Koolawant's Leisure Stroll to N2

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koolawant
White Belt
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:04 am
Location: US
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (B2*)
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Koolawant's Leisure Stroll to N2

Postby koolawant » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:14 am

I stumbled upon this site about a week ago and fell in love. I think it will serve as a cool reminder to document my learning progress here from now on.

About my Japanese

-took 4 years in highschool but never studied so despite going all the way to "AP" level I was an advanced beginner at best
-decided to major in Japanese in college (currently a junior)
-Spent my entire sophomore year studying abroad in Japan

Will all that being said, I am currently a very solid intermediate level. I can understand much more than I can say, but I can converse about a range of everyday topics without much strain on me or the listener.

My grammar is still very weak, and the more I study the more I notice how much my vocabulary lacks. I want to return to Japan as soon as I graduate so I'm pushing to achieve C1 level by then (Currently a b1 active, b1+/b2 passive)

Goals
2018
Goal: Pass N2::: in process
Stretch goal: Pass N2 with a perfect, or near perfect score ::: in process

2019
Stretch goal: Pass N1 in July ::: Not started
Last edited by koolawant on Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.
2 x
: 250 / 2000 Vocab
*=estimation
**=shows and movies

koolawant
White Belt
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:04 am
Location: US
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (B2*)
x 66

Re: Koolawant's Japanese Log

Postby koolawant » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:19 pm

It's been a long time. No excuse, I've just been lurking on the form.

Big news though; I applied and although the chances were low I've been incredibly lucky to be accepted to spend my senior year back in Japan. I'm crazy excited and don't even care missing my graduation here in the states. I took a huge risk majoring in just Japanese but with the opportunities my university has afforded me I can't say I regret it. (side note, please do not voice your opinion on my choice of major, I've heard it from a million people and I dropped my second major only after nearly a year of careful consideration. I have set myself up in a way that if I want to pursue business again, grad school is certainly an option).

On another note, I can't help but feel so frustrated with my Japanese. I've been reading (mostly extensive, some intensive) and can always understand the big pictures. There are some pages where Ill know nearly every, if not every, word but sometimes still not grasp the concept. When I listen to things it's the same thing, I can understand what's going on but never in fine detail. It's a stage in which I really feel the lack in my vocabulary. But I'll likely need thousands more to start to feel really comfortable. I don't count how many new words I learn a day but I can't imagine more than 5-8 actually stick. I know I must do my time in the language but I can't help but to feel easily demotivated nearly every day. It's through sheer dedication that I spend hours interacting with this language on a daily basis.

I've turned almost completely to native material at this point but I still have 3 hours worth of classes per week (which is ending now that the semester is over) and that has more or less been the extend of my contact with textbooks. I honestly don't like using them anymore. But I'm a bit confused on how I should progress.

Read more? Listen more? Hope eventually it'll all stick?

I'm envious of those who have successfully learned a language to advanced levels and can really enjoy it. I can't wait until I stubble upon that day.
5 x
: 250 / 2000 Vocab
*=estimation
**=shows and movies

koolawant
White Belt
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:04 am
Location: US
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (B2*)
x 66

Re: Koolawant's Japanese Log

Postby koolawant » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:27 pm

So I've been trying something out as of late. I enjoy Chibi Maruko a lot (particularly the older ones) and have decided to improve my listening and vocab with this show as a resource. What I've done is:

1. Watch the entire 20 minutes
2. Then break it down into it's two parts, 10 minutes each
3. Listen to the ten minutes
4. Listen again, this time listening closely and pulling all words I don't know
5. look up the meaning of the word in Japanese (and the words in the definition if I don't understand)
6. Put in anki (definition in Japanese on front, word on back )doing a max of 10 new words a day, unseen get buried until next day
7. Continue listening until comprehension is over 90 percent and words are burned into memory

I have been on episode 4 for about a week (I watched 1-3 before decided to do this, will probably go back and do them after this one) and man is it time consuming. The most difficult part isn't even the listening as I can hear even the words I don't know relatively well. It's the googling the definitions in Japanese. My Japanese is good enough to read and understand in Japanese so I am forcing myself to stop using English as a crutch. I've pulled roughly 40 words out of a 20 minute episode and now doing my rewatches I've jumped from 70-80% comprehension to over 90! It's a good method I think because I enjoy the show, but it's a bit tedious. The reward of being able to understand almost entirely is pretty nice though.

I think using anki this way is much more effective than the English--> Japanese and by limiting myself to a max of 10 studied words a day I'm not feeling the burnout like I did months ago when I was doing 30 a day. Plus I notice I almost never get them wrong so I must be actually learning!

Still reading mostly everyday, getting ready to finish another novel. I hope to be finished with the remaining 10 or so unread books before Spring semester in Febuary :)
3 x
: 250 / 2000 Vocab
*=estimation
**=shows and movies

User avatar
Xenops
Blue Belt
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:33 pm
Location: Boston
Languages: English (N), French (A2), Japanese (rusty A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7472
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Re: Koolawant's Japanese Log

Postby Xenops » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:16 pm

Hello! Are you familiar with Gabriel Wyner's method of using Anki?



What I also do is format them so I type in the correct answer in the cloze portion.
0 x

koolawant
White Belt
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:04 am
Location: US
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (B2*)
x 66

Re: Koolawant's Japanese Log

Postby koolawant » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:52 am

Xenops- Thank you for the video! I'm definitely looking into this.

I've been at such a cross roads with my reading recently. I want to read intensely, but I can't do intense listening and reading at the same time. For one, I know slow and steady is the best way for me to continue with vocab acquisition so I think I need to stick to extensive reading and intensive listening; especially since I'm keen to focus on my listening at the moment. I moved onto episode 5 and my comprehension dropped considerably. Still understood what was going on, and even got a good laugh at some parts but there are some 2-3 minute chunks that are almost completely lost to me. I may be on this episode for a while...

In other news, I've been seriously dodging kanji since I've returned to the states. I'm within the N2 level at present so there's no pressing need to learn more at the moment. The books I do read all contain kanji I already know and can read, or include furigana for the words that are above the book's level. I will likely leave my kanji level as it is (hovering around 1000 known) and pick up the remaining 900 or so I need to learn when I'm back in Japan and the need for them resurfaces.

Lastly, I know I'm within n2 levels, my professor and other native Japanese people keep telling me my Japanese is advanced/boarding advanced, I can typically follow any day to day conversation (missing words frequently but not enough to throw my comprehension) so it makes me wonder if I underestimate my skill? Definitely a possibility as I am very critical of my progress. But if this is what is considered "advanced" I am deeply concerned because I don't consider my Japanese to be all that good :lol:

Happy Holidays everyone!
0 x
: 250 / 2000 Vocab
*=estimation
**=shows and movies

koolawant
White Belt
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:04 am
Location: US
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (B2*)
x 66

Re: Koolawant's Japanese Log

Postby koolawant » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 am

I've been doing a lot of waffling recently. My frustration with learning Japanese seems to have gotten even worse. I was so fed up that I only attended one day of class and then promptly dropped it after that. I don't want to translate or be given grades for my Japanese anymore. Luckily I already finished my Japanese major requirements so it was just an extra class.

So what have I been up to?

Listening to shows (mostly chibi maruko) and music. It's weird but there almost seems to be a small but noticeable leap in my listening. I learn 1-3 words per episode from context clues and actually retain them pretty well! I read somewhere that native children learn about 5 new words a day so I'm unconcerned about those numbers. I need to learn to stop being so obsessive about how "slow" my rate is and just enjoy the process.

Although I'm not a huge fan, since it was suggested I've picked up some manga to read and it has made the world of difference. I generally understand novels but they're a slog to read through. But with manga the pictures help heaps! Just yesterday I spent 2 hours happily reading away.

Weekly Goals 2/15-2/22
-Watch 15 Episodes of Chibi Maruko
-Read 50 pages
-Learn 5 new Kanji
1 x
: 250 / 2000 Vocab
*=estimation
**=shows and movies

AndyMeg
Green Belt
Posts: 378
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:44 pm
Languages: Spanish (N), English (B2-C1), Japanese (A2-B1), Korean (Beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7431
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Re: Koolawant's Japanese Log

Postby AndyMeg » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:53 am

koolawant wrote:Although I'm not a huge fan, since it was suggested I've picked up some manga to read and it has made the world of difference. I generally understand novels but they're a slog to read through. But with manga the pictures help heaps! Just yesterday I spent 2 hours happily reading away.

Reading manga helped me a lot with my english vocabulary and understanding (and the best thing was that my intention never was to improve english specifically but just to understand the stories and what was happening at each time).

You are right and that's exactly what I love about mangas: the pictures give you a lot of context and make things easier!!! :D
0 x
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: 45 / 1621 Easy to Learn Korean series (pages) :
: 86 / 194 맞춤 스페인어권 한국어-1 (pages) :

koolawant
White Belt
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:04 am
Location: US
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (B2*)
x 66

Re: Koolawant's Japanese Log

Postby koolawant » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:24 pm

Hi Andymeg! I actually try to keep relatively up to date with your log so it's neat to see you here
1 x
: 250 / 2000 Vocab
*=estimation
**=shows and movies

koolawant
White Belt
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:04 am
Location: US
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (B2*)
x 66

Re: Koolawant's Japanese Log

Postby koolawant » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:25 pm

holder
Last edited by koolawant on Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
0 x
: 250 / 2000 Vocab
*=estimation
**=shows and movies

AndyMeg
Green Belt
Posts: 378
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:44 pm
Languages: Spanish (N), English (B2-C1), Japanese (A2-B1), Korean (Beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7431
x 568

Re: Koolawant's Japanese Log

Postby AndyMeg » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:45 pm

koolawant wrote:Hi Andymeg! I actually try to keep relatively up to date with your log so it's neat to see you here

Thanks! :D
1 x
: 836 / 18000 korean videos without subs (minutes) :
: 45 / 1621 Easy to Learn Korean series (pages) :
: 86 / 194 맞춤 스페인어권 한국어-1 (pages) :


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