Achieving Your Japanese Goals – December 2017 — 44 Comments

  1. 1. Bring reviews to 0 EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. NO EXCEPTION

    2. 15 Sentences & 3 kanji sentences per day (should bring me to Intermediate card 715 & Kanji Kingdom kanji 1000+ depending on the size of each sequence).

    3. I’ve started reading Yotsubato a few days ago so I’m gonna say read every day. Doesn’t really matter how long; some days I might only be able to afford 30 minutes for reading, others might be 5+ hours, but I want to get into the habit of reading every day. Last month I got used to watching every day & passively listening, those are now my go-to when I have free time. Just need to add reading to the list of go-tos and habits are the way to go!

    Nothing too crazy but this is what will bring me towards my goal!

    • So my reviews have started reaching my review threshold of what I can handle so I’m gonna adjust my goal and bring it back down to 10 sentences & 2 kanji chain a day. It’s not a lot compared to a lot of people but you know what, i’d rather go a bit slower and not quit than stay at a pace that will make me quit and hate studying haha.

      • I decided to go down to 5 sentences & 1 kanji sequence for the rest of december; getting 90 kanji review & 90 sentences daily has been killing me haha. Hopefully that means review will go down in time for my christmas break, so that I can spend most of my free time on immersion! In january I will go back to 10 sentences/2 kanji sequence. Until then though, Im in “reduce reviews” mode!

    • December ended up being way more hectic than planned, so it started off on a pretty average note but thankfully having time off for christmas brought it back up to a better month than November!

      1. There’s 2 or 3 days where I kinda botched doing the reviews; by that I mean that I was just rushing through them and marking some stuff as good when I hadn’t actually gotten it right… so while I did technically bring it to 0 every day, if you look at the table in the picture below, you’ll be able to tell that I really didn’t.

      2. As I posted I ended up reducing the amount I was doing. I made it to 846/2300 for kanji kingdom & 565/1000 for Jalup Intermediate. Still happy with the progress!

      3. As you can see in the below pictures, my reading was actually fairly close to my watching so I’d say that’s been a success! I finished reading よつばと! , then I read all 13 volumes of 俺物語!! and am now in volume 3 of バクマン。

      So all in all while I had some pretty bad days, I’d say this month was a success!

      Here is the picture of my daily stats for the month:

      Here is the picture of my overall stats:

  2. So, this is my first time posting on the monthly goals. I’ve been lurking the blog for 2 years now, and it’s already been 3 months since I started my third attempt at japanese (on late august), this time using the Jalup Decks! I’m really happy with these decks so far. They’re really well thought, and I can’t thank Adam enough for his hard work on them.

    I didn’t want to post any kind of goal yet, since I wasn’t sure if I was gonna be as consistent with my studies as I’ve turned out to be. But I decided now’s the time to do it: I’m hitting the end of Jalup Beginner tomorrow Monday, and I’m gonna be starting Jalup Intermediate (and with that, my journey into the J-J world) on Tuesday. I’m excited to see what happens next.

    I also have more of a long term goal: it just so happens that, the way I’ve laid out my studying schedule (in a pretty realistic way I’d say; that is, keeping my current pace), I’ll be hitting the end of Jalup Expert by the end of December 2018. To make it kind of a special moment, I want to finish it exactly on December 31st, 2018 (New Year’s Eve is probably my favorite day of the year, so there’s that). We’ll see how that goes. For the time being, here are my goals for this December.

    -Reach 300/1000 cards on Jalup Intermediate [315 new cards since today]
    (current progress: 985/1000 Jalup Beginner)

    -Reach 1300/1000 cards on Kanji Kingdom [315 new cards since today]
    (current progress: 985/1000)

    And that’s it. I’m currently going with only Anki; maybe I’ll start immersion once I’m halfway through or finished with Jalup Intermediate. Maybe Jalup Beginner gives you a lot of grammar, but I wanna rack up some vocabulary before venturing into the vast world of immersion. Besides, I’m probably not gonna understand a thing just now; hell, I can’t even understand the first volume of よつばと!.

    • Completed both of the goals! I think I’m getting the hang of Intermediate, it’s more fun than Beginner now that you have to figure out the meanings of the words.

  3. Keep reviewing my cards without adding anything…basically until winter break starts and then start Jalup Immersion.

    Experiment with studying the new words without Anki/with minimal Anki. The idea is that Anki schedules when I re-read the Associated chapters with the new words in them. So I end up reviewing as many as 200 words at a time, but in the enjoyable format of re-reading a chapter of manga. The draw backs will be that I have to initially learn the words when I read the chapter the first time/second time/third time, which will be a chore, but afterwards, reviews will be much less painful because there will be far fewer of them, and they will have pretty pictures to go along with them.

    • I guess my strategy for initially learning the words will be to cram them before reading the chapter… that is usually a failing strategy…but we’ll see.

    • If I was going to do that, I’d initially learn them with Anki, then once the interval reaches a certain number (maturity?), delete/suspend them. This might help filter out potential problem cards. Good luck!

      • Actually maybe the opposite is better… Add them to Anki, but with a decent interval to begin with. Learn them in context initially, then let anki deal with the long term reviews.

    • Can you go into more detail? Do you still look up the words you don’t know but don’t put them into anki? This is really interesting to me

      • My initial idea was to learn the cards in context, like lostasock’s second suggestion, maybe learn them in advance, or as I am reading…except, I am trying to avoid studying individual words in Anki so I am not going to add individual words to anki, but instead have anki schedule when I re-read a manga chapter, or re-watch an episode of anime, etc.

        What I will have near by for reference when I get stuck reading a chapter, or watching some video, is a list/map of the definitions, perhaps in the Anki Browser.

        The issue with this mode of study is that, I will only be reviewing the words in the native material, which will be less than is covered in Jalup Immersion, or a branch map of words I looked up myself. This is because some definitions contain multiple unknown words. These I will review only if I forget one of the words in the native media, and in order to understand that word, I also have to look up words in the definitions.

        The benefits of this review style is that I am not reading individual sentences in isolation. It is like the next level up. Instead of studying words in isolation, you study them in sentences. Well now, instead of studying sentences in isolation, I am enjoying them in the context of native Japanese Material. I might spend the same amount of time or more reviewing, but I am doing it with native material, that, if chosen right, is fun and enjoyable to read and re-read.

        I’m not saying that this is better or more effective. It probably isn’t. This is just an idea I thought up because I am tired of anki reviews.

        • With respect to using Anki to schedule when I re-read a chapter, etc… I will simply put the name of the manga, the volume number, and the chapter number on the front of the card, and I might not put anything on the back of the card.

          Or maybe, if the materials are online, I will have a link to the online material on the front of the card or the back or the back of the card, either way…I’m just going to experiment.

        • I think I have found how I am going to study the words. Jalup Immersion is convenient for this as well as Anki’s Custom Study mode. What I am doing is selecting x number new cards, 74 in the case of Yotsubato, and rebuilding the custom deck so that the cards are not added to my review schedule. As I read the manga, I study a card in the custom deck. If the card is easy to remember its reading, I press easy if I understand it right away. If it is hard to understand or the reading is hard, I press ‘again’. I just keep doing this until the chapter is read. After the chapter is read, I suspend the Yotsubato cards, so that I can select x amount of other cards for the next Jalup Immersion Chapter.

          After this I create a card in anki that has the title and chapter of the manga, and have anki schedule when I read the chapter again. I just have the list of words ready whenever I forget what something means the next time I read the chapter.

          • Just a thought. Tagging each collection of cards with their respective manga might help alleviate some potential confusion.

    • So this is what I learned from my experience:

      Reviewing Manga is no more fun than reviewing Anki cards. Work is work. Review is Review.

      As soon as I decided to stop adding new cards is the moment I felt like I need to shake up my reviews and make them more fun. What this means to me is that learning new cards was fun because as soon as I took them out of the picture, my motivation for completing the reviews went out the window. It seems it was always getting to the new cards after my reviews that motivated me to finish my reviews. What I take away from this is when I want to take a break from adding, instead of stopping completely, I just reduce them to a number that is still fun, but not as hard or as many as before.

  4. Stop adding new cards. Let the review overload subside until next month. Take this SRS cool-off time to focus on immersion: read one short story, finish watching that anime I’ve been putting off for too long, meet with native speakers. Lastly, pick a vocabulary expansion strategy for after this rest period. I’m thinking about only adding words when they show up in immersion, but I still have an entire month to consider it.

    • Now reviews are around 70 per day. not as low as I hoped.
      Finished the reading, even though I only started over a week into Dec.
      Only watched a few episodes of GTO. there’s 12 left, so I can still make it if I watch 3 a day.
      Watching anime goes so slow for me because reading just feels so much more rewarding. Nevertheless, it’s important not to neglect listening immersion. I do have radio in the background whenever possible but it’s probably not enough since I don’t really concentrate on it.

  5. 1. Bring reviews down to zero EVERY DAY (I’m seconding this)

    2. Review at least 10 new cards from Jalup Advanced daily (currently at about 500 cards so at 10 cards a day I should only have around 200 cards left as 2018 approaches)

    3. Read at least 5 pages of Fairy Tale daily

    4. Create and branch at least 7 cards a week using Fairy Tale

    5. Complete the N4 grammar section of 文プロ at a pace of 3 new grammar points a day (I currently only have around 60 grammar points left unless they add more)

    6. Review at least 10 new cards daily from Core 2K

    7. Review at least 2 new cards daily from my immersion deck


    • I’m just going to go ahead and write my status report a little early here:

      1. This was honestly a terrible goal. Not only did I fail in the course of a mere few days but it was also a bad idea since unlike Anki, Jalup Next, and Bunpro don’t just give you x amount of cards for the day and call it good. Aside from missing a few days I did manage to start learning quite a few new cards, and reviews haven’t gotten too out of hand quite yet

      2. As of this very moment I’m currently 767 cards into Jalup Advanced keeping the ten new cards a day pace I should be slightly over 800 by time January is here

      3. I think I did fairly good with this one I’m almost finished reading the second volume of Fairy Tale and have branched close to 80 cards

      4. This goal was much more manageable then bringing all reviews down to zero. Most days I was adding at least three cards although there was a few days where only a single card or even no cards were added

      5. I managed to finish the N4 section a few days ago. For the next month or two I’ll likely work towards grinding away at the N3 section

      6.Core 2K has been interesting I’m only going through the deck for vocab and I have modified the deck to be J-J rather than J-E. I’m currently about 500 cards in and will likely spend a few more months on it unless I increase my current pace

      7. Only reviewing two new cards felt almost too easy. Since I’m reading Fairy tale in e-book form it’s also easy to snip whatever images I want from the book. Having the image that contains the sentence I’m trying to learn definitely makes the learning process easier and much more enjoyable. Of the 80 or cards in my deck over 40 cards have already been added to my reviews

      Lessons Learned

      1. Don’t set daily goals, set weekly goals instead that way if you screw up once or twice throughout the week you can rebound back

      2. Manga can get progressively harder the further in you go, while volume one of Fairy Tale was great and I felt like my understanding was close to 80% this percentage has steadily started to decrease down to somewhere between 62% and 72%. If this trend continues it might be time to find new reading material

      3. Don’t fall into the trap of setting the bar low, when in reality you’re setting the bar higher your brain will not be fooled

  6. 1. Get KK and JB to 860 cards (10 cards a day) and absolutely make sure reviews are down to 0 by the end of the day. This past month showed what a nightmare allowing reviews to build up can be, especially when I had done a few bouts of 20 cards a day.

    2. I will give 夏目友人帳 a try for immersion, but I won’t make this a hard goal.

    3. I plan on not letting break get the best of me. Hopefully since the transition will be slower this time (switching from work and school to only work, and then to having off intermittently), I’ll be able to adjust my learning strategy to my new schedule rather than wanting to completely veg and ignore Japanese. I’ll also try getting up earlier to do morning reviews since an upcoming promotion at work may leave me with little downtime to fit in reviews throughout the day.

  7. My primary goal for December is to finish Jalup Intermediate. As of today, I have 210 cards to go, so if I am able to do 10 cards per day, I should get done by Christmas. I anticipate that I won’t be able to do that every day, so that is why I think the end of the month is most likely. My original goal for this deck was to finish by mid October, but I ended up travelling so much since the start of August, that I really put off adding new cards (although I did keep up with reviews fairly well). A side effect of this travelling is that I am almost certain that I have obtained employment in Japan for early next year!

    I also finished creating all my joyo kanji meaning-only Anki cards a few days ago, so I can focus purely on learning cards. Even though I had the cards almost completely made up, it still took several days of effort to complete the last few hundred cards. I currently stand at about 1650 kanji already reviewed, my hope is to go through 100 per month for the next few months to finish that up. The thing is, though, I really dislike having more than 100 reviews per day, so I sometimes stop adding. If I can get through 100 kanji cards this month, I will be satisfied, as I have no plans to go anywhere.

    After finishing up Jalup Intermediate, I think I will take some time to reflect on how to proceed with my Japanese learning. Although I acknowledge that the J-J flash cards with dictionary definitions are a great way to reinforce your Japanese, I find for many of the words the dictionary definition does not help me figure out what the word means, and often my interpretation is wrong. I am around non-native English speakers all the time, and they often ask me about grammar points and definitions of the subtleties of words of similar meanings in English. It got me thinking that my learning process for interpreting word meanings is through contextual based definitions rather than from a dictionary definition. Having a sentence like “欠点を補う” is too short and lacking in context to help me remember either word (that particular card I get wrong almost every time, I don’t know why). I am going to use this month to think of a way of making my own cards that can do that.

    • Please keep me updated on your next move. I currently feel the same way I finished intermediate and I moved on to a hybrid sort of I do Japanese to Japanese as well as Japanese to english sometimes when needed. Recently I’ve been using substitutes RS for Hunter x Hunter as well as my hero Academia and I’ve been leaning more towards japanese to English. Usually I just put the word that I’m looking for or that I’m trying to learn in English the rest of the sentence is not translated

    • The way I see it, is that having just one short example, gives you at least a starting point. It’s a kind of key to then discover its many subtleties through immersion (and conversation etc).

    • I was successful at finishing Jalup Intermediate the other day, just a few days after Christmas. I was adding more than 10 cards per day at the end, which may have been a bad idea, since some of those cards are not really sinking in for me. As I mentioned in the earlier post, I think that some of the dictionary definitions are a bit too abstract to allow me to figure things out. I’m still thinking of the best way through this.

      As for Kanji cards, through the Christmas break I decided to pump things up by adding 10 new cards per day. This has allowed me to add about 60 more cards than what I had anticipated. As of this posting I have 340 joyo kanji left, so it might be possible to finish by mid March if I turn it down to 4-5 cards per day once the break is over. One thing I did early in the month was to turn down the starting ease of the cards from the default amount (250%) to a much lower value (right now , 130%), I think this has done wonders to actually reducing the card load, because I don’t forget as many cards. I think if I start any new deck, I will be doing this.

  8. Alright, this month’s goal is to really buckle down and complete RTK. Once I complete that, which will hopefully be soon, I want to increase my vocabulary using the kanji I’ve learned and using multiple reading resources to help me out with that. To go along with that, of course, is expanding on my reading ability, and getting deeper into sentence structure and whatnot. Here’s to a good December!

    • I completed RTK right on time and learned a reasonable amount of new vocabulary, so now that RTK is out of the way, I can focus on vocabulary and grammar! ^o^

  9. 1. Maintain an average of around ~15 Jalup Advanced cards resulting in 800/1000 cards learnt by the end of the year.

    2. Improve on last months failing at attaining 20 hours of focused native content consumption.

    3. Hopefully get started on making a new Anki deck to help with remembering how to write kanji. Prior to the stress of moving I was able to recall and write ~2000 kanji based off keywords and I’d like to get back to that stage now that things have calmed down a bit.

    I’m tearing apart my old Kanji Damage deck I made and remaking the whole thing J-J with just sentences with target kanji replaced with kana. I suspect lunch at work will work nicely for creating the cards themselves as the latter half is generally wasted after the reviews are wrapped up.

    4. Further to 3, continuation of the “word of the day” on my whiteboard at work because I can see it’s starting to russle some jimmies and that’s excellent.

    Hopefully I should be able to get on top of the native content consumption this month, will likely need to stock up on new manga however as I don’t like how little unread content I have left.

    • 1. Was without my phone for a week and a half which made it awfully inconvenient as I no longer had a use for the 30 min commute to work. 690/800 I wanted to achieve.

      2. Can’t check as my records are on my PC a few hours away but likely also not met.

      3. No attempt made.

      4. Kept it up for a week at which point it devolved into German phrases instead then fizzled out and died.

  10. – Get to 900/1000 cards in Jalup intermediate (currently at 740, so 160 new cards)
    => Stretch goal: Finish Jalup intermediate (260 new cards)

    – Get to 180/2300 cards in kanji kingdom (currently at 166, so 14 new cards)
    I still don’t really like kanji reviews, so this number is pretty low and I’d say this goal is also lowest priority for me.
    I kinda wanted to make another kanji goal related to the kanji study app, but my mobile is currently acting up :/ I don’t plan on getting a new one before christmas, so this will have to wait until next year. For kanji this month it’s mostly slo-mo kanji kingdom reviews and just learning by exposure.

    – Finish reading the second volume of 黒魔女さんが通る!!
    I feel like I’m getting better at it!

    – Decide what I’ll read afterwards (next volume or other stuff?)

    • Short “Mid Month Update”
      – Currently at 890/1000 Jalup Intermediate (150/160 done for the main goal and 150/260 done for the stretch goal), so I will definitely meet the 900/1000 goal (yay!) It’s really tempting right now to go for the 1000/1000 but I don’t want too many reviews over christmas. It would make sense to slow down now with adding new cards… maybe… Or step it up and then only review over christmas….? No, really, if I want less reviews I should probably add less right now, but aargh so tempting!

      – Currently at 171/2300 cards in kanji kingdom (so 5/14 cards added)
      Still meeeh! But I added back in some thawed cards as well. No idea if I’ll ever finish this, but I’ll just keep doing it slowly and do most of the kanji learning via exposure.

      – I think I’m in the last chapter of the second volume of 黒魔女さんが通る!! and should finish some time this week!

      – Not sure yet what I’ll read next. I actually might reread the first volume of 黒魔女さんが通る!! for the rest of this month. And maybe I’ll get some Japanese related christmas presents, who knows?

      • “End of Month Update”
        – Get to 900/1000 cards in Jalup intermediate
        => Stretch goal: Finish Jalup intermediate
        nope, I’m at 919/1000

        – Get to 180/2300 cards in kanji kingdom
        nope, I’m at 172/2300

        – Finish reading the second volume of 黒魔女さんが通る!!

        – Decide what I’ll read afterwards (next volume or other stuff?)
        DONE!! I decided to go for the third volume for now. Basically the “easy road” but who cares :D

        Overall I’m satisfied :) Missed the stretch goal and the kanji goal, but as I already said at the beginning of the month, that was pretty low priority anyway. Reviews piled up a bit over christmas, but I’m chipping away at them currently.

  11. 1. Finish Jalup Intermediate. I’m at 720/1000, so it’ll be difficult. I don’t have a stretch goal this month — learning 280 cards in one month essentially /is/ my stretch goal.

    2. Get to 1800/2200 in RTK. At 1680/2200 right now.

    3. I’ll add new cards in Kanji Kingdom every so often; I’m currently at 275/2300. I prefer RTK for initially learning kanji, but I prefer Kanji Kingdom’s approach to reviewing previous kanji. I want to finish RTK before I throw myself headlong into KK, but I’ll probably continue to add to KK whenever I feel like it. For the most part, it adds little stress to my reviews, since I already recognize most of the kanji I’ve seen so far.

    This month is going to be hard, mostly because it’s only a week until finals. I may have to increase how many cards I learn every day to 15 by the last half of the month. I did that with the last 100 or so cards of Beginner and came out largely unscathed.

  12. 1. 110 new cards from expert
    2. Finish 2.5 manga (しろくまカフェ), the 1/2 the book I didn’t finish from last month.
    3. Watch 10 dramas

  13. – 5 cards per day from Jalup Immersion stage 5
    – Continue Beginner Situations stage 1 and stage 2 at 1 card per day.
    – Lots of immersion, especially listening.

    • What are you doing for your immersion? I am having a hard time staying immersed. Could you go into detail if you don’t mind. Thanks in Advance!!

      • For reading I read various mangas. Currently ぼくは麻理のなか, which is surprisingly easy for a seinen manga.

        For listening I have audio tracks from movies and series on my phone. The two main movies I am using right now are 君の名は (Your Name) and 言の葉の庭 (Garden of Words).

    • – Done.
      – Done, progressing through stage 2 now.
      – I got loads of immersion, but not quite as listening focused as I would have liked.

      Overall pretty happy with my progress. I hit the magic 10000 sentence number this month, and while I’m definitely not fluent, I’m getting to the point where it feels like I know most of the words I meet. It feels awesome! Anki is really my friend at this point, so currently I would project that I will add at least 12000 sentences before I stop adding. I wouldn’t be surprised if I continue past that point.

  14. – 30 new Kanji cards every day while keeping reviews at 0, should bring me up to 1410 total so far.

    – Same review goal for the jalup beginner enhanced deck, except learning 20 new every day.

    – Try to consume mostly media in Japanese when I can – work on listening and word recognition in reading.

    • Got it done, this is a good pace for me to feel like I’m really making progress combined with things like trying to read manga, following more people on social media like instagram that post in Japanese, and using Hellotalk to try and talk to people a little bit (and it’s pretty fun to help them with English too it turns out). The reviews on the kanji side have gotten pretty heavy with this pace, right now they’re at ~150 a day, but I sort of expected that. Just gotta get up a little earlier.

  15. For this month, I am setting goals that don’t require me to dedicate any additional time to Japanese study but that will allow me to use my time more efficiently. Since I use Japanese at work, I have gotten kind of lazy about other daily tasks or idle time (time spent driving, cooking, waiting in line at the grocery store, etc.) into time engaged with Japanese, so I want to work on that.

    1) Same as the last few months, practice kanji every day and add at least 60 new cards to my N1 deck.


    2) Listen to more Japanese radio, mainly during my drive home, or while necessary tasks at home that do not involve language. I am going to set the bar low and say at a minimum, 2x/week.

    Resources: Japanese radio station via the TuneIn Radio app

    3) When I have finished my assignments and have spare time at work, read things in Japanese.

    Resources: the internet, Japanese work-related books that my Japanese co-worker lent to me

    4) When I journal, write a few sentences in Japanese. Going to set the bar low on this one too and say the minimum is 2 sentences per day that I actually write in my journal.

    Medium: Microsoft Word

    5) Make an effort to bring back the habit of thinking in Japanese. This is something I used to do after moving back to the States and before I got a job that allowed me to use Japanese every day, just to give me more daily exposure to Japanese, but I’ve since become lazy about.

    This goal is awfully hard to quantify, but without regard to how long each day it is, I will make it my goal to try spending some time thinking in Japanese every day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>