Achieving Your Japanese Goals – November 2017 — 39 Comments

  1. Finish Expert by November 20th, get started on Jalup Immersion. watch Anime every night. read manga when I feel inspired and after completing each corresponding Jalup Immersion section with the manga listed on the Jalup Immersion page. Get reviews down to zero everyday.

    Using anki and Jalup Next.
    Use Crunchyroll.
    Read Yotsubato.

    • Just completed Expert last night at 1:40 in the morning. So, technically I finished it on the 21st, but I did it! I’m taking a break for 25 days from adding new cards, so I am not going to get started on Jalup Immersion until then.

      • Good time for a break! I took almost two months off adding new cards, having just started on the Immersion cards this week. It really helped solidify a bunch concepts/words that I was struggling with, and let me focus more on other things for a little while to get my drive back.

  2. Overtime at work is finally over! Wont be doing overtime again until next august so it’s time to properly set some habits. Small goals here but they are very achievable!

    1. Do all my reviews, every single day, no exception. Every time that I make an exception and skip a day, that’s when it all goes downhill for me. And so, no more exceptions, ever! To help enforce this rule, I will be doing my reviews first thing in the morning (well, second… meditation THEN reviews)

    2. As for learning, 10 sentences & 2 kanji sequence (6-8) per day. Again, no exceptions, ever.

    3. This isn’t a specific goal but fill as much of my day as I can with japanese. Sadly I’m not allowed headphones at work so that means I have to use all of my free time; bus is now japanese time, bathroom is also japanese time, cooking is japanese time, sitting down at the computer is japanese time.

    My life has finally taken a turn for the better and I have finally made a proper plan to pay my debts, and afterwards save for a 2nd trip to japan. Based on that, I have set myself some goals both for my health & japanese, that I want to achieve by the time I reach that money goal, and this is my first step!

    • I have the same problem, usually when I have a busy day at work and can’t get to my reviews on a break (because I have no breaks), then I get home and I’m too tired and skip my reviews. I’m trying really hard to break that habit though! Doing them in the morning actually sounds like a nice idea! Good luck to you!

    • I know the month is not over but I am very happy with how this month went!

      1. Did all my reviews, every single no, no exception, always in the morning BEFORE leaving for work!

      2. Not only did I achieve this, I even successfully upped the amount from 10 to 15 sentences & from 2 to 3 kanji sequences! All while starting Jalup Intermediate IE starting J-J!

      3. I’d say this has more than been achieved! On average, so far in November, I have spent an average of 8 hours a day on japanese. That includes studying, watching anime, passive listening and (from the last 2 days) reading manga. Considering I work a full time job and can’t have headphones while working, I’d say that’s a great average! Here’s a picture of a more detailed breakdown, as I love tracking haha:

      Really proud of yesterday’s 15 hours haha.

      I also tried Jalup Situations for a few days and while I really liked it (made me realize just how little I understood through listening), working on that while starting J-J was a bit too much for me. On top of not being used to using anki anymore since I’ve been using Jalup NEXT. So I decided that I would stop it and go through it at another point, maybe at the end of intermediate!

      Also like I said, I have decided to start reading! Started with the typical Yotsubato, I definitely don’t understand everything but I am understanding a lot more than I thought I would, it is quite enjoyable!

      I’m really proud of this month because For the past 4-5 years I’ve been trying to learn japanese but I’m a big “serial restarter”; i’d study for 2-4 weeks and then quit and do nothing for 3-9 months… because of that I never really managed to progress much. But now, I’ve been at it for a month and a half and I’ve caught up to the furthest I’ve ever made it in the past and I’m having a LOT of fun doing it! I even understand a lot more than I did the last time I made it to Intermediate haha. Seems like this time is the good time, working on myself this past year has definitely made a big difference. To another month!

      • My total amount of time spent on japanese this month: 238 hours, which is an average of 7.93 hours per day. Next month’s probably gonna be higher because I thankfully get almost 2 weeks off for christmas (unpaid though sadly) so that means a lot more japanese time! Anyways I’m just really happy since it’s the first time I actually stick to japanese for a full month, and I don’t want to celebrate early but I think this is it, this might be the end of my “serial restarter” cycle I have been through the past 4 years (well, all my life, but as far as japanese goes).

        Next month I will wait until the last day to make this post but I am going to add here…

  3. Well, I moved house and got sick and started a degree so for a while I was SUPER behind on my Japanese. But I’ve now caught up on my kanki Kingdom deck and plan 1) is to keep up with my current pace of 5 kanji/day

    Plan 2) is to get through my jalup intermediate review backlog and then begin adding new cards. Not sure what pace yet – I may start at 2/day and see if I can scale up.

    Immersion is still super rough for me because I use audio to motivate me and when I don’t understand what I’m listening to it’s…not very motivating. I do have the 1st Harry Potter audiobook in Japanese though! I can vaguely follow that since I know the story.

    I need to just put some tv/anime on probably. Just put it on slightly in the background over and over til I can understand it a bit.

    • So a problem I’ve been having is that…I don’t understand anything. Apart from this one drama CD (go figure), I can’t really follow anime, or podcasts, or anything, which is super depressing. So I haven’t been doing much immersion and I’m less motivated to do my reviews.

      SO. I’m going to go back to watching some subbed anime. At least until I get my mojo back and am a few more hundred cards into the intermediate deck; I’m still in part 1 and I feel like I’ve heard people say there’s a massive improvement in understanding between, say, having done intermediate 1 and intermediate 4.

      It’s not ideal, but moving forward and interacting with japanese is better than the alternative. “Done is better than perfect” is a thing I’m working on generally right now.

      Oh, and my kanji reviews and new cards are going pretty well, although I keep randomly forgetting to do them on wednesdays. Ooops. Time to start working on my sentence review backlog.

      • My suggestion: watch anime that you have already watched in the past! I’ve been rewatching a lot of shows that I’ve been wanting to rewatch, it’s amazing! You already know the story so you can still enjoy it even if all you understand is some random words here and there! Actually, I just feel super happy when I do hear a word that I recognize or sometimes even full (short) sentences. It’s perfect immersion and as for me it even motivates me to keep learning. Worth a shot!

  4. 1) Same as last month, my kanji goal is to spend at least a little bit of time studying every day and add at least 60 new kanji to my N1 deck on Renshuu.

    Resources: and my own kanji flashcards

    2) So, I already passed N1 last year, but just barely, so am taking it again this year to try to get a higher score and benchmark how my level has (hopefully) grown in the past year. However, there are still some pages in the back of my N2 grammar book (完全カスター) that I haven’t done yet. These are things like some very helpful (and difficult) exercises about the grammar of the overall sentence as a whole (for example, unity and coherence, relationships of time in different parts of the sentence, etc.) and other things that you can’t learn just by learning the expressions themselves, and a practice test.

    I have 50 pages remaining to do in this book. My goal is to finish it by the end of November. With my current schedule this is a challenging goal for me (even though it is a little less than 2 pages per day, the material is challenging and will also require me to go back and review the N2 grammar expressions from the first part of the book, which I studied quite a while ago). It will require me to spend time at home studying (I normally use Japanese at home but do not do a lot of Japanese study at home) and I will probably have to reduce the time I spend on some other activities. I am planning on using my italki Skype partner, who is a volunteer Japanese language tutor, as a resource to help me out if I have questions (if necessary, I have some other Japanese friends and acquaintances I can ask).

    Resources: 完全マスター文法日本語能力試験N2, my Japanese partner on italki.

    3) This is a stretch goal, and I might not get to it, but if in addition to finishing 完全マスター文法 for N2 I have additional time I can use for studying, I would really like to spend some time reviewing N1 grammar, as well (I have a book for this also), and I also have a book/audio resource for N1 and N2 listening which I haven’t touched but I’m sure would be very helpful to use in preparation for re-taking N1 in December.

    Resources: 日本語能力試験問題集N1文法スピードマスター (book) (decent but not as good as 完全マスター), 日本語能力試験N1・N2試験に出る聴解 (book with CDs)

    In October, one of my goals was to start looking up Japanese vocabulary definitions for translation purposes and look up Japanese kanji origins (“at least some of the time” for both of those). I will keep doing this, but I don’t think it’s something that I have to really work at to maintain (it was a change easily incorporated into activities I am already doing anyways), and it’s also not particularly measurable, so I’m not going to specify it as a goal this month.

    • 1) Kanji goal: 大体達成

      I did miss one day practicing on Renshuu (better than last month), but I modestly exceeded my goal for number of kanji added.

      2) 完全マスター文法日本語能力試験N2: 目標達成

      Finished this book and my Japanese friends were awesome about answering my questions.

      3) 目標達成

      My goal was to spend at least “a little time” on the resources below. With this and that going on, I didn’t get as much studying done as I otherwise perhaps might have, but I did do some.


      I spent a little bit of time reviewing this. Really only a little bit though.


      I am most of the way through and expect to have finished everything in this book except the N2 practice test, which I skipped, prior to the Dec. 3 JLPT.

      A word about this book (日本語能力試験N1・N2試験に出る聴解) in case anyone else is considering using it:

      Supposedly it was revised to reflect the new JLPT format from 2010 onwards, but the most recent date it was revised was in 2010. Based on having actually taken the new N2 once and N1 twice in the past, I’m a little bit doubtful about how well the material in this book, and the kinds of things the book says are likely to show up in the test, actually match the test itself. This might have something to do with why it hasn’t been revised since 2010 , seems to be out of print, and was on sale when I bought it.

      On the other hand, some of the voices and speaking styles are *very* similar to the voices in the JLPT listening section (maybe even the same people??), and listening practice is listening practice, so I don’t feel like my time spent on this book was wasted at all.

      But there are probably better JLPT listening resources out there.

  5. Finish intermediate by November 11th, main issue is the weekends where I have too much time and get side tracked instead of doing reviews. Go figure.

    Hopefully keep up the pace of 20 cards a day in advanced but I’d be happy with 300 by the end of November.

    Read visual novels for 5 hours a week.

    • I think the weekend problem is quite normal – it happens to me too. I find that my problem is that during the week my studying is structured and a steady routine. Weekends mean no plan, so it’s easier to put it off.

    • Intermediate completed a few days ahead of schedule, hit 370 in advanced so all good there.

      Revised VN goal to just generally consuming native content at the start of the month, still fell short at ~3 hours a week.

  6. I’ve hit a pretty long spell of losing interest in studying Japanese. My goal is to get back on track.

    Rather than just trying to start cold turkey (that hasn’t worked so far) I will try to rekindle interest by watching youtube videos, reading Jalup and language learning forums. As my interest increases I will try to slowly get back on track with my reviews.

  7. – 1 new kanji each day. I will focus on kanji I have issues with in my J-J sentences
    – Continue Beginner Situations stage 1 and stage 2 at 1 card minimum per day.
    – Lots of immersion, especially listening.

  8. 1. Continue Kanji Kingdom at a rate of 2-3 sentence chains per day;
    2. Finish Jalup Beginner – I think i can finish it by 10/07;
    3. Start Jalup Intermediate – I’ve never done J-J sentences, so maybe I’ll start with 10 sentences per day;
    4. Watch every day 1 episode of ライフ (drama) or ゼロの使い魔 (anime) and listen passively as much as I can.

    I hope that with more immersion I finally be able to fully understand the beginner sentences. I feel like I’m translating too much and not doing them the proper way. So for now, when I’m doing the reviews, when I see the sentence and I’m not able to read it or understand it I just X the sentence and go ahead with new ones.

  9. Finish 2 more episode of subs to srs i am going with my hero academia. I found subs that actually work. So complete episodes 2 and 3.

  10. 1. Complete Core6K
    2. Return all suspended cards and disable auto-suspension
    3. Read one short story
    4. Finish off GTO
    5. Do JLPT N3 exercises

    • 1. Done
      2. Done
      3. Didn’t even start.
      4. Didn’t watch even a single episode.
      5. Done some and have a plan to finish all by the examination day.
      Did manage to meet a native speaker and handle it with little English.

  11. 1. Intermediate: 750/1000. Stretch goal: 800/1000. I want to have Intermediate finished by the end of the year.

    2. RTK: 1700/2200. Stretch goal: 1750/2200. I’d like to reach 1800 by the end of the year and then have the whole thing finished.

    These are my only set goals for this month. Finals and class projects are approaching, so I’ll need time to focus on those. I’d like to find time to watch 日常 and read Jalup Beginner Stories, but they’re likely to fall once again on the back burner this month.

    Also, I didn’t include “bring all reviews down to zero” because that isn’t a goal I have for myself — it’s an expectation. I’ve consistently brought my reviews down to zero everyday for the past year, with only a few hiccups along the way.

    • I’m not going to call this month a bust because I still made a ton of progress, but I did not reach my goals at all. I only made it to 712/1000 in Intermediate and 1679/2200 in RTK. Still, those are both close to my goals. It’s amazing to think that I only have 288 cards left in Intermediate, and I’ve learned over 1000 kanji in under a year. I started Beginner in 2015, but I didn’t finish it until this past summer. I started learning kanji in fall 2013, but I only knew 600 at the beginning of this year. Even though I fell short this month, my efficiency has increased by about 400% since I started. I can’t really complain about that.

      And except for one lapse, I did indeed bring all my reviews down to zero every day!

  12. 1. My goal is to get to Jalup Beginner and Kanji Kingdom to 550, which is 10 cards a day plus a few break days. I’ll also make sure to have my reviews down to 0 each day, even on the break days.

    2. Use Genki for some verb/particle review and clarification. I also plan on watching at least one tale (1/3 of an episode), if not a whole episode, of ふるさと再生日本の昔ばなし every night, without subtitles.

    3. My strategy is to try to learn the new cards in the morning, and spend the rest of the day periodically checking for new reviews. This makes it a lot easier to fit into my day since there are a few days where work and class leaves me with little time to dedicate solely to Japanese.

    • 1. I have 540 in both decks as of today, meaning I’ll have reached 550 by the end of the month (tomorrow). Unfortunately, my progress took a major hit last week. I was actually on track to have over 600 cards in each deck. Then the day I left for Thanksgiving break my work computer was inoperable as soon as I came to work, and after traveling I didn’t want to learn new cards. And then I had an actual break for the first time in a while and I discovered something: I am far more motivated and productive when I am busy. Being able to relax and take a break from work and school meant I didn’t want to study at all, which included doing reviews. Next thing I new, I had nearly 400 cards to review and I spent the past few days just trying to catch up and whittle down reviews instead of learning new cards. I need to be careful in the future when taking breaks.

      2. I think it was ambitious to try immersion when I’ve only been studying Japanese since September. I may try one more anime to watch without subtitles, but it may be better to just use a podcast or something similar for passive listening.

  13. Jalup Intermediate: 800/1000 (currently at 667/1000) Stretch goal: 900/1000 (Very far stretched goal: finish intermediate? But more the goal for december tbh)

    Kanji Kingdom: 190/2300 (currently at 161/2300)

    I have to admit, I find kanji reviews really really painful and have been avoiding them for a while completely (which made me also a bit lazy on the rest). I froze the whole deck before and have slowly been adding back a few kanji here and there and am now adding a few new ones in as well, but I’m careful to go super slow so they’ll mix more nicely with the other reviews. I kinda want to be done with it and I know at this snails pace that’s going to take ages but whatever… Maybe in a few months I got more used to those reviews or so *shrug* for now I’m just taking them suuuuper duper slow. (Got some base knowledge from other sources so it’s not holding me back too much on intermediate.. still would be easier if I had a better kanji foundation, pretty sure about that *sigh*)

    Well so goal for now: slow down on new kanji (1/day), add at least 5 new intermediate cards a day.

    • If you complete the Jalup series all the way up through Immersion, you will learn 1500 kanji approximately. Some of the kanji is in the definition only and not in the sentence, so whether or not you learn those depends on whether or not you replace the hiragana in the sentence with the kanji.

      If you keep going, making your own sentences after Jalup, it seems like the rate of new Kanji is about 130 – 175 new kanji per 1000 cards. So in order to get to 2000+ Kanji you would need to learn an additional 4000 – 5000 sentences.

      If you somehow completed Adam’s the One deck you would know 3500 kanji.

      The point is, you can learn kanji through learning new Japanese words, and you could also review the kanji radicals, drawing and reciting their meanings. There are only 214 kanji radicals and they help to distinguish between kanji that look similar but have different radicals. You can find a good kanji radical deck through ankiweb(dot)net.

      • Thank you for the information and also the tips!

        When I learn new words with unknown kanji I sometimes find myself only remembering the rough shape or only some parts. I did learn most of the radicals with the “kanji study” app (which helps) but if the kanji has many parts, I catch myself often just focusing on a few (looking at you, 躊躇/躊躇う) I find some more single-kanji focused study helps alleviate that a bit. But well, it’s a long road.

        I currently try to go through the kyoiku kanji in the kanji study app (just didn’t want to make any particular goals around that right now) and am sporadically adding kanji through the kanji deck on Jalup Next. And apart from that I’m just learning through words. If I have trouble with a word I usually try to write it down a couple of times, which helps “clearing up” the shape somewhat, but I don’t make learning the kanji properly a big focus in my vocab studies (I’m fine with recognition only for now there and some more focus if I confuse words/have troubles)

        I guess I sometimes admire people who can stick to something like RtK but then again if I look at my kanji reviews, they are just a pain and just imagining spending huge amounts of time on that each day makes me cringe, so nope, not a method for me… But I’m not too unhappy with what I’m doing right now, just gotta keep at it ^^

    • Meh. It’s been a really really “meh” month. I basically got inconsistent shortly after I wrote the goal-post, and didn’t manage to meet any of my goals. My reviews piled up for quite a bit and during the last week I’ve been mostly playing catch-up.

      On a positive note: I’ve managed to get my reviews back down to zero. It’s not much but I added like 70 more Jalup Intermediate cards during the month (currently at 740/1000). AND most importantly I picked up reading again, which was quite fun.

  14. School and family have really gotten in the way of my studies, so my goal might be a bit of a stretch this time. Even so, I’d like to finish RTK by the end of November. I’ll be using Heisig’s RTK, Kanji Koohii, and Quizlet for this. I have 1475/2200 so far, here’s hoping I can get it done and out of the way!

    • With some unexpected life events, I wasn’t able to complete RTK yet. However, I’m not far off, so let’s hope I can get it done soon!

  15. This month I’m going to break my goals into weeks so that I have a specific timeline, and leave a buffer week for unexpected stuff/settling into a study routine.

    Week One: Immersion
    I need to put together continuous audio immersion, and I will do that by first amassing materials, downloading/editing them, and transferring them to my phone. This will also be my media exploring week and time to buy books. Objective will be considered complete when I listen to a near-constant stream of downloaded audio daily, have some books to read, and watch an episode of an anime/drama at least 3 times a week.

    Week Two: Study Materials
    I need to download/make anki decks for Kanji, sentences, and vocab, and make a study schedule so I can review and/or add to them daily. I will also look for other educational resources, continue my use of iambi, and write journal entries on lang8. Objective will be considered complete when I have all 3 decks, have determined what if any other study resources I need, and have 10 entries in lang8. Grammar was my strongest area last month so I won’t set a goal for Iambi.

    Week Three: Skype Partner
    Find a language exchange partner for free or just a monolingual conversation buddy. Objective will be considered complete when I’ve had 2 conversations with this person.

    Week Four: Buffer Week
    Assuming I meet the timeliness, try to bring all this together into a coherent whole. Relax and enjoy media, study, talk to conversation buddy. If I don’t meet my timelines then use this week to get as much done as possible without beating myself up or stressing. May I reap the rewards!

    皆様、お疲れ様です。頑張って下さいね! 応援していますから! ❤

  16. 1. 100 new cards from expert level 7
    2. Read 2 manga (しろくまカフェ)
    3. Watch 15 dramas. Some will be ones that I’ve already seen before and are in my immersion player lineup. Will try to use my lunchtime at work (have about 30 minutes) to watch 1/2 of an episode. This is a stretch goal
    4. Try to shift some of my procrastination time into Japanese. I’m interested in reading about travel so I added japan airlines and ANA as well as a Japanese travel blogger to my twitter account to follow. I’ll try to spend time reading these tweets rather than going to English news sites.

    • 1. No, only 90
      2. No, only 1.5
      3. Think so, but some of that includes watching Japanese videos with my kids
      4. Yes, pretty successful at doing this using twitter.

  17. This is my first time posting and first time setting a public monthly goal for Japanese :) Keeping this in mind and that this is going to be a pretty hectic month for me (getting married, preparing my move to Japan for 5 months, wrapping stuff at work, preparing an upcoming renovation…), I’m going to keep it simple:

    1. Bring down reviews to 0 every day
    2. Learn at least 1 new kanji every day, using Kanji Kingdom (that should put me at 234 kanjis learnt by the end of the month)

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