Learning Japanese from zero by listening: 2021 Log

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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:12 pm

kelvin921019 wrote:If you are looking for listening-reading practice, you can try Satori Reader. It has some free content and all sorts of reading materials from short stories to sample dialogues.


crush wrote:I've found the news super boring and draining to read. I just started reading Harry Potter in Japanese. I converted it to an HTML file and use Yomichan's pop-up dictionary to quickly look things up. I'm familiar with the story so even if i can't understand everything, i can still enjoy going through it. Perhaps you could try something similar, reading a translation of a book you've read (perhaps one you've read more than once) and enjoyed in Japanese.


My main criteria are to have quality (i..e not AI) English translations available, and the ability to easily look up words and grammar points, ideally without having to install a browser extension like Yomichan.

Watanoc sort of had this, which is why I tried it for so long. It has English translations of each paragraph, and you can mouseover (most of) the words to get definitions and grammar explanations. However, the English translations are often imcomplete and very loose, sometimes ignoring entire sentences of the Japanese text. The main reason I gave up though was that when I switched to the N4 tagged articles, the popup definitions became sparser and sparser. Typically, half the words in the article would not have definitions available, including lots of words I wasn't familiar with, so that's why I gave up.

Unfortunately, NHK News Easy doesn't even have any of this. I've tried copy pasting the text into Jisho and Google Translate to kind of make up for it, but Jisho doesn't understand context, so the definitions it supplies are less accurate, and it's almost hopeless when it comes to grammar. I've also noticed cases where it fails to even parse the word boundaries correctly, leading to gibberish suggestions.
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dampingwire
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby dampingwire » Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:44 pm

golyplot wrote:Unfortunately, NHK News Easy doesn't even have any of this. I've tried copy pasting the text into Jisho and Google Translate to kind of make up for it, but Jisho doesn't understand context, so the definitions it supplies are less accurate, and it's almost hopeless when it comes to grammar. I've also noticed cases where it fails to even parse the word boundaries correctly, leading to gibberish suggestions.


Google Translate ha always been rather poor at working with Japanese (it mostly does a really good job with German and French). However I've found that DeepL actually often does manage to do a good job. And even when it doesn't, it still leads you down the correct path so you can work out what is going on.

This from NHK News:

打ち上げが延期されていた、アメリカの民間企業が開発した宇宙船が、31日午前4時22分に、初めて宇宙飛行士を乗せ国際宇宙ステーションに向けて打ち上げられました。
宇宙船はロケットから予定どおり切り離されて打ち上げは成功し、31日夜遅く、国際宇宙ステーションに到着する予定です。
アメリカが自国の宇宙船で国際宇宙ステーションに飛行士を送り込むのはスペースシャトルの退役以来9年ぶりで、宇宙開発に民間企業が本格的に参入する時代の象徴として注目されています。


DeepL:
The spacecraft, developed by a private American company, was launched at 4:22 a.m. on the 31st, carrying astronauts for the first time to the International Space Station, after the launch had been postponed.
The spacecraft was detached from the rocket as scheduled and the launch was successful and is expected to arrive at the International Space Station late on the night of the 31st.
It's been nine years since the retirement of the Space Shuttle that the United States sent astronauts to the International Space Station in its own spacecraft, and it's being touted as a symbol of the era when private companies are entering space exploration in earnest.


I imagine that NHK Easy News won't trouble it too much.
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新完全マスター N2聴解 : 94 / 103新完全マスター N2読解 : 99 / 177
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ryanheise
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby ryanheise » Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:24 pm

dampingwire wrote:Google Translate ha always been rather poor at working with Japanese (it mostly does a really good job with German and French). However I've found that DeepL actually often does manage to do a good job.


Wow! I didn't know DeepL had Japanese support, but checking their press releases, it looks like it was only added just a couple of months ago so it's great that I'll finally get use it for the language I'm learning.

It's almost certain that DeepL would have been made possible by Google's influential paper Attention Is All You Need but it's impressive that they've been able to outdo Google at their own game.
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seito
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby seito » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:03 pm

golyplot wrote:Watanoc sort of had this, which is why I tried it for so long. It has English translations of each paragraph, and you can mouseover (most of) the words to get definitions and grammar explanations. However, the English translations are often imcomplete and very loose, sometimes ignoring entire sentences of the Japanese text. The main reason I gave up though was that when I switched to the N4 tagged articles, the popup definitions became sparser and sparser. Typically, half the words in the article would not have definitions available, including lots of words I wasn't familiar with, so that's why I gave up.

Unfortunately, NHK News Easy doesn't even have any of this. I've tried copy pasting the text into Jisho and Google Translate to kind of make up for it, but Jisho doesn't understand context, so the definitions it supplies are less accurate, and it's almost hopeless when it comes to grammar. I've also noticed cases where it fails to even parse the word boundaries correctly, leading to gibberish suggestions.


It's a shame that Tangoristo shut down. They did this at a really high level. They had optional word spacing for NHK Easy news articles, pop-up definitions, optional furigana that was selectable by JLPT level, color-coding of words by JLPT level, and the list of articles showed color bars to allow you to select articles by difficulty (again, based on JLPT levels).
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:44 am

Not much to report lately. Last Thursday, I finally gave up on Anki. I figured I've pretty much learned everything I can from that deck, and the rest is just busywork.

On Friday, I tried out Satori Reader, and read the first article in Kona's Big Adventure. Overall, it seems pretty nice. I do have one nitpick though. Satori Reader offers the ability to customize display of kana and furigana based on the kanji you've learned from WK, but it falls into the common trap of thinking that having seen a kanji on WK means you understand every possible aspect of that kanji.

For example, I had it set up to hide furigana for kanji at Master level or above on WK. But the very first story includes "ハワイ島", which uses a reading of 島 that WK doesn't teach until level 52. If I hadn't clicked on the popup definition and paid close attention, I would have never realized, since there were no furigana.

Also, Satori Reader has an SRS review system, but it includes both E->J and J->E cards, and I can't figure out how to get rid of the English cards, making it pretty useless. But that's all nitpicking. I'm probably going to try it more in the future.

Update: It turns out that it is possible to disable E->J after all. It's hidden in the preferences page.

Also, I finished my first playthrough of Nihongo con Teppei (the intermediate podcast) tonight. I've been experimenting with baking a lot lately, which means lots of time with it playing in the background while I cook things. Of course, it's still mostly just background noise for me, but I'm sure it's still helping, since I do occasionally pay attention and catch something or other, and the amount I can understand will only go up over time.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:53 am

When I started Nihongo con Teppei with the player.fm app, the episodes were numbered starting at #367, so my "first playthrough" was approximately episodes 367-470. However, I realized today that for some reason the RSS feed for the intermediate podcast only includes the 100 most recent episodes, but there are actually 470 episodes to date! It's just that they don't show up in the RSS feed for some reason, so most apps will only play the most recent 100 episodes.

However, Castbox does have the entire list, so I decided to try using Castbox instead of player.fm. The player.fm was a bit buggy for my tastes anyway. Overall, it seems to work well so far, though there are some downsides, like the lack of a skip button in the player controls, which would be useful since I discovered that the early episodes include a couple minutes of loud music and silence at the end of every episode for some reason. Oh well.

Anyway, this evening, I tried reading my second article with Satori Reader. I was impressed with how detailed the grammar explanations were at some point, though to be fair, they probably tried extra hard on the articles aimed at new users and those may not be representative of everything on the site. Still, it seems great so far.

It also of course shows just how far I still have to go, particularly when it comes to grammar. Grammar has long seemed like a weak point to me, but I haven't been able to find a good way to study it. Hopefully, it will sink in through repetition if I read enough articles on Satori Reader. I was hoping that all my audio immersion would help as well, but it's hard to tell if it is helping. On the occasions when I manage to understand something while watching TV in Japanese, it mostly feels like I'm just picking out a word or two and then inferring the rest based on context.

Speaking of which, I continue to do quite a bit of Japanese immersion by watching stuff on Netflix. Tonight, I finished watching Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online. I'm also up to episode six of Cardcaptor Sakura.

Now that I've finished SAOA:GGO, I figured it was time to finally take the plunge and try watching Terrace House, the one show everyone constantly recommends to Japanese learners. However, I quit only six minutes into the first episode of Terrace House: Boys and Girls in the City, since it's boring to watch when you have no idea what's going on and can't understand anything. Instead, I decided to watch the first episode of The Dragon Prince in Japanese. I already watched it in English back when it came out, so I'm already familiar with the story, and the show is good enough that I probably won't mind rewatching it sans comprehensible dialog. I considered watching She-Ra: Princesses of Power, which I've already watched before, but I found it a bit boring the first time around, so I'm not eager to rewatch it!

It's hard to know if/how much I'm wasting my time, but I suppose at least I'm making good on the initial promise of this blog.
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crush
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby crush » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:51 am

golyplot wrote:Anyway, this evening, I tried reading my second article with Satori Reader. I was impressed with how detailed the grammar explanations were at some point, though to be fair, they probably tried extra hard on the articles aimed at new users and those may not be representative of everything on the site. Still, it seems great so far.

I read three articles there today and must say that they were all super detailed and the audio is great. The articles themselves aren't as interesting to me as literature, but it's way more interesting than reading news stories. This might be something i need to try to add to my daily routine. Not sure if it's something i'll be able to keep up with in the long run, but i can see it being really helpful in filling that (huge) gap between literature and what i can understand now.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:42 pm

Last night I reached level 25 on Wanikani. For the first time in ages, and possibly the first time ever, I had a "perfect" level, where I didn't miss a single review on any radical or kanji. Hopefully I can keep that up. In fact, I had a bunch of apple crisp and ice cream to celebrate and then later went out for an ice cream sandwich for good measure.

I read a couple more articles on Satori Reader. Even with the popup definitions and explanations, they are very difficult for me. But hopefully I'll get better over time.

Episodes 13 and 14 of Nihongo con Teppei had a weird thing where 3-4 minutes in, Teppei randomly starts talking over himself, like two unrelated episodes are being played simultaneously. At first, I thought it was a bug in Castbox, but I checked the episode directly on the website, and the audio file itself is broken. I have no idea what happened there, but at least it seems that only those two episodes are affected. I mention this so that anyone else who's following along with me in NCT will know to skip episodes 13 and 14.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:12 pm

Not much to report, since Japanese has largely fallen by the wayside lately, but I continue to struggle with WK reviews. In particular, I swear I manage to guess the reading on 場 in 劇場 wrong every single time. And just when I think I've got it, I miss up 現場 instead. Previously it was the sei/shou readings that were haunting my nightmares, but it seems that I've managed to kick all those words upstairs for now. I'm sure they'll come back for review next week to torment me anew.

And of course in two weeks, my Enlightened items will start coming up for burn reviews, so pretty soon I'll *really* start getting hammered with the reviews.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:18 pm

Sunday night, I resumed Japanese study. I went through two articles on Satori Reader and watched an episode of The Dragon Prince and Cardcaptor Sakura. My enthusiasm and confidence in Japanese ebbs and flows and has seemed ever more elusive of late, but for now, I'm flying high again.

It's also interesting to see some of the little cultural things when watching Cardcaptor Sakura. I noticed that when they have lunch during the school sports day episode, they leave their shoes by the side of the picnic blanket. I know in East Asia, it's traditional to take off your shoes when entering a home, but I would have never guessed that the same tradition would apply to a picnic blanket.
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