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Enjoy The Small Breakthrough Moments — 13 Comments

  1. Lately I have been doing more of the passive listening that is not just music, and have definitely enjoyed being able to follow along with certain lines, stories, and things. Very fun and reassuring that my studying is paying off little by little.

    I think recognizing small victories like this and the ones you mentioned are very important in moving on to keep up studying, immersion, etc.

    • That’s a very cool place to be Jacob and something that I have been putting more emphasis on lately as well. Are there any particular passive listening avenues that you find useful in your listening? As for me, I’ve found it beneficial to listen to the audio tracks from anime I have already seen. Being able to watch the scenes in my head provides some better context for understanding. I’m curious to hear what other passive listening sources people are having success with!

      • Yes, I have been listening to content I’m already familiar with: One Piece and a couple GTO episodes I have just recently watched for the first time. Already being familiar with the content is definitely a big help in keeping up with what they’re saying, and also to start hearing things I didn’t hear the first time. I think eventually after getting comfortable enough with audio I know, I may try to look into some podcasts/talk shows/etc. to practice listening to brand new audio.

  2. Great post! It’s definitely important to remember to stop and look back at all that you’ve done; especially in moments when you feel like you’re not progressing!

  3. I keep a log of these things. I certainly don’t update it every day, but whenever I am struck by one of these little victories I make a note of it. When I get depressed about studying I read through it and it helps to motivate me.

    Some of the things I’ve noted down:
    Early on reading a Jalup Beginner sentence and realising that ‘these squiggles have meaning’!
    Reading a particular Beginner sentence and thinking ‘that was a really complicated sentence and I understood it!’
    Seeing a Japanese tour bus in London and being able to read the Kanji (RTK meanings) – something like ‘Japanese Educational Tour’.
    Exchanging a few words with a Japanese guy I sat next to on a ‘plane.
    Making out and understanding a whole sentence in the chorus of a Japanese pop song.
    Watching an anime (with subs) but realising that the villain had switched to super-formal Japanese and this made him seem more sinister (subs didn’t pick up on this nuance).

    • That’s a really good idea! I’m definitely planning to do this moving forward, and might even try to walk myself back in time and do some retroactively…

  4. Good article ^.^
    I feel like I’m in a bit of a slump at the moment. I understand most of the important grammar now, and am getting pretty good with reading kanji. My problem is the huggge amounts of words in the language. It feels like I am learning so many new words every day but everytime I read or watch something there are so many more words I don’t know. So I’m just keeping at it, building my vocab day by day.
    Gotta concentrate on the little victories more and look forward~~

    • It sure can be discouraging when you get overloaded on the dialogue of a show and all the words you haven’t heard before. One of my favorite things is to hear a word I just studied in an episode of something I’m watching, however! So I guess it’s a bit of a double edged sword in that regard. Definitely keep at it, those unknowns will become knowns over time.

  5. I think my biggest little victory came early on. In my sentence deck, I was used to seeing long spans of random kana at the end that made no sense to me. I would usually just ignore them and focus on whatever word I was learning. Then I finally bothered to learn about grammar (Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide). As soon as I went back to the sentences, I could actually make sense of the kana. What was once incomprehensible suddenly made perfect sense.

  6. I had a bit of a eureka moment when I first found out about Word Formation Principles, and the fact that in 70% of cases, mnemonics can be made for vocabulary from the meanings of kanji. It made learning vocabulary so much easier.

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