Learning Japanese from zero by listening: 2021 Log

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Flickserve
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby Flickserve » Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:18 am

golyplot wrote:....... there's no way I could possibly understand it when it's spoken.


I am trying to do that with mandarin now by listening more. I try not to emphasize too much on using the seeing characters as a crutch. It does mean I sacrifice some reading skills but I figure I can catch up with those later on. I read about people who could read more than they could communicate in chinese hence the change.

Definitely interested in your progress because of the title of the thread
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ryanheise
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby ryanheise » Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:39 am

golyplot wrote:I don't blame you if you missed it given how long my log is, but I've already been there and done that. Early on in my journey, I tried out LingQ, quickly exhausted the free trial, then deleted my account and created a new one and resolved to carefully avoid creating LingQs so I could maintain my access. Then I accidentally created some LingQs anyway and gave it up as not worth the effort because the UI creates LingQs if you so much as look at it funny.
...
Anyway, if you want to find out what I've tried, just read my log. :lol:


I didn't miss it. Although I'm slightly puzzled, because it's not like I just stumbled upon your log, I've been here and regularly engaging with you in your log right from the start, and I was the one who originally suggested LingQ to you early on, so it would be rather impossible for me to miss it :lol: (in that light, your request is kind of funny)

I think you misinterpreted the title. I never said I'd only be doing listening practice and nothing else. With my previous languages, I'd start watching stuff in the TL very early on, but I'd also be making heavy use of Duolingo the whole time.


Just to assure you, I am up to date on the log, and I'm also up to date on other related comments you've made outside of this log, including on devilyoudont's log and the main forum. I wouldn't have misinterpreted things from reading the title. I've read every post, and I also understand (from your OP) that you expected your usual TV approach with languages more similar to English would not necessarily be easily adaptable to Japanese and that something extra may be required.

Hopefully that convinces you ;-)

First off, thank you for taking the time to write such a lengthy post. Anyway, I'm not saying that SRS doesn't work— far from it in fact! I've been making heavy use of Wanikani and also doing Bunpro, both of which are SRS. My previous comments were about anki specifically seeming ineffective when I tried to study vocabulary with it.


I think I get your point, I think you're saying that the other aspects of Wanikani and Bunpro in addition to the SRS make it more effective, and that just SRS alone can't be enough. We probably agree, and I was just using the words SRS and Anki interchangeably. Just as Wanikani and Bunpro add an extra layer of experience on top of just vanilla SRS, I think that's what a lot of Anki users do as well, but they combine Anki with other things to create the particular combination they want as opposed to using a pre-packaged integration that you find on those two sites. MattVsJapan I think has done a good job on his YouTube channel of describing a lot of the different ways Anki can be used.

Anyway, as for my previous question to you, my interest in your "cautionary tale" on audio-based immersion learning was really just spurred by a recent comment you made on the main forum:

golyplot wrote:As someone who is in favor of audio-based immersion learning, and thus would naturally be biased to support your position, I couldn't disagree more. I tried that, and it doesn't work. You might notice that my Japanese log is literally titled "Japanese listening from nothing", and yet I ended up spending the majority of my time studying kanji anyway!


With your expectation that your usual listening approach for languages similar to English would not necessarily translate well to Japanese, I was curious to see what other approaches you might come up with or experiment with, and the "cautionary tale", if it ever eventuated, would comprise the set of posts that log your experience trying those approaches. As you commented above, you ended up spending the majority of your time with text-based learning, and so there is still an untold story of the journey that led you to that transition, which I would be fascinated to read (of course I don't want to burden you with writing this if you feel there isn't much more to share, but still I'm curious in that side of your story).

Incidentally, if you are still on the lookout for more audio-based immersion learning approaches to try (which you might not be), here is a list of audio-based approaches I'm aware of:

1. Story-based text+audio (e.g. LingQ) where you focus on the audio part.
2. Glossika overlearning-style text+audio sentences where you focus on the audio part.
3. Subs2srs generation of text+audio sentence flashcards where you focus on the audio part
4. Kanji Keith's TV method (just watching TV with no translation - hint: not really very effective)
5. Audio text+word flashcards where you focus on the audio part.
6. Probably many others yet to be thought up.
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:31 pm

ryanheise wrote:I didn't miss it. Although I'm slightly puzzled, because it's not like I just stumbled upon your log, I've been here and regularly engaging with you in your log right from the start, and I was the one who originally suggested LingQ to you early on, so it would be rather impossible for me to miss it :lol: (in that light, your request is kind of funny)


Sorry about that. I knew you've been commenting on my log, I just thought maybe you missed the page where I talked about LingQ or something. I forgot that you were the one who suggested it!


Anyway, speaking of audio learning, yesterday I decided to start listening to Nihongo con Teppei while eating. For the last (almost) four months, I've been listening to Japanese music while eating meals. I didn't think it would actually help much, but I figured I might as well. Yesterday, I came up with the idea of replacing that with Nihongo con Teppei (using player.fm to play them one after another automatically). Hopefully this will super-charge my listening skills, since the later is at least somewhat comprehensible and not just background noise.
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby devilyoudont » Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:13 pm

If you like the idea of lingq but can't do a paid subscription, two free alternatives exist:

Foreign Language Text Reader and Learning with Texts

:lol: Unlike others, I have no idea who I have recommended what to before, so sorry if I have already told you about these programs.
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:39 am

I didn't do as much Japanese study this weekend as I would have liked (I mostly focused on non-Japanese activities), but as of today, I have completed all N5 grammar points on Bunpro, so that's pretty cool. It makes me wonder if I'd be capable of passing the N5 exam yet. I think vocabulary and listening comprehension would still be major weak points for me.
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:51 pm

Sunday night and Monday morning, I read two more N5 articles on Watanoc. I was a bit frustrated that I often completely misunderstood the meaning of a sentence even when I understood all the components. I wish there was somewhere that explained why things meant what they did better.

Monday night, I had trouble sleeping, so I got up again and did some Japanese practice to try to fall asleep. I decided to try reading Yotsuba again. I got about twelve and a half pages in in half an hour (including the pages with no text!). I still couldn't understand anything, but I could at least recognize more bits after reading the English translation of each sentence. I don't understand why people recommend it for beginners at all though. It's harder to read than say, NHK News Easy. It has lots of colloquial language and very few kanji, which is good for Japanese children but the opposite of what Japanese learners need. It might be easy to read as far as manga go, but if so, that's not saying much.


Update: I read another two stories on Watanoc this morning. I think I'm getting better at it. It's interesting how often I mouse over to get the definition of a word, only to realize it is a word I learned way back on WK, just written with kana instead of kanji.
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby crush » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:13 pm

If you have one or two questions, i've found that a great place to ask is the LearnJapanese subreddit. Every week they have a pinned thread called "シツモンデー"/ShitsuMonday where you can ask any questions you like. It's up all week long, not just on Monday. I've asked things there a few times and every time there have been at least two or three people take the time to answer. Especially now when our questions are more "beginner" questions.

I can relate to feeling lost when reading texts, i'm currently reading a manga (that was the basis for an anime i watched) and it's rough going, especially with regards to pronunciation as most of the kanji are at least familiar to me. But reading is something i neglected with Mandarin and i really regret it so i just grit my teeth as i work my way through. I actually enjoy the story, but being inundated with so much undecipherable text is just overwhelming a lot of the time.
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:04 am

My Wanikani lesson session tonight had three different words pronounced こうとう (高等, 喉頭, and 叩頭). I noticed the second was pronounced with a different stress than the others, kind of like the speaker was worried or in pain, while the the other two sounded neutral. Perhaps this is a sign of the much ballyhooed pitch accent. The third one is also pronounced slightly different than the first, but the difference was subtle enough that I couldn't tell except by switching between the two repeatedly, and I'm not entirely positive it's a real difference.

P.S. In order to type those words out, I had to flip through 75 different options in the IME to find 叩頭! Typing Japanese must be a pain. Though I imagine in normal circumstances, you would write the words in context instead of randomly listing words, and I'm guessing Google is smart enough to rank the suggestions based on the context of your writing.
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby vonPeterhof » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:45 am

golyplot wrote:My Wanikani lesson session tonight had three different words pronounced こうとう (高等, 喉頭, and 叩頭). I noticed the second was pronounced with a different stress than the others, kind of like the speaker was worried or in pain, while the the other two sounded neutral. Perhaps this is a sign of the much ballyhooed pitch accent. The third one is also pronounced slightly different than the first, but the difference was subtle enough that I couldn't tell except by switching between the two repeatedly, and I'm not entirely positive it's a real difference.

According to all the dictionaries I consulted all three of those words have the exact same pitch pattern in standard Japanese. Specifically the "accentless", "zero" or "flat" pattern (which doesn't mean it's literally monotonous, just that there's no downstep).
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Sat May 02, 2020 3:21 am

As of tonight, I've officially been studying Japanese for four months, so I guess it's time for a status update.

Wanikani: Level 19. Guru+ items: 623漢字 1886単語
Bunpro: Level 23. 111/111 N5 items and 12/178 N4 items studied
Watanoc: Read a total of 12 articles to date. I think it's getting a bit easier. I haven't gotten around to asking for grammar explanations on Reddit as suggested earlier though.
Nihongo con Teppei: Listened to somewhere around 160 episodes over the last week.

To try to gauge my progress, I took some practice N5 quizzes online tonight. I was really hoping that after four months of study, I'd at least be in a position to comfortably pass the N5, but it seems that I'd still fail miserably.

I started with this test. I'd already seen the first three questions previously, so those don't count. Out of questions 4-6, I only got one right (5) and even that was just an (educated) guess, so I gave up after that. In the case of questions 4 and 5, the key word in the question was one I hadn't seen before (勤める and そうじ respectively). Or at least I probably saw そうじ on Lingodeer at some point, but Lingodeer's lack of SRS review meant that there was no hope of actually remembering it. My hope with doing the Core2k deck on Anki was to shore up my weakness in common vocabulary that WK didn't happen to cover, but as I mentioned before, I got frustrated and gave up on Anki. Question 6 was a grammar question, which I had no idea on, despite actively studying grammar and having completed all the N5 grammar points on Bunpro. Unfortunately, it seems that Bunpro can't prepare you for the N5 practice questions, let alone real world grammar usage. I'd already started to suspect that the only real way to "study" grammar was to soak it up the hard way via immersion.

After that, I did the quiz here and got 13/15 right. However, I don't think that actually counts for anything, since their questions are obviously much easier than the ones at the first link, which are supposed to be representative of the real questions. The ones at nihongomaster by contrast had a lot of easy questions asking you stuff like "What does め mean?" or "What is the Japanese word for see" which are pretty trivial to anyone who's done any Japanese study at all. And I still had to make an educated guess on the one reading comprehension and listening comprehension question at the end of that quiz due to not being familiar with some of the words involved.

P.S. Lately I've been thinking about trying to take the N3 JLPT this December just for fun. I knew it was an ambitious goal, but after tonight, it seems downright hopeless. Oh well. As long as I don't give up, I'll make progress in Japanese eventually.
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