Taiwanese one. My classmates all did the mainland HSK3, and some did HSK4, but I didn't since I cannot read simplified characters. Also I want to check the possibilities of doing an exchange year in Taiwan.

Recent study:
I mainly focused on speaking and vocabulary, using - for working out pronunciation and listening, and also learn new words. I had around 4 language exchanges per week (each 2-3 hours) for the last half year. So I can have conversations now, but they still have breaks, many errors and misunderstandings.
I created a huge vocabulary anki deck of new words I picked up everywhere, of around 1500-2000 words, only to delete it all when I was stressed in the exam period :D. So there is some danger of forgetting those vocabularies again, and I fear I have to keep myself immersed. I haven't studied much lately though, I'm stopping in Taiwan for a couple days on my way to Japan next month, hope to get some motivation there.

Portuguese / Dutch: (dormant)
I studied both for about a year, and they are slowly declining, but also somewhat stable. I have rarely used them for the last 1-2years. I use them randomly sometimes when I meet a native speaker or stumble upon interesting material. If that's the case I will also put it into the language log.

So, that's about it. Let's go :)

Spanish (Edit: 29.10.2019)
3 Mexican roommates, and taking language classes at my Japanese University is what kind of motivates me to join the 6WC now. It is refreshing to learn a European language again :D. Also have language exchange once a week. Edit: 12.12.2019 Challenge is over. Not too much Spanish from now on probably.

Re: alaart's log (mainly Japanese/Chinese)

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:38 pm
by alaart
I studied about 4 hours of Japanese today.

90 minutes of Anki. Then I reviewed notes I made during language exchange this week, and song translations I went over with a Japanese friend last Monday.

A senior student urged me to start watching Japanese News, which I have avoided so far. Since the last couple days I'm working on getting used to the different style of the language. The advantage of NHK is that it has the video audio as text below.

I worked myself through this small report with a dictionary. After that I added all new words to Anki and studied them. I also marked some small grammatical things, but haven't yet looked into them. I'm not sure I managed to grasp the full meaning, I will revisit the video tomorrow.

Re: alaart's log (mainly Japanese/Chinese)

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:03 pm
by alaart
5 hours of study today.
20min recap of Chinese Vocabularies in Anki and yabla.
45min recap of Japanese Vocabularies in Anki.

Input: (4h)
I went through the songs 歌舞伎町の女王 and シドと白昼夢 by 林檎椎名.

Instead of reviewing yesterdays news story I just watched the follow up development on NHK, and worked through this and this report about Japan-Korean-US relations and development.

In total around 100 words I added and reviewed to Anki. I marked some unknown grammar again and will work through it at some later point.

Re: alaart's log (mainly Japanese/Chinese)

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:03 pm
by alaart
Chinese: (5h)
I reviewed and studied my notes from last weeks language exchanges, which I have postponed till now. Then I had 3 hours of language exchange via Skype, after it I went through the notes I made during it and through all the words I looked up in my dictionary while talking.

Most of the words I marked were words I studied in the past, but forgot again. So I made an effort to look at them in detail, including all of the characters, as characters are something I have neglected in Chinese (I only roughly know the characters shared with Japanese). If I know the characters I can usually remember the word better.
I also spend time comparing the characters I struggled with, with the Japanese equivalent, if there was one.

Japanese: (1,5h)
Just Anki review, around 350 cards, the new vocabulary of the last days. I struggled remembering the NHK vocabulary, still pretty new language style for me. I hoped I could remember them, since the meaning is usually clear from the Kanji, but no. Will take some effort to get used to them.

Re: alaart's log (mainly Japanese/Chinese)

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:51 pm
by alaart
Monday 12th:
Only did Anki, 1,5h Japanese, 30min Chinese.

Tuesday 13th: - Japanese
2h of Anki. Went to a supplement Japanese class of a senior student where we translated this disaster behavior instructions into German.

I had to do some correspondence in Japanese and tried mailing in Keigo again. Gave the mails to my Japanese friends for correction, and again I was quite of. There are still some things to organize, so I have to write Japanese mails again tomorrow.

Next week I have to do an online placement test assessing my Japanese language abilities at j-cat. There is a small sample question set, which I took today. I only did so-so on my first try, based on the score we will be put into different classes, so I'd like to perform well and try to get into the advanced class. I'm not sure I can do it, but one thing I have problems with is concentration. So I should repeat it a couple times, and learn to focus on the questions better.

Wednesday 14th: - Chinese
1h of Anki, 3 hours of language exchange. Will review the vocabulary later.

Re: alaart's log (mainly Japanese/Chinese)

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:19 pm
by alaart
Thursday the 15th:
Did Anki and yabla, and then had to do some correspondence in Japanese again. All together maybe around 2,5h in total.
In the evening I went out with Dutch friends, and we spoke Dutch :)

Friday 16th:
3 hours of Chinese language exchange via Skype. After that I checked the browser history and wrote out all the words I had to look up while speaking, which were around 100. Shockingly a lot of words I have learned before and forgot again. I then added all those words to Anki, and along with the words from Wednesday went through them in detail including Hanzi. This was very tiresome and took several hours. But if I do this more often I should be able to fix the gaps in my speaking, as the word list I get through this method is composed of exactly those words I need to express myself.

Re: alaart's log (mainly Japanese/Chinese)

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:44 pm
by alaart
Last 3 days I've only done the usual Anki / yabla recap, not much more. I had to write Japanese mails daily though, and I tried writing in Keigo again, then sent my mails to several Japanese friends for corrections. It's interesting that they correct my politeness differently.
Thanks to their corrections I seem to get the hang out of it, and maybe Keigo isn't so though and you can learn it quickly if you have to use it all the time. Will have to do more correspondence tomorrow, still some things left to organize in Japan.

Still so much to organize here about moving, paperwork, but also about my time in Asia - I have only 2 weeks remaining in Germany, scary! I got a part time job teaching German.

Learning Reflection:
Also because I'll change countries, now is the time for self reflection. Including language reflection. I started reading through some logs here, must say that you guys here greatly motivate me and I now wish I would have come sooner. I think I will write this log a bit more personal from now on, just as I have seen you guys telling quite a bit about yourself too.

I've noticed that a lot of you guys read a lot of books. I don't read books at all, maybe that's why I usually am stuck on an intermediate language level. I usually depend on listening and speaking mostly, but the daily vocabulary just doesn't cover all the aspects of the language. I actually finished the Heisig Kanji book over a year ago, and my Kanji knowledge should be sufficient. But I actually imagined I could instantly read Japanese once I've been through, and I lost motivation once I noticed that this is far from true. After that I just didn't progress, and so I might have wasted some opportunities. I'll give reading a shot once I'm in Asia.

Then the next thing I'm pondering about is my heavy reliance on Anki. I normally review 300-400 cards daily, and when I input new material it quickly raises to like 700-800, and quickly kills half my day. I tried to solve this by only doing the flash cards one sided for the last half year or more, and the review number went down - but so did my grasp of the vocabulary, and I actually have to relearn them after some point. Same goes for massive deletion of decks, or deactivating my Chinese decks in favor of my Japanese once or vice versa.
When I add new Chinese Vocabulary now, I'm shocked to find that I've added those words to Anki before only a couple months back :roll: - so that didn't work. I also did a No-Anki Period for 6month or so a year ago, but I felt I was learning slower without it, so I started again.
But on the other hand, intensive Anki might just the thing to do in Asia, when I have to spent like 2-3hours daily on the subway just for the commute.

And finally I must confess I started looking at Korean, maybe spent like 15 hours or so on it the last 10 days. I wouldn't tell this normally, as I hate admitting that I lack the discipline to learn what I should, and fool around and learn other stuff instead, but I have just seen in your logs that most of you are just as guilty, so I'll just admit it openly :D

I've noticed that the vocabulary will be far easier than I expected, and I recognize a lot from Chinese or Japanese. But on first glance it seems to be a difficult language. The grammar seems like mutated Japanese with even more quirks. Why are there more particles and politeness levels. Oh dear, also the pronunciation seems pretty difficult. Would require a lot of exposure, and time investment. As I'm neither into K-Pop, nor into K-Drama or such, I'm pondering. Best bet is probably befriending some Koreans in Japan :)

Then I consider learning IPA now, I usually learned the pronunciation from listening and mimicking - but it's far from perfect and there are some pronunciation errors in most of my languages. Would be a good for me, and helpful before I go into Korean, I guess?

I will probably continue to look into Korean once in a while, while motivation for other things are down. Just to get familiar with it, I was disciplined enough to not go language hopping too much till now, but I just know I will eventually start it. Maye as a Christmas gift to myself or something.

Re: alaart's log (mainly Japanese/Chinese)

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:04 pm
by alaart
Not much done this week, still pretty busy with preparations. Mostly did a lot of Anki, as I had long train rides and waiting hours in offices.

We studied some more Keigo in class with a senior student this week. And I had my last Japanese language exchange with my current study partners.

I also did the J-Cat test, it was much more difficult than I thought. Felt I could have done a lot better, but oh well:

J-Cat Score.png
J-Cat Score.png (47.56 KiB) Viewed 682 times

Re: alaart's log (mainly Japanese/Chinese)

Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:17 pm
by alaart
3 hours of Chinese language exchange today, about 10 new characters and 50 new words added to Anki. Studied them afterwards (around 10 of those, I have studied before and had to relearn). Daily Anki, and watched 3 episodes of Rick & Morty in Japanese on Netflix, I watched it in English before, so I kind of can follow the content even when there are phases where comprehension is low. Will probably not continue it though, I just searched for something low effort today.

By the way I also continued reading a little bit of Japanese news this week, but I kind of got frustrated quickly and never made it through whole articles, so I didn't mention it :?

Re: alaart's log (mainly Japanese/Chinese)

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:01 am
by alaart
Today again only Japanese:
Did Anki, had to write 2 Emails in Keigo, and had a friend look over them again, lots of corrections again.

Did some reading today. I read a bit about Japans smaller islands here and here, since there was a news report over "anti invasion exercises" on small islands O_o - didn't want to dig deeper into Asias political quarreling too much, was more into the geography.

Next I watched and read through the NHK report on todays Hongkong protest. Added all unknown vocabulary and studied them.