Mapping Out Your Strategy Guide
Are you following every single thing I write on Japanese Level Up down to the minute details? No? While this should hurt my ego, you are doing the right thing. Japanese Level Up is just one method among many. And what is a method good for? I like to think of it as a video game strategy guide.
Strategy guides are great. They get you started. They show you what you don’t know. They help you arrive at your quest’s end. But have you ever had the experience when you were younger of playing at least one game where you completed the entire beast from start to finish by following the exact motions of the strategy guide. What exactly do you remember of that game? What was your experience like?
If my method is a strategy guide, then how should you go about handling it?
Rip out pages. Look at tips and disagree. Ignore other points completely. Decide things that you want to figure out yourself through trial and error. Combine my guide with another strategy guide that also is just as good. Throw out the strategy guide completely after the first five pages.
In doing all of this you are developing your own strategy guide, which is the only one that matters. Everyone is too individual to be able to follow anyone else’s methods exactly. We have too many different tastes, were brought up too differently, and learn in too many different ways. In creating and refining your own strategy guide, you are developing the most suited companion for you that will get you to your goal as quick as possible.
So what does your strategy guide look like?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
I am glad you made this post because I was feeling a little down with how much Japanese know.I have been trying to follow yours and ajatt’s method. and right know I am a 1750 kanji and I still do not know any of the basic grammar. And I was thinking that I need decrease the number of kanji I am learning start learning some basic grammar. But I was not sure if i should finish RTK first. I feel a little better about my choice thanks
DUDE your doing better than me. Remember grammar will come on its own. Why not learn how to conjugate those verb kanji you know while your learning them so that could be a portion of grammar your adding
I replaced your sentences method with a J-E vocab one (kanji ->kana,english).
I add vocab from kanjidamage, in heisig order.
This is one reason I like this site even though I don’t like adding external score/leveling mechanisms to things. I *do* think of learning Japanese as a game, and explaining things in those terms makes so much sense.
The broad nature of my personal strategy guide (which I think is great for me but I have no idea whether this kind of method would be good for other people):
・Focus on reading before writing or listening, then writing and listening before speaking, as per the antimoon site.
・Lots of anki sentence cards, with the answer form and J-J-ness from this site.
・Input-based kanji learning: besides kanji appearing in my anki sentences, the only studying of kanji I did was studying stroke order. The main reason was that it was the most efficient way I could think of to make kanji look like coherent shapes I could keep track of rather than indistinguishable blobs (or rather trees and houses), and the other reason was increasing my ability to look up kanji using the Chinese input on my iPhone. I used an anki deck of stroke order diagrams until enough general rules became intuitive that almost all new cards seemed trivial. Then I dropped the whole deck. Since my sentences don’t leech too often and when I encounter a word in kanji that I’ve SRSed I can usually read it, I think it’s working.
I picked these methods partly based on my experience of how I got a large vocabulary and good spelling in elementary school: I ignored the school assignments as much as I could and read a lot.
Of course there are lots of other details, such as what I’m reading and studying, things I’ve added to my anki sentence model, in depth pros and cons of not studying kanji meanings separately, tricks I’ve used to include media in my anki decks, etcetera. But I’m trying to write a comment, not a blog.
Hey! Love the article, makes a lot of sense. I bought the maxed out package a while back and I’m having some trouble developing a plan of attack of my own. I have lots of resources at my disposal, just the lack of organization to know what to do with it all. I have the Genki books (I and II if I recall correctly) the maxed out package from here, and all three levels of the pimsleur conversational lessons. Any suggestions?
I hope this isn’t too obvious an answer, but have you gone through this site’s walkthrough? This was designed (and redesigned) over the years for people who want a very specific game plan.