Japanese in One Year (language log)

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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12607
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Re: Japanese in One Year (language log)

Postby tungemål » Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:23 pm

How do you choose the words that you study?
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: 13 / 14 Colloquial Japanese textbook
: 90 / 228 Übungsgrammatik
: 3 / 10 Write 10 essays in German
: 10 / 12 Watch 12 Tatort-episodes

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Re: Japanese in One Year (language log)

Postby FairyGarden » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:58 am

Sorry I didn't post my update sooner, I had Christmas social duties and then I spent a week tourist-ing around England. You know how I said “Now that December has started, I expect to be able to properly start my studies of grammar, reading and listening as well as just the kanji”? Well, that turned out to be a lie. Famous last words.

I have some great news and bad news!

The great news is that I have finally been offered a job as a programmer! Yay! ( ꈍᴗꈍ)

The bad news is that the job is full-time with 9h at the office and 3h more of commute time every day. Because this is my first programming job, I will probably want to spend a lot of my spare time catching up with the skills I lack and learning the tools and programming languages more in depth so I can do a better job.

As such, language learning is not really a priority right now. I’m a bit sad about that, I didn’t expect everything in my life to come together at the same time like this and I was looking forward to some old-fashioned pen-and-paper studying, but I have no deadline for language learning and I have to put my career first. Of course, I’m not abandoning Japanese. I hope to continue studying kanji and vocabulary every day and would like to pick up some reading, maybe even listening. Maybe I can do some grammar study on weekends, if I’m not dead.
Well, I guess we have to give up something! Maybe with all this money I’ll be earning I can hire myself an italki tutor later this year (next year). Learning Japanese will make for a good New Year’s resolution.

I did manage to do some progress this month though. I’ve learnt 115 new words and 31 new kanji:

As for grammar:
あります & います
Adverbs: それから, これから, ために / ように / のに

I analysed the lyrics of the famous graduation song “ほたるのひかり”. I didn’t know it was a graduation song, but I read that it is also played often in stores at closing time. I think I’ve heard it in that latter scenario a few times during my travels! Hotaru no hikari seemed like a simple song, but I got pretty confused. The verses:
I thought すぎ was 杉 cedar (“the cedar door”) but apparently it’s a pun and it also means すぎ as 過ぎる, connecting it to the 何時しか年も part of the verse. Well, it took me a while to figure this out and I couldn’t understand why 何時しか年も was being translated into “Before one knows it, years have passed” without a verb… But, I had studied 戸 just the day before so I was happy to already see it being used!

I also listened to “青葉城恋唄 A Love Song to Sendai” by Muneyuki Sato, but this one was a bit easier.

I also tried writing a short text with the prompt “write as a hypothetical everyday person from a period in history”:
江戸時代の稲作農家です。私たちは働くために早起きを しない といけなって、苦しい仕事だそして私の背中が痛いです。山形の冬天気は手厳しいそして私たちはお腹がすごく空いているよ。でも… しょうがない!

My plan for January (or at least the next two weeks before my job starts) is to study x4 kanji every day, go through another song, review chapters 1-4 of the Minna no Nihongo textbook and read x2 kid's stories. :lol: :)
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Re: Japanese in One Year (language log)

Postby FairyGarden » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:23 am

tungemål wrote:How do you choose the words that you study?

Hey tungemål! I usually only make flashcards for those words using kanji I've already studied. So, for example, I don't have a flashcard with the word "週末 しゅうまつ weekend" because I haven't studied the kanji 週 or the kanji 末 yet. So, for this word, I will simply write it down in a document and read over it every now and then. All new words that appear in context when I'm reading, or words I have to translate if I'm trying to write something myself, go into this document and I study them more passively.

However, because I study new kanji every day, I make flashcards using those kanji every day. For example, say today I study the kanji 落. I will make flashcards for all these different words which include that kanji:

- 落る (おちる): to slip, fall
- 落胆 (らくたん): discouragement, disappointment
- 落語 (らくご): a type of traditional theatre
- 命を落とす (いのちをおとす): to lose one's life
- 落書き (らくがき): scrawl, scribble
- 落とす (おとす): to drop, let fall
- 落ち着く (おちつく): to calm down, compose oneself (おちつき as a noun: calmness, presence of mind, stability)
- 一件落着 (いっけんらくちゃく): an issue being settled, a case being closed
- 落ち (おち): punchline
- 下落 (げらく): depreciation, decline, fall, slump
- 落ちぶれる (おちぶれる): to be ruined, to come to ruin

I just hop onto jisho.org kanji search and make cards for those that say "common word" or "JLPT" under them. There are also example sentences there which I read through and try to understand.

Often I miss words so, if I'm reading a text and I see a kanji I've studied in a word that I don't know, I will make a new flashcard for that word in the moment. I have already studied the kanji 手 a long time ago, but I keep finding it in new words. The other day I had to make a new flashcard for the word 手厳しい which I didn't know.

For me, it doesn't make sense to study kanji by themselves with their readings, it's much easier to memorise them as part of a compound word and learn the readings with examples. Also, this way of studying is accumulative. Even if I know the kanji 落, I may not have studied the kanji 下 yet, but when I get around to it I will already know the word 下落. As kanji become more and more difficult as I go along, they also start to appear repeated more often in combination with kanji I've already studied, so this makes them much easier to remember.

If you are studying a language without kanji though, maybe it would be more practical to just make flashcards of words as you go. The words I usually write in my document could be written directly onto flashcards if you don't have to worry about slow kanji progress! In that case, whenever you come across a word you don't know (be it reading, writing, on youtube, etc.), just make a card for it.

Good luck!
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