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 22, 2020 2:58 pm

This morning, I reached level 31 on Wanikani, meaning I'm now officially at the halfway point. I've now completed (approximately) half of all WK has to offer. On the one hand, it's a huge milestone, and it's incredible how far I've come. On the other hand, it's a little disheartening to realize that for all the hard work and mind crushing lessons I've gone through so far, I still have all that more to go through. I guess it's important to focus on the glass half full when it comes to language learning.


Monday night, I found out that the JLPT has been canceled for December, so I guess I can't take it after all anyway. I know three months ago, I was talking about the JLPT a lot. I had set a goal of passing the N3 in December, since I thought it would be cool to get official validation of my progress learning Japanese. But after seeing how hard it was to pass even the N5 practice test three months ago, I became more pessimistic about my prospects and less enamored with the whole thing. I largely stopped worrying about it and decided to just do what I'm doing and not worry about where that takes me. But I'd still secretly been hoping that at some point in the future, I'd magically have a breakthrough in Japanese and reach N3 before December anyway. I guess now that definitely won't be happening. It does feel a little weird that after all this time and effort studying Japanese, I won't have anything "official" to show for it, even in the best case. Oh well.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:46 pm

For the last couple of weeks, I've been experimenting with "extensive reading" on NHK News Easy. For each new article, I skim the article and then read it on Google Translate to find out what it was actually about. However, last night, I came across an article where I still had no idea what it was actually saying even after putting it through Google Translate.

Unlike with the west european languages where it is stunningly successful, Google Translate has always made a complete hash of Japanese grammar. That also means learning Japanese is actually potentially useful as far as being able to read things online goes, unlike French, German, etc. On the other hand, the very distance from English that makes GT output gibberish is also what makes Japanese so incredibly difficult for English speakers to learn. Sometimes I wonder whether I'll learn Japanese before Google Translate does.
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devilyoudont
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby devilyoudont » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:31 pm

Not sure how much info you want, but it seems that google is having trouble with the word 悪口 which I am going to define in this article as meaning "slander."

The article is about an association which is trying to address the problem of online smears. The association was created due to the suicide of a female professional wrestler. Since it started operations 2 weeks ago, 14 instances of slander have been removed from the internet.
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dampingwire
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby dampingwire » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:45 pm

golyplot wrote:However, last night, I came across an article where I still had no idea what it was actually saying even after putting it through Google Translate.


Turn off the furigana (right hand blue button) and then drop it into https://www.deepl.com/translator ... it does a good job (afaict with my poor Japanese).
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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
新完全マスター N2文法 : 197 / 197TY Comp. German : 0 / 389

golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:30 pm

Last night, I finished watching The Dragon Prince. I'm not sure what to watch next. I tried One Piece, but didn't like it much. Any recommendations for good shows on Netflix to watch in Japanese, ideally with short episodes (<30 minutes)?

In other news, I watched ep31 of Cardcaptor Sakura this morning. One thing that always struck me is how all the books are "backwards", with the front cover on the back and a right to left page order. It's so weird to see. But what struck me this time is how the books in this episode aren't backwards. They're left to right, Western style, despite being written in Japanese. Does anyone know why they would have done it that way?

I also noticed Sakura say さくら怪獣じゃないも! (Sakura is not a monster!) at the beginning. It's so weird to see people referring to themselves by name.
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vonPeterhof
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby vonPeterhof » Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:37 pm

golyplot wrote:I also noticed Sakura say さくら怪獣じゃないも! (Sakura is not a monster!) at the beginning. It's so weird to see people referring to themselves by name.

Pretty sure that's supposed to be もん and not も (a less likely alternate interpretation could be "さくら怪獣じゃない!もう〜"; either way も isn't used like that).

And yeah, the name thing takes getting used to. On the one hand it doesn't exactly violate any grammatical rules, since Japanese verbs don't conjugate for person and the line between personal pronouns and nouns is already blurry (I recall seeing character sheets for some franchises indicating which first person pronoun each character uses, and for some of them it just said "own name"), so there's nothing inherently "third person" about referring to oneself by name like that. But on the other hand it's not exactly ubiquitous in everyday Japanese outside of fiction, as the only people who would unironically refer to themselves that way are either very little children or adults who are talking to very little children.
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:27 am

vonPeterhof wrote:Pretty sure that's supposed to be もん and not も (a less likely alternate interpretation could be "さくら怪獣じゃない!もう〜"; either way も isn't used like that).


Sorry, you're right. What's the difference?
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golyplot
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby golyplot » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:29 pm

Yesterday, I did badly on my Wanikani reviews, averaging just 79.8% for the day. By comparison, I'd been averaging over 85% in recent days. It may not seem like much, but small differences in average accuracy have a surprisingly large effect on the subjective experience, especially if they compound over time. The exuberant successes of the last couple weeks (up until yesterday anyway) were separated by only percentage point or two from my near-burnout on WK a few weeks prior. Hopefully this was just a run of bad luck and not the start of a new trend.

I also watched the first episode of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure last night but didn't like it. It didn't suffer from the low quality and lazy animation of One Piece, but I found it impossible to get over the art style.
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vonPeterhof
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby vonPeterhof » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:24 pm

golyplot wrote:
vonPeterhof wrote:Pretty sure that's supposed to be もん and not も (a less likely alternate interpretation could be "さくら怪獣じゃない!もう〜"; either way も isn't used like that).


Sorry, you're right. What's the difference?

Not sure what difference you mean, but もん is an ending particle that usually indicates a reason or excuse for something, and is also used as a sort of general purpose emphatic proclamation of protest, especially by little girls. もう when used on its own is an exclamation of annoyance or bemusement, like "come on!" or "what the hell?" The particle も in the sense of "too" or "as well" is generally only used directly after noun phrases, which じゃない isn't.
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kraemder
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Re: Japanese listening from nothing: 2020 Log

Postby kraemder » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:48 am

golyplot wrote:Six month update

As of tonight, I've officially been studying Japanese for six months, so time for another big status update. I'm halfway through my planned study period of a year, so this update should be more significant than most, and yet it feels like a strange time to do an update, since I've put Japanese on hold, and haven't done any Japanese study in almost a week apart from WK. So I guess I'll write about what I was doing before I put my studies on hold.

Overall, progress in Japanese has been much slower than I originally expected. On the bright side, I did finally start watching anime to practice Japanese, the original premise of this log, so at least it's no longer false advertising. But even before I took a break, it was beginning to feel a bit futile, like I can't actually understand enough to benefit when watching shows.



It seems like you're making better progress than I did in my first six months (maybe thanks to WaniKani?). I also really struggled to benefit from immersion and it drove me nuts. Watching Matt vs Japan's videos maybe I just wasn't stubborn enough. He seemed to benefit a lot from immersion really quickly. I didn't until much later. Much later. Anyway, good luck.
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