Achieving Your Japanese Goals – February 2018 — 33 Comments

  1. My goals for February 2018:

    1. finish Genki Chapters 16, 17 and 18 (using Anki)
    2. study all the new vocab from the Prologue Chapter of 海辺のカフカ (until page 9; using Anki+Rikaisama)
    3. frequently finish all due Anki reviews (preferably everyday)
    4. Write a letter for my Japanese friend (in Japanese and English)


    P.s. for those wondering, you can still get Rikaisama on Waterfox, a Firefox-based browser

  2. I’ve been doing a lot of tv watching but not much actual studying over the holidays, so jumping back on the wagon.


    Finish RTK once and for all. With some on and off studying this month I only have 437 cards left. Should be able to easily knock those out.

    20 JALUP cards a day. (600-ish)

    60 minutes of walking a day, and use it for Anki reviews. My walk to and from my car 4x in a day is 20 minutes total, so need to either take walking breaks during work or take advantage of the lengthening days and walk in the evenings. Anki is always more enjoyable while walking.

    Soft goal: find an erganomic way to study. I hate going to the library to study as craning over a desk makes my shoulders sore (I never have back/shoulder pain other than when I study like this). Need some way to prop books up so I’m looking forward rather than down.

      • I have been doing this for about 2½ years now, and in the beginning I had some awkward situations where I was close to walking into people, but practice makes perfect and now I’m a very aware of my surroundings. Basically you have to learn to look up every few seconds. I do approximately 40 cards like this a day while walking to and from the store to pick up groceries. That’s 40 cards for free, since the time would be spent anyway, so it’s actually one of my key techniques to find time for Anki.

          • Not the OP but..

            When I got off at 5pm every day, I would go home and them walk to the supermarket from my house every single day to shop for the cooking that day. I shared a house with 3 others who would regularly eat my food stored in the refrigerator, so it kinda gave an incentive to not store stuff there.

            There was a river in between my apartment and the supermarket (the bridge was on the grounds of my apartment) so the walking trail was great, and I enjoyed my time listening to Japanese/doing Anki during this, so it was actually something I looked forward to doing every day.

            Did this for 3 years up until about 3-4 years ago when I moved.

            • So 40 cards in a 300m round trip. Thats 1 card every 7.5m. You either walk very slow or review cards very quick.

            • There is a traffic light and lines at the super market, so it’s not all walking. For reference my review rate is currently around 6 cards per minute for the deck I use for this.

            • Just to add to Jesper’s experience; you get very fast at reviewing cards while walking with a little practice. The time consuming part of Anki reviews is usually the part where you are thinking about the answer. Since you don’t need to be looking at the screen while doing this, doing this while walking isn’t too bad.

    • I use a Bluetooth “gamepad” to do reviews with anki – prop up my phone on something, then I can sit up properly. I read manga/books on my phone this way too, with the buttons controlling page forward/backward.

    • – Actually took a step back and put a lot of cards back in my deck to relearn. Not too many (100) but I’m going to take RTK slow to prevent a high failure rate in Anki
      – I actually did some insane amount of cards in February – maybe 1500? I had a ton of 100 cards added days. A lot of cards I knew already so this wasn’t insane but blew past that goal!
      – I forgot it was the rainy season so I didn’t get out as much as I wanted. I also had WAY too much work this month and that ate into walking time… on the other side though I did manage to up my healthful eating so at least continuing the health improvement trend (and honestly it helped with my Japanese reviewing/learning)

      Soft goal solution: stop studying at the library! I’d rather study by watching TV anyways… :)

  3. Goals:
    1. Complete JLPT N2 vocabulary. Do 10 new cards a day, fewer if there’s a large overload from immersion vocabulary. If you have to, suspend cards from immersion to make the deadline.
    2. Read 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 to end of first chapter. Mark new words and add to Anki. If this becomes too much work, just read and mark and make the cards when you have the time.
    3. Shadow one item from every day, then download the audio for passive immersion. It’s a lot faster and feels more productive than watching anime.
    4. RevTK every day.

    Daily routine:
    1. Anki right after breakfast.
    2. RevTK and shadowing session right after dinner.
    3. Read if not too tired. Realistically, reading happens mostly on the weekend.

    • 1. Done
      2. Less than half done
      3. Complete failure
      4. Took it down to 0 every 2-3 days
      Not much success. It’s been awfully busy at work, some days arriving home only to sleep, so it’s not like I was slacking off. Was also quiet busy with non-work things, but I guess it’s not a bad thing to have social life and keeping up with workout schedule.

  4. 1. Continue Beginner Situations stage 2 at 1 card per day.
    2. 1 new kanji per day
    3. 5 new J-J sentences per day.
    4. Lots of immersion, especially listening.

    • 1. Done
      2. Done and even turned it up to 2 per day half way through the month, so happy with that
      3. Done
      4. Done

      Good month!

  5. I already explained my plans for this month on January’s monthly goals post, so I’m just going to write down my goals:

    -Reach 950/1000 cards on Jalup Intermediate [310 new cards as of now]
    (current progress: 640/1000)

    -Reach 1680/2300 cards on Kanji Kingdom [173 new cards as of now]
    (current progress: 1507/2300)

    • Both goals check! I’m late posting this time because I’ve had a few really busy days lately. In fact, I actually missed a day of reviews near the middle of the month, and got a lot of them to catch up, but I managed to do so two days after that one so everything went back to normal quickly.

  6. The past months have been tough in terms of Japanese study. I got pretty overwhelmed at the end of my semester, between having to create a data warehouse as a term project and getting promoted at my internship. I had also been cocky beforehand so I was adding 20 cards from each deck a day. This made catching back up on my reviews Herculean and I was burnt out an demotivated. After having a break from classes and settling in to my new role at work, I’ve finally gotten back into a groove. Here are my goals this month:

    1. Goal: Get to 910 in KK and JB by adding 10 cards a day.

    2. Resources: I’ll mostly be focusing on using Jalup NEXT but I will try my hand at a few level 1 easy readers at some point this month to help reinforce what I learned.

    3. Game plan: I’m going to only add 10 cards per deck each day and not try to get ahead. I may be eager and feel I’m on a roll that day but it makes it harder to retain everything over the course of the next few days. If I have downtime I’ll use it to practice writing recently learned kanji. I’ll make sure I have no reviews left by the end of the day and try to add new cards in the morning so I don’t forget to add them.

  7. Goal: Finish Tobira Chapters 4&5

    Resources: Tobira, Tobira Kanji Power Up, Tobira Grammar Powerup

    Plan: Work on it daily after I finish WK, try to get 4-5 pages done for max, 1-2 for min.

  8. 1. 5 minutes shadowing per day
    2. No new anki cards, but being stricter to mark cards as wrong rather than hard. Have started doing this the last few days and getting ~ 300 reviews per day, much more than my prior 100 – 130.
    3. Finish current orange 1 and read orange 2
    4. 8 drama episodes.

    • Regarding 2, I can highly recommend this change. I used to use Hard for cards that I sort of understood, but the problem with that is that you don’t relearn the card, so it will just continue to be an unlearned card that impedes your understanding of the cards that build upon it. I made the same change during my first year using Anki and after getting over the initial review bump that it caused, my Anki retention increased drastically for the aspects that I had been using hard for.

      • Thanks for the encouragement. Started doing this about 6 days ago and somewhat discouraging to watch reviews go from ~ 120 to 350+. So far I have been able to get to zero each day and hopefully in a few weeks will get back to a more manageable number.

        • I believe my reviews came back down under control within about 2 weeks, and the resulting increased retention removed a lot of frustration as well, so just hang in there :)

          • I did 851 reviews today and for the first time the reviews aren’t increasing the next day (exactly 851 due tomorrow as well) so hope I’ll get over the hump. Although it’s very painful doing that many cards it really works seeing the same cards multiple times. It also isn’t so bad doing the reviews when you get more correct. If I’m not able to push through the reviews (a lot depends on how busy my job is) I’m going to restart the intermediate deck using the same strategy but hoping not to have to do that.

            • Made it to the end of the month but still having 800 reviews per day which is unsustainable. Have a new strategy for next month see March goals.

  9. More Immersion, add more kanji . Last month when very well. I got an mp3 player and keep it on at all times I pop in my earbuds when I get a change at work. Every Sunday I add all of the shows I watched to my Immersion playlist. Keep adding J-J sentences. I add about 5-10 a day. I also started RTK again. I was doing it with the Kanji on the front and keyword on the back. But after a while I started to forget so I switch back to the normal way. I also have been added the story to the back of the card. I have all of my stories saved on reviewing the kanji. Returning to the normal way has helped me a lot it has tough be after short while I got back in the groove. This is the second time going through RTK so its not so bad. This time around I suspended all of the cards first then when I learn a new word in my J-J sentence and lets say I cant remember the kanji for that word. I will look up that kanji my anki deck, add the story to that card and un-suspend that card and study that kanji. YES this does take sometime. But I found that it helps my retention for new words I’m learning plus I don’t want to add any kanji that I all ready know. I would not recommend doing this if you have not been through RTK at least once. I still remember a most of the radical names as well as the stories I made. I add about 25 kanji a day. I also write the kanji down as well it really helps me.

  10. My goals for this month include:

    1) Adding 125 new joyo kanji cards. If I do this, I will have less than 100 left for March, and I will finally be done after over a year of this.

    2) Adding 100 cards to my new vocabulary deck. I am being conservative here, because it takes a long time to make up the cards, especially finding appropriate sentences. I want to focus on words relating to emotions.

    3) I want to create a new deck that will focus purely on grammar points. I feel I do not have a good enough grasp on them, and this impedes me from creating grammatically correct sentences. For this, I’ll be taking examples directly from Genki. Maybe 50 sentences from this?

    4) Keep up with the other Jalup decks I have. Even though I finished Intermediate a months ago, I’m still getting 60-100 reviews every day with this, even with 80-90% correct. It is kind of a drag, I have to admit.

    • Alright, here is how it went:

      1) Definitely exceeded this goal. I have less than 70 cards left, got 5 new cards in every day except for a couple.

      2+3) I managed to add about 125 cards to my own deck. I decided to go back to the beginning and add cards with sentences from Genki 1, I am finding that this is a good idea, to reinforce the grammar.

      4) I actually stopped reviewing the Jalup decks about a week ago. It was starting to be a huge drag, and no longer fun after a long day at work. I found that I was failing on the same cards over and over again, and it just wasn’t clicking. I think just passively reading off sentences is not the way forward for me, I need to do something more active to remember things. I’ll describe it more in my March goals.

      • I was in your shoes maybe 6 months ago….

        It’s ok to just stop with the cards. Honestly I kind of just lapsed on JALUP cards as they really weren’t ‘fun’ or enjoyable at all, but thankfully I had found a lot of TV to keep me entertained. However, after a few months of just watching 1-2 hours of Japanese TV shows every day I found a lot of words I struggled with started to click, and kanji became more recognizable (I used Japanese subtitles).

        It was about 2 months ago that I got back into cards and it SO much easier with a lot of exposure. I would highly recommend it, even if you don’t go down the same path as me I promise that immersion will help you a lot. Good luck!

        • I’m hoping to do something like that as well. I’ll be in Japan for two and a half months starting in May, I’m planning to spend pretty much all of that time being immersed. Hopefully all that effort comes through then! I think I have been focusing too much on the cards and not enough immersing. I’ll try to buy some dvds of shows that I enjoy while I am in Japan to help for the times I am not living in Japan.

  11. The end of the fall semester distracted me from Japanese. I stopped adding cards first, then I stopped reviewing cards. After finally managing to bring my reviews back to zero, I started halfheartedly adding new cards, but I had fallen off the wagon. I’ve finally managed to get back into the habit.

    1. Complete Intermediate. I’m at 936/1000 right now. I want to finish this deck by 17 February. That’s 5 cards a day, which is actually pretty easy for me normally, but these next two weeks are going to be very busy. I’ll probably do 10 most days, but on the days when I don’t manage my time well, I’ll still try to get in at least 5 new cards.

    2. 100/1000 in Advanced. I want to finish Advanced by 31 May. That means I’ll need to stay consistent at 10 a day, which should be easier once my schedule clears up midway through the semester.

    3. 1950/2200 in RTK. This is 5 a day. I’m so close! Once I complete RTK (in April), I’ll start working through Kanji Kingdom. I prefer the RTK method for learning new kanji and the KK method for reviewing kanji.

    4. Finish Nichijou. This is the month! I only have 11 episodes left.

    5. Read a White Rabbit Press Graded Reader a day. I’m working through them, slowly but surely. Prepared to tackle Level 2. If I find one particularly difficult, I’ll read it again the next day. For my first time through, I won’t look anything up. I’ll just keep powering through and see how much I can understand. Basically the same strategy I used when I was first learning how to read English.

    • 1. Completed Intermediate! Huzzah!
      2. Got to Advanced 90/1000, which is only 10 behind where I wanted to be. Not too shabby.
      3. Only got to RTK 1867/2200.
      4. Not even close.
      5. Did good with this one! I haven’t progressed that far in the series, since I found myself reading the same ones over and over.

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