Beebeechan's study log


I am starting a study log! Because things move so fast and I want to keep track a bit of this amazing journey. And I am discovering so many new things from other people’s study logs, perhaps my experience will come in useful at some point.

So far I am still catching up with this parallel universe of WaniKani peeps that I would not have imagined in my wildest dreams about Japanese learning. This really is quite something else.

Some achievements this week:

  • I levelled up and I am now studying level 11 kanji. Yay! Level 10 felt very hard as I am super busy at work. I started with WaniKani while I was on a boring lockdown holiday in my living room a few months back, and back then it felt really doable.

  • I finally jumped in and installed user scripts. Until today, I have been mainly using WaniKani on an iPad. Stole my husband’s android tablet last week to use Flaming Durtles, which I find super useful, and now I am also on the laptop with user scripts. Mind blown!

And you see, I really was busy :rofl:

Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 08.03.19

  • and I used the WaniKani sale and upgraded to lifetime, realising I will definitely not finish this all in a year and a bit, this will take time, there is no way I can sustain this pace :woman_shrugging:

Things I am studying this week:

  • level 11

  • 聞き耳ラジオ in Satori reader. I have had Satori reader for some time, but the SRS scared me. Now that I have done 10 levels of WaniKani, I do the SRS on Satori for relaxation. Yep, you read that right :smile:. My tolerance for pain has massively increased. :crazy_face:

  • I am re-watching ピアノの森 with subtitles on Netflix. This anime has a special place in my heart - it basically got me interested in anime outside of Ghibli films. (Plus I love Chopin, you kind of have to if you want to watch this to the end…) I am grateful for this anime, as it got me back into serious Japanese study. I so much wanted to understand the language, that I manually transcribed almost the entire 24 episodes - for me this is a really good reading practice: If I know the reading of a word, I can write it using the Japanese keyboard on the iPad, and then select the characters from the dropdown if not obvious. If I don’t know it, well, then it’s back to hand-scribbling it into Jisho.

Re-watching it now is super amazing: I have learnt SO MUCH, it is unreal. So much more makes sense now. This is what I love most about learning (anything): it’s the lifting of the fog. It takes some time, and then all of a sudden things become visible.

So, thanks, WaniKani, thank you all super friendly peeps here, thank you! :pray:


Yay, I am now studying level 12. I still feel like an utter beginner though in this WaniKani universe.

But I love the motivation from the level up user script :smile: , who ever made this, thank you!

WaniKani is definitely taking over the house and life in a weird way - I now use it on three different devices, all scattered on the sofa, all for different reasons.

  • For reviews and lessons, I am sticking with plain old simple unmodified WaniKani dashboard on my iPad. I like the simplicity of it, and I find the lesson mnemonics kick in best when I read them as they are presented.
  • for statistics and seeing what is coming up, I check out the modified dashboard with user scripts on the laptop, and I especially love the heatmap, it is so cool (ps, my January looks really busy already :scream: )
  • for additional study, I have started to use the self-study feature of Flaming Durtles (on a borrowed Android device), which allows me to just study leeches, or just study level 1 Apprentice, etc. I find that I need to do a round of just level 1 Apprentice when I finished a new set of lessons before they are beginning to sink in.

I have also started dabbling with the API myself, downloaded all the Kanji up to my current level and wrote some scripts to analyse a piece of Japanese text to show me how much I should know already. Tried it out with texts from NHK easy web, and was surprised that my current level covers already a lot of the kanji.

Yet, even with knowing all the kanji, it still takes a huge effort to read. Even with all the tricks and tools, I think that nothing replaces the actual reading practice. Read, read, read. I read by copying the text into a document, to make sure that I don’t just skim over the page. It is still hard work. Not everything I read I find interesting, which adds to the sense that this is hard work.

Back when I started studying Japanese at uni some 27 years ago (I was a second year physics student frustrated to be within the 1% of female physics students and thought that adding a language would bring more diversity), studying Japanese was really vastly different. To understand a text, we had to count the strokes of each unknown kanji and then look it up in a dictionary, then somehow work out the reading (probably with the teacher’s help) and then write the flashcards. To count the strokes, we had to learn the stroke order first, and I also took some Shodo classes to learn Japanese calligraphy, this was good fun (especially since my friend was left-handed, and the teacher could not deal with it at all!).

Now there are so many tools that make this so much easier, and I find some more every day. Today I looked at Glossika and Jalup (never heard about them before reading their names in the forums here somewhere). I looked at Tae Kim’s grammar guide. I looked at Kitsun, but sadly my trial already expired after I signed up for it a while back, and then forgot about it (I get distracted an awful lot, I admit.) I looked at one tool that had the vocabulary for books to read, and I already forgot what it was called. I already use LingoDeer and Satori Reader. It’s so tempting to try all these things, but I begin to see that adding more now will add to losing track.

I mainly want to be able to read, and to be able to find my way through these big bookshops in Tokyo (next time I visit) and actually buy books that I want to read :crazy_face:

So, I started to read more this week:

  • 奥日光 in Satori Reader, this I find actually really interesting. Just focussing on the reading, no point learning all the vocab, it would get too much.
  • Bakuman on Animelon, a strange insight into what is involved in making Manga

Happy studying!

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