raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

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MorkTheFiddle
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Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek, aiming for mastery by 2424. Studying a bit of Latin and Japanese. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
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Re: raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:35 pm

I like your progress.
For the record, my thesis went just fine, thanks.
3 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

raikiro
White Belt
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Location: Bonn, Germany
Languages: German (N)
currently learning Japanese and Russian
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Re: raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

Postby raikiro » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:05 pm

There has been a change of plans. I realized the other day that I'll be going back to my university courses next month. I did not have any for about a year, because I managed to get all required courses finished more quickly than expected.
I don't know yet what exactly my courses will be next semester, but I'll most likely have some of them in Japanese. Since my Japanese has not gotten the amount of attention it deserved in this last year, I have decided to put Russian on the back burner for now. So with this, I will be dropping my monthly Russian goal and spend these next weeks on trying to brush up my Japanese so I don't struggle that much when going back to university.

Admittedly, I should have realized a little bit earlier that caring for my Japanese might be a good idea, but it is what it is. As for my Russian: I will try to review the things I have been working on every now and then, and maybe do another lesson or two from my Assimil. But my goal won't be to improve, but just to not loose what I've already achieved while I focus on my Japanese for as long as I feel like I need to and I don't get too burned out.

I think that's it for now, just wanted to let you know.
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raikiro
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currently learning Japanese and Russian
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Re: raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

Postby raikiro » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:20 pm

Alright, I'm a little late for this update. I got sick a couple days ago and haven't been feeling too well in general, so apart from my anki reviews and a short text here and there I have not been very active.

Okay, so the stats this month:
Russian:
words read: 2854
hours listened: 2
monthly goal - Assimil lesson 56: got to 46, then stopped.

Japanese:
words read: 21.364
hours listened: 4.1
new kanji: 40
monthly goal - Harry Potter chapter 4: not quite; finished 3, roughly 1/3 into 4.

On first glance, the stats do not look very good. That's because I did a couple of things I don't track here. Because of the changes it also wouldn't be fair to compare the statistics to last month, so I didn't bother. Way more reading Japanese, way less doing anything in Russian. No surprise here.

I started using anki to drill some vocabulary, or more specifically, the readings. Last week was spent going through JLPT vocabulary lists. So it's all words you are expected to know at the different levels, but all with their kanji instead of kana (the exam requires way less kanji knowledge than vocabulary knowledge, at least in the lower levels). As I feel like my ability to read compound words is lacking the most, I hoped that this would help me recognize the words I already know, but can't read.
So I worked through N5 and N4 without issues, currently working on N3. I'm now starting to see more and more words that are unfamiliar to me, so progress is slowing down now. But I really feel like it's helping. When reading texts I tend to recognize a lot of words from my study sessions that I was previously unable to read.
I went at it quite intensely, so I spent sometimes over an hour a day doing around 100 new words/readings and reviewing everything. I sometimes hear from people to which one hour of anki is normal, but for me it is very taxing and I'd rather do something more fun. But as way to speedily remember the important stuff I consider it the most efficient use of my time right now. Definitely don't see myself doing this for longer than maybe a month though.

I also shifted my focus from reading primarily Harry Potter to reading types of texts that are more close to university classes in terms of their style. So I started watching and reading the transcripts of some Japanese TED talks, and read more news articles than usual.

I'm not going to set myself goals for this month, as I first have to get used to university again and see how it feels. After I know how good or bad I am compared to what is expected of me, I hope I can relax on the Japanese anki and get back to my Russian some more.
Hopefully I will have a better plan next month.
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raikiro
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Languages: German (N)
currently learning Japanese and Russian
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Re: raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

Postby raikiro » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:50 pm

Another update!
Three weeks into my university courses, my Japanese is.. acceptable. We don't have speaking practice anymore, we mostly read Japanese texts at home that we have to prepare to read aloud, translate, and then discuss in class.
It is... a lot. It's tough. We have to read and fully prepare about 10 pages a week. Doesn't sound like a lot, but these are political texts meant for Japanese university students. According to our teacher, a preparation time of about 2 hours per page is average, so I'm spending quite a lot of hours on my Japanese every day, plus some more texts for other classes.
Because of this I don't have time to do a lot of reading just for fun, but I feel like this is really going to help my Japanese skills so I'm okay with that for the time being. Still doing new kanji regularly, and working through my JLPT lists. But compared to last month I've reduced the time I spent on anki. While it took me about 1-1,5 hours initially as I sped through it, now I'm down to about 10-20 minutes, depending on whether I just added a fresh batch of cards. This is a time I find I can sustain. I'm not adding new words on a schedule, but rather when I see that my reviews for the following days are decreasing enough to add some more.

I must admit that I did not do anything noteworthy in Russian this month. Currently I find myself so busy with everything related to university and I just feel like relaxing for an hour or two in the evening instead of studying some more. When I take a look at my old lessons though, I don't feel like I'm understanding less then a month ago, so I'm not too worried for it.
The other day I also got the urge to read some Spanish. I had one year of Spanish classes in school, about 5 years ago. So I grabbed a random book that I read in German many years ago and started reading a few pages. It was actually quite okay, maybe I'll do that some more in the future.

But now, finally, the Japanese statistics:
words read: 13.042 (8.322 less)
hours listened: 2,2 (1,9 less)
new kanji: 60 (20 more)

Listening is definitely not my favourite activity. My reading and listening stats are higher than this, like I stated previously, I have to do a lot of reading in class and regularly listen to presentations and such in Japanese. Because it would feel silly trying to count everything I do in class these are not counted in my statistics. So it's not as bad as it might look upon first glance.

This past week I feel like I had some more free time on my hands, as I'm getting used to my new schedule and organizing everything a little bit more efficiently time-wise. So hopefully I will be able to do some more fun language-learning activities this November, but we'll see.
But for now, that's it for last month. Thank you for reading.
1 x

raikiro
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currently learning Japanese and Russian
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Re: raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

Postby raikiro » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:38 pm

A new month has started, so it's time for an update.
Unfortunately, thanks to the amounts of necessary preparation for my classes, I have not done any reading for fun this month. I'm just too occupied. If my Japanese was better, and I did not need as much concentration when reading, this would likely be different. But as it currently stands, I just can't focus on more reading.
There will be a change though - I will be dropping out of university with the end of this semester. This is not because it was too difficult. I'm actually quite enjoying myself, but my major is not something I have good chances with going into the future. So I spent the last year applying for some jobs, and luckily, I got accepted by one that will pretty much secure my future (if I don't screw up tremendously, which seems unlikely). This takes a huge load off my shoulders. Majoring in something that is fun might be nice, but worrying about where you're gonna end up makes everything so much more stressful.
This also means that I'm deliberating dropping one or two courses to reduce my workload and focus on having fun, since I won't be able to finish the semester anyways (the exams are in March, but at this point I will already have started my new job).

As I've already mentioned, the month has been relatively productive - but the statistics don't really count in all the work I've done for university, so they're not overly accurate.

words read: 10.914
hours listened: 2,3
new kanji: 9

Compared to the previous month, I invested significantly less into learning new kanji. The reason is that I'm growing very tired of anki currently. I force myself through my reviews, but I don't want to add new cards on top of them. People say that it's all about creating a habit. I've now had my kanji deck for 243 days, and I only missed my reviews a handful of days due to sickness or simply forgetting. But, even though I've done my reviews pretty much every day for 8 months, it still does not feel like a habit and in recent weeks I had to force myself to do them every time.
The other day I saw someone on the languagelearning subreddit suggest having language learning "sprints". Basically, you set yourself an overall goal for a couple of months and then do two week sprints and one week off, where you just review stuff and evaluate your progress and method and potentially modify it. This kind of break in between does sound alluring, as I've often struggled with keeping at it. I forced my way through it until I couldn't take it anymore and stopped for a while. Maybe this kind of approach would suit me well. After my courses stop at the end of January, I think I might give something like this a try.

My next update might be delayed. A couple of days before Christmas I'll be having surgery and spend about two weeks in hospital. I don't know how well I'll be feeling after that, so I expect to have different priorities than posting an update here. Maybe, if the painkillers aren't too bad, I can at least spend my time in hospital with some reading. Otherwise it will be pretty boring.
Until then, to whoever reads this, I wish you have pleasant holidays and a happy new year.
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MamaPata
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Re: raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

Postby MamaPata » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:59 am

Congratulations on the job, it sounds like an exciting time!
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Corrections appreciated.

raikiro
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Posts: 15
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Location: Bonn, Germany
Languages: German (N)
currently learning Japanese and Russian
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Re: raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

Postby raikiro » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:30 pm

This update comes less delayed than I originally expected. My stay in hospital was shortened by two days thanks to a very good healing process. I've been home now for a few days, but I'm still in pain when sitting for longer periods of time. Therefore, sitting at my desk and studying longer sessions is currently out of the question.

I did manage some reading in hospital, but nothing out of the ordinary. I read through four books in English, including finally finishing the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. That one took a while, because I stopped several times in between. Some of the books had really low points and I struggled to stay interested. But I finally did it. According to the Wikipedia page, it would be about 600.000 words in one week, which isn't too bad. But I don't count English in my statistics.

One day, completely out of the blue, I felt the need to read some Latin. Not really planing on continuing this in a more organized manner though, at least not for the near future.

Japanese:
words read: 16.425 (5.511 more)
hours listened: 2 (0.3 less)
new kanji: 17 (8 more)

Russian:
words read: 5.351

Latin:
words read: 1.363

Well, that's it. No listening, not a big surprise. Reading-wise, it could have been better, but I'm overall okay with it. Kanji still lower than I would like them to be, for reasons already mentioned in my last update.

It is difficult to really set goals this month, as I don't know how much longer my recovery will take. But a non-committal goal will definitely be doing more kanji and at least doing something in Russian. Recently I skipped Russian completely because of university, but I feel like it is calling me. We will see how it goes.

I hope everyone had pleasant holidays. Thanks for reading.
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MamaPata
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Re: raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

Postby MamaPata » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:07 pm

Sorry to hear that you have been in hospital, I hope you recover quickly!
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Corrections appreciated.

raikiro
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Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:34 pm
Location: Bonn, Germany
Languages: German (N)
currently learning Japanese and Russian
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Re: raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

Postby raikiro » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:28 pm

Another month has passed.
Looking back, I am very pleased with how much I got done. About halfway through the month, I started reading Harry Potter 1 in Russian, while simultaneously continuing the Japanese version. I read pretty much everyday, with one or two exceptions. It's going pretty well. Obviously I'm using LingQ for it, and it helps tremendously as it makes looking up vocabulary much less troublesome than it would be if I were using a separate dictionary. I feel like I am progressing quite fast, especially in Russian I am very pleased seeing many words becoming more and more familiar.
I always read a bit ahead, deal with the new words, and then re-read it while listening to the audiobook (the re-reading part is not counted in my "words read" statistics, though). The Russian audiobook can be found fully on youtube, which is very handy. The Japanese one only has a couple of parts on youtube, so I had to spend some time trying to find a place to get it. One obvious solution is pottermore, but about 40€ per book was quite expensive for me as a student. Luckily, I could find it on Audible. Interestingly, when looking for the audiobooks on the official amazon shop, it says that the book is not available on Audible in my country - but when looking for it on the German Audible shop directly, it comes up. Good for me, as this offers a cheaper solution to buying the CDs.

Now, for the statistics:
Japanese:
words read: 39.222 (22.797 more)
hours listened: 5,1 (3,1 more)
new kanji: 44 (27 more)

Russian:
words read: 34.531 (29.180 more)
hours listened: 4,6 (4,6 more)

As always, listening is way behind. Like I explained in previous posts, it's not like me to sit down and just listen, and currently I don't have to do any commuting. But overall, I am very happy. The amount of reading increased quite significantly. Currently, I am spending about 2 hours on language learning per day.

Now I have one more month before my apprenticeship begins. So I'm carefully setting myself a goal here: finish the first Harry Potter in both Japanese and Russian. If I can keep up my current pace, this will work out pretty much perfectly. I have 27 parts left for Russian, and 30 for Japanese. Probably due to the way LingQ counts and splits Japanese text when importing, there are a couple more parts to the Japanese version. So I am actually slightly ahead in Japanese.
The reading, plus the normal amounts of anki and new kanji every once in a while should keep me busy enough for February.
2 x

raikiro
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Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:34 pm
Location: Bonn, Germany
Languages: German (N)
currently learning Japanese and Russian
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Re: raikiro's log - Japanese & Russian

Postby raikiro » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:10 am

I apologize for this update being very late. The first week of March marked the start of my apprenticeship, and now I'm temporarily living in Bavaria to go to school. I did not have internet these last two weeks here, so I could not post another update. I'll probably be living in Bavaria until October, so more updates might be delayed in the future.

My ambitious goal for February was to finish the first Harry Potter in both Japanese and Russian. I finished Japanese much more quickly than expected, at around the 10th. Originally I was planning on reading a part every day to finish both by the end of the month, but I had a lot of fun with Japanese so I surged ahead. Due to that I neglected the Russian version however. I did not manage to finish it by the end of the month, but I'm still happy with my progress overall.

Unfortunately I did not bring my document which lists the statistics for the kanji I've learned, but the other statistics are still accurate.

Japanese:
words read: 60.067 (20.845 more)
hours listened: 7,2 (2,1 more)

Russian:
words read: 16.081 (18.450 less)
hours listened: 2,3 (2,3 less)

As expected, more Japanese, less Russian. March will most likely not be a better month for either language, unless I really power through in the remaining two weeks.
I'll keep you updated as far as my internet allows.
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