A cake 455 days in the making (with a side of gifs)

And boy does it taste good!


It’s pretty amazing for myself to see how far i’ve come over the past ~1.25 years and now that I have reached the kanji throne.

Anyways, on with the level 60 post!

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A very sappy story of how I came across this site (and Japanese in general) and how it has affected my life

There’s a TLDR at the end by the way if you want to avoid the giant blocks of text

Well it all started in the spring of 2020 when my school had shut down because of COVID-19 and with the next ~6 months ahead of me free with the world shut down I was pretty much bored out of my mind, quite different than the previous year of having to adjust to a new school after moving across the country for the 4th time in my life. Then, one day, I decided it would be a good idea to use Duolingo to learn Norwegian after my dad was talking about how my grandfather could speak it. However, like how most of my life was up to this point, I had given up on it only after a week of trying as usually for every hobby I try, I get really hooked on it and then immediately burn out a week or two later. This had really made me feel dull as a person as the only thing I really could say about my self is that I could play video games to a decent degree and nothing else. I had really berated myself over this, as in terms of school society, it did not make me feel like I was part of school life or added anything into the conversation.

Then a thought had come across in my mind a few months later:

“Why not learn Japanese?”

I had never thought about learning Japanese and hadn’t even had much interaction with it except for a few instances. First, a classmate in the 3rd grade talked about the My Hero Academia anime which the english dub had recently released. I was somewhat intrigued and had asked my dad to watch it (to which I had to watch with him) and ended up stopping after around 5 episodes after not being able to watch (due to him being stationed in Japan coincidently which I’ll get to in a bit). Later the following year that same student had moved to Japan due to their family being in the military. My dad had sent some stuff from Japan like pokemon cards and snacks which I thought were pretty cool, and nothing further… Untill that thought had came to me.

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So I tried Japanese on Duolingo and it went… suprisingly well! It did not bore me in the beginning which was good, but I wanted something more… Duolingo simply would not do if I wanted to continue learning Japanese. So, I looked for materials in the forums (R.I.P) and found someone recommend WaniKani and I thought that I might as well try it out, and as you might as well guess…

I was hooked!

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I had never seen an SRS before and it completely blew my mind of how I remembered kanji. I decided to keep going until to level 3 and see if I could somehow keep up with it and I suprisingly did not find it boring or stress-inducing. Learning On’yomi and Kun’yomi readings was actually really fun along with the pace I could set for myself. I had soon bought the subscription and had devoted my life to the Crabigator till the present day, always doing reviews everyday. I later had realized that I had kept doing WaniKani for over a month and that I had finally broken my curse of instant-burnout due to the SRS. I thought “this is my calling” and kept on serving the Crabigator and learn all the kanji it had to offer.

I had started getting into anime, manga, music, textbooks, almost any kind of media I could get my hands on started to learn grammar and more vocab with Anki and the amount of words I have learned over the past year using it has been stunning to me. Long gone was the boring Duolingo (which had become unusable at this point due to the new voices ruining readings). I was soon able to recognize a large amount of vocabulary and sentences without english subs all thanks to WK and Anki. Also, with Yomichan I can now sentence mine easily on netflix and sentence mine as much to my heart’s content!

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When high school started for me I was actually trying to make friends with people a little since school had opened back up. The confidence of learning a new language had allowed me to actually socialize now that I had something that was somewhat special to me in the school. I had been a hermit for around 2.5 years which made it hard to adjust, but I was doing well. I was able make my own Japanese class since I had an independent study class I could take. The only problem though is that made parents made me take an actual language class (they were supportive of my learning of Japanese they just wanted to make sure I had language credits for college since the I.S. class didn’t count for college credit). I had decided to take french and it hit me like a bullet-train moving at 2 mph, the classes were so slow compared to what I was used to which made me despise French. I had later learned though that certain things work better at different paces and that learning a language in school simply worked better that way which led to me enjoying French way more.

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Now, I have been a lot more outgoing and more active in the school social life by joining clubs and even auditioning in the school play!

It is strange to say this, but WaniKani has legit changed my life and (indirectly) made me into a better person that can actually socialize.

But would I be able to speak to natives in Japanese?

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TLDR: WaniKani changed my life in a lot of ways when I had come across it a year ago.

What Now?

A good question indeed…


I have not really planned too much into the future and right now this is what l’ve got:

  • Reading - Just read a good amount of books and sentence mine with my current manga (SBR, 三月のライオン, 日常、星の王子さま) and any other things I see on the internet.
  • Listening - get a good 5 hours of listening practice a month like watching news, youtube, anime (no subs), or VTubers
  • Writing - Practice writing kanji (since I have neglected that) through 美文字トレニンーグ on the DS which will help me really remember how to write kanji in an almost perfect manner.
  • Speaking - I honestly do not know what to do for this as i’m not really comfortable using Italkie or apps like it, I guess i’ll speak to myself like a mad man?
  • Cooking - I’ll try to make some Japanese foods as well as I have only made Melon Bread so far (plus I need to get better at it (;‘∀’) )

A beached whale in Queens and what to watch when you're under quarantine.

I also plan to learn more grammar as i’ve only really used GENKI I and II even though I have Quartet I and II along with the Beginner and Intermediate Grammar dictionaries. If I do the following before this winter I might take the JLPT N3/N2 (it really depends on where I get to)

If I manage to get N2 I might try to be a freelance translator on games (probably Roblox as it seems easy to gain a profolio there)

After that? Well now we’re getting into murky water (and years into the future). I might try and find a job in the Navy that involves Japanese and hopefully live there. Unfortunately that path can split its self into many different forks which i’ll figure out when I get to that point.

Pin on Anime

For now though I will try to complete the ultimate WK goal: burning them all

Stats

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I was pretty consistent for most of the levels except for the end. I have no idea how I spent 12.5 days on level 55 (must have been all the cumulative totals and types of visitors)

Tips for Durtles on their kanji journey

Gather around the campfire all, for I have some tips that may help on your travels…
Yuru Camp Archives - I drink and watch anime

  • Honestly do what suits you best on your journey. If people are saying it’s better to speed up or slow down, don’t listen to them. Do what you feel fits you best. Nobody is rushing you.

  • Userscripts will (usually) enhance you experience. Just make sure not to use too much! Although I didn’t use any myself, I would recommend the Keisei script for anyone that is having troubles figuring out readings and KameSame for people that like doing ENG-JP reviews.

  • Read or try to absorb any native content as soon as you can at the latter end of the pleseant levels. It doesn’t have to be a full tankoban or episode of anime, just like a few minutes on a Japanese youtube video or looking at the headlines of JapaNews24. Book clubs and Natively are also a great way of starting to immerse in native content. Just doing this will greatly increase your retention of kanji you’ve just learned and also help you learn vocab that isn’t on Wanikani (if you use anki with it).

  • Use Anki. it can fill the gaps in the SRS timings if you are just starting out and is an absolute necessity further down the line of learning Japanese.

  • Most importantly. ask for help if you need it. There will always be people happy to help if you run into an issue that you might not know the answer to.

Some music recommendations (and a shameless self-plug)

So while you’re here… why not listen to some jams i’ve some across?

The Whoops / 湘南新宿ラインのテーマ Music Video - YouTube

Blankey Jet City - Sea Side Jet City - YouTube

剛 × JEFF THE BEATS "my summer goes on" (Official Music Video) - YouTube

I also have a (poorly) made playlist of music that I have accumulated over my time getting to level 60 that is way too long, but has some songs that people may find interesting. (I’d suggest not listening to this in Youtube Music because for some reason a lot of songs are blocked on there but not on regular youtube)

Well that was my two cents on the level 60 post. I’ll make sure to make a burned post when I get there (unless there is another content wave ( ;∀;) ).

Anyways thank you to all that have read this! I know this might be a very long and confusing post, but I really appreciate it!

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38 Likes

Congratulations. That is really good stats aswell.

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Big congrats! :partying_face: :tada:

4 Likes

Congratulations! :crabigator: :cake:

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Congratulations! I think it’s great that you were proactive with your learning during the pandemic! :birthday:

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Congrats on making it to 60, and with great speed and accuracy too! Thanks for sharing your story with us. It’s really great that through learning Japanese you also picked up other useful skills for life. Best of luck with the rest of your journey!

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