Achieving Your Japanese Goals – August 2019 — 21 Comments

  1. I added too many cards too fast this summer and drowned in reviews as a result. Lesson learned this time – I hope.

    1) Do reviews due today every day without fail.
    2) Only add new cards if I got through my reviews that day.
    3) Slowly add back cards from my Intermediate backlog. I hope to get through the deck but I’ll always go through my reviews before adding back cards.
    4) Slowly add back cards from my RTK backlog so I don’t drown in reviews again.
    5) Try to find the time to enjoy Japanese too. Read easy books or manga, watch TV, listen to podcards, anything.

    • This is me but with Kanji Kingdom – I found it a helpful reminder that my goal is not to finish this or that deck, or get to a certain number of kanji – its to learn Japanese! So I’m also wading through the reviews with the goal not to get them out of the way – but to really learn them. Two weeks of solid reviewing and its going much better now. Also – I find I plan now for the time in the week I don’t think I’ll have much time – so instead of doing a bunch of new cards in my free time, I get ahead on my reviews.

    • Thanks Jonathan! The goal is to learn Japanese, not to get cards out of the way. I needed that reminder..

      I decided to go back and study the last two thirds of Intermediate again, slowly this time. Lesson learned.

  2. I’ve started reading quite a bit. Mostly tweets and graded readers. I don’t know what it is about graded readers but I really enjoy them. For tweets I’m using jalup app as a dictionary. I just copy the unknown word and search for it. If it’s not in there then I just use the built in dictionary on my phone. Often times I’m finding I’ve already learned these words in the jalup app but my familiarity of the word wasn’t great enough at the time to recognize it. It usually only takes a few look ups before it’s cemented though.

    Goals for this month:

    1. Reach 800 in the advanced deck.
    2. Shadow to and from work.
    3. Listen to at least 1 hour of a podcast while at work.

      • The ones I’ve been reading are from ASK. They are way over priced but honestly anything that can get me to read is good in my book. I can listen to things all day long, but finding something that makes me want to read is so challenging. If I could stomach reading other things like manga, I would probably skip them because they are so expensive. They do come with a CD for listening and shadowing which is nice, but I’m not sure how many times I’m going to re-read these. Again, they are just so expensive. White Rabbit Press has a phone app where you can (buy) and read some graded readers as well, they have audio but there aren’t that many. I’m probably going to end up buying all the ones from ASK as well as “Stories you can read smoothly” and “Nihongo Tadoku” (omgjapan website).

        • Thanks for the info, this is great. More personal question but what is it about the readers stories that you enjoy that you don’t with manga?

          • I’m not sure. I guess it’s just personal preference. I don’t really like anime either, although I can binge jdrama all day long. Maybe I just haven’t found a manga that draws me in yet.

  3. I really enjoyed reading light novels the previous month and hope I can increase the volume in August.

    Goals for August:

    1. Almost complete jalup expert. Expected to reach 900+.
    2. Keep shadowing.
    3. Pick up tutored lessons to increase conversational ability. I’ve been on the fence about this one for a while now but figured this was going to be one of the easier ways to get better at speaking casually.
    4. Read a new light novel every week.

    • Progress Report:

      1. For Jalup Expert, I should actually be complete with the entire deck by the 30th. I’ve only got a few more cards left.
      2. I’ve been shadowing successfully and not only that, I started getting tutored for pitch accent. The shadowing books I recommend are 日本語を話そう! The series are a bit pricey but they streamline the process which is what I wanted.
      3. I also got a tutor to do casual conversation practice with. This has been tremendously helpful. Bonus points, I don’t have to use english at all during the conversation!
      4. I’ve been unsuccessful with this as I only managed to read 2 light novels this month.

      My trip to Japan is next week so hope my preparations have been enough!

  4. Okay so August goals in order of priority:

    1) Keep up with all reviews
    2) Continue Jalup Hero. I’m going to up the pace to 15 new per day, 10 is feeling easy. Hopefully it doesn’t get too crazy but I’m in the mood to up my study hours a bit. This should get me to card 674 by the end of the month.
    3) Continue my new listening immersion plan. Listen active to part 2 of terrace House aloha state, then passive in the car

    • A good solid month! Here is how I did:

      1) Keep up with all reviews

      DONE – 0 reviews due

      2) Continue Jalup Hero. I’m going to up the pace to 15 new per day, 10 is feeling easy. Hopefully it doesn’t get too crazy but I’m in the mood to up my study hours a bit. This should get me to card 674 by the end of the month.

      DONE – 15 a day felt great. Reviews per day is starting to creep over 100 everyday but it still feels very manageable. I will keep this pace going. Ended the month at 675/1000 for Jalup Hero

      3) Continue my new listening immersion plan. Listen active to part 2 of terrace House aloha state, then passive in the car

      DONE – I finished part 2 as planned and did immersion of each episode in the car at least once each. Feeling pretty good about it will keep this method going for awhile to see how results pan out.

      BONUS – I realized the 1-1.5 hours per episode was limiting me. I could only do an episode if I had a lot of time. But often I had just 30 minutes. So I found and tried some new anime. First I tried 7 seeds, got through 8 eps in japanese, with japanese subs but I realized I just didn’t love the show. I tried a couple other one off episodes and today tried 1 episode of Devilman Crybaby and it was interesting at least. I will try to continue that next month.

  5. My goals have been lagging behind the last couple of months, so I’m hoping this is the month where I can finally catch up.

    I was finding that I didn’t have enough time for the Beginner cards, so I put the kanji cards on hold until I could finish up the beginner deck (currently at 940/1000). This was only supposed to be on hold for a month or so, but I found I didn’t make enough time to clear the beginner deck in time to prevent a buildup on the kanji deck…

    All of that considered, it makes sense for my goal to be a scheduled amount of time in which to study without distraction, as opposed to all study sessions tending towards the impromptu.

    So for this month:

    1) Block out 1 hour per day to go over the beginner cards

    2) Block out 30 minutes per day to go over the kanji cards

    3) When I complete the beginner cards, swap to 30 minutes review on beginner and 1 hour on kanji cards

    Ultimately, I would like to catch my kanji deck up with my beginner deck at 1000 cards before moving onto the intermediate deck.

  6. Goals
    -Get reviews down to 700 or less a week
    -Get KK up to 2100
    -Read every single day – doesn’t matter what
    –Currently I have my phone in Japanese so using flipboard it brings up a whole host of Japanese articles of varying levels of difficulty
    –also reading “子育てハッピーアドバイス” which is not too difficult – and great if you have kids and also need some “Happy Advice” raising them :)
    -Shadow listening to JI in car every work day
    -Watching しろくまカフェ to relax – I highly recommend at any level

    • As I got to card 2050 I saw Adam’s note on how the rest of the kanji are less frequent…a light went off – like a huge sigh of relief…maybe I can take a break from kanji?! yes I’m a little burnt out on Kanji. So – my goals will stay the same except:
      -no more new Kanji
      -I plan to do all of Japanese Beginner – freezing what I already know – I’ve gone back and forth on this – but there’s really no downside, and it will help with the new kanji I’ve learned I’m thinking
      -If JB goes well I’ll start to add JI – otherwise I’ll just do reviews to let them settle until September.

      I’m just curious how people are studying their JJ sentences? Do you read them a few times, get a sense, and then move on? Do you write it out a few times? How long do you spend on a each card?

      I was thinking of writing out only new vocab I didn’t know to cement the readings a bit, and then once I feel I have a sense of the sentence moving on. Just curious what others are doing.

      • For JJ, I tend to read the definition and try to make sense of it. If I can, that’s great, and I can move on, otherwise I’ll hit retry a few times till I get a handle on it. I assume I’ll figure it out eventually and so far it has worked out. I do not spend much time on any individual card, 30 seconds at most.

        Your mileage may vary though, as I did not need much help remembering the readings. Before starting JJ, I had already completed Kodansha’s Learner’s Course, which meant I had to memorize the common readings per kanji on top of the regular keyword.

      • For JJ I just make sure I put in some effort to understand the sentence and the definition. Sometimes I already know the new word but I still do my best to try to understand the definition. I don’t write them out as that would really increase the time it takes to do my reviews. I have in the past but it didn’t last very long. I do think it would be worth it if you can do it and not become discouraged at the amount of time it takes. For kanji I either close my eyes and draw each stroke order in my mind, then try to hold that image while I check the answer. Sometimes I do write them on paper though, it just depends on how I’m feeling for that day. It’s hard to estimate how long I spend on each card, but it’s probably less than 30 seconds. Depending on how I feel if I don’t understand a card I’ll fail it once, then the next time I see it I’ll mark it correct because it’s already active in my deck and I know I’ll see it again soon. There is no point in hammering it, maybe today just isn’t the day to understand it. I’ll also sometimes look up the keywords in kanji kingdom to see if that helps in understanding. Sometimes it does, sometimes not. JJ cards can take a long time to sink in, it’s important to put in the effort each time you see the card, but it’s also important to know when to let go. You’ll see it again soon.

      • Was able to finish JB adding 134 new cards to the regular rotation. Kanji is still at 2050..getting about 100 a day. Not quite at 700 reviews a week what with the new JB cards and I’m adding about 5 JI a day. Reading has been more like every other day.
        So..reasonably successful I think. Rewatching naruto all in japanese now..have had no problem doing that..perhaps even too much :)

        • Thanks for all the comments as well guys..I’ve been developing a good routine with JI..just reading and understanding as best I can and moving on.

  7. Going to Japan for 2 weeks this month! Lots of speaking practice, so otherwise little goals
    1. Finish expert stage 3 (45 left)
    2. Finish manga volume 1 of グッドモーニング・コール and read volume 2.
    3. Watch 3 dramas

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