Keeping it +1

First of all be warned, this post probably will end up being a long wall of text (with some images though).

The last month of my japanese studies has proved to be one of the more rewarding ones. I’ve been diggin’ into methods to plunge into new material and try to keep my motivation high, since after 6 months I know I’m hook. :sunglasses:

I read through AJATT, JALUP and many blog’s articles that where very informative and provided with new tools that showed me ways to pick new and fun material and make it into study material… but the jump seemed just too steep considering my current routine, and though all of this blogs talked about keeping it fun the things they recommended just didn’t look like fun to ME.
I was aiming to some immersion, but some of their recommendations just weren’t very apealing.

But then I think a found my own custom made routine making use of many of the things they talked about it :nerd_face:

Currently I have done Genki 1, keeping a vocab of around 1500 words and level 10 in WK, just as point of reference, 'cause the method I’m about to explain I’ve no idea if will suit someone of much higher level or anyone just starting.

A couple of months or so ago I learned about the tool Subs2SRS, a great application that enables you to create (among other things) Anki decks from video, using subtitles files as reference to extract snapshots/video + audio to incorporate to the card along with the mentioned subtitle lines (with or without translation, provided you have a 2nd subtitle file).

The first thing that can stop you it’s Subs2SRS been only available in Windows (downer for me when I read about the app). After seeing really cool decks made with this app, I made the extra effort to install a VM in my Mac, and finally with Windows at hand, was able to use it.

When I finally got all setup to use it the result was something like this:


I was stunned!! A cool looking card of a show I liked, with the image, the audio of the sentence, the Japanese lines and the English translation. 258 cards came from that one chapter of that anime.

By the way I used that anime because I have watched the show previously, like it, and was able to find the basic components: video of the show with English subtitles and then japanese subtitles that match the video I had. Most of the time the japanese subs it’s the critical step (and then if it’s found, make sure it syncs well with the video file, otherwise some modification should be done).

So. 258 cards. From one chapter!! A tremendous achievement if you consider how time consuming making good Anki cards can end up being. And these are audio sentences with images…. What else could I ask…. Well let’s see…

If you see the example above, depending on your level of vocab and kanji… many words would come up as unknown vocab. Giving my current level most of them are. And though the card was packed with content… that content was above my level. Not all cards where like this one, but the 258 count could be drastically lower if I was to grade the material to my current level (besides taking the time to do this sounded like no fun).

So what was I to make of my newly discovered shiny tool?

The answer came thanks to one WK member who referred me to this Anki add-on: MorphMan.

Basically MorphMan it’s a plugin that looks into your decks in Anki and search for morphemes in your cards, so makes a database of your know morphemes. Then reorder your current decks to be shown in a +1 manner. Exactly what I was looking for!!!

I have my vocabulary deck (based on the Core10K) and then my Subs2Srs deck.
So the idea was for Morphman to catch all the vocab I’ve learnt in my vocab deck and then reorder my Subs2SRS sentences to show me the ones that were +1 sentences.

The first wall that I encountered after downloading Morphman was that: it’s not intuitive to use. Besides both the forum where they discuss about it and the youtube tutorial are of a previous version (and much more complicated to setup for what I saw).
The original creator left the add-on project, then some other programmer took the initiative and created a better GUI, so no longer coding it’s need it to setup the addon. That version you can now download. The problem it’s that there are no tutorial or any recommendation that I’m aware to setup the add-on correctly, since it has many knobs and options to do probably much more that I’m currently aware

After some trial and error and asking the fellow WKanian that referred me to add-on I was able to properly setup Morphman.

My setup was something like this:


(EDIT: the modify box should be checked for the deck you plan to reorder)

Basically it looks for morphemes in the field Word in my vocab card and then the morphemes in the Expression field in my sentences Subs2SRS cards

If it’s working fine you should see an index in your home page in Anki named K “number of known morphemes” (in the numbers of your current vocab count)


Must warn you that most of my first cards where of small particles and words like うん。。ううん。。え。。ええ!あ! etc… because they constitute morphemes as well. So if you don’t want to review them, just suspend those cards till you get to actual sentences. Or just press the K key and they are supposedly tagged as known and you should be moved to the next card.

So finally I was getting sentence cards that were supposedly +1 . But the problem was that depending on the show they came, they could present really slangy or rare vocab (specially anime) . For example I got my hands on a Subs2SRS deck for the series Hikaru No Go and did reviews for the cards comming from episode 1, the show it’s about a kid playing Go (a Japanese board game) with the ghost of a former master of Go in the Heian period…. No wonder my sentences ended up becoming about Go specific vocab and Heian period words… that were nowhere near being common today!!

After reading some people commenting about the benefits of Subs2SRS created decks, I realized that many also notice that the limitation was that you can end up doing card review of shows just because they had jpsubs available…. And after checking my available decks that was the case… 90% were animes and many were there just cause they were available with jpsubs.:sweat:

Fortunatly enough I ended up reading NihongoNoBaka post, a blog that I’ve read before, and he was also very exited about Subs2SRS decks… but made from Netflix series!!!
Now that it’s something I DO watch…. And after a search or two I was finally getting material from series I actually enjoy and I am exited to watch.

Many of those Netflix series I was already considering to watch them do some immersion as well. The JALUP guy recommends watching a show first in jp with or without jpsubs and then with your native language subs a second time should be a good way to immerse into native material.

So finally my setup after mixing all recommendations and new information I’ve gather these month it’s:

  • Watch an episode with jpsubs, then again with Spanish (mother language) or English subs.

  • Do my reviews both from vocab deck and subs2SRS decks, that it’s looking like this:


And it’s actually +1. ( notice I also remove all the furigana on all know WK kanji :nerd_face:)

I keep my new cards to be just 10 each day so I can really crack those sentences and look into that new morpheme, whether a verb, noun or particle.

  • Then to do extensive analysis I put the sentence in Jisho.


This really helps me to SEE sentences break it into individual words, realizing which ones are known verbs but sometimes just with unknown conjugation, sometimes known words but written in hiragana.

Caution sometimes must be taken with particles, as Jisho can sometimes struggles and separates a particle into smaller particles (の、で、か、etc). You can just pick all of them and look for them, but not in a sentence context, and you’ll see if it’s really a “bigger particle”.

  • For any new verb o noun I activate or create that card in my vocab deck if it’s of importance (in anime decks I was reluctant sometimes, but my current show it’s much more down to earth vocab, so I’m adding most of the words I come up).

  • If it’s a particle I save it and review it in The Dictionary of Basic / Intermediate Japanese Grammar.

So basically this it what I’ve been raving this last weeks, I just wanted to share, since I’ve seen this apps mentioned every now and then, and then so little actually shown about how can they do wonders … which I think they are doing for me anyway. Specially I found very encouraging to see particles and expressions used in real audio / sentences, so I realize who tells them (gender, young/old/child, etc) and when. I get so many more meanings of lots of verbs, that by their own they could look so alike to some other, but then I realize how they are actually used.

Anyway, it’s just the beginning, I’ve actually wahtched just half of the season of Dad of Light, but it’s proven to be one of my most rewarding experiences in my japanese learning adventures so far.

Hope this gives you some lights as how any of this tools and workflow can do good things for you too!!.

PS: Some of the resources to get to make Subs2SRS cards are in that grey area. So you’ll have to do a google search whether it’s subs, video, etc…. It’s easy enough if you are wondering.


Saving this for later, thanks for sharing! Sounds fun, that’s a given.
What are “+1” sentences though?

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should have started with that perhaps :sweat_smile:

basically sentences that you know all except for one word in the sentence… so you get to always use your current vocab while learning a new one.

Koichi has explained better, so could check this as well. :+1:

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I am happy your AJATT endeavour was so fruitful! Different methods seem to work for different people.

This is a pretty nifty guide. Especially Morphman seems interesting.

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:sweat_smile: yeah… maybe I didn’t became a hardcore AJATTer but I came up with many ideas after a couple of weeks of some extensive reading.

There are lots of good tips and suggestions spreaded in those forums, and the koohii forum as well. It’s a long process just to read trough all the content, so hopefully there are still tons of good tips to try.

I started watching dad of light. I need to finish it, I mean I am an avid player of ffxiv myself!

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It’s a really nice show. I really like how Netflix it’s comming with content like this one (and Erased :sunglasses:)… It’s proven to be a great resource for people learning japanese.

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Hikaru no Go is about a a Go master from the Heian period, which is about a 1000 years before the Edo period (give or take). However, the show doesn’t really have much, Heian period language. So I’m not quite sure what you’re on about there.

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There, for all Hikaru no Go fans, I have rectified the reference :+1:


seems all my endeavors were taked to a whole new level by this guy.

Just released, and exactly among the lines of what I’m doing :grin:


Hi all, for those who already now Mainingu :

Just a quick update to let you know that I have added a spaced-repetition feature. So you can now review your anime/drama cards like WK :hugs:

Also added 2 new medias (1 anime and 1 drama).

Let me know if it is useful for you and how I could further improve it:grinning:

For example, are there any media you would like to be added in particular?


Things that could be watched from Netflix would be nice.

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I’m not using Netflix myself and also I guess the content is different by countries, so I am not sure of what you want.

Would you like to see on Mainingu series/movies from the US dubbed in Japanese? it could be nice to study in Japanese dubbed version a movie that everybody watched already many times in English, it would lead to a stronger understanding of the context = better memorization (for now there are only Japanese native medias on Mainingu.)

Now I’m not sure if you mean the mainingu site or the Subs2SRS / Morphman routine. :man_shrugging:

Anyway, there’s a software to downaload content from Netflix (using your own account, so you must have an actual account). It’s called Flixgrab. That alongside with Nihongonobaka posts and tools for downloading subs have made an incredible resource out of Netflix.

I have now more material that what I’m able to process (still takes some time to get things properly setup). So you can even be picky about what shows to extract to make Subs2SRS decks out of.

The few shows that have 45-50’ min episodes (Underwear, Hibana, etc) are a well of content :wink: , and totaly worth the time expended, since you can easily get 5000-6000 cards out of them.

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Thanks for the tip! Indeed Netflix could be an amazing source to add flashcards to Mainingu. I am quite interested. Currently Mainingu has many cool features but it lacks cards…

What about you join the development team of Mainingu :wink: ?

I meant add Japanese shows from Netflix to Mainigu since you were asking for suggestions of media to add. Other streaming sites would be good too, because right now the shows and movies on the site aren’t easily available to stream and it would be nice to learn from things that I can actually watch. The main reason I mentioned Netflix is because they are starting to have some shows with Japanese subtitles which is nice for when you’re still learning. If you’re looking for specific examples, Little Witch Academia is a show it would be nice to have, but I’m honestly not too concerned with the content as much as the ability to access it easily.

Thanks for the info, but I’ve tried making my own Anki decks before and I got burned out really quickly, and this seems like it’s just adding a whole other layer of work on top of it, and Mainigu seems to be a place where it’s already done for you and was asking for suggestions.

@Asterlea Oh, well, the process to actually make the routine work it’s nothing too difficult (specially using some of the shared decks from this site for example) in case you ever wanna give it a try.:+1:

There’s a lot of developers getting new apps released and mentioned here both for vocab and grammar. I see most use the Core 10K deck as a base to the vocab building… and well … learning a huge list of vocab the SRS way … sounds like… meh…:crazy_face: … but then I guess you have to start somewhere, probably to notice while doing this that 10K it’s a random number and not a real target to aim.

What I really like about making use of this routine and doing your own material is that in the end you get to a point that the whole setup it’s nothing compared to doing the actual weight lifting that is doing the reviews every single day :sweat_smile: … as basically happens in any SRS app, but then you can make use of whatever new content you are reviewing much quicker and with much more memorable context, so the inevitable burning sensation that a typical pile of undone reviews causes, it’s much milder .
Beside the whole routine can quickly go into listening practice, shadowing, grammar, etc… recycling the same method :sunglasses: … so there’s no more hunting for the next new shiny SRS based app for your next step into japanese learning :wink:

Anyway, I get that the extra time it might take to actually get to even try this may spook many people, but I think in the long run the revenues with this method are much more than with what it is out there.

@deign thanks for the invitation, but I’ve a long run to go before getting myself into anything like that; only about a year into learning japanese actually :sweat_smile:

The Subs2SRS shared decks blog it’s a nice resource if you’re short on shows. I’ve uploaded a couple myself.

If you have access to Netflix (specially japanese Netflix), the deal with the subtitles been out of sync it’s not a problem anymore, and you’re sure to get a constant flow of new content on a regular basis.

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Yeah, I definitely see the potential in it, but unfortunately I burn out really easily so I know I have to be careful and not bite off more than I can chew. I’m currently using Houhou for reviewing personalized vocab, which is unfortunately only vocab, but it makes it super easy to add new cards so I don’t have to spend a lot of time on the setup and can just drop them in and then get back to the content I was reading/watching. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good enough compromise for where I’m at for now.

I might check out some of the Subs2SRS shared decks though, if other people have already made them then that would save me the trouble! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Fair enough! Defintely learning japanese yourself should be your first priority, overcoming many issues yourself will allow you to better help other people.

I will keep following your thread and hope you can come up with great ideas that I can also use for Mainingu :smiley:

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