Kelvin's RU, JP, ESP log <- In this order

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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Kelvin's RU, JP, ESP log <- In this order

Postby kelvin921019 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:24 am

This is the link to my previous log.
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=14194

After the judgment date (Spanish exam), I decided to embark on the journey to study Japanese (which I have already been doing for almost 1 year). It means that I am now doing whatever I was doing with Spanish for Japanese. In the meantime, I am maintaining my Spanish and with a hope that 2 or 3 years later I can reach C level. I also decided to take up a challenge to push my English to C2 level.

Japanese
My plan is to push my Japanese to N2 level with the following route:
- Now to 6 December: Genki II + N4 vocabulary list
I am now doing Genki II and now at Chapter 22. I also do bidirectional translation (from Japanese to Cantonese) of the dialogues of each chapter. I also have a N4 vocabulary book for working on the vocabularies for N4 before I move onto Tobira. Now I am using 2 Anki decks:
(a) Genki dialogue translation deck
(b) vocabulary deck (importing basically everything from the N4 vocabulary book)
- Next Phase: Tobira (to N3 level)
I have bought the whole set of Tobira and I think I need to find 1 day to draw up a study plan. My preliminary idea is to create 2 decks:
(a) Grammar sentence translation deck - there are quite a lot of sample sentence containing new grammar items. I will create L1 to L2 cards for these sentences
(b) Vocabulary deck - I just add the vocab list into
I won't do translation of the text because it's just too long to be ankified. But I think I need a revision schedule of the text.
- Next Next Phase: Native material + appropriate textbook (for filling the gaps)
Depends on my progress, I hope to hammer my Japanese to N2 by mid 2021. Language learning in the end is the acquisition of language but not the knowledge encapsulated by the language. I am a big fan of popular science books / fiction written by Japanese authors.

I have set N2 as my target for reading and listening as I was told that this is the level where I can comfortably enjoy Japanese native materials. This has been a "unfulfilled dream" of mine as a big fan of Japanese culture. An intensive studying of Japanese also implies that I can once again indulge in watching anime, series, movies, variety shows and other TV informative shows under the pretext of "language learning".
Fun fact: In Hong Kong, Japanese is the most learned foreign language (English is official language).
New update: Due to the pandemic, the N4 exam is once again cancelled. So I will finish 2 N4 mock papers and move on to Tobira

I will talk about my Spanish maintenance and English plan in a moment.
Last edited by kelvin921019 on Tue Jul 06, 2021 4:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: JP, EN, ESP log: I thought life would be easier but no....

Postby kelvin921019 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:17 pm

[Cont.]

I just had a quick look at Tobira. The volume of vocabulary for each topic is crazy but I think it's manageable. But the grammar card / bidirectional translation is the most tricky. Each chapter has about 16-18 grammatical item and each item has 6-8 sample sentences. So it adds up to about 100-120 sample sentences per chapter and it would be insane to do translation of all of them in 1-2 day span. I have 2 solution:
- Only pick and choose sentence to be translated. Effectively it can be reduced by half; and
- Spread 16-18 grammatical items into 4 days
Effectively I'll be only doing translation of 12-18 sentences everyday (which workload agrees with my Assimil Spanish workload)
I am thinking about putting the audio of the text and dialogues into Anki so that it serves at a scheduled revision reminder

I may need to adjust my workload from time to time so as to make life easier for me.

Spanish maintenance
As maintenance, I'm committed to these tasks
- 1 italki speaking lesson every week
- some news / podcast during transit (this will soon be taken up by Anki review hell)
- Before sleep I usually read up a few pages of the book "Sapien"

English - road to C2
I decided to take up a challenge with my friends - to complete the book Objective Proficiency (a CPE practice book). The ultimate goal is not to take the CPE exam but instead to fill up the gaps in my English and to polish the general English skills. Turn out it is way tougher than we thought. I think this journey will be fruitful

This log aims to capture my struggle with doing 3 languages in a row. Depending on whether it is reasonable to get to N2 by July 2021, this log may take end on either July 2021 or Dec 2021.

After finishing with Japanese, originally I plan to take up a new language. Upon reflection, I decided not to do so. Language learning in the end is learning a language but not using a language. These 2 years my time will be fully occupied by language learning and I need time to enjoy the new world brought to me by language learning.
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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: JP, EN, ESP log: I thought life would be easier but no....

Postby kelvin921019 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:24 am

Japanese: Ganki II (Genki + Anki), N4 Vocabulary List
Spanish: Maintenance
English: Objective Proficiency

Japanese: Preparing for Tobira
I'm now doing the last chapter of Genki and after that I'll do 3 mock papers of N4 (as a substitution of the canceled official exam). I have also rearranged my e-book account and now I have an account in which I can access e-books in Japanese, English and Spanish. I also go through certain website to pick up the missing grammar items for N4.

I tried to read a bit of light novel but got defeated right from the beginning. Perhaps I just focus on textbook and anime for the time being and will go back to native materials perhaps after Tobira. Apart from that I am going through anime after anime, apparently I can understand much more than before, in particular the structure, the keigo and other usage. Sometimes I pause and rewind when I encounter some unusual sentence pattern / expression. These are the anime that I'm have finished in the past 2 weeks:
- No game no life
- Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor
- shirobako (ongoing)
I also resume listening to J-pop and J-rock. It isn't helping me so much but it's kind of pleasure.

English
I continue working on the book Objective Proficiency. My friends and I have been repeatedly defeated by the difficulty. It's going to be a half-year journey so I'm not going to expect any improvement for the time being.

Spanish
I continue reading "Sapiens" and listen to news segments. I managed to finish Puerta 7 (with spanish sub). The show is....fine, the pace of the show is pretty weird. They seem to be in a hurry to wrap up the story and just rush through the climax. I had a italki lesson yesterday and talking about Maradona the entire lesson. Except for the laggy internet connection, I think my Spanish surprisingly was more fluent than that before the exam. Everything somehow sound more natural to me after the exam, hard to explain why tho. I think I overloaded myself with Spanish during exam and resulted in a fatigue of the language. Now when I take things slowly, everything have fallen into place.
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woshijiajun
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:02 am
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: N: Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian
C1~C2: Spanish, English
B1~B2: Taiwanese, Arabic, French, Japanese, Catalan
A1-A2: Danish, Norwegian, Latin, Ancient Greek
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Re: JP, EN, ESP log: I thought life would be easier but no....

Postby woshijiajun » Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:30 pm

Wow, well done Kelvin. It seems you came a long way since I last commented on your previous log in March! Sorry I didn’t reply after that, I got sick and took time away from the forum. I’m just a lurker anyway, to be honest.... :)

Tobira is a very decent cource, I recommend it highly. Just the right amount of difficulty but also should be doable for someone like yourself who has tackled Genki and Assimil (Assimil is probably the best prep for extensive Japanese reading from beginner level you can get, to be honest).

Also, I am reading Sapiens in Spanish too! How are you getting on with it? The fact you have gone from compete beginner to reading non fiction in Spanish in such a short time is really impressive. Congratulations! I’ll make sure to follow your new log now.
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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: JP, EN, ESP log: I thought life would be easier but no....

Postby kelvin921019 » Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:11 am

woshijiajun wrote:Wow, well done Kelvin. It seems you came a long way since I last commented on your previous log in March! Sorry I didn’t reply after that, I got sick and took time away from the forum. I’m just a lurker anyway, to be honest.... :)

Tobira is a very decent cource, I recommend it highly. Just the right amount of difficulty but also should be doable for someone like yourself who has tackled Genki and Assimil (Assimil is probably the best prep for extensive Japanese reading from beginner level you can get, to be honest).

Also, I am reading Sapiens in Spanish too! How are you getting on with it? The fact you have gone from compete beginner to reading non fiction in Spanish in such a short time is really impressive. Congratulations! I’ll make sure to follow your new log now.

Long time no see! Hope you are doing well right now! Really thanks to your advice when I started my language learning Journey. Thank you for you encouragement as well!

I ended up scrapping Assimil but I have been doing quite a lot of extensive listening lately. But extensive Japanese reading isn't a big problem for me as I have been reading online game guide and the discussion / arguments in youtube comment sections for many years :lol: :lol: I will start reading some novel and self-help books after Tobira on my Kindle. I've been reading translated Japanese novel and self-help books for years, so I am so excited to be able to read those.

I just finished Chpt 4 of Sapiens recently (part I). I usually read before sleep and read the right amount just enough to put me to a good sleep :lol: I like how the book is written in relatively plain and easy-to-understand language. I'm now reading a novel (Harry Potter) and a non-fiction in parallel just to keep things interesting to me.

You just remind me that I should better manage my reading schedule :lol: Otherwise I may end up reading 5-6 books in parallel :lol:
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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: JP, EN, ESP log: I thought life would be easier but no....

Postby kelvin921019 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 5:39 pm

Japanese: Tobira
Spanish: Harry Potter / Sapien
English: Objective Proficiency


Japanese
To mark the end of phase 1, I did all 3 mock tests in JLPT official website
2009 - Listening: 3/4, Grammar + Reading: 16/16, Vocabulary: 8/10
2012 - Listening: 25/26, Grammar + Reading: 35/35, Vocabulary: 30/34
2018 - Listening: 25/26, Grammar + Reading: 35/35, Vocabulary: 33/34
I would say that N4 should be a correct representation of my current level on reading and listening then. I tasted a bit of tobira today and I think it's a big jump from genki in terms of grammar and reading. However, being a native chinese, a japanese culture fanatic for 10+ years, with frequent contact with japanese and having learnt quite a lot of grammar items through Lingodeer and just googling, Tobira is a very comfortable step up for me. To be honest, a lot of concepts in Chapter 1 was covered in various materials I used previously.

I have drafted a weekly schedule like this:
Sunday: Prepare the lesson, preview on all grammar items, create anki cards for first vocab list
Monday: Reading the text and creating anki cards for all vocab in the second vocab list
Tuesday: Going through the 2 dialogues (and putting all the audio into anki for scheduled review of text and dialogues)
Wednesday: Doing Kanji exercise (basically serve as a break)
Thursday: Work on the exercises in the book
Friday: Grammar exercise part 1
Saturday: Grammar exercise part 2
At first it may seem threatening to me, but it seems like it's very manageable for me. I also do bidirectional translation of sentences in the grammar section (not all, but hand picked)

I plan to start speaking lesson after Tobira as I regard by the end of Tobira I should have reached about B1 equivalent in terms of vocabulary and grammar. That should be the point where I have enough vocabulary / expression / grammar to express myself with circumlocution. It is also the point where I can determine whether I can spend 4 more months to push myself to an automatic stage in Japanese.

Spanish
I decided to switch to Harry Potter before continuing part 2 (chpt 5 - 8) of Sapien. I did this for 1 simple reason - Harry Potter is shorter. I wish to 'clear off' a shorter book first. The next novel I aim to read would likely be "Corazón tan blanco". I came across an excerpt of the book when I was doing exam preparatory book and I immediately ordered the book because the writing is so interesting.

I am also watching "Maradona in Mexico". It is a very interesting documentary about Maradona spending one year in Dorado as a coach. Perhaps it is the right moment to watch it...

English
The book is difficult and challenging as usual. I tried to sneak in the words I learnt in the book in my writing (not this blog) but I think my formal and dull writing style isn't going to change anytime soon.

[Edit: typo fixed]
Last edited by kelvin921019 on Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: JP, EN, ESP log: I thought life would be easier but no....

Postby kelvin921019 » Sat Dec 12, 2020 8:17 pm

Japanese: Tobira
Spanish: Harry Potter / Sapien
English: Objective Proficiency


Japanese
I just finish chapter 1 and created a number of anki cards. The workload is manageable for now but I heard rumours that chapter 2 will be the most difficult chapter of all so I hope things won't be too demanding. I also worry about the ramping up of Anki review hell, but I will adjust accordingly.

In order to start writing something, I try to write an entry in langcorrect every end of chapter and aim to use all grammatical items I have learnt that week in that entry. I am a bit reluctant to jump back to tandem because that will likely eat up a big portion of my time.

Upcoming plan: While continuing with Tobira, I'm now planning my short term goal. I am seriously thinking about taking N2 by July next year and therefore I need to plan my route to N2. My current plan is to use Soumatome N3 to fill the gaps of my grammar in N3 and proceed with New Kanzen Master N2 reading and grammar book. Of course, all those grammar item will be bidirectional translated and ankified.

Vocab wise I just use soumatome N3 and N2 accompanied by reading books. I also plan to take italki class in conversation.

Spanish
I think I have spent a lot of time combating the fear that I will lose the language if I stop using it even for 1 day. I keep listening to podcasts and news just to keep my sense "fresh" but I don't feel like I'm comprehending much. My reading speed is picking up but listening isn't improving much. I have decided to turn off most subtitles but unfortunately it is not helping me much.

English
It's the 4/20 chapter of the book and frankly I realized how much I still don't know about English even till now. After July 2021 (which will mark the end of Japanese N2 and OP), I will start focus on reading in English, Spanish and Japanese for a while before moving onto a new language. Learning a new language opens up a new world for me, but if I just keep learning new language, it is as if I opened up a bunch of doors to a lot of treasure huts but never looking into those treasure huts.
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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: JP, EN, ESP log: I thought life would be easier but no....

Postby kelvin921019 » Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:40 am

Another short resource update:
After going through a lot of resources, I bumped into the "The Real Japanese Podcast" channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCauyM-A8JIJ9NQcw5_jF00Q
It is a rather new podcast and what I like the most is the carefree but natural tone of person speaking. She also goes further to create transcript of the podcast. So far I am doing one episode per 3-4 days and just keep listening to it until I can understand 95% of it.
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golyplot
Blue Belt
Posts: 989
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: JP, EN, ESP log: I thought life would be easier but no....

Postby golyplot » Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:43 pm

Out of the anime you've been watching, how'd you like them? Are there any you'd recommend in terms of entertainment value?

kelvin921019 wrote:I am also watching "Maradona in Mexico". It is a very interest documentary about Maradona one year in Dorado as a coach. It is perhaps the right moment to watch it


I think you accidentally left out a word here.

It is a very interesting documentary about Maradona spending one year in Dorado as a coach.

Also "It is perhaps the right moment to watch it" is grammatically correct but sounds strange in context.

(I hope you don't mind English corrections. If not, I can stop)
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kelvin921019
Green Belt
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese (N)
Chinese Mandarin (Semi-Native)
English (C1-2)
Spanish (B2)
Japanese (N2)
Russian (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16306
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Re: JP, EN, ESP log: I thought life would be easier but no....

Postby kelvin921019 » Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:00 am

golyplot wrote:Out of the anime you've been watching, how'd you like them? Are there any you'd recommend in terms of entertainment value?

kelvin921019 wrote:I am also watching "Maradona in Mexico". It is a very interest documentary about Maradona one year in Dorado as a coach. It is perhaps the right moment to watch it


I think you accidentally left out a word here.

It is a very interesting documentary about Maradona spending one year in Dorado as a coach.

Also "It is perhaps the right moment to watch it" is grammatically correct but sounds strange in context.

(I hope you don't mind English corrections. If not, I can stop)


Thank you! Feel free to correct my English, it would be very helpful to my English learning journey! :lol:

I am currently watching Shirobako, which is a story about the harsh work life in the animation industry. I think it resonates with my work life so I like it. The next one I plan to watch is boku no tomodachi ga sukunai, which is a very well-written romantic anime.
I decide to re-watch it after watching this analysis of the language used:
https://youtu.be/HnsXTmlppEk
https://youtu.be/c8WymIGk38c

For language learning purpose, I prefer those without SF or superpower elements, or avoid those filled with puns / jokes, because the spoken language is more natural (tho often weird / unnatural tone may be employed for certain character with character).

shigatsu wa kimi no uso is also one anime which I like a lot but I am very hesitant in watching it again because....[I won't spoil the anime for you]. If you like classical music I would recommend nodame cantabile

If you enjoy overpowered protagonist you may like No game no life. It's pure fun but to me there are too many jargons and bad puns.
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