DikkeDraak's Study Log

Hi there!

I’ve been thinking about keeping a study log for sometime now, because I think it will be a nice way to keep track of my progress as I continue learning Japanese. Here’s something more about me:

Background

I started learning Japanese in March 2022. Unlike many others in this community, learning Japanese was never a lifelong dream of mine. I started learning more or less by accident after moving to Japan for my work for 6 months and being offered private lessons twice a week.

I have been through the process of acquiring a new language before. I learned English and German at school when I was younger. While I was in college, I learned to speak Russian at a C1 level within two years. It was a very intense process and I spend multiple hours a day on it, never skipping a single day. Once I reached fluency, I told myself I would never do this again.

Now I can feel the fire burning again and I feel the same passion for Japanese as I did for Russian. However, this time I won’t have as much time at my disposal, so I don’t expect (nor wish for) the same results. I know how satisfying it is to learn a new language, so this time I want to focus on enjoying it rather than doing everything as fast as I can.

Current Japanese level

During my first 6 months studying Japanese, I worked my way through the first 10 chapters of Genki I, finished the Tango N5 deck on Anki, and reached level 10 on Wanikani. I only seriously started doing Wanikani in May or June, after first trying RTK and KKLC for some time.

Below you find my current WK progress stats:

Study Method

Wanikani is the centerpiece of my study method right now and the one thing I will do daily, no matter what. Having just finished the Tango N5 deck, I will now start doing the N4 one to broaden my vocab and reinforce some of the basic grammar points. I will also focus on finishing Genki I and work my way through Genki II once that’s done.

I love to read, so I already picked up some manga and joined the Absolute Beginners Book Club. I am still trying to find a good routine were I can balance all these different aspects. For me the most important thing is to be consistent and to change my routine depending on my needs at the time.

Goals

Although it’s mostly about enjoyment for me, I do think it’s good to have some goals:

  • Reach level 60 of WK
  • Read the first two Harry Potter books
  • Read all 18 “Teasing-master Tagaki-san” volumes
  • Be able to comfortably play easy games on my Nintendo Switch

I plan to post biweekly updates on my progress on Sundays. If you’re still here, thank you for taking the time to read this and joining me on this journey :smile:

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Entry #1 Levels 11 & 12 and moving back from Japan

Finally, it’s time for my first entry :smile:

My last two weeks have mainly revolved around leaving Japan, which meant I had less time to spend on studying Japanese than I would have liked. Still, I reached level 11 (soon after starting this thread) and after 11.5 days I reached level 12.

The past two weeks I also finished all grammar points from Genki I with my Japanese teacher. She told me I’m between N5 and N4 right now and could pass N4 if I studied for it. It was encouraging to hear this from her, even though I feel like I still need a lot of repetition and immersion to really solidify the grammar.

I am still very much figuring out which study routine works best for me. I tried various tools, including Kitsun, JPDB and Satori Reader. I think they are all great tools, but in the end I think I’ll stick with good old Anki for now. As for the reading, I brought A LOT of books with me from Japan, including loads of (beginner friendly) manga and more advanced books for when I (hopefully) reach this stage. At the moment I am reading along with 耳をすませば and am about halfway through vol 1 of よつばと!

Finally, living in Japan for 6 months has made a huge impact on my life and I can’t recommend it enough for anyone who has the opportunity to do so. I am excited to see what my Japanese level will be the next time I’m in Japan!

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Entry #2: Level 13

After spending a (negative) record of 16 days and 20 hours on level 12, I finally made it to level 13 today. Last week I went on vacation for a couple days, which meant that I only had time for reviews and not for any new lessons.

I tried to divide the little time I had the last two weeks across various study methods. I was able to keep up with my reading and watched some Japanese shows, either with Japanese subtitles or without them. I can tell that my comprehension of easier shows like Terrace House is gradually increasing, which is very motivating!

My current plan is to focus on Wanikani and to finish the Tango N4 deck on Anki within the next month or two. This morning I already did all the new available radicals and kanji, and I was very happy to see a lot of familiar kanji from the N4 deck appear in this level. Hopefully using both methods will help me hammer in the new kanji and grammar patterns!

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