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 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:44 am

I'm back!

After nearly two weeks of avoiding Japanese, I finally returned to studying Japanese today. I don't have much of interest to talk about, but at least I'm moving in the right direction now, I guess.

By the way, does anyone know if there's a way to find (English) transcripts for Cardcaptor Sakura? I think I can understand more of the dialog if I already know what they're saying, but I don't have the patience to watch the episode twice with and without subtitles. I thought reading a transcript beforehand might be helpful if I knew where to find them.
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白田龍
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby 白田龍 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:27 pm

https://wiki2.org/en/Cardcaptor_Sakura

https://subscene.com/subtitles/cardcaptor-sakura
https://subscene.com/subtitles/cardcapt ... clear-card

There are also Japanese subtitles available at https://kitsunekko.net

However the site seems to be having a problem right now, the directory has been removed, but you can download one huge file with all the subs available.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:53 am

白田龍 wrote:https://wiki2.org/en/Cardcaptor_Sakura

https://subscene.com/subtitles/cardcaptor-sakura
https://subscene.com/subtitles/cardcapt ... clear-card

There are also Japanese subtitles available at https://kitsunekko.net

However the site seems to be having a problem right now, the directory has been removed, but you can download one huge file with all the subs available.


Thanks!

I tried watching an episode of Cardcaptor Sakura tonight after reading the subtitle file, and I think I was able to recognize a few more words than usual. I'm still not sure where I'm at the level where it is particularly helpful, but I'm not sure what else I can do.

In other news, this morning, I hit level 29 on Wanikani, thus successfully ending my project to advance the schedule by 47 hours over 12 weeks. There was one notable oddity - after I finished my initial review session, the message popped up that a new review was available. Normally, that only happens when your review session crossed an hour boundary and thus the reviews for the new hour are now available, but that didn't happen in my case (I did it all within the hour). The answer is the Hills radical, which was originally level 8, but moved to level 29 earlier this year, after I had already unlocked it. Apparently, moving it up to a higher level froze reviews for it even though I already had it unlocked - it was scheduled to go up for review on April 8th, but didn't until now, languishing at the Master stage for over four months.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:39 pm

This morning while eating breakfast, I got up to ep230 of Nihongo con Teppei, in which he talks about several children's songs, and in particular one that goes "atamakata nizapon, nizapon, nizapon, atamakata nizapon, memimi hanaguchi".

I understood atama=head immediately, since that's a relatively distinctive word, but it took me a little while to remember that "kata" meant shoulder (my first thought was "harden", from 固まる). I didn't understand the last part (めみみはなぐち) until he explained it, even though those are all words I've learned before. My first guess was "something about nosebleeds", since the last part sounds like 鼻血 if you skip the ぐ and change ち to ぢ. (As for the middle part, "knees and toes", those are words I never learned in the first place.)

I guess it's a good illustration of how hard Japanese can be to understand, even when you are already familiar with the words being used. Most words aren't very distinctive. Instead you have single syllable words like 目 that are also a common syllable that is parts of tons of other words. Even longer stuff like 肩 isn't a distinctive root. The exact same sound appears in unrelated words like 方 or 固まる. Plus, it's really easy to miss a tiny little syllable or mishear one as a slightly different syllable, which completely changes the meaning of everything, as if it weren't ambiguous enough for the poor learner. And that's when you already know the words in question!

On the bright side, at least I was able to understand a few things, which means I am progressing.


P.S. Yesterday on Wanikani, I learned the word 巨人. Today I got to the lesson for 進撃, which pointed out that it appears in the popular anime/manga title 進撃の巨人. I thought it was pretty neat that I could actually understand the reference there, and now I know how Attack on Titan is written in Japanese.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:15 pm

Yesterday I finally managed to get through an article on Satori Reader for the first time in weeks. It's not the first time I've tried, but usually whenever I try, I'm immediately put off by the difficulty. The SRS review section doesn't help either - most of the time when I go to SR, I get burnt out by the SRS flashcard backlog before I even get to the articles. (I've started deleting a lot of my flashcards, particularly the 奥日光 related vocab, to help with this). This time, I found an article that was easier than the ones I was trying before, so I was able to get through it, though it was still difficult, and I still had to make heavy use of SR's popup explanations.

Apart from that, I tried "extensive reading" on NHK News Easy, where I just quickly go through the article to understand what I can without looking anything up or pausing to try to decipher the grammar or unknown words. I went through three articles (雨で被害を受けた人のためにインターネットで寄付を集める, コロナウイルスがうつった人 東京で2日続けて200人以上, and 「やかん」に入れたスポーツ用の飲み物で食中毒). In the case of the first two, I was able to at least get the gist of most of it, but the third one had a lot of key vocab I hadn't learned (kettle, acid, copper, etc.) so I had to cheat and look things up.

While watching The Dragon Prince last night, I was surprised to notice the doctor refer to Soren as お兄さん when talking to Claudia. I thought it was only used to refer to one's own older brother, but apparently, it can also be used to refer to the listener's older brother, or any other older brother or even young men in general. I guess this is one of those things that just sounds weird when translated into English and vice versa.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:12 am

I've been feeling a bit more positive about my Japanese studies lately. Perhaps skimming the NHK News Easy articles instead of failing at Satori Reader is the confidence boost I needed. At least I can recognize words and make connections and feel like I'm learning, even if I'm still pretty bad at actually understanding things. Likewise with watching Sakura after reading the subtitles.

Anyway, while watching The Dragon Prince tonight (s3e2 "The Crown"), I noticed that everyone was addressing Ezran as something that sounded like "hake". I assumed it was a synonym for King I hadn't heard before, but I haven't been able to find anything like that after searching online. Anyone know what that was?
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kelvin921019
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby kelvin921019 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:33 am

golyplot wrote:I've been feeling a bit more positive about my Japanese studies lately. Perhaps skimming the NHK News Easy articles instead of failing at Satori Reader is the confidence boost I needed. At least I can recognize words and make connections and feel like I'm learning, even if I'm still pretty bad at actually understanding things. Likewise with watching Sakura after reading the subtitles.

Anyway, while watching The Dragon Prince tonight (s3e2 "The Crown"), I noticed that everyone was addressing Ezran as something that sounded like "hake". I assumed it was a synonym for King I hadn't heard before, but I haven't been able to find anything like that after searching online. Anyone know what that was?

Is it 陛下 (へいか)?
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:47 pm

kelvin921019 wrote:Is it 陛下 (へいか)?


That must have been it. Thanks!
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:14 pm

I think my "extensive reading" experiment has been working well. Since Wednesday, I've been making an effort to read through every single new article on NHK News Easy. I just go through them quickly and don't bother to try to understand what I'm reading, but I think it's still helpful to just be reminded of common words and notice patterns and connections. I still get frustrated by how impenetrable katakana names and English words are though, since those are supposed to be the easy part!

Incidentally, Google Translate has improved since I first tried to use it on NHK News Easy articles several months ago. In Western news articles, one typically writes "On Tuesday, ..." whereas in Japanese news, they instead write "On the 22nd, ..." for some reason. Several months ago, Google Translate was translating the later into random days of the week, but now it just leaves the days of the month unchanged.

I've also been doing a little better on Wanikani reviews lately. My average accuracy rate for the last week was 84.16%, compared to 82.55% the previous week (admittedly a bit of an aberration; my average accuracy for the previous month was 83.2%). I'm not sure how much of it is due to trying a lot harder, and how much is just luck or reversion to the mean. Probably some combination of the two. I hope I can keep it up, though I doubt there's much room for improvement. For example, I did badly on my reviews yesterday afternoon, though I guess not enough to drag down my weekly average too much.

Anyway, as usual, language learning is an agonizingly slow process, and it's impossible to see progress day to day. The only way to tell that you've gotten anywhere at all is to look back at months ago. I saw a great analogy on Reddit the other day - language learning is like trying to fill a swimming pool with sand with a spoon.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:15 pm

I think most of language learning is a subconscious process, but sometimes I do consciously notice common words and look them up.

For example, back when I watched ep6 of Cardcaptor Sakura, I noticed them saying 大丈夫 a lot, and thought it might be a word I learned on WK, so I looked it up on WK out of curiosity. I had previously learned it as "safe" on WK, but at the time, it was just another arbitrary meaning to memorize. Learning that what it really means is "Are you ok/I'm fine" makes it a lot easier to remember. Of course, it helps that they say it very frequently on TV, not just in CS, but also in The Dragon Prince.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed that the episode titles for Nihongo con Teppei almost always began with ---について and looked it up and learned it meant "concerning". Of course, I still can't usually recognize it unless I'm expecting it, since it's a less distinctive word, but it's still better than not knowing it at all, and I also sometimes see it come up when reading.

Last night, while watching The Dragon Prince episode "The Midnight Oasis", I noticed one point where Rayla responds to a question from Callum with "別に". I knew I'd seen it on WK, but I couldn't remember it, so I checked WK and found that it meant "not particularly". Hopefully seeing it used in context will make it a lot easier to understand.

Likewise, there's a scene later in the episode where Nyx asks Rayla and Callum whether they want one sleeping bag or two. I didn't actually remember what happened from when I watched it before, but I could more or less infer it based on what was shown on screen and the characters' reactions. Once I figured it out, Callum's emphatic response of "2枚!" stood out to me. This time, I didn't have to look it up, but it wasn't until I thought about it afterwards that I realized the "mai" in "nimai" was 枚, which I had previously learned on WK as "flat object counter".


In other news, my apprentice count on Wanikani briefly dipped down to 98 this morning. It's the first time I could remember in ages that my apprentice count was below 100. In fact, I wrote a script to calculate it out of curiosity, and found that my apprentice count was last below 100 on May 13th, more than two months ago! Anyway, it's another sign of how I've been doing a little better recently on Wanikani. It's a welcome change from a couple weeks ago, when I was feeling close to burnout on WK.
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