ロウェナの学習ログ・(Rowena's Study Log)

Great to see another log!
Welcome to the club. :hugs::hugs:
You will find that the log will serve others for sure and then yourself too. I have looked back my first entries whenever I got that routine stagnation feeling to remind myself about the progress I had made so far; it also has bring back to attention material that was too much for me to chew at the moment, but then was able to go with it later on.

Your notes seems so tidy and neat…. Mine’s are tending to be more and more like rumbles and mumbles made into notes . :sweat_smile:


It is an effort to override the rumbles and mumbles in my mind :laughing:


What I like best about these different study logs is seeing the different methods and resource used to study different things. =D

Depending on your schedule/availability to spend time on it, these could be the perfect opportunity to push yourself into getting your Japanese where it needs to be. This won’t work for everyone, but looking up everything you don’t understand can result in learning a lot. (Although it also risks leading to a quick burnout, so it depends on the reader’s learning style.)

Regarding Yotsuba, if you only tried volume one, I can definitely relate. I failed to make any progress with volume one back when I first tried reading it. After upping my grammar and vocabulary a bit, I came back to it, and…still found volume one to be above my level. But volume two, I found much easier than volume one. Volumes three and four as well. Some chapters are very difficult (those oriented around the adults having a conversation), and others are extremely easy.

If you liked the premise/characters to Yotsuba, definitely don’t hesitate to give it another chance when you feel you’ve made progress through other methods. But if the story didn’t interest you, there’s no harm in shelving it indefinitely and finding other material.

As for the absolute beginner book club, it can be hit or miss on the material that comes up. The subject matter of the current book, 「結婚しても恋してる」 feels higher level than prior comics in the club to me, but I actually find it easier than the puns in 「しろくまカフェ」 and baby talk in 「チーズスイートホーム」 were. Be sure not to be discouraged!


It was actually Vol. 2 that I had a go at - some chapters were ok (the one where they go to buy cake - familiar vocab for me, mostly), but others were really tough.

As a whole, the series does appeal to me, and I have bought several volumes, but thought I would get through at least all of the lvl 1 graded readers before having a second go.

I have seen how much reading you’ve done, and look forward to checking back for reviews and recommendations when I’m ready.

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That definitely sounds like a good plan. We’re on a marathon, not a sprint, after all =D

I feel the three things that got me where I am on reading are:

  1. Increasing my vocabulary. (Reaching 1,500 common words meant no longer looking up every. single. word. I read.)

  2. Solidifying N5 grammar. (I’m still working on N4.)

  3. Forcing myself to read. (Results in improved reading speed and more exposure to encounter vocabulary, kanji, and grammar I know.)

I’m still very much in beginner territory on reading. (I’ll “power through” anything I’ve previously read in English, with minimal lookups.) I’m always glancing at the latest free previews of random manga to see how readable random things are (more miss than hit right now).

Back to the marathon.


I decided to join the second にゃんにゃん book club last week, so have added that to my lesson plans. We don’t officially start reading for another 5 weeks, but I’ve had such trouble in the past keeping up with the added workload that I am starting now, in earnest.

I am switching from Shin Nihongo no Kiso to Genki for a week - here’s hoping my Genki-vocab-studying with Kitsun smooths the way!


While the book club ‘homework’ is going so much better than with either of my previous attempts, I have had to admit over the weekend that the total workload is not sustainable, so have reluctantly dropped the graded readers until にゃんにゃん is finished. I especially didn’t want to lose the challenge of listening to the audio on first run without reading to see how much I could pick up, but it is just for a few months and this is an endeavour of years…

I did manage to finish the first volume of lvl 1 in the Ask series at the end of last week :tada:, so I can check that off in the GR group before ghosting them for a while.

This week’s revised schedule:


I’d say setting aside graded readers to prep for a book isn’t the worst thing you can do :wink:

What are you doing for prep? Are you reading over a page without worrying about meaning, and looking for words you don’t know to learn? (That’s what I’m getting from your lesson plan screenshot.) Are you making a deck in Kitsun to review them, or just letting your encounter-and-lookup suffice?

My first book will be with the BBC in December, so I figure I’ll start my own prep by the end of October. Since I’ll be going the e-book route, I expect I’ll extract the text and run it through a parser to get the words, then do a word count to see which words show up the most and see what I don’t know from that.

By the way, for your lesson plan screenshots, if you save them as PNG from the start (don’t save them as JPG at all along the way), you should get much smaller file sizes that will load much more quickly for people viewing them. This is because the screenshots use few colors, which PNG is better at compressing than JPG.


First, thank you for the tip about how to save my screenshots - I didn’t know until I explored just now that it was even possible to change it from saving as JPEG to anything else. I believe I have now set the default to PNG (which always makes me initially think ‘Papua New Guinea’ each time I see it…)

Second, my prep is: to scan the book pages for the week, picking up context clues from the pictures, then read over to see how much I understand and if I can guess some of the bits I don’t know; then type up the unknown words/phrases and look them up, largely in jisho. A finished ‘page’ looks like this:

(I made this a PNG file, but the orginal scan was JPEG, sorry - will look to see what I can do about that today)

Since I’m doing all this work myself, and not relying on a vocab sheet made partially or wholly by others, I find the new items are sticking better, and some of the vocab is coming up again in subsequent pages, so flashcards and the like are not a consideration right now.

EDIT: Would it be a different matter for scanning/saving some of the full-colour pictures in the book? Should I still save those as JPEG?


My scanner lets me save as either a PDF or JPEG - if I use the PDF option, I don’t seem to be able to crop the item afterwards, so it looks like it’s going to have to be JPEG all the way for my book club contributions :slightly_frowning_face:. Here’s hoping they are useful enough to some of the members that they don’t mind the extra time it takes to load them.

JPEG is better for full color photographs and scans.

For a scan of a black and white page from a book, JPG may be better, unless the PNG image has colors reduced to a low count (say, 16K). But that involves extra work, so no need to worry about it.

What it comes down to is, if there are large areas of the exact same color (like the background color on a web page), then PNG it is. If there are large areas of different color, go with JPG. If you were to open a scan of a black and white page in an image editor and zoom in, you’ll find hundreds of different shades of white (not all the exact same color), so a scan works better as JPG (generally).

Scanner = JPG = fine.

Screenshot of OneNote (assuming no color images included, or only small thumbnails) = PNG is the way to go

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At the risk of making your study log look like a scene from a book club thread, I did want to comment on this line:

Are you familiar with the common sentence ending ね? It has the nuance of seeking agreement, like “don’t you think?” in English. The speaker seeks agreement on a point they feel they will receive agreement upon.

The sentence ending さ, on the other hand, has the nuance that it conveys assertion, similar to “you know” in English. The speaker may feel the listener very well knows it, but needs to be told so.

I read this line as “Well, I’m involved in a weird case and am busy, you know.” Or, in more natural English, “Well, I’m busy with this weird case I got involved in, you know.”


I will edit that before posting to the book club, thank you :smiley:

I just had the vocab item もちろん which I learned from にゃんにゃん show up in my textbook studies just now, and I am noticing this more and more as I consistantly read, study texts, and do WK (no need for me to look up 宝石 at my WK level, which crops up in にゃんにゃん a lot)!


After reading of Pimsleur in a few threads here I decided to ask at my local library, and they were able to dig up the first 8 lessons on CD for me, so I’ll be fitting that into my study plans over the next 3 weeks.

Here’s hoping I can somehow download it onto my (ancient, hand-me-down) phone so that I can use it while doing other stuff instead of being parked in front of the computer.


You can use free software like Audacity to convert the audio CD tracks into MP3, I think.

Thanks, but luckily there was an MP3 disc tucked in the back, but good to know in case anything else the library has available is older. (Still took an age to get things sorted - I’d not used iTunes on this computer, so had to download and sync everything).

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I’m one week away from my 2-year anniversary of being on Wanikani, and there have been hiccoughs, long breaks, a reset… But I’m happy to say that I seem to have found a good rhythm finally, and tomorrow will tie with my longest ever streak of doing reviews every day :partying_face:


I reached level 14 in WK two days ago.

にゃんにゃん探偵団 is going well, with me needing to spend far less time to decipher the bits I don’t understand, so I am only studying that in the evening now instead of across two or three study sessions. It feels really good :grin:

I have done two of the 8 sessions of Pimsleur available in the goJapanese audio pack the local library was able to track down for me, and they are really basic so it looks like I’ll be finished with those by the end of this week - despite the fact that I probably won’t learn anything while using them, they have led to me actually speaking aloud much more Japanese than I otherwise would have done, so I’m happy.

Today is the start of the fourth quarter of the year, so here is my Week 1 study plan:


So, I learned of the existence of these today:

They are the workbook companions to the Basic kanji textbooks I’m using, and I have been thinking a little more writing practice would be good, so I’ve gone ahead and bought them. When they arrive, I will have the task of reconfiguring my study plans (I had them sketched out to the end of 2020 :crazy_face:) to spread out the added workload so I don’t fall in a heap once more. Challenge accepted :exploding_head:!


Well, things fell apart a bit towards the end of last week; terrible sleep hygiene, fighting some virus, and the mental gymnastics of knowing that my overall lesson plans will soon be significantly altered due to the post above.

I think I’m over the virus now, so this week will be maintaining my SRS and にゃんにゃん探偵団 routines (including a bit of catch up on the book) while finishing up last week’s schedule for textbook studies.