How long do you take on lessons?

I only do about ten lessons a day. Five in the morning after doing the reviews and five in the evening after doing reviews. So it’ll take 10 days.

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My brain simply doesn’t catch these things well, especially when spoken by people who sound differently than more mainstream-sounding language speakers. Even in English I still rely on the context rather than on the sound lengths when there are similar words (“this” vs “these”).

Probably will always be unsure whether someone said “uncle” or “grandfather”.

But that’s okay.

I do 10-20 lessons a day, in a batch of 5 and after each next review came up. I can’t do it in one go, so it takes me around a week.

As a rule, I do them all at once, as soon as they are available. That may change as volume increases further and I get busier, but for now, I am probably close the shortest possible time for each level. Of course, these are also levels I have done previously, which will likely be helping some.

I’ve been considering whether or not I should do reviews at work. I definitely have the time, so I can, but for some reason I don’t. I’m on a computer browsing articles and random websites anyway, and I see oriole on Facebook or Amazon, so why not?

I have worked several places where I was free to do my reviews in slow periods. It was quite helpful. Even just spending some time in breaks or lunch to do them is useful, too.

It’s a good way to burn time on the job while being productive! Also because you’re not doing anything but sitting around anyway you’ll probably find yourself clearing your entire review/lesson queue quickly, and you’ll do it at least once a day if you always have a pocket of spare time during work.

To detect absolute pitch… I took a class in public speaking in my native language (Thai, which is a tonal language). They used 3 words to differentiate High, Medium, and Low pitch. Pitch is important because it is necessary to be conscious of and control it in a more emotional speaking.

To translate this into English, it would probably be “Heaven”, “Calm” and “dull”.

In addition, you might compare your pitch with a keyboard / or ear training; but might be harder than the above option? – this one is the singing class.

How long does it take to get that far?

I mean, I’m not unfamiliar with pitch, given that my mother tongue is Mandarin. Just, you could give me a Chinese word, and I would have a hard time telling you if it was a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 for tone (I tend to mix 2 and 3 especially). It’s not that I can’t replicate it myself, but I learn better by repeating what I hear.

Is it possible to understand Mandarin at least to some extent if I completely suck at tones?

I thought it would be interesting to learn it too, but it seems will have to limit myself to the written language.

Haha but it happens to most of my most of my friends who has Mandarin as a mother tongue, of course they can speak and understand when they hear it, but they never really thought about which tones are used since they didn’t learn Mandarin the way it is learned as a foreign language, where you really have to think about which tone you’re gna use.

Depends on how you suck at tones. If you’re like me you shouldn’t have a problem… but if you have trouble replicating what you hear you might have a hard time. Mandarin is a very heavily tonal language. Tone is part of the meaning, so if you can’t master tone say goodbye to being fluent in speaking Mandarin. You could probably read it though.

What about the context, does it help?

I can’t tell 2 and 3 apart at all, btw.

I try to do 15 items per day right before bed, hopefully a good mix of radicals, kanji and vocab, until I’m under 20 left (Then I’ll just finish them up). I used to try doing all of them at once, but I’ve found what happens is trying to force 60-70 new vocab words+kanji on my brain at once just demoralizes me and makes me start procrastinating reviews.

Master the stuff you already “know”, don’t focus on trying to keep lessons cleared of anything new when you level up. When I used to try that I would be stuck with like 80 new items, + dozens of vocab every few hours. The reviews become completely overwhelming when you’re assigned to do 100+reviews every 5 or so hours, especially when you’re getting less than half of the items right.

As for the audio, I usually listen to it when I do lessons, not when I do reviews. I try to learn pronunciation from other stuff like NHK and japanese pod 101, although honestly I’ve yet to find an effective way of really learning any form of Japanese speech when you’re not in japan.

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Well, context would help some but that applies to pretty much every language. You’d have a hard time figuring out what someone wants to say if all of their tones are wrong. Seriously, if I hear the wrong tone I hear an entirely different word, not “oh someone has a really bad accent lol”. That comes after I spend at least ten seconds trying to puzzle out what they just said. If ALL of the tones in their sentence are wrong I’m going to hear a mass of mumbo jumbo and be entirely clueless. Tone is important.

It’s not like Japanese where it’s essential only if you want to sound fluent and varies across regions. If you speak Mandarin, the word MUST have the correct tone. (If they’re speaking another dialect god help you because even Mandarin speakers can’t understand other dialects if they haven’t learned it/listened to it for a long time.)

If you want an extreme example, take buy and sell. In Chinese, buy is 買 (mai3). But sell is
賣 (mai4). I shit you not, they sound exactly the same besides tone. Tone is the difference between mom (ma1), horse (ma3) and a question marker (ma5). It’s also the difference between four (si4) and dead (si3).

Early on I would just breeze through them all, but that was partly because a lot of the vocabulary and kanji were review from my minor.

Now, with more unfamiliar kanji and vocabularly popping up, I tend to do no more than thirty lessons in one sitting, and try to always keep my apprentice cue within ten or so items of 100.

I’ve done plenty of reviews at work during slow periods! I actually find it really useful on the Wanikani side, as I’m already in a focused/productive mode.

My boss encourages me to do my reviews at work. Lucky me :wink:
The downside of that is that he wants me to deal with everything japanese at the company…

Yes, yes you should. And there’s a wrap up button so you can do them in small batches if you want.