Japanese progress

totally agree, of course the methods matter. i would even argue that the learner himself has for the most part no idea on how effective his methods are, because its relative to all other methods he hasnt used yet.

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Today is definitely not my day… :roll_eyes: Had the entire afternoon to do 300 reviews on KaniWani and I still have 150 left.

generally speaking, i posted the numbers to make him aware of the amount of time it takes to learn a language. its a lot of work and requieres dedication, its not something you pick up, while doing some wanikani reviews every other day.

Although I enjoy the accolades, I’m definitely not a genius. Because I studied this in the past, it’s ingrained in my head. So I knew what you were trying to say.


Whenever I hear talk of X hours to get to Y I always think back to high school Spanish. A friend of mine would read the vocab and grammar lists once, and ace it. Yet I’d spend a couple hours studying to barely pass.
I do believe some folks are more naturally inclined to languages, while others (ie, me) have a **** of a time with it. That goes for everything though. We all know someone who seemed to slack of and never study, but would ace everything.
How you study is of course another thing. You can spend hundreds of hours studying vocab, but if you spend zero on grammar, you’ll get (basically) nowhere.

I like how the wikipedia chart shows n4 taking more than the total time upto and including N1.
N1 1700–2600 hours
N2 1600–2800 hours

grains of salt rain from the sky

snails and slugs go extinct

my bad, copy/pasted the wrong numbers for N1

(left side)
Level Students with kanji knowledge
(e.g. speakers of Chinese)

(right side)
Other students
(no prior kanji knowledge)

N1 1700–2600 hours 3000–4800 hours
N2 1150–1800 hours 1600–2800 hours
N3 700–1100 hours 950–1700 hours
N4 400–700 hours 575–1000 hours
N5 250–450 hours 325–600 hours

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I started 6 months ago, I was going to Japan and I though it would be cool to learn Hiragana and Katakan, so I did. I learned them pretty quickly, it took me a week, using mnemonics. I thought it was fun so continue with the rest of the language. I’ve been studyung with Genki I didn’t start II. textfugu as well and I just started Wanikani. I understand I lot of the grammar concepts and I can put in practice ok when I write, but when I want to speak, I feel like I don’t know anything. Was wondering if it’s a feeling that is shared by others. When I listen to non native (or native) speaking near perfect Japanese it feels like I will never get there.

Speaking is its own skill that needs to be developed, just like reading. You have to practice EN-JP and get used to expressing thoughts in japanese. My speaking skill is probably worse than some n5 people, so don’t feel down. Are you doing anything to practice conversational skills like speaking/listening?

Yes, I started with Italki and I have regular sessions. The thing I find the hardest is that naturally trying to translate thoughts that i have put together in english in my mind, but then it gets super difficult to translate them as the Japanese is so different. I’m thinking that i have to skip the “trying to translate in my head” step.
I love learning and it’s really an enjoyable process, i just wish there was a way of tracking progress when you are a self learner. I have to say as well that English is not my first language, I’m French, but given that I’ve been living in English speaking countries for 16 years, I’m learning Japanese from English and not from French.
As a side note, the great thing about speaking French and English is that I have two language to pick mnemonics ideas.

How’s your writing in Japanese?

You’ll get used to it as your ability increases and you are able to express more ideas. When you are able to start thinking about things in japanese, it will flow more naturally. You’ll get used to the syntax the more you are exposed to it. This is something that WK and Anki and all that can’t really help you with. For that you have to consume native material or read through reading practice passages in textbooks…or talk with natives.

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i write hiragana and katakana without problems. Kanji, I’m doing it in stages. I’m learning meanings and readings and then from time to time I’m learning the writings of Kanji I feel I know very well. But to be honest, at the moment the writing is an after thought.

Oh, sorry if I wasn’t clear enough xD Not literally writing, but applying the knowledge you have to write sentences from it (with natives or not). I think that writing and speaking both test your reproduction skills. If you practice with writing, your process of “translating” will get better in my opinion.

I agree, it worked the same way when I started with English, the first year I was telling myself the sentence in my head in French, then translating them in broken English, in the way the french sentences were put together, my English was terrible, I have to say I stayed quiet for a while :wink: Now I think in English and sometimes speak English when I’m in France.

Yeah, this follows the same idea of thinking in that language. Practicing expression of thought in that language is the end goal.

Oh, sorry. I’m ok when I’m writing (of course if it’s stuff I know how to say) but I guess I have more time to think about the sentence and the order in which to put the words. Also, I think that we don’t write the way we talk, and I think that’s the added complexity of speaking is that you have a tendency to want to make it more complicated that you can handle and you freeze.

A foreign language can be broken down into four parts: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Each part is its own skill, and you have to practice those skills to hone them if you ever want to be good at them. I’ve taken roughly three years worth of University level Japanese study. My best skills, easily, are reading and listening because the instructor always made us listen to her in Japanese and read large swaths of text all the time. Then comes writing. I’m somewhat average with writing because I don’t actually write in Japanese all that much. There are different rules for the written language than there are for the spoken one, so I know it’s a weak skill that I need to improve on. My worst skill is speaking because I almost never do it. I’m way too nervous to actually speak to someone who is Japanese because I’m afraid that I’ll sound stupid. It’s a dumb fear, but I’m slowly getting over it by going to Japanese Coffee Hour at my university where I can speak to the other Japanese students in a relaxed environment.

And all of that is coming from someone who has completed Genki I and Genki II as well as large swaths of Tobira as well as other specified textbooks for my advanced level classes. You get out what you put in. Find the skills that you want to practice the most and do those first. I think speaking, reading, and listening should be the priority for language learners.

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