Stop Doing What You Hate Right Now — 8 Comments

  1. True words. I also think the learning-curve-plateau-effect needs a big mention (I’m pretty sure you covered this earlier but it’s so important imho).
    I’m talking about the, at least in my experience, recurring phenomenon when you periodically feel like you suck at Japanese, all your Anki reviews are going sh*t, you can’t understand the simplest anime, etc,etc which is surprisingly followed by a period of the opposite when you feel like everything is falling into place and you’ve reached a new level of understanding! This has happened on multiple occasions for me and I’ve learned to just ride it out when the suckiness begins.

    • This is true! Though I’ve never had a moment where I’ve thought that my japanese was more than adequate to understand something completely. With the exception of Yotsubato. Maybe I’m punching too high above my Japanese weight with the media I watch. I guess it’l be more rewarding when it clicks though. Been having a decent time with Digimon on Netflix, I won’t lie.

      • I think in those cases, it varies with a lot of different elements.

        Multiple times while watching the same series, I’ll have episodes where I understand almost everything and feel great, as well as episodes where I understand almost nothing and feel frustrated.

        Characters who are difficult to understand can be one problem. They use some combination of talking too fast, unfamiliar dialect, lots of slang, mumbling…and you just can’t follow along because your brain isn’t able to fill in the blanks. Most of that can also come into play while reading (even よつばと is loaded with casual contractions).

        Subject matter is another thing. Different episodes will be about different subjects, so your understanding will naturally vary with that as well. Maybe in one episode, it mostly focuses on events at a dinner, and you know enough about food and utensils to follow along pretty easily. Maybe the next one is all about computer hacking, and you know almost none of the relevant vocabulary so you’re just completely lost.

        For me, I’ve found that there’s a point where I have enough context that I can either guess the missing words, or they’re not enough to bother me. Below that point, I’m frustrated. Above that point, I’m having a great time. If I’m on the low side, but feel like I’m close to the high side, I’ll let myself look up a couple of words on the spot to compensate. This often does the trick, and as a bonus I actually have a pretty good retention rate for words that I look up in those scenarios.

        For example, I picked up the JP version of FFX HD recently. I was going through the (incredibly lengthy) sphere grid tutorial, and despite being familiar with the system I felt totally lost. There were three unknown words that appeared over and over: 盤、成長、発動. I looked up just those words, and suddenly it all fell into place and I could read and understand enough to really enjoy the process (who would’ve thought a game tutorial could be fun? X_X)

        Now if only ワッカ would stop talking so darn fast…

        • I’ve been playing FFX in Japanese too, so I can sympathize. And I wasn’t familiar with the game at all beforehand! Personally, I find the party members quite easy to understand, but once the priests, maesters and so on start to talk all in keigo I just go “意味わかんない...”

  2. Thanks for this post! It’s refreshing to think about it, and that’s what your article just helps to do.

  3. Have to say that I did not like Anki for quite a while. I found in useful for kanji but didn’t like it for anything else. I got into the core decks for a little while and then came to despise them. I didn’t even like Take Kims deck which I love now. I think my recent love of yomichan and then my purchase of an android phonr which meant i stopped skipping reviews and could shove huge amounts of cards into one busy day was the thing that made me like anki. And now I like The Kim’s deck too.

    • That’s great that you found a way to like it again. I agree and think that using a smart phone makes it a different experience then just sitting down at a computer. Being able to do your reviews while waiting on line just makes you feel so good and productive.

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