So, here I am. Can’t really do anything at the office right now, so I decided it’s time to get back to Japanese again after I stopped studying because my mental health got worse. Over time a massive amount of reviews began to pile up, so I decided to just restart. I didn’t pay for Wanikani yet anyways, because I stopped before finishing Level 3. Will do that after I battled my way back up, which probably won’t take so long. I’ll try to make WK a daily habit again. This study log should help with that.
I study mainly with WK, Duolingo and Genki. My goal is to master N5 by the end of september. (Which is an achievable goal for 6 months I think.) Maybe I’ll write about struggles and perks of studying with ADHD too. Not sure yet tho.
A little bit about me:
I’m 22, I currently work at a radio station and I want to become a journalist maybe. Didn’t really figure out that part of my life yet. I got obsessed with Japan when I was 7 or 8 after discovering a manga magazine called “Daisuki” at the local library. They also published articles about life in Japan and for some time even some Japanese Lessons. So I tried to teach myself the Kana. At 8 years old. I completely failed, but tried to pick up Japanese again and again every now and then. I got better, but being neurotypical (I have ADHD, BPD and I was a so called “gifted” child with an IQ of over 140) I always lost focus at some point. When Covid is over I want to try to attend an actual Japanese class to force myself to stay on top. At least I mastered the English language since my first attempt to study Japanese, so more ressources became available to me.
26th of May 2021 // 13:24
reset WaniKani and restored all my broken crowns at Duolingo, thinking maybe I should’ve just reset to Level 2 because I did not struggle with the lessons at all. too late tho, lol
Three day streak now for both Duolingo and WK, but I still need to get back to Genki. Though the past few days have been super stressful, so I’m proud I even studied at all. I put little WK Sessions inbetween my job tasks which is SUPER helpful because a) it motivates me to do my tasks because I want to do something fun like Japanese and b) I started to study as a way to procrastinate which is probably the smartest move I made all my life.
Update: Got my “Yay Level 3” mail today. I was actually surprised how much I still remembered, so rushing through the first two levels was really no big deal. I still struggle with making WK an everyday habit, but it’s working out better than Duolingo still. I only ever make it to a 3-day-streak there until I forget to do my lessons for a day. Which is fine. Duolingo was never supposed to be my only study source, but I actually pick up grammar from there even without the explanations. I get that many people dislike Duolingo because they don’t explain much, but I actually love that approach. I am so much more proud of myself if I figured out the sentence structure on my own after failing a few times instead of just reading explanations. But I’ve never really been the “study type” when it comes to languages. With English, I only recall actually studying vocab one or two times. I am the kind of person that just picks it up if it’s not too hard yet. The unnecessary pronouns duolingo uses all the time are annoying tho.
I also just found out about Minato and their free Marugoto courses today. More ressources. More fun. Yay!
What works for me is starting my day with a cup of tea and doing reviews on WK. After I do both I start getting ready for work. Throughout the rest of the day, I often do some reviews but those are optional for me.
Just try to keep up and don’t pressure yourself too much! You are doing great!
ありがとうごさいます everyone! ヽ(o＾▽＾o)ノ
Yesterday I “mastered” my first radicals. Can’t describe how proud I was to finally see something level up this much. I also passed 27/28 kanji on level 3, so I should level up any day now. I’m still waiting for the day I will finally get myself together and study some grammar though, but I’m pretty happy with learning “only” kanji and their corresponding vocab so far.
Also, just a thought, but it never occured to me that speaking multiple european languages would be helpful to study east-asian languages one day, but I already noticed how for some vocabulary I don’t need the help of wanikani to make it make sense. For instance, for 大きさ WK is trying really hard to make the connection from big to size. In German however both words have the same root: groß (big) - Größe (size). I have no idea what the mnemonic for 牛 was too, because Uschi (same pronounciation as うし) is actually a german name. Not really in use anymore, which makes it even more ridiculous that that cow is now named Uschi in my head. No need for any mnemonics.
Another fun fact, just because languages are fun and I feel like some of you might actually enjoy this useless fact: A mnemonic is called a donkey’s bridge in German. Really loving my native language right now, lol.
Update from later that day: I did it. I grabbed my Genki Books and started studying. I also made a plan to pass N5 as fast as possible. Genki I has 12 lessons, so I will aim for one lesson per week at least. If I’m faster than that even better. Considering I will keep up with WK too and practice what I’ve learned with Duolingo every now and then I hopefully will be able to read manga and play Pokemon in Japanese by the end of this year. Which is super exciting. I can’t wait to be able to translate the lyrics of my favourite japanese metal band too. (They’re called 人間椅子 if anyone wonders.)
I found that having learned Japanese beforehand actually really helped when I was taking some German lessons because you guys also have the whole Yoda-speak thing going on. I’m sure it’ll be a big help the other way around too
Calling German “the whole yoda-speak thing” really makes me wonder what German must look like to non-natives. But one of the things I love about German is that everything is either described precisely or it’s just “stuff”. Fire stuff is a lighter, writing stuff is stationery, but a slug is called a naked snail. (Which makes my native english speaking friends always giggle, but I honestly don’t get why you would ever call it something else. It just fits so perfectly.)
Sooo, I’m still at level 3. I don’t really know what’s keeping me from leveling up, because I’ve read that WK lets you level up even if you’re not at 100% yet, but I keep coming back several times a day, because I want to move up so badly.
I already finished lesson 1 on Genki and started with lesson 2 last night because I didn’t want to stop yet. (Talking about hyperfixations, lol, I actually had to force myself to quit because otherwise I would’ve been super tired at work today.) So far it’s super easy, because I already know all the vocabulary. I actually WANT to use Kanji more, because I know them, but I understand why Kanji are so slowly introduced.
My plan is to pass N5 in August, so I’ll have a little more than 12 weeks to finish Genki I. I’m not sure how far I’ll get with WK in that time, but I hope it will be enough until then. If I actually manage to achieve that goal I am certain I will be at N4 by the end of this year which is one of my main goals, because I want to start reading manga and playing videogames as soon as possible.
Your forum account is active now, so don’t stress! You need to pass 90% of the kanji to level up, or x of x, as it says on the bar on the dashboard. You can hover over an item to see which one is closest to being your next review:
I reached Level 5 today! Yay! To stay consistent with my WK reviews turns out to be not as much as a problem as with my Genki studies. I’m still at lesson 2 because I can’t get anything done. With WaniKani it’s a lot easier because it decides for me where to go on, what to learn and to review next while Genki is like “here is everything you need, have fun!” It’s like going grocery shopping and being so overwhelmed by the veggie section that you end up only buying eggplants when you actually wanted to stock up on everything. And I don’t even like eggplants.
One thing that helps me with proceeding forward with Minna no Nihongo is breaking it down into steps that I have to do in a particular order. I’m not exactly sure how Genki is structured, but you could try focusing just on learning the vocabulary for the lesson and spend a week or so on that (I have an Anki deck for the MNN vocab, and I move on to actually reading the lesson once I can easily run through the Anki cards). Then you could just gradually work through the chapter, trying to read at least one section of it a day. I end up getting through a MNN lesson in a little less than two weeks generally (with at least half of that time spent learning the vocab first), which might be too slow for some people, but I feel like it’s good to figure out a consistent workload that you can do on a regular basis, even if it’s only spending a little time on it each day. And having a structure to the process (as an example: vocab first, then read the lesson, then do the exercises, then do the workbook, etc.) helps you figure out your task to work on that day.
A voice inside of me wants to complain about how bad I do with Genki, but I’m now at the point where I made my peace with it. I’ve read the Guide to Learning Japanese by Tofugu again and following their route I don’t even have to start studying grammar until I reached level 10 on WK. I got my level 6 mail the other day and I must say that WaniKani is doing so much for my self esteem. I have never in my life been able to do something consistently everyday because of my adhd and my mental health. But WaniKani is part of my daily life now since I started this log and that makes me really proud. I sometimes even come across new English vocab. (I’m not much into gardening so I didn’t really know that hoe could be used in that context too, lol. Though I doubt that I’ve never encountered it, understanding unknown vocab in context is pretty much what fluency is. But now I actually had to learn that word because it’s used in a mnemnomic.) I also noticed that learning Kanji makes learning vocab a lot easier. Genki teaches a few majors very early on and I couldnt get こうがく (engineering) into my head because I had no use for it. (The exercises for the majors and jobs vocab is classroom talk which I do not have because I study on my own.) Now that I know it’s actually written 工学 I remember it easily.
Learning grammar from a textbook is like learning how to swim from a textbook. You can read up on all kinds of different ways of swimming, but you need to actually try swimming to actually internalize it, and to be able to fully understand the texts.
Likewise, it’s when you start consuming native material that you are able to internalize the grammar, and better understand what Genki and other textbooks/resources teach.
Have you picked up any books or manga in Japanese yet that you want to read?