So, hi everyone!
This is my first post here and while it’s not meant to be an introduction post but a post full of needing help and questions, I might need to post a bit more.
I am not a native English speaker (I am from Germany) and want to attempt for the second time to seriously learn Japanese. “Second time” because I did try it during university 15 years ago (where we learned with the Genki book series) and completely and utterly failed after the first year, but even the midterms of that year were really bad for me and I barely made it into the second half. Grammar wasn’t too bad, but the Kanji broke me. Wish I still had the Genki books, but they got lost in a flooded-cellar-accident.
Now, 15 years later, I am a disabled woman stuck in her apartment who recently found her way back into wanting to learn Japanese because of a video game. Thought I had left my fangirl days long behind, but apparently not really. So I tried and started with Duolingo, which is… pretty bad and without remembering a few things, I would have likely already failed. But as the Kanji there don’t get really taught, I needed an extra source. Found this website when I saw a link on tofugu, where I was for good hiragana sheets. Looked great, exactly what I needed, so I signed up.
And so here I am. Level 1. Already struggling.
I didn’t mind the initial waiting time. It’s not like I have that much time, checking twice a day is okay for me. Had a few slight issues with the first few radicals, but all went pretty well.
Now I unlocked the first set of Kanji today. It’s hell and that when I basically still knew more than half of them.
My issue is that I never learned well with mnemonics before. Somehow I never got them to stick in my brain and that’s the issue I have again. I don’t know why it is that way, but that stuff always feels like “extra stuff” I am supposed to remember on top of the actual thing (here: Kanji, reading, meaning). It’s like my brain is too small, I don’t know. I mainly liked the SRS approach of this site, which is why I wanted to give it a go, but stuff is already not sticking to my brain. And the stuff that sticks the least is the mnemonics. I’m not kidding. Even for Kanji like 三 where I knew both the meaning and reading, I cannot get the mnemonic to stick. Not a biggie in this case, but for unknown Kanji where I need to learn meaning and reading? Yeah, it’s pretty bad. Not being a native English speaker also doesn’t exactly help, though I do think I’m pretty fluent there at least.
So I guess I am wondering how to proceed when I suck at mnemonics. I am fully committed to doing the “free” levels and am thinking of subscribing if it works for me, even though the monthly cost will go from my food money, but I feel like being overwhelmed at level 1, with prior knowledge of some of the Kanji, is a very bad thing.
Thank you for reading this wall of text and helping and I am sorry for any English mistakes!