Achieving Your Japanese Goals – March 2018 — 27 Comments

  1. I’m going to continue using the Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary + Anki, hopefully remembering to do my reviews every day lol. I’m currently adding 10 new cards a day, which seems solid for right now. My goal for this month is at least 100 new kanji solidified in my memory.

    Also, I’m trying to read as many articles on NHK Easy News as I can. Even if I can’t understand most of it, I want to try and get more reading practice. I found an awesome app called TangoRisto that takes NHK articles and lets you click on words for definitions, so that helps.

    Finally, continue using Memrise and Bunpro for vocab/grammar study. And maybe find some other application to help with that too, cause grammar is probably my weakest subject.


  2. 1. Continue Beginner Situations stage 2 at 1 card per day.
    2. 2 new kanji per day.
    3. 6 new J-J sentences per day.
    4. Lots of immersion, especially listening.

    My review load was getting a bit low, so I have decided to turn up the pace on Kanji. A slight increase for my J-J cards as well is needed to keep up with the extra sentences that the kanji change will result in.

    • 1. Done and started on Intermediate at 1 same pace.
      2. Done
      3. Done
      4. I did ok with regards to immersion, but not as much as I’d like. However, something began to click this month, and my listening comprehension has suddenly taken a big step forward. I’m quite pleased with that.

      • That’s awesome to hear! I always like to hear about click moments. I’m happy to hear that happens with listening as well. (Guess I could say that kind of happened to me recently, though at a much lower level). Keep up the great work.

  3. To many reviews with my strategy of strict reviewing last month (800 cards per day for 1 week and not going down) so I decided to start anki over again. Will go through the beginner deck within the first 2 weeks and then add the first 100 cards from intermediate. I’ll be very strict and make sure I understand both the word and the definitions this time. Somewhat discouraging to do but what I was doing wasn’t working so need to try something else. Other goals are to read 2 manga and watch 8 dramas.

  4. 1. Complete JLPT N1 vocabulary. Add 35 new cards a day. Limit reviews to avoid overload in core Anki time.
    2. Take care of the residual reviews on dead times like transport, lines, etc.. Try to keep it below 500.
    3. Read Suzumiya Haruhi to end of chapter 1.
    4. Shadow any new NISJ and the ones you missed last month.
    5. Review kanji SRS to 0 every now and than.

    • 1. done
      2. done
      3. didn’t even touch it. There was great weather every weekend so I just went outside to enjoy hiking and hanami. Don’t regret it at all.
      4. mostly done, have only 2 skits left
      5. just like reading, this is something I usually catch on on weekends, so like reading it was heavily neglected and currently there’s 319 cards on queue.

  5. 1. Advanced 400/1000
    2. RTK 2000/2200.
    3. Finish Nichijou.
    4. Finish White Rabbit Press Graded Readers Level 2.

    • 1. Succeeded!
      2. Got to 1944/2200 and became overwhelmed by reviews over 100. Too much. Spent the rest of the month just focusing on reviews.
      3. Nope.
      4. I read one!

  6. I’m almost over with Jalup Intermediate, woohoo! I’ve had a lot of fun with this deck, it was more stimulating than Jalup Beginner. That’s not to say I haven’t had troubles with some of the more abstract definitions though, and I’m still not clear on most of them. Time will make them settle down I guess. I’m eager to start Jalup Advanced on Tuesday!

    Here are my goals for this month:

    -Reach 250/1000 cards on Jalup Advanced [270 new cards as of now]
    (current progress: 980/1000 on Jalup Intermediate)

    -Reach 1850/2300 cards on Kanji Kingdom [156 new cards as of now]
    (current progress: 1694/2300)

    Let’s see next month how Jalup Advanced works out for me.

    • I promise you that when you are about halfway through Expert, you will consider most of the cards in Intermediate trivial :)

  7. 1. Study 140 Sentences from Jalup Intermediate (Rn I am at 987 new cards in my deck, so at the end of this month it should be down to (opening calculator app cuz I suck at calculating) 847 unseen cards. This makes an average of about 5 to 6 cards a day, leaving some space for busy days)

    2. Get at least 1 hour of passive immersion per day (through listening to Japanese YT videos and so on while waiting for the bus in the morning, walking home from the bus stop, cooking and eating)

    3. Read Yotubato Vol. 7 up to the end of the 43th chapter (page 48)

  8. I just have some basic goals this month. Work stress really got to me this past month so I just want to take it easy – which is a little hard for me but it’s for the best to prevent burnout.

    – Get to 500 cards in Expert 1 (currently 90 cards in)
    – Get to 300 cards left in RTK (currently at 384)
    – Don’t add cards to Anki when you don’t feel like it
    – Complete anki daily
    – Pick up one drama, any length, and finish it

    Need to expand my horizons a bit on TV watching. I am almost done with a drama called Clover which I really like, but I should watch some more outside of more Kamen Rider/Ultraman binging.

    • 1) Done. Currently 810 cards in
      2) Dropped RTK for now. Will be looking at restarting in a few months
      3) Done…. ish. Need to work on this more.
      4) Except for 2 or 3 days I did it. Persistence pays off.
      5) Uh, kind of did this. Picked up a sentai show and I am half way through it. I also watched over 40 hours of KR with Japanese subs (2 shows) with friends and I continue to see listening improvements ?

  9. I intend to finish up my Joyo Kanji meaning cards this month. With only 50 left right now, I should accomplish that next week at my rate of 5 new cards per day. Not a moment too soon, my reviews level on this deck is getting a bit crazy, commonly between 150 and 200 reviews per day.

    I’ve been extracting vocabulary/grammar sentences from Genki 1 the past month, and I feel this is going well. I think the main weakness I had with the Jalup decks is that there were not enough examples of specific grammar points. For instance, I have many cards with the pattern “place の location” point – this is pretty easy to set up with the Genki exercises. I’m also have a much more active way of doing cards, where when the vocabulary word is introduced, it is written purely in hiragana and bolded, and I write down the kanji/kana before looking at the answer. Passively reading sentences just wasn’t doing it for me. I feel my success rate is much better doing it this way, although the sentences are pretty simple. I’m doing 5 sentences per day, but towards the end of the month I will probably up it to 10 per day since I will be finished with the kanji (with a bit of time to cool off the reviews in that deck). Of course, I will be limited by how much time I have to add new sentences.

    • I did manage to finish the kanji deck about mid-March. Having gone through the exercise of doing about 2200 meaning-only kanji cards, I have mixed feelings about learning kanji this way, at least for 2200 of them. After about 1200 or so kanji, my success rate dropped considerably, and there are some kanji I get wrong all the time. I think without having some other source to expose yourself to the kanji, it is really easy to forget. And as someone who can only dedicate maybe an hour or so every day to study, there is simply not enough time to do this. It took me a year and four months to get through this deck. Even two weeks after I finished, I still get around 150 reviews per day, which takes about half an hour.

      I think my recommendation is that unless you are going to be dedicating many hours per day to study, do not try to learn all of the joyo kanji (let alone the additional name kanji) using meaning only cards. I think it is pretty safe to stop after somewhere between 500 and 1000 cards, because at that point you should be getting a feel for how kanji are structured, and you should be able to identify and draw the most commonly used radicals. I think it is much better to focus on vocabulary once you get to that point, and you can always look up the meaning of the kanji as you come across them. Many of the kanji that are towards the end of my deck included kanji related to the Japanese constitution, the emperor and metalworks, which are probably not going to be essential to your day-to-day life.

      As for the Genki deck that I am making, I am enjoying this. My retention rate is much higher than what I was getting with the Jalup decks that I was only passively reading off. Again, I think this is the way to go for me because I can only dedicate about one hour a day to studying, and don’t have the time to expose myself to a lot of extra material. I find that reinforcing grammar points helps a lot, and having multiple sentences with the same sentence structure is helping me with this. I think there is a difference between recognizing a word in in a sentence you are reading and actively remembering the kanji that go along with it. With the cards forcing me to remember the word without the kanji written there, I think I am retaining words a lot better. Maybe it isn’t as fast as just reading off sentences, but for me it is the way to go. I decided to keep things at 5 new cards a day, just because my kanji deck continues to have a lot of reviews. I ended up with about 130 new cards in March.

      • I think you are probably right that the approach where all kanji is learned up front is not ideal. Adam even has an article on here about that. I can however promise you that now that you have finished learning them all, the reviews will come down to something much more manageable in about 1-2 months. Just don’t make the mistake I did and stop reviewing them. Completing all the 2200 kanji is a huge achievement and with just a little effort that knowledge can be maintained indefinitely and will help you greatly in the rest of your Japanese journey. If you stop reviewing them, most of the knowledge will be gone in 6 months (personal experience).

        • Oh, indeed I will keep at it. Even during my busy down times last year, I did try to keep up with the kanji reviews. I do hope that the review count does go down to less than 100 per day by the end of this month, though. I think the reason I did the kanji in a concentrated way like this was because it was recommended by articles on AJATT. I think it is ok to do this if you have a much better memory than I do, but it is probably not necessary.

          • One of the things I experience when powering through some deck for a while, is that my retention rate is somewhat lower at first than it is when I take it at a slower pace. However as soon as I stop adding cards or slow down to a slower pace, my retention shoots back up. I think it is just a result of of being somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of new information you have to learn.

            I would expect your reviews to drop to about half in 2 months or so. In your case that would be around 75. It doesn’t always happen at a constant rate, but often in sudden drops of 10-20 over a few days.

            Another nice effect that happens is that once you are past the learning stage, you will start reviewing the cards faster. So even, though you are still reviewing the same number of cards, you will do so in less time and with less mental stress.

            This is all just personal experience, so your mileage might vary, but the tl;dr is: Don’t worry, it will soon come down :)

  10. I don’t have a concrete goal this month. I just want to get back in the habit of studying Japanese.

    • I did fairly well. I studied a lot more than I usually did. I’m still in a study slump but it’s not as bad as before.

  11. 1. Weekly lesson with Japanese Tutor
    2. Read 2 pages of either 1 リットルの涙 or 幸せのパン a day
    3. Clear Bunpro Cards and add at least 3 new per day
    4. Listen for at least 20 mins per day (Youtube or show)
    5. Try out Jalup intermediate again
    6. Choose a Dialogue to read and listen to for the week from Tobira

    • 1. Done :)
      2-4 Done! (minus a day or two)
      5. I realized that juggling two srs systems is a bit much for me. For April I plan to switch to Jalup because at this stage it seems more beneficial for my Japanese journey
      6. Yeah, this one fell by the wayside, but I also would rather spend my time elsewhere for now.

      This was my first time writing out my goals for the month and it was so helpful with keeping me on track each day. I definitely want to continue with setting monthly goals for myself.

  12. A little late to the party but here goes.

    1. Your specific goal(s)
    Complete 300 intermediate cards and all their associated kanji.

    2. Resources you will use
    Intermediate deck.

    3. Game plan/strategy
    Just trudge along. From what I’ve read this deck is one of the absolute worst and I’ll just have to get through it no matter what. It won’t be fun, but I will be glad I persevered when it’s over.

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