The Problem with Hardcore Japanese Learning — 13 Comments

  1. Great article!

    While I am definitely more on the hardcore side, I never want to tell people it’s the only way because I know I have a very unique set of circumstances. The biggest determining factor that gets people to fluency is persistence, and second is self-awareness of your preferred learning methods and what motivates you to learn. That’s my opinion, at least :)

  2. Wow sometimes I think I am hitting it hard doing 10-20 cards a day everyday for about a year and a half now. But looking at that old post about Adam doing 40 a day for a year is crazy! Haha

    I am counting on what Victoria said “The biggest determining factor that gets people to fluency is persistence, and second is self-awareness of your preferred learning methods and what motivates you to learn.”

    If that is true I should make it. I think I have both of those things nailed now more than ever. I look forward to the studying I can do everyday and have pretty much cracked my personal motivations and methodologies. Now just to see how long it takes me.

    It also helps to remind myself that fluency is always a gradient. I may not be wholely fluent at all yet but I can still do many things I once saw as insurmountable (follow shows in Japanese, read manga, have basic Japanese conversations).

    • 10-20 new cards a day, every day, for a year is hitting it very hard. Don’t use my outlier example to diminish your great effort :)

      I think Victoria is definitely correct.

      And yes – you don’t need to reach the final goal (which will become even more vague as you get closer to it) to enjoy all the things you wanted to do when you first started.

  3. I tried the hardcore approach with 20 cards a day and 20-30 cards on wanikani. I failed twice that way and burned out ? now I take my time and try to do 10beginner cards a day and only a few new wanikani cards beside my reviews. So far it works out fine. I also decided to reduce the lesson count if I encounter more then 2 really difficult cards which I have problems to remember. That way I wont get overwhelmed.

    Obviously the hardcore approach dosen‘t work for me ^^ bit jalup works great and I‘m able to recall and understand the new stuff faster and faster.

    And it‘s always nice to see cards with kanji I already learned in wanikani and vice versa.

    • I’m waiting for someone who wants to offer a guest post here on combining Jalup with Wanikani :) It seems a lot of people have found success with that.

      You bring up a great point, studying hardcore is fine (and even amazing) for some people. But for many others, it can lead to a bad outcome.

      • Well, if I reaching some higher levels over at wanikani I might consider applying for a guest post ;)

        I will keep this in mind for the future :) and until then I slowly but surely keep progressing on my japanese journey

  4. This is I think one of the most inspiring articles you’ve written. While I think we probably all go through some sort of hard core spurt to either get us started, or get over some difficult hurdle – the real key I think is to find a way to stay motivated, persistent and consistent every day for short periods of time over a long period of time. Thanks for reflecting and writing this!

    • You are right – we all start with that fierce initial energy (otherwise we wouldn’t have chosen Japanese in the first place). But how we play the long game, and make sure it is the right game for us, is what sets us up for victory or defeat.

    • Mostly for programming now. Maybe occasionally will check in and catch up on old Japanese reviews that start to build up.

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