Achieving Your Japanese Goals – July 2020 — 20 Comments

  1. Things are going well but I want to adjust my listening for at least a month, maybe more. I found an all Japanese learning podcast I am enjoying. I understand near 100% of it so I want to start doing that more instead of as much TV which I understand more like 20-50%. I am hoping the higher comprehension will be beneficial to my listening practice which is super important to me.

    This month goals in order of priority:
    1) Keep up with reviews
    2) Listen to Nihongo Con Teppei podcast – 5 per day (~30 min) – starting with oldest beginner, eventually going through all of intermediate if I am benefiting.
    3) Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day
    4) Add new words from podcast, hello talk, etc
    5) As I get time continue Terrace House. I want to at least watch the movie and 5 eps of the latest season.

    • 6) Forgot an important one, lol. Also continue shadowing everyday. Going to reduce to more like 15-30 min on average per day and I want to get through unit 2 section 1 and maybe unit 3 section 1.

      • Some months feel rough, some feel okay, and sometimes you feel like you made a breakthrough. This was a breakthrough month. I really feel like I finally hit a low level of conversational fluency this month.

        A number of things over the past few months contributed like increased production, shadowing and listening practice. But this is the month where everything gelled. It feels great like I finally understand where the fluent line is and how to get there, even if it is hazy still.

        In detail:
        1) Keep up with reviews


        2) Listen to Nihongo Con Teppei podcast – 5 per day (~30 min) – starting with oldest beginner, eventually going through all of intermediate if I am benefiting.

        DONE – WOW This was amazing! SO SO SO glad I started this podcast. I finally found native japanese that I can understand 98-100% of all the time. I have listened to about 10+ hours of it this month and understood everything. I have gained so much confidence from this. It is mostly easy but I still learn on average 4-5 new words a day from this podcast and add it to my deck.

        3) Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day

        DONE – This is the other category that has been Tremendously helpful. Everyday I have at least 1 but often 5 or even more conversations. I also do a diary style post. I can finally string the right words together to express most anything even if it still has an error here or there.

        4) Add new words from podcast, hello talk, etc

        DONE – Not sure how many I added this month but I think my custom deck is at a solid 500 cards now. Overall this has been a really easy and natural process. I was so worried about finding words and adding enough. But it is happening naturally and at a perfect pace.

        5) As I get time continue Terrace House. I want to at least watch the movie and 5 eps of the latest season.

        DONE – This is pretty low in effectiveness for me but I did it and enjoyed it.

        6) Forgot an important one, lol. Also continue shadowing everyday. Going to reduce to more like 15-30 min on average per day and I want to get through unit 2 section 1 and maybe unit 3 section 1.

        DONE – This continues to be a good use of time even if progress is slower than I hoped. I finished unit 2 section 1 but didn’t start on unit 3 yet.

        • Man I love Nihongo Con Teppei, I had exactly the same feeling the first time I listened to him. I don’t like how he sometimes gives an English translation of the word he tries to explain but overall this podcast is so good.

          For some reason I stopped though (I think I more or less heard all of the beginner ones), thanks for reminding me, I probably should start with intermediate now :-)

  2. Specific goals:
    1. Working through RTK I again, after 3 years. Just very quickly, to have improve my kanji recognition and refresh some of the meanings of the primitives.

    3. Reading EASY Japanese news again. (at least 1 article every day)

    2. Get back into language immersion without using English. Watching anime with japanese subs on Animelon. With a japanese-japanese dictionary. :D

    Resources:, RTK – Remembering the Kanji

    Game plan/strategy: Immersion with listening, reading and a little writing (kanji practice)

    I’m starting Japanology Masters this September btw :D

  3. In August i take the Business Japanese Test and need to get a higher enough score so i can apply for school and if i fail I can’t apply for school…the pressure is on. I bought a few books to help me practice and understand the format, type of questions, and exactly what vocab and areas i need to practice specifically on for the test. My listening skills are lagging behind my reading skills so i am really focusing on that this month, but still want to improve reading which is mainly held back by vocab.

    1.First week – subs2srs adventures of sinbad to as high as possible of a percentage (350ish cards a week)

    2.Second week – Same with Magi season 1

    3.Third week – Same with Magi season 2

    4.Fourth week & Fifth week – All of terrace house

    5.Keep doing active listening of past subs2srs material increasing my hours of pure audio active listening to 5ish hours a day

    6.Watch more youtube videos for more colloquial Japanese though i think terrace house will largely fix this part

    7.Read a couple “chapters” of web novels a day (chapters are in quote due to them mostly be shorter then typical chapters of physical novels)

    8.Start reading at least 1 article a day of anything i enjoy to start easing into more general raw text. Aim to read 3+ articles a day by the end of July

    9.Look over the BJT books starting at the end of July. (about 3 weeks in)

    I really hope i can improve a lot this month and early next month otherwise I can’t apply for school. Wish me luck.

    • Update 1:

      I changed a few things a bit.

      1.The second week i decided to do welcome to demon school iruma kun instead since it would be easier to subs2srs and I felt more compelled to do it.

      2.I’m gonna probably do konosuba starting on monday and after i subs2srs that for a week probably re-tackle the novels while doing sentence cards from the book maybe even with audio from the audiobook (idk yet since that is a good bit of work).

      3.I haven’t gotten to 5hours a day everyday of listening but i’m headed up generally and am still working on increasing my hours daily and being more disciplined on this.

      4.I watch youtube videos sometimes but not everyday which is fine

      5.I haven’t been reading any novel chapters because the vocab i need is too much. I’m kinda burnt out on looking up so many words with yomichan even if they are J-J now. The new plan is just to read a bunch of manga. I’m aiming for a volume a day starting tommorow maybe upping that to 2 volumes a day in a week or so. After that i should be reading konosuba so I won’t really need to read any manga but i will probably still will here and there.

      6. I’ve been reading an article every other day. I really need to find a site with content that is interesting and semi level appropriate.

      7.My BJT books came in and yikes. The vocab glossary at the back of one of them is like 800 words. My plan is probably early august to add all unknown words from the listening and reading practice questions and listen and read those section everyday and drill it in.

        • This site seems very interesting. I will definitely read a lot of articles on here. Thanks so much!

      • Final Update:

        This month has been kinda crazy and it is only to get crazier with my test less than 3 weeks away.

        1. Done

        2. Done (no audio from the audiobook since it is too much effort.)

        3. I have managed to beat 5 hours a day of active listening. It took a while to work up to it, but i’ve done it. 2-3 hours are just audio from a show i recently watched. This is condensed audio that i have started playing at 1.2x speed to maximize the sentences i am hearing. I have also started listening to a podcast a day from either hiki biki or soko ani. I’m am starting to understand some of the discussions which is super exciting. I am also just watching things on netflix with the language learning addon for chrome for easy look ups using yomichan and easy saving of sentences (highly recommend this addon).

        4. I watch youtube videos rarely but I’ve noticed i understand a lot more recently which is really exciting but i don’t really need to use it for pratice with all the other listening i do.

        5. I haven’t been reading a volume a day of manga but am getting there. I am doing a chapter of konosuba a day though and am listening to the previous days chapter from the audiobook of the series.

        6. i don’t really read any articles online, but have changed my phone into Japanese and changed my browser on my computer into Japanese for fun.

        7. I realized that a lot of the terms in the glossary are terms i now like 勝手、回復、会員, etc that i learned from anime or novels which is kinda funny i guess. I still need to learn a bunch of business terms, but it shouldn’t be as a bad as a i thought…hopefully.

        Overall this month has been very good. There were a few days i thought i was going insane, but I feel like i have found my ground again. Now to study for this test.

          • It is kinda hard to compare since it has quite a different methodology behind testing. But on official site of the test there is a page that shows that half the people that passed the jlpt N2 pass above 400 points which is widely accepted as the baseline for school applications. Almost everyone who passed the N1 had above 400 and were overall ahead of N2 tester (go figure). Anyway, This was a fairly limited sample size of around 5-10k people who would be specifically studying for this test. I’ve looked at my test books and they don’t seem bad once i get past the vocab hurdle. The audio is also very clear and not very fast. Sample questions are on the site for anyone who wants to see them. Hope that helps.

  4. More of the usual, and a slight tweak

    1) Finish Jalup Hero. I am currently 175 cards short which means if I keep the pace of 5 new cards per day I need to do 10 on just a couple of days. I am sure I will be able to make that.

    2) Decide whether I want to continue the Jalup-Premades after Hero. This is something I am already pondering for quite a while. The farther I advance, more and more cards feel not that relevant to me (most of it is still useful and the quality is still amazing, don’t get me wrong), and I am wondering if finishing the 5000 might be a good step to fully switch to solo. The cards which I would miss out on certainly will show up solo some time and then they also would have the context delivered with them.
    On the other hand, I do not feel like continuing would hurt too much so maybe I want to continue them, just at a smaller pace. So far I could push that decision away, but this month I have to decide :)

    3) Keep reading 数学ガール, keep adding everything which does not require deep branching. Finishing the first book this month sounds absolutely within reach, creating the cards I don’t know. Depends how much the number of unknown words goes down as the same words reappear later-on in the book. So say, stretch goal all cards, but finish the reading in any case.

    Good look everybody!

    • I kept going to 7k. In hindsight I think either way works out about the same. I am glad I kept going, I read the manga along side the cards. But at 5k I was scared to do my own cards. If at 5k you feel like you want to do your own cards you may be ready. In hindsight I would have been fine either way. In short, I don’t think you can go wrong either way. Do what feels right to you.

      • Thanks for the thoughts. I agree in the grand scheme it probably wont matter to much either way. But in a way that is what make the decision so hard :-)
        But being able to read the manga along the way may actually be a fun challenge. Will see how it turns out.

    • Rough month for me. Work went crazy so I had to cut down Japanese time, at least the active one.

      1) Done. It kind of feels weird having finished all the cards from the Jalup App, especially because mastering will still take quite some time, but I’m here now.

      2) I have decided to use the remaining 2000 cards as sort of backup material. The idea is to add new cards from them when I fail to create enough own cards to add some on a day. This will probably mean that going through these may take quite a while but that might be a good thing as I cannot run out quickly :)
      Also thanks again laddr for the thoughts, they also really helped with the decision (I would have never thought of adding slang words by myself so this way they are covered as well)

      3) Major fail. Because work went so busy I cut down on the card-creation time because it is the most stressful part of the sequence. I also did not want to read too far ahead in the book out so instead I turned to other sources of immersion. On the positive side, watching stuff in Japanese is now clearly in the “relaxing” region of activities.

      Given the circumstances an okay month but that’s how life is sometimes. At least I ran a new personal best on the 10km in all of this madness :)

  5. Get 283 cards into JALUP Intermediate.
    Finish Beginner Stories.
    Finish Beginner Situations.
    Get to 1310 kanji (currently 1168)
    Finish Yotsuba v. 3-4
    Finish Dragon Ball v. 1-2

  6. – Start and finish Jalup Hero
    – Watch at least a couple of new animes with j-subs on animelon and undesrtand 75% and more of them (actually if I get hooked up with the story it means I’m on the right track)
    – Finish コンビニのマリア (guys there’s a site called mangaz where you can read a lot of raw manga)
    – Get back to Netflix Japan with VPNHub and finish at least one season of Friends or Rick and Morty (maybe one piece too?) dubbed.

    See you guys by the end of July.

  7. This is my first time posting here and I’m hoping that it helps me maintain motivation as I powerlevel a bit. Currently, my goal for the year is to pass the JLPT N2 exam in December so my goals leading up to it will be tailored around achieving it.

    My plan for this month is to power through Expert (currently about half way) and get as far into Hero as possible. Last month I was going at about 30 cards per day which started to feel slow after a bit. So, I’m going to up that pace a bit.

    My goals for the month are:
    1) 50 Jalup cards per day
    2) Don’t use J-E dictionaries when I am totally lost on an old word
    3) Increase passive and active immersion

    All I gotta do is not miss a single day. Haha . . . easy.

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