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Achieving Your Japanese Goals – November 2020 — 7 Comments

  1. As mentioned in my September goals, for the foreseeable future I am going to start dividing my goals into Business & Pleasure. Business being the goals that are must do and very measurable. Pleasure goals are open and as much as I can. This will balance my drive to get stuff done, with my enjoyment of immersing, without increasing my stress since my free time tends to vary a lot day by day.

    Business Goals
    1) Keep up with reviews
    2) Listen to Nihongo Con Teppei podcast – 40 min per day – continue intermediate
    3) Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day
    4) Add new words from podcast, hello talk, shadowing etc to my self made deck
    5) Continue shadowing everyday. 15-30 min on average per day and I want to get through unit 2 section 2 & as much of unit 3 section 2 as I can (won’t finish).

    Pleasure Goals
    1) Watch as much Japanese TV/anime as I can
    2) Listen to podcasts (active, passive, semi-active) as much as I can

    P.S. – I don’t think I recommend this breakdown for most learners until they are solid intermediate. I was shocked at how much this helped me as before now I would have sworn the hard goals only helped me and didn’t hold me back. If you are curious try it, but for me I am glad I did hard goals up to now, no regrets on that.

    P.P.S – I also decided I am going to do conversation tutor sessions on italki starting in January. Anyone have tips or experience let me know. I feel enough confidence now that I want to push myself to have 30+ minute Japanese conversations on a regular basis. It should help be grow faster.

    • Hi Iaddr,

      I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your goals posts, they have been very useful in forming my own approach as I progress through J-E (that’s Jalup Expert, not Japanese-English LOL)

      I have not been posting my goals, as I find I prefer to find my way without set goals but with an idea in mind of progress (it sort of works for me better).

      I have also recently started using HelloTalk on a much more regular basis.
      I started off writing a journal (6-7 sentences) 3-4 times a week. I then progressed to using the app throughout the day, and writing shorter but more regular posts.
      Finally, this week, I took the plunge and have had multiple voice calls with nihonjin and I could not be happier that I did!

      Also, I want to thank you for pointing me to the nihongo no hanasou book. I am enjoying it immensely and I have found I look forward to it every day. I have found for me that doing the washing-up while shadowing (with noise cancelling headphones) has been the golden ticket to reliable and enjoyable shadowing!
      I know it’s going well when I instinctively repeat all the audio, including “section ichi, ichi” :D :D :D

      So thanks dude, and all the best with your continuing Japanese journey!

      • Wow so glad to hear, thanks for posting and letting me know. Glad I could help you out! Tell me more about the voice calls on hello talk. I haven’t taken the plunge on that. How easy is it to find people to talk live. Do they usually try to speak english to you? How long do they typically last?

        Thanks again and 頑張ろうね

        • I may just have been lucky, but I have had a lot of very good calls.
          The first couple I was nervous to speak Japanese so I veered towards English.
          I had one call (I think Weds) where the other person didn’t seem to want to speak English but was very patient, so that boosted my confidence.

          I have been making calls every lunchtime this week (9pm Tokyo time), and every call has lasted the whole hour and I never felt like someone was wanting to end it early (well maybe once :D )

          So far, I have not found any that were trying to steer the conversation to English, and it’s more that I have felt nervous as I struggle to articulate my thoughts in Japanese!

          In terms of finding people, I simply post up a message 15 mins before lunch, saying “if you would like to speak JP and ENG please DM”
          Sometimes I get a reply, sometimes I don’t in which case I just check the “all” section for people asking to call on the phone, DM them directly and mostly I get a reply.

          I never try to direct the conversation, and I don’t try and force Japanese or English.
          I simply call, say koninchiwa, hajimashte etc. and then see where we end up. sometimes I struggle to understand but everyone I have spoken to so far understands we are all learners and have been patient. Some ended with the wish to speak again, but as I’ve not actually spoken to anyone twice yet, I can’t tell you how much of that is people being nice :)

          My feeling is that some calls will be more Japanese, and some will be more English, and hopefully there will be a fair balance overall.

          I will clarify, that I am very comfortable just speaking to anyone anyway, so of course it depends on how much this sounds like a good place to start getting to know someone for you.
          I’d personally rather just be talking, even if it’s English and building a rapport. I’ve had some voice memo conversations but they feel quite jilted to me, and I’m never as sure, the other person is fully engaged.

          I’ve also had some entertaining text convs too, one in particular a lady on her way to work, turns out an hour before I go to be is early morning commute time in Japan! She couldn’t talk on the train so we just chatted over text. I was voice dictating the text, as otherwise I couldn’t keep up :D

          As I’ve been making these calls I’ve realised what I think my goals are:
          1. I am not expecting to learn new language, but reinforce my fuzzy Jalup vocabulary :)
          2. Not worry too much that I will be getting Japanese-English translations during these calls (it’s sort of inevitable!)
          3. Hearing genuine unscripted spoken Japanese in various voices
          4. Getting better at asking questions :)

  2. What I am doing is working, so why make changes.

    1) Add at least 5 selfmade cards each day. Create about the amount of cards needed to have a 2-week buffer in the end (which is less than 5 cards day).

    2) Immersion. As much as feasible.

    3) Keep writing using HelloTalk. No specific goals because they kill my motivation

    Reflecting on what laddr wrote in his posts this month, I think I have come to the same conclusion as him, which is why I stopped setting myself specific immersion goals. I like calling it “business” and “pleasure” though, which captures that exactly. I had exactly the same experience – doing so increased my immersion by a lot and I stopped trying to game the system.

    I would seriously recommend everyone who feels immersion more like a chore to try switching to this mindset. One thought where I differ a bit is when to do so. I think it would be best to try it out as soon as one notices immersion feeling like a chore and not pleasure, regardless of level. The main reason is, that I think it depends more on the person, for some these strict goals work better and for others not. By trying it out for a couple of weeks you can learn it, and if it ends up being a disaster one can still reintroduce the strict goals :)

    On a different note – In the end, everyone will probably switch anyways, because that’s the reason why we started learning Japanese, to enjoy it :)

    Everyone, stay healthy!

    • Good point. The goal thing works very differently for different people. Find what works for you and know it may change over time as well.

  3. Relearn 3 cards a day from each deck on Jalup Android, for a total of 21 cards a day.

    Listen to and shadow the stories in the Jalup App for Beginner and Intermediate.

    Try to use the Feynmann method to explain concepts I read in books with the Japanese I know: I will record myself speaking Japanese and maybe find someone willing to listen to and critique it at some point.

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