ウードカットのStudy Log

I decided it would be a good idea to make a study log while I attempt my ‘programming % speedrun’ of Japanese to help keep track of and share my resources and progress as I go. My goal is to get good enough at Japanese to read the PC-9801 Programmer Bible and use it to make a little game.

It’s a bit of a lofty goal, given my current level of experience, but this is the goal post I am setting. The only rule is that I have to learn enough Japanese to read and understand it. Some assistance is allowed when I do, but right now, even with a translator app, this task is not feasible for me. (Thus the reason for this challenge) At the time of posting, I have been doing WaniKani for about 1.5 months.

I will post here anytime I make use of a new resource, try a new strategy, or hit a notable milestone.

Here are the current resources I am using:

I do not intend to use a grammar textbook unless absolutely necessary, while they are thorough and probably very useful, I fully expect them to slow me down. My concern with learning grammar with a textbook is that I will not retain it, especially if I’m not reading, and reading a textbook is time that I could be spending reading an actual book. I think the best way I’ll learn to read better is just to read whatever is just slightly above my reading level and look up grammar I don’t understand or ask about it here.

My basic routine:
I do my reviews, then at least 10 lessons (if there are lessons to do). After, I find a thread to read/participate in on the forums, and then practice with either a graded reader or NHK Easy Japanese lessons.

My short-term goals:
Chug along with WaniKani for raw kanji/vocab practice, get out of the level 0 reading level in graded readers, and maintain this study log!


I don’t know if you mind me posting here, and also about something unrelated to your study log.

Best of luck on your japanese learning journey and wish you the best in general.

All that said, can I get you to reconsider the spelling of your name?

Believe me, I know カッゼオン might be a bit of a mouthful, but I saw it and I was thinking, is this some sort of anime that I have missed? Wouudo cat. :sweat_smile:

Maybe ウードカット, or ウードキャット or ウードカト if you wanna go with the dictionary.



Although I agree that カット sounds better than カト.

Anyway, think about it if you want.


Fancy goal!
I remember reading someone’s log, they wanted to learn a programming language written in Japanese, which is kinda similar, also very cool.

Kinda interesting that you’re not keen on doing grammar but do vocab. I get it, but I also think that I wouldn’t be able to guesstimately read if I didn’t focus on grammar a little. It’s harder to read a sentence and decypher what are “real words” if you don’t know grammar in Japanese unlike, I suppose, Polish, where I never cared for grammar as knowing words was good enough to get the gist of the sentence… then again having big enough vocabulary would prepare you to knowing what is probably a word, so it’s also a viable strategy, of course. :smiley: Very interesting how many paths go down a similar goal.

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This is very much how I went about it, except that I actually put in the time reading textbook-like grammar resources off and on for years and never remembered any of it. Looking things up as I went along with reading material above my level allowed me to finally start to learn grammar.

Once I had the basics down, I found watching through one Cure Dolly grammar video each day really helped me make a lot of progress. Because I was already reading and figuring my way through grammar on my own in advance, I had at least been exposed to the material Cure Dolly covers, so it was easier to remember. And her explanations make a lot of things more clear than anything I had read about the grammar as I was reading manga and trying to figure it out.

We also have book clubs, in case you decide you want to plunge into the Absolute Beginner Book Club sometime, and learn even more grammar along the way in the discussion threads.

Good luck!

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Thanks for all the appreciate the positive feedback!

Of course! I mostly just did that as an exercise with katakana and went with whatever I liked the sound of most at the time. I think I’ll drop the ‘ヲ’, since it comes off a bit clunky and doesn’t really get the right sound.

It’s less that I’m not keen on grammar, but more that I’m avoiding the textbook/worksheet approach. I’m still looking things up as I go, and may even change my mind in the future about textbooks (once I have a foundation of practice), but the idea is to build better connections quicker by encountering Japanese outside of the sterile environment flash cards and textbooks provide. I figure, I never needed a textbook to understand that Jack and Jill went up a hill, so I’ll see if I can’t find similar success understanding the same sorts of things in Japanese.

I’ve heard a lot of recommendations for Cure Dolly, and checked out her channel the other day. Seems like a really good resource and I’ll definitely be watching that in my free time.

I’ll take a look! I’m enjoying these level 0 “books” on tadoku right now, since they’re pretty good at introducing you to concepts and grammar you don’t need any English to wrap your head around.


I didn’t use a grammar textbook as much as a book with a lot of example sentences, and https://japanesetest4you.com/, this site is very good at distilling how to use the grammar.

I’d recommend checking it out if you want to figure that out. :slight_smile:

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Update: I’ve been checking out KameSame and Kanjidamage. Both seem like good resources, but I’m not sure if there’s space in my current routine for either yet. For now, I think I’ll try to use KameSame at least once a week and use Kanjidamage for help with mnemonics for any leeches I encounter in the future.

If any userscript for adding Kanjidamage mnemonics automatically exists, I’d love to know about it. I’ll check around and update this post if I find one.

edit: found it!

I think I’ll finally reach level 5 today! I don’t know if I’m just particularly slow, but it seems to take me about 15 days to complete each level. I have no idea how some people are managing 9 day levels. Even with perfect recall, doing each review right when it becomes available and not making any typographical errors seems inhuman to me.

Perhaps there is some way to be more efficient that I’m just missing. So far I’ve just been letting the SRS do most of the work. If anyone reads this and has suggestions, I’d be very interested.

EDIT: I made it to level 5!!! :crabigator:

In other news, I’ve not really kept up with KameSame unfortunately. It’s definitely useful, but I’m already straining my schedule to get WaniKani in some days. Attempting Japanese while finishing up my degrees is proving to be no small undertaking, but I’m going to stick with it even if I can only manage to work on WaniKani right now.

After looking around for reading suggestions, someone said I should try shounen manga, so I’m going to find some Yu-Gi-Yoh to practice with. I figure if I can make it through just 1 book, that would be huge progress. I’m going to try the strategy I used while learning German of closely reading until I understand a whole section, then after I make it through a few sections, go back and read it over again quickly to see how well I do and what I need to review again. I will break the single book into sections and do 1 section a day until I’ve read the whole book once closely and once quickly.


Some people are just really good at creating a mental mapping of the kanji to the meaning and reading.

For most of us, the best we can do (at least at the early levels to see how well it works for us) is to lean in deep into remembering the radicals and the mnemonics. And if a mnemonic doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try coming up with one of your own. (Mnemonics don’t work well for me personally, but they do for a lot of people, so you want to ensure you’re giving it your all to find out how well it may work for you.)

You’ve likely already learned more kanji and vocabulary than most people who set out to learn Japanese. Compared to them, you’re already on that more efficient route =D

That said, it definitely doesn’t hurt to keep looking for ways to improve. I’m almost at 130 days on my current level, and still looking for what will help me do better!

If you want to check out the first chapter of the manga (about 50 pages long), you can read it in black and white or in color by clicking on the gray 「無料立ち読み」 (free preview) link on either of those linked pages.

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Thanks for the encouragement! All things considered, I’m doing very well for how much else I have on my plate right now and realistically, I’m right where I should be. The WaniKani mnemonics are difficult for me sometimes, so I’ve added Kanji Damage mnemonics and come up with some of my own. Mnemonics aren’t the kinds of things you remember forever, but they’re a useful shortcut to deeper memory. I’ve already long forgotten the mnemonics for some of the early kanji, but I’m still recalling them in my reviews, which means everything is working like it should.

Also, I’ll definitely use these links you shared, thank you so much! I’d wish you the best of luck in clearing your current level, but I’m sure luck isn’t what got you this far in the first place. がんばれ! :durtle_noice:

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So I started working on closely reading Yu-Gi-Oh, and found a really good website for helping me figuring out words I’m stuck on. I wouldn’t have made it past the first page without it.

The close reading is definitely going pretty slow, but that’s to be expected for my current reading level. I’m copying each sentence down into a notebook and dissecting it there. Just the first sentence took me a whole half page of notes before I got it fully worked out! On an semi-related note, turns out my English handwriting is hardly any better than my Japanese handwriting, lmao.

I’m going to watch some more Cure Dolly tomorrow since I definitely found the little bit I’ve watched so far invaluable for tackling that first page.

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Sounds like my early reading days, where I’d spend about two hours to get through four panels =D

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Feeling slightly overwhelmed by all the vocab I unlocked when I finished level 4 ;-;

Luckily at least have it all out of my lesson backlog now and am starting work on the radicals. This week is kinda crazy in terms of class work and I spent all weekend mostly procrastinating.

Also, I’ve been thinking about setting up an experiment to see how microdosing affects learning speed. I tried doing lessons and reviews on a microdose once and I feel like it definitely was helping build new connections, but I’d really like to know definitively. It’s possible a study has already been done on this, but I can think of a few reasons off-hand why that would not be the case. It would definitely be a challenging experiment to set up, and I don’t really have the free time to work on something like that right now, but I’ll leave the thought here in case anyone else has something to say about it.

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Very excited about this tool! I think this is going to make achieving my initial goals much easier than I had originally thought. I can use this to both help me learn Japanese from PC-98 games and learn vocab specifically used in the PC-9801 Programmer Bible! While it’s originally designed for games, I see no reason why I can’t just use it on a PDF reader and make Anki cards for the programmer’s bible and other related manuals.

Previously this was not feasible to do, as I would have had to attempt to identify important vocab by hand and then hand-make an Anki card for each and every one. I could now, in theory, make a reasonably sized deck in a single sitting with vocab I know I’ll actually need to read it! Stretch goal will be to get video capture of the PC-98s working and pointing game2text at it, so I can learn efficiently while I play as well.

Level 6 is finally within view! I expect to get there in 2.5-3 days now. Progress is still slow and steady, I really just wish I had more time to spend on practice outside of wanikani, but school work comes first and I barely have enough time for that to begin with.

I’m really satisfied with my progress so far and I’m glad I pushed myself to work on WK despite my innumerable other responsibilities these last 2 months. At my current rate of progress, I can feasibly reach as high as level 11 or 12 by the time I would have started had I decided to wait until after graduation. I hope to develop my overall skills to at least N5 level by then, which would be a HUGE headstart once I actually have time to immerse myself.

Here’s to N5 by May 21st! :durtle_noice:

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Well midterms ended up killing my stride and I had to set aside WaniKani for 2 weeks. Came back to about 450 reviews… definitely a significant set-back on top of the 112 lessons I have left for this level.

Got my review count down to 175 now, and I hope to clear the rest within the next day so I can start back on lessons by the weekend and get back on track.

edit: Cleared all the reviews!