Achieving Your Japanese Goals – April 2019 — 33 Comments

  1. 1. Learn the latter half of Jalup intermediate (490 cards) and 410 cards from Jalup advanced for a total of 900 cards at a pace of 30 new cards per day.

    2. Do daily active immersion for 5 hours or more. Length of passive immersion will depend on mood. Materials that will be used will include drama, anime, movies, variety shows, youtube videos (including youtube comments), podcasts, twitter, and whatever else I can find that would grab my interest.

    Since I’m studying full-time right now, the game plan is to just get it done :)

    • Wow this is a serious workload but if you can do it full time it sounds like a fun challenge. Hope you enjoy the month. This huge goal is making me feel like I may want to increase my daily card goal at least a little bit when I get back from my long Japan trip in August. I think I will probably change a few things around in August (More reading, less watching, slightly more cards per day. I still need to give it more thought but that is how I am leaning…

      • Thanks, have fun with your studies and the upcoming Japan trip as well!

        I’ve been doing this schedule for the past two weeks and I agree that it’s a rather serious workload. The only reason I am able to do this is because many things have already happened since I finished the beginner deck around two years ago and stopped doing flashcards due to an erratic schedule. I’ve gotten much more used to Japanese and I already know quite a few words in the intermediate deck and possibly the more advanced ones too. I honestly wouldn’t attempt this workload if I were just transitioning directly from the beginner deck without a break. The cognitive load would be too high trying to learn words, getting used to kanji, and trying to understand sentences and dictionary definitions all at the same time.

        My goal right now is to improve and patch the holes in my vocab so I’ll be trying to learn as many words as I reasonably can in a relatively short amount of time.

        Goodluck and have fun to everyone who posted their goals here :)

        • Update:

          Finished Jalup intermediate today + 10 cards into advanced. Last weekend I only did 20/60 new cards but I don’t feel too bad about it. Some days, I only did around 3 hours of active immersion as well but that’s because I’m kind of saving putting full effort into immersion until I get further into the decks, or even after finishing expert stage 8.

          I find the weekends are more prone to feeling complacent but overall I’m satisfied with my performance so far.

          • Thanks for the update, I was curious how it was going. I definitely started enjoying immersion much more during and after advanced so I think your theory holds water.

            Also this is a little controversial but I would recommend doing some immersion with Japanese subtitles and some with no subs at all. It hurts your listening a bit but it improves your reading speed and allowed me to comprehend and enjoy much more advanced programming than no subs at all. It might get you more engaged with immersion and help you to ‘binge watch’ some shows.

            • Good recommendation and I agree. I’m actually already doing it, specifically with the show Terrace House right now because at this point in my studies, I feel I’d benefit more from a show like that by actually going through what is being said, rather than trying to listen to what the characters are saying. Being able to read the Japanese subtitles helps a lot with this. It gives me access to words/phrases that probably would just slip by me if I were just listening.

              I find that the thing with everyday Japanese speech is that there is some slurring of words that goes on that is just impossible to make out if you didn’t already know what’s being said very well. I believe native and fluent people are able to decipher these heavily slurred utterances without problems because their minds can already easily derive what is being said through a combination of the vague sounds being produced and a strong grasp of the context in which they are being said, not because their ears can make out the actual sounds better than, say, intermediate learners. Their minds can just instantly fill in the blanks. I say this with confidence because I was a musician and an audio enthusiast with well-trained ears. If I can’t make out the actual words, I doubt people who have no ear training can do it better than me, even if they have been studying Japanese for a longer time.

              Anyway, I still do a much more of pure listening and I’m happy where I’m at in that regard. How are your studies going?

    • Final update:

      I’m at 380 advanced cards as of today and will hit my goal tomorrow. All in all, there was one weekend where I only did 20/60 cards and had one day where I did 40 instead of 30. This put me exactly 1 day behind schedule and I’m completely fine with it. I consider this a success.

      As for immersion, 3 or so hours a day became more the norm in the last week or so but I lowered immersion time on purpose, which is to avoid as burnout as much as I can. I will put full effort into immersion once I get a few/several thousand more words into my vocabulary.

      I hope everyone did well in their goals :)

  2. Learn 150 cards from Jalup Intermediate, for a total of 250 cards.

    Learn 190 kanji from RTK, for a total of 1400 cards.

    Work on reviews every day. Remember it’s OK to add cards slowly. Slow progress is better than no progress!

    • All done, a little early. I decided to really work on kanji and get through RTK. I know that the reviews will be horrible for a while after I finish RTK, but at least I don’t have to add any new cards again when I get to the end. Only 800 to go!

      The 1000 J-J cards in 3 months callenge is already helping me. I don’t think I would have been ahead of my schedule without it. My new goal is to get to 400 Intermediate cards by the end of April so I can get to 700 by the end of May, 1000 by the end of June, and then add the first 250 cards from Advanced by the middle of July. Should be hard but doable.

  3. I want to talk to a Japanese person every day. I’ve downloaded Tandem, the only conversation exchange that doesn’t seem to be populated by creepy men. I’ve setup a calendly account so prospective conversation partners can “book” me. That saves back and forth about time zones and availability. So far I have one taker…but that is tomorrow on the 30th so it won’t count! Oh no! .^_^.
    I will probably fail because I will embarrass myself on the first conversation and not be brave enough to try again.

    • Well, we’re two weeks into April and I’m doing OK. I’ve modified my goal to 30 chats in April, rather than 1 every day, but if I don’t find someone to talk to today I will be behind and I’ve just come down with a cold.
      I’ve met lots of nice people on Tandem, and no creeps! So if you’re looking for a conversation exchange platform and sick of being inundated by men who say they speak English perfectly and don’t know Japanese (so why the heck are they talking to me?), try Tandem.

      • I failed! Maybe if there’d been no Easter and I hadn’t had a cold I would have kept up the momentum and the self confidence to approach random people for a conversation, but, in the end, I only had 23 conversations in April 2019. Oh well.
        I also got distracted by textbook, flash cards, TV, manga and all those other things that you feel have to be done on a regular basis but add up to a whole heap of work!

  4. I want to conquer 150 Intermediate cards this month, I want to read Yotsubato vol 3, and I want to watch a couple episodes of Shirokuma Cafe (The only anime I’ve had any real luck trying, since my listening skills are pretty horrible).

    I want to conquer another chapter or two of Tobira as well. I’m very much enjoying that textbook so far!

    • Had a pretty great month, completed over 200 J-J cards, and completed my other goals as well. The 1000 J-J challenge has me now completing 12-20 J-J cards per day.

  5. *Continue with my Mango Languages/30 minutes a day thing I’ve got going

    *Keep up with Anki

    *Up it to 10 new mined sentances a day if possible

    *Find some relaxing way of doing immersion, not worrying about shadowing

    I think I just recently got over the high beginner plateau, feeling good!

  6. This is my last full month of studying before my big Japan trip so want to hit these goals:

    1) Continue new Jalup expert cards, 10 cards a day. get to 900/1000
    2) Keep up with RTK and anki situation reviews
    3) Continue Pimsular Japanese 5 get to lesson 20, more if I can
    5) Immersion – Keep up with new SAO (~4eps) and do 10 episodes of Terrace House Opening New Doors through episode 34
    6) Increase reviewing key phrases for my upcoming Japan trip in May
    7) Try and finish all of Yotsuba, I am getting pretty close maybe 100 pages left

    • This was a good month. I actually completed many of these in the first two weeks, unfortunately my last two weeks were slower going partially because of lack of content planned and partially because of life. Still I hit all goals which is the most critical. Details below…

      1) Continue new Jalup expert cards, 10 cards a day. get to 900/1000
      DONE – 890/1000 but didn’t miss any days, did 10 a day.

      2) Keep up with RTK and anki situation reviews

      3) Continue Pimsular Japanese 5 get to lesson 20, more if I can

      5) Immersion – Keep up with new SAO (~4eps) and do 10 episodes of Terrace House Opening New Doors through episode 34
      DONE – SAO ended so that was easy, I got through episode 37 in Terrace House so 3 extra.

      6) Increase reviewing key phrases for my upcoming Japan trip in May
      DONE – Still need more but it is starting to stick

      7) Try and finish all of Yotsuba, I am getting pretty close maybe 100 pages left
      FINISHED Yotsuba, started Dragonball, got through 30 pages or so

  7. Building upon the success of March here are some new goals.

    1. Finish Jalup beginner. 100 cards left.
    2. Add 50 cards from Jalup intermediate.
    3. Add 50 cards from Kanji Kingdom.
    4. Watch 1 episode of Forest of Piano

    Using the well working strategy from last month I will add 1-2 new kanji chains and 10 sentences every weekday. Using the weekends for relaxing or catching up.
    I have lowered the goal on both kanji and sentences a bit this month since reviews have begun to increase. So I’ll let them settle a bit in between beginner and intermediate by not adding new cards for some days.

    • Accomplished goal 1-3 and I’m pretty satisfied with that.

      I need to find time to watch Forest of Piano sometime soon though.

      Intermediate is working out quite well for me this time around.

  8. Studies: もう〜だんだんとRTKが終わるように\\\\٩( ‘ω’ )و ////
    [I’m giving myself until the end of the month. If I finish early, I will peruse my “grand prize” ]

    Immersion: バレエ(Ballet)に夢中になりたい〜 (poses, exercises, stretches, anatomy, hair/fashion, etc) — prep/practice and share the fun 日本語で about lessons I’ll be taking (誕生日 present from my hubby♡)

    & there’s even ラジオ体操 爆笑www

    • Bleh. もうだるくてしょうがない。I’m afraid I must tap out of the kanji ring due to health (been recovering from food poisoning, and now a subtype of flu has taken advantage, worked it’s way past my vaccine, and started attacking me? uncle. mercy.). In the meantime, random bursts of learning / no pressure as I recover nutrients and wait for antivirals to do their work.

      Bonus related sickness vocab (please do correct any errors!):
      食中毒・しょくちゅうどく food poisoning/trust betrayal!!!
      猛烈・もうれつ(な) violently intensely severe
      吐き気・はきけ nausea
      (ゲロを)吐く・はく barf/vom
      下痢・げり diarrhea cha cha cha (sorry. inner child.)
      腹痛・ふくつう stomachache/pain
      頭痛・ずつう headache
      乾燥・かんそう dehydration
      目眩・めまい/フラフラ dizzy
      気絶・きぜつをする faint/pass out
      風邪・かぜ (common) cold
      インフル(エンザ)/流感・りゅうかん flu
      ウイルス virus
      ワクチン vaccine
      注射・ちゆうしゃ shot/injection
      抗ウイルス薬・こうウイルスやく antiviral (prescribed med)
      咳・せきをする/ゲホゲホ cough
      咳止め・せきどめ cough medicine
      熱・ねつ fever
      寒気・さむけ/ゾクゾク/ガタガタ chills
      だるい blehhhhh fatigued sluggish heavy body
      (お)医者・いしゃ(さん) doctor
      看護師・かんごし(さん) nurse
      体温計・たいおんけい thermometer
      診断・しんだん diagnosis (exam)
      薬局・やっきょく drug store/pharmacy
      安静・あんせいにする (bed)rest
      回復・かいふくする recover
      & for those in spring biomes waging war with pollen,
      花粉症・かふんしょう rhinitis/hay fever
      くしゃみをする/ハクション sneeze
      鼻水・はなみずが出る runny nose
      鼻(はな)づまり congestion/stuffy nose
      目のかゆみ itchy eyes

      now perhaps return to your April studies or immerse:
      (mine was the second, “yellow grapes” = staph, whose toxins survive heat — so someone in the food safety chain failed me and I had absolutely no warning. 気をつけてね!)

  9. 1. Finish Jalup beginner. 60 cards left.
    2. Do immersion with the 1000 cards (reading plus audio), 200 per day
    3. Start Jalup Intermediate

  10. 1. Watch 10 episodes (finish last 6 of 結果できない男 + something else)
    2. Add 100 cards from expert level 2
    3. Read 宇宙兄弟 19 and 20

  11. My goal from last month failed as I tried to set an exact pace at which to add new cards. This month, I’m hoping to change this to be more reactive to my abilities as I go along. Therefore, I’m approaching these goals as being priority oriented, such that completing goal number 4 without completing goal number 1 would be a failure of all the goals, whereas completing 1-3 and not 4 would be just a failure of 4.

    1) Get out of the review hole I’m in. 300 cards at the moment with 100 coming in tomorrow and 50 each day after that. If I’m going to add any new cards, I need to get my footing first.

    2) Add new cards re-actively. Pay attention to the reviews over the week and try to keep them stabilized by monitoring the reviews per day and watching how they change. I expect this to result in a lot of reviews for the first part of the month, and then as I escape my review hole, new cards will start taking the place of the reviews that were previously pouring in per day, but if I do it right the reviews coming in will be at a consistent volume.

    3) Ultimately, try to reach 900 Beginner cards and 800 kanji cards by the end of the month, but the first 2 goals should take the most priority

    4) Watch at least one anime episode each night before bed. Actively listening to Japanese before sleeping seems to be beneficial to studying the next morning.

    I have total confidence that I can achieve this if I really focus and stop jumping on the internet when I should be studying ( like right now :| )

    • So a couple down a couple failed, I think I’m on the right track though

      Got out of the review hell I dug myself into and stabilized my incoming card number. Unfortunately I got a bit burned out on not adding anything new to the deck and ended up slowing down my actual reviews. I’m going to set a weekly goal next month to see how many were added that week and why to try and actively balance that study time to avoid burnout

      I was able to add new cards reactively, which is an awesome first step. Balancing incoming cards when I have a limited amount of study time is crucial to making the most of it.

      Definitely didn’t get to 900/800. I spent the first half of the month recovering from review hell, but I was able to make progress. I’ll reorient the focus this next month on making the most on study time as opposed to reaching a card count

      Did watch a lot of anime, which is not something I regularly do, however it was subtitled. I need to start supplementing with non-subtitled anime, which I intend to do next month.

  12. I’ve been on some sort of plateau-blues for the last year or so, coasting after doing a summer course on translation where I completely unnecessarily force-fed myself a ton of literary vocabulary I didn’t care about. I need to mark them all as leeches and move on. I pretty much stopped reading after that, and only got back to binging manga last month.

    April goals:

    * Keep reviews at 0, and adding new cards

    After going through the avalanche a couple of months ago, this doesn’t take a lot of time daily now.

    * Finish 悪夢の六号室

    I’ve been stuck 2/3 through since October. I do want to know how it ends because it’s funny and weird, I just got disappointed by some bits that put me off. I want to finish it and move on. I already abandoned a self-help book in January (that turned out to be focused on management and how having feelings is bad for business, rather than self-improvement). I’d be sad giving up on this one too and want to give it a fair shot. But, let’s be done with it this month and read something new next month.

    * Finish adding cards from my JOI lesson notes

    Since I had prepaid for online Japanese lessons, I kept attending even during the year of no-motivation, and writing down some interesting words. I’ve been going back and slowly making them into cards since catching up on Anki but damn. I’m at the lessons from March 2018 and still getting new words. How long did I drop the ball for?! Let’s get to the end of it this month. And also keep adding cards for the words from the new lessons, of course.

    * Try something new in my studies

    Well, I suppose trying the public goals thing counts? That’s never been my cup of tea. We’ll see how this goes. And think of another “something new” to try next month, since the same-old same-old from before doesn’t seem to work as well anymore.

    • Gah, I finally finished making cards from my old lesson notes. Glad I did, lots of fun vocab in there but I had to go as far as back as September 2017. I dropped the ball for longer than I thought.

      Also finished 悪夢の六号室。I think I will give up on the author. It’s the second book I read from him and the same pattern for me: a really fun and engaging first half, and a really off-putting second part. This one was particularly dark and depressing with black humor. Not my cup of tea. Ah well, back to 上橋菜穂子 for now!

      Anki reviews going well. Adding new cards from books and games too. Nearly finished with Jalup Champion Stage 2 as well, only a few new cards left – just in time for Stage 3, probably ;)

      Only thing left seems to be thinking of something new to try next month. The public goals worked very well to get me through some stuff that had become chores, and to give me some momentum back. I’ll keep public goals in my toolbox, though to be wielded carefully. I’m concerned it might make the fun stuff start to feel like chores too.

  13. After the first month on the JALUP app. Last month, I had targeted to go through new cards every day but with reviews, it added up. I have a more realistic plan for this month and going forward. I will try to take it easy over the weekend with just reviews and work through new cards only weekdays.
    1. JB – 15 cards/ day – Complete 680/1000
    2. KK – 10 cards/day – Complete 395/2300
    3. I will also start reading Tae Kim’s “Guide to Learning Japanese”

    • I personally enjoy Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese a lot! I have read through the most of it quite a few times and really like the style.
      It feels like a good supplement to the indirect way of learning grammar with Jalup. So if you find grammar fun and interesting you will probably like it.

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