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Getting Stuck on Japanese Learning Autopilot — 10 Comments

  1. Man, I know exactly what you mean. Autopilot is almost inevitable at some point in this multi-year project, it can be hard to recognize and even harder to escape.

    • Yeah, during the auto-pilot period I would often be able to deny it by thinking about the times when I was studying more.

  2. My experience with Japanese pilot just happened. This month was crazy. But really, it was really only so busy I couldn’t add cards to my reviews for like 1 of the days tops. The other two were just me protesting because it didn’t feel like I had as much control over my time as I would like. Everything hit me at once. I haven’t had a stretch of more than a few days in Japanese autopilot and I hope it stays that way. I have one more year of school left so I’ll see.

    • Sounds like you still managed to get by pretty well. Not always adding cards is a lot better than never adding cards. Good luck with your last year of school, since the autopilot happened during my last year.

  3. I feel like it’s okay to be in autopilot for a while, but it’s important to realize it’s happening and switch out of it eventually.

    I personally definitely struggle with being consistent and am more the kind of learner to learn in waves. But actually going through multiple of those lows then struggling my way back and finally facing new stuff… Going through that more than once actually made me realize, that I won’t ever quit Japanese completely. I’ve always been drawn back to it and by now I’m very sure I always will be. And even though that sounds a bit funny, this realization that came out of being super inconsistent made me become a little bit more consistent overall (though I still suck). I guess what I want to express is: Being inconsistent is far from ideal in language learning but it’s not the end of the world either ;)

    Anyway: Get back on your horses, you can do it! And if you can’t right now, take the time to think about your relation to Japanese… and then get back onto your horse!

  4. One good thing about being on autopilot for me is that I never considered quitting Japanese. Sounds like you’re the same too. It’s kind of like procrastinating getting back into Japanese.

  5. I have been in this phase for about the past year. I for the most part keep up with my reviews but only on certain days do I add new things.

    To give an idea of how little I have done the past 10 months:
    10 levels in WaniKani
    350 cards of JalupBeginner
    Newbie series of Jpod 101
    And like a few chapters or different things on grammar.

    I’m heavily starting to feel burnout this past month since I have been studying for a year but don’t have much to show for it.

    I know I need to just have discipline but it seems I’m always using it on the other things I do from day to day since Japanese is only my 4th priority after work, school, and fitness.

    I’m hoping I can just push through this summer in order to get to the point where I can actually feel like I’m getting somewhere. Since I won’t be taking any classes I’m going to try and use the time I would normally be in class / studying to study Japanese.

  6. Oh, that article article makes me doubt myself….!!!

    I’ve actually just decided to take some time off Japanese.
    Maybe you’re right, I’m not too busy to study. But maybe Japanese is just not a priority for me right now. I don’t know in what measure this is true, but I do know that I need a break.

    I have too much on my plate, so I’ve decided to take 45 days off. I’ll just keep up with Anki. I’m scared to go on autopilot and drift endlessly, so I’m trying my best to just conscientiously let it go for a little while, and come back stronger in a month and a half.

    I don’t know if this is the right approach, but this is my solution for right now.

    • Make sure to keep your reviews under control during your break and you should be fine. I do have occasional burn out moments, and I find that it helps to realize it as early as possible and adjust the speed to prevent it from getting out of control. Even if you are just reviewing, you are still learning the cards you have already added.

  7. Thanks for this boost, Drew. I recently stopped adding cards and went on that auto-pilot, but now I realize that I missed the forward movement. I’m going to get back to it, and also start doing the other writing (like my blog) that I’ve put aside. This was another great post by you!

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