My history with the language
Studying Japanese has been in my backlog for a while. I started the journey around 2017 when I started doing Heisigs’ Anki deck to start learning Kanji. I diligently did that for around 2 months until work got in the way and the habit broke.
Some months later I actually tried WaniKani for the first time, I started very strongly and motivated but by level 3 work got in the way again and I felt frustrated and quit again.
Around November 2019 I started studying very hard on my own again during a sabbatical month between jobs and learned a lot. Started my new job and that once again faded.
During the past two years I’ve been doing Anki on and off with Kanji and Vocab, but the inconsistency didn’t allow me to progress that well.
A month ago I found up about the Refold method and using immersion to learn. They recommend starting to learn vocabulary using SRS in parallel to get through the initial learning curve, for that reason I’m using their JP1K Anki deck, wanikani and jpdb (to get vocab from the specific movies I’m watching).
I feel like maybe I’ve taken on too much workload, but I’m keeping the new words on both JP1k and jpdb to under 10, and most of them I know already so it hasn’t been that bad yet. Also my work-life balance is currently a lot better than it was back then so I think I’m on the right path now.
My idea is to use these tools to boost me to content understanding and then once the ball has started rolling learn using that and Wanikani.
My current learning plan
On any single day I do
- Anki, Wanikani & JPDB reviews in the morning
- Wanikani reviews & new lessons on lunch break
- Wanikani reviews & new lessons at around 8PM
- One hour of immersion (currently rewatching all Gibli movies)
Taking new cards from any of the SRS systems depends on how I’m feeling that day and on how well I did on the reviews that day. Immersion is obligatory.
I also joined the Absolute Beginners reading club. To be started in mid November.
Since starting again I currently have a 2 week streak on all SRS and I’ve done immersion all but two days.
Thanks for reading yet another study log!
Assorted Links & Tools
Migaku Browser extension for immersion, extends Netflix to be able to see two languages at the same time with optional blurring. Also allows creating Anki cards straight from the browser.
Will keep updating!
Good luck with your studies!
I also studied very inconsistently the last two years, but this month I decided to take learning Japanese serious again.
Today was a pretty good day review wise.
It’s only 2PM but I only have 4 reviews late at 10PM so mostly done for the day.
Today I moved 50 cards from apprentice to Guru, mostly vocab. And I’m getting there with the level 3 radicals, all of them about to hit Guru, which means more Kanji coming in two days.
Reviews done, learned 10 new words.
Also I’ve moved my first two words to memory strength 3.
Current learning stats:
Tonight I’ll continue watching もののけ姫 (no English subs), the hardest Ghibli movie I’ve watched so far, it’s a lot harder to follow compared to Ponyo/Totoro/from up on poppy hill, I may lower the difficulty again, not sure what to watch next tho, recommendations welcome.
Today I reached my 250th guru turtle!
I’m trying to complete most of my japanese studies before work these days, today I woke up at 7am, then did wanikani, anki and jpdb reviews, with some 45 minutes left for immersion.
Then reviews whenever they came up. I got lots of new lessons today, but I left 18 for tomorrow so I can work on these new words properly instead of getting too much on my plate.
This weekend was my GFs birthday and I planned a weekend out so I did almost no reviews. I was a bit afraid of how reviews would go today after almost three days away (I did some reviews at night while she slept, but not a lot as I felt I wasn’t very fresh and I was feeling a bit frustrated).
To my surprise my accuracy wasn’t half bad (not too good but better than I expected).
Also, level 4!
Will leave the lessons for tomorrow.
I’ve decided to stabilize my knowledge for a bit and skip lessons for a couple of days.
Not sure if that is a good idea, any experienced wanikaners around to chime in?
Unless you’re going for a speedrun it’s definitely a good idea to slow down whenever you feel like it might be beneficial! It’s much more important to not let your reviews pile up too much, and letting things consolidate in your brain sounds like a good idea to me
Haven’t posted for a while although I’ve been reviewing wanikani daily without skipping a beat!
These past weeks I’ve dropped JP1K and replaced it with Bunpro to start working on my Grammar. I don’t have time for so many SRS, so I needed to drop something.
This week I reached my 100th master turtle, and I’m already at 183, these start growing fast quickly, also got a bunch of enlightened today, I’ll probably burn my first turtle in the next few weeks, that’s exciting!
I’m also now at level 5
I’ve also started reading 三ツ星カラーズ with the Absolute Beginners Book Club and I’m understanding more that I was expecting.
I haven’t been really planning reviews all that much, I’m just doing them as they come and not stressing too much about when I’m doing them, I know this is not the recommended approach, but I’m fine with that.
It’s very very exciting to be able to guess a word reading by knowing the kanji readings, it makes remembering words a lot easier that I was expecting.
Statistics for the past two weeks:
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, there’s been a lot going on in my life (change of workplace being the biggest one) but even if I didn’t update this at all I haven’t missed a single wanikani day!! Currently I have a 39 day streak with no sign of slowing down!
Last time I updated I was at 100 master turtle and now I’ve reached 366, so a lot of mastering being done.
Stats for the past 22 days:
Again a long time without updating this, but haven’t missed a day of studying, I’m currently at 59 day streak!
Currently at 300 enlightened, 0 burned, the first burn will come in february.
I’ve been reading a little bit of a book I bought a long time ago and it makes a lot more sense now with more vocabulary.
Stats for the past 20 days:
Reached level 8 today!
I’m really amazed at how, once you know the readings of kanjis, you can figure out a lot of vocabulary super quickly, it makes remembering vocabulary a lot easier than I expected. I had this realisation a few days ago when reading a book, I found a new work and I was able to work out the readings without furigana. I was in awe!
I went through covid and stuff and while I reduced my daily japanese intake I’m still in the streak!! four days ago I reached 100 day streak, and next tuesday I’ll get my first burnt item!!!
I’ve also completed 1/6 of the wanikani way, as I’m now in level 10
Most of my items are currently in the enlightened stage, with around 700 items there.
I’ll try to introduce some more immersion in my day to day from now on as I’ve set that a little bit aside lately.
First two burnt items!!!
I’m so excited, three months of daily reviewing and work
I’ve also started reading a manga from my youth that brings a lot of nostalgia, Love Hina, in Japanese.
Apparently I haven’t updated in two months!
Because of work I reduced my wanikani workload for about two-three weeks in March, but I still didn’t stop doing some reviews each day. I’m currently at 170 day reviewing streak!!! I haven’t leveled in more than a month tho, but I’m finally about to reach level 12.
I’m currently sitting at 184 burnt items and they keep coming almost every day at this point.
I’ve also started reading almost every day, either some manga (Love Hina, fueled by nostalgia) or some graded readers I bought from amazon.co.jp.
The graded readers are actually fairly easy at this point and I can read entire pages without having to look for words, I’m using any sentences with words I don’t know for Anki sentence mining.
I also bought this J-J physical dictionary as well as this other one I’ve had for a while but I never used.
The strategy I’m currently using for reading harder material is:
- Read until I find a word I don’t know and seems important in the current sentence.
- Write the sentence down in my notebook.
- Open the word definition in both dictionaries. If between both dictionaries and the original sentence I cannot understand the meaning I go back to point 2 recursively with the dictionary definitions.
- After a while, I use jisho.org to look up the words and re-read the definitions to try to understand now using the known meaning.
An important thing for me here is that everything (except the jisho.org at the end) happens offline, paper, pens and reading. I feel like without a computer involved I am a lot better at focusing and I get better results.
This process has been helping me enormously and I think my reading is getting a lot better.
Also lately there are some words / kanji in wanikani that I recall the reading a lot more instinctively instead of relying on mnemonic, this has been very very exciting too, as it means I’m internalizing them a lot better.
Now, as usual the screenshot of the summary of my progress since last time I wrote: