Japanese Language Log

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
dampingwire
Blue Belt
Posts: 523
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:11 pm
Location: Abingdon, UK
Languages: Italian (N), English (N), French (poor, not studying), Japanese (studying, JLPT N3)
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Re: Japanese Language Log

Postby dampingwire » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:21 pm

genini1 wrote:Or in some unfortunate cases words with the same kanji only flipped like 段階 vs 階段. I've never been dyslexic before, but keeping those two straight is difficult for some reason.


There are a very few kanji (like between 100 and 200) that have only one reading (or at least only one common one). That's true for both of those so I sort of latched on to those early on. I don't know how many two kanji words there are that mean something when reversed (or at least where both words are common rather than archaic), but that's another reason I latched onto to those. I found those little things to help cement some of the words in my head and, perhaps more helpfully, give me some clue as to what the reading might be when I hit those in some other unknown word.
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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

genini1
White Belt
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:21 am
Languages: English (N), Japanese
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Re: Japanese Language Log

Postby genini1 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:03 pm

The week has been hectic, but I managed to hit all my goals which was nice. I also downloaded some graded readers from amazon that were interesting enough for what they were. In particular one was a graded reader of Japanese myths/legends/stories including the tale of Urashima Taro who rescued a turtle and was rewarded for it. The book itself was very useful and combined with what I've been learning from Tobira I think I'll be ready to take on actual books once I finish Tobira. I also continue to find words from the Core 6k cropping up in other places. The most recent lesson had quite a few food words, but also aquarium and north wind which came up in the stories.

For the week:
Finish 30 words a day through core 2800.
Tobira lesson 13 (only 2 more after that)
Pimsleur Unit 5 Lesson 14.
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genini1
White Belt
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:21 am
Languages: English (N), Japanese
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Re: Japanese Language Log

Postby genini1 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:02 pm

Recently I've begun to give more thought to the idea of goals, what they are and how to achieve them more specifically. After some searching I came across the idea of SMART goals which I'm sure quite a few people here are familiar with since the concept originated in the 80's although the framework was around before that even. The basic idea being that a goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, reachable, and time-bounded to be a good goal and it explained a lot about why my previous attempt to learn a language failed (other than my just general laziness of course). My previous goals had always been 'I want to achieve fluency eventually' which failed to meet pretty much every part of the metric for a good goal. You can't fail if you have no end date; you just haven't achieved it yet. You can't fail if you have no measurable goal since you can't measure success or failure. So I spent some time thinking of what I want to achieve, when I can do it, and how I can do it.

Although my overarching goal is still fluency in Japanese I've settled on a milestone goal first of passing the JLPT N2 in December of 2021 (which is the next testing date in America as this years has been cancelled). I feel I'm somewhere between N4 and N3 overall, with my listening comprehension probably between N5 and N4, so the N2 should be possible if a bit of a stretch goal. I don't particularly care about the JLPT test in general as I won't ever use the certification, but learning everything needed for the test will certainly help with my general goal and it seems like a lot of the books and materials for Japanese are geared towards the JLPT test after the intermediate level.

To that end I've ordered the Kanzen Master N3 series. It won't arrive until the end of the week, but I still need to finish the Tobira book this week anyway. I don't know how I'll go about completing it, but I won't be devoting as much time as I did with the Tobira series as I want to start reading novels/manga and watching movies/anime.

Goals for the Week:
Complete Tobira
Finish the Core 3k
Complete Pimsleur Unit 5 Lesson 21 (Almost to the end!)
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genini1
White Belt
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:21 am
Languages: English (N), Japanese
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Re: Japanese Language Log

Postby genini1 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:01 pm

By some twist of fate most of my current language learning programs are coming to an end at approximately the same time. I just finished Tobira (An excellent textbook and one I'd highly recommend to anyone looking to go past the beginning of Japanese), I'll be finishing Pimsleur this week, and I've completed the Core 3k. While debating how I should proceed I flipped through some of my materials and I actually understood quite a bit more than I expected. I still need a dictionary and a few grammar points were over my head, but for the most part I can read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone particularly since I've already read it in English so I've decided to make the move on to native materials. Mostly anyway.

For reading I have the Harry Potter series, which was one of my original goals way back when I first started, so I'll be starting there. I'm not sure how long it will take, but I imagine I will be spending more time at the beginning than the end since I would hopefully be more used to reading by seven books. I'll also be continuing my 30 words a day by adding 30 sentences to an anki deck from the book. I estimate there's about 3,000 words I still don't know in the first book alone so I don't think I'll be adding every unknown word I encounter, but we'll see.

For listening I've started watching the original Pokemon series. As expected it's not as entertaining to watch as it was when I was 7, but nostalgia counts for a lot and the dialogue is relatively easy to understand. They talk somewhat quickly, but half of each episode tends to be a battle which is a lot more visual than auditory. There's 80 episodes in the original series which I'll probably watch, but over 900 episodes in total which I can't imagine I'll actually get through.

And as I mentioned in my last post I acquired the N3 Kanzen Master series the past week. The books themselves seem quite good, but I'm not entirely certain how to use them. They are not set up for doing one chapter in each book in a round robin style, but they do use content from the others so simply going through them one by one seems odd. From what I could glean flipping through them so far I should go in an order of "Kanji->Vocabulary->Grammar->Reading Comprehension->Listening Comprehension". But maybe I should do a little bit of the Kanji/Vocabulary books each day while using the other three as a focus? If anyone has any suggestions or comments about how they've used the series for any level of the JLPT I'd appreciate it.

Plan for the week:
Read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone adding 30 sentences a day to anki
Finish the Pimsleur series (9 lessons left)
Watch 1 episode of Pokemon a day
Spend 1 hour a day on Kanzen Master series. I usually prefer task oriented goals to time oriented ones, but I'm really not sure how to best use this series yet.
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genini1
White Belt
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:21 am
Languages: English (N), Japanese
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Re: Japanese Language Log

Postby genini1 » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Some more successes and failures this week. I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and on the plus side managed to get a little over halfway through. The negative is that I really only managed to do so because I've read it before. Pretty much every sentence has at least one word, kanji, or grammar point I don't know and if I was reading a new book I'd be pretty lost I think. I also abandoned making sentence cards almost immediately. Even just very basic 'Sentence on front, Pronunciation on back' cards were taking between 1-5 minutes to make and since every sentence was one I needed learn it took an hour to make it two pages in the book. Instead I decided to just try and read for pleasure looking up words I didn't know through the kindle app as I went and hope that I would remember some of it. Some of the words I noticed repeating I handwrote out as that's the method that works best for me in remembering things. I also tried using the audiobook for shadowing, but I had trouble being able to listen to it. My listening is still very weak.

Speaking of listening, I watched through episode 30 of Pokemon Indigo league although I use the word watched very loosely. Very often I would just have the show playing in the background while I did other things in an attempt to get more exposure to improve my listening abilities. It seems like I'm at the point where the only solution is practice and exposure so that's what I'll be doing more of. Specifically I've found a few Japanese Learning Channels on youtube, (日本語の森, Japanese Ammo with Misa, learn Japanese with Noriko) and I've also looked into JapanesePod 101. I don't know if I'll subscribe, but their youtube videos have a lot of great listening practice. Since I finished Pimsleur I'll be using that time instead for some of these videos.

Speaking of finishing Pimsleur I finally completed Unit 5 Lesson 30 just yesterday. That's 150 lessons over 75 hours and it leaves me with a pretty big void in terms of things to do. It was my general go to while driving or running errands so I'll have to swap it up from here. Overall though I was pretty pleased with the program. It was a bit slow and used more English than I would prefer, but I think it really helped my pronunciation and my ability to listen.

I've only done the Kanji Kanzen Master book so far, but since most of it is review after Tobira it's been going fairly quickly. I did half the book last week and will finish it this upcoming week. I think I'll do one lesson each of the vocabulary and grammar book each day, but that's still for the next week so I'll decide then.

For the week:
Finish Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Watch more of Pokemon.
Finish the Kanji Kanzen Master book.
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genini1
White Belt
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:21 am
Languages: English (N), Japanese
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Re: Japanese Language Log

Postby genini1 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:19 am

This week I completed one of the first goals I had when I started learning a language; I've read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in Japanese. I have to use the term 'read' loosely as I had to use my previous knowledge of the story liberally in order to really understand it, but I read it cover to cover and it was pretty exciting. Of course it was also kind of disheartening realizing how far I still need to go, but step one is down. Plus it helped me realize some areas I am weak in. Specifically my Kanji reading is not where it needs to be. Often times I would read a sentence and know exactly what it meant, but I wouldn't be able to read the actually Kanji itself. There was also quite a few times where I did know the reading, but I was not at all confident in my thought and I had to look it up. My grammar was mostly where it needed to be for the book and while my vocabulary certainly didn't cover the whole book I could often figure out what the word was from context and previous knowledge.

Which lead me to how bad my listening comprehension was. I've got the audiobook for Harry Potter and even slowing it down it's mostly incomprehensible nonsense. I had thought reading ahead and then listening to the book wouldn't be a huge problem, but I was so far away from being capable of it. As a result I tried to do a lot more listening this week. Finding material that is my level was somewhat difficult so I ended up just going through a lost of JLPT N5 practice tests. I also signed up for japanesepod101 to try and increase my exposure to Japanese.

I also did finish the Kanzen Master Kanji workbook this week. It really wasn't too bad, but considering I know I have issues with Kanji I'm really not sure if I'm having a disconnect when it comes to real world usage.

For the week:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets through Chapter 3. I'm slowing down my reading to try a more intensive approach rather than extensive approach this time. A chapter is about 20 pages so 3 chapter is around 10-15 pages a day.

Increase listening: I don't have a set goal here yet, but I'm basically listening to Jpod101 as much as possible when I can't actively do something and going through some of the N5 tests when I can do them. Fortunately youtube has a ton of N5 listening material.

Kanzen Master: I'm going to start with one section of grammar and one section of vocabulary a day. This may need tweaking with time constraints, but I know I'm going to need this information at some point so I might as well start now I think.
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golyplot
Blue Belt
Posts: 793
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:41 pm
Languages: Am. English (N), German, French, ASL (abandoned), Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Japanese
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12230
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Re: Japanese Language Log

Postby golyplot » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:40 am

Have you tried listening to Japanese with Noriko? I've been listening to it for the last few weeks and I think it's pretty nice listening practice.
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genini1
White Belt
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:21 am
Languages: English (N), Japanese
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Re: Japanese Language Log

Postby genini1 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:12 pm

golyplot wrote:Have you tried listening to Japanese with Noriko? I've been listening to it for the last few weeks and I think it's pretty nice listening practice.


I've listened to her a few times when I'm trying to mix up my listening materials. She's pretty good, but still a little bit outside of my ability to really listen to and understand. I think once I finish the N5 materials I'll move on to listening to her as she's not too far away from my understanding.
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genini1
White Belt
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:21 am
Languages: English (N), Japanese
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Re: Japanese Language Log

Postby genini1 » Tue Oct 27, 2020 6:41 pm

This week comes with good news and bad news for my language learning adventures. I am unfortunately starting to hit the burn out portion of my studies. I've been burning the candle at both ends between studying, work, and the like and just can't keep it up. It used to be that I could spend 4 hours on a textbook in a day (not sequentially, but spaced out) and have no problems. Now I find myself unable to even open the grammar books. So I am putting a moratorium on my textbook studying for a bit. No Tobira, or Kanzen Master, or Anki reviews for at least a few weeks.

The good news is that I've gotten far enough in learning that I am going to try and use immersion for a bit instead. I've got some novels, and manga to read and I've got TV shows and anime to watch so I'll try those. I'll still need to look things up of course, but it seems a lot less daunting than what I was doing before. My listening in particular is still bad so I'll be trying to use background listening to improve.

There are some interesting shows on Japanese Netflix that I can mostly watch. The Solitary Gourmet is a formulaic show about a guy who spends the first 5 or so minutes doing something work related before finding a place to eat and the rest of the episode is about the food there. It's sort of a mix between a food show and a sitcom, but it's got 9 seasons so it seems popular. There is another version featuring a female host called Wakako Zake which has pretty much the exact same formula (5 minutes at work, the rest eating) and I'm not sure if they are related or just one copying the other.

Otherwise for the rest of the week I'll be continuing to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (just finished Chapter 6) and listening to Japanese Pod 101 when running errands.
4 x

genini1
White Belt
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:21 am
Languages: English (N), Japanese
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Re: Japanese Language Log

Postby genini1 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:19 pm

The past week I took more time off of Japanese than I had originally intended, but honestly it has helped me feel more refreshed and invigorated for the upcoming days. I still tried to do some Japanese every day though as I felt completely stopping would just make it difficult to start again and after the last 4 months (has it been that long already) I didn't want to just stop.

I only read one chapter of the Chamber of Secrets, but that puts me almost halfway through the book. I wanted to read a chapter a day, but it really does take awhile to read still. Instead I've picked up some manga and have been reading that. Specifically I picked up Yotsuba! which I have seen recommended to beginner level students many times, but never actually read as it never really seemed my style. I decided to try though and was pleasantly surprised at the content. It's easy enough to read that I only need to look up a few words per chapter (barring a chapter like the stargazing one where they name a lot of constellations) and the story itself is fairly entertaining. I actually laughed a few times while reading it which I didn't expect. I also picked up the Card Captor Sakura and Naruto series of manga, but haven't done too much with them yet. CCS is definitely readable, but still more difficult than Yotsuba (one of the characters has an Osaka accent which is annoying) and Naruto is even more difficult on account of the rougher speech patterns and more generally complex situations.

For television I finished the first season of the Solitary Gourmet (technically season 7 since all they have is season 7/8) and it was reasonably good. Sometimes it's frustrating because there's no English subtitles at all so if I don't understand something I have to figure it out or move on, but it's pretty rare that something I can't look up comes up.

I've also been enjoying jpod101 a lot more than I expected. It's like Assimil on steroids with a dialogue followed by a short lesson. The beginner lessons are kind of slow, but the intermediate lessons start picking up quickly and there's a good amount of written work with each lesson if you need clarification on something. I'm still mostly using it when out driving so I don't use the written resources much, but I'm also mostly using lessons with grammar I already know to try and improve my listening comprehension.

For the week:
Finish the Yotsuba! series, I'm on Volume 6 of 14 so it's about 1 volume per day.
Finish season 8 of the Solitary Gourmet, 14 episodes so about 2 per day.
Use Jpod101 when out and about. I also spend 20 minutes a day using the line by line repeat dialogue function to try and help train my hearing.
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