I thought it was time I started one of these, since I plan on being here a long time. I enjoy reading others’ logs and following along with their journey, picking up tips along the way, so hopefully this helps both me and someone else who may stumble upon it and find something of some use…
I first started Japanese in high school, though only as extra-curricular in preparation for a short exchange trip. Along with fellow classmates I went to Tokyo for a few weeks and stayed with a family, attending the local high school.
I then studied Japanese during undergrad over ten years ago now. Looking back, the progress I made in that class was pretty slow, I was only speaking Japanese with other beginner learners, and I much prefer self-study!
Past uni I didn’t continue study in Japanese, but did travel there again during university break to take a short, 2 month internship at Hitachi.
I don’t know what caused me to re-engage with Japanese this year. I didn’t pick it up as a hobby during our two Covid lockdowns due to being busy finishing a paper and a thesis at uni. However, Covid did completely rob me of any sensible schedule, and WK with it’s SRS has given me back that structure and motivation.
After reading the guide by @jprspereira, I implemented as close a schedule as I could for 7 day cycles. I don’t care so much about committing to level 60 in a set timeframe (because life can get in the way) but I DO care about my reviews being predictable and being able to do lessons and big chunks of reviews on a particular day and time, so that it fits around other activities and I can maintain a regular schedule.
Today was the first day I finished a full cycle sticking my 7 day timeframe, sticking to only using WK at 6am, 10am, 6pm and 10pm (I’ve described the current level activities, previous level reviews just get done as they are due):
Sunday - 6pm, all new radical lessons, 10pm review.
Mon - 6am radical reviews, Available new kanji (6am, 10am, 6pm)
Tues - 6am radical review, 20 new vocab (6am, 10am, 6pm), 6pm Kanji review.
Weds - 20 new vocab (6am, 10am, 6pm).
Thurs - 6am radical review. New kanji lesson (6am, 10am, 6pm). First set of kanji gurued at 6pm.
Fri - 6pm kanji review. 20 new vocab (6am, 10am, 6pm)
Sat - 20 new vocab (6am, 10am, 6pm)
Sun - 6pm kanji review, start new radicals, 10pm review.
If at any point this gets a bit much, I’ll cut back on some vocab lessons. Mostly I aim to finish the previous levels vocab before moving on levels (so do level 3 vocab while on level 4 and finished before level 5, always 1 step behind).
This will only work as long as I keep my % up! At the moment I ensure I’m focused during lessons, and really visualise mnemonics, adding my own if I come up with something more personalised.
I restricted myself to just WK until level 4.
Bunpro - have started at level 5 JLPT track. Intend to do lessons on an adhoc basis, not as fast as WK, and do reviews as they arrive.
Genki - I’m reading casually through Genki 1, which is mostly revision for me, and then hope to move onto Genki 2 in a weeks’ time. I’m not focussing on Genki too much, because Bunpro is so much easier to do on my phone.
CureDolly - casually watching the CureDolly youtube series. I’ve decided I like this and will stick with it and get more serious about making notes.
[retired] TaeKim - I remember TaeKim being all the rage several years ago, it was recommended everywhere. I downloaded the app but I’m not enjoying it so much, also Bunpro has SRS so I’ll stick with Bunpro and stop TaeKim (or just read TaeKim casually).
Immersion - Shirokuma Cafe! This show is the best, I especially love the puns. I’d like to study some of the subs from this as context-based vocab, but don’t want to integrate another app just yet. Maybe in a month or so.
Listening - I found a really great native kids bedtime stories on Spotify, I’ll post it here soon.
Reading - I will start reading once I reach level 10!
My goals are that I can:
read some Japanese literature
create some recordings for my friends in Japan
enjoy the learning journey and the challenge!
I would also like to be able to read some zen texts in the original Japanese (stretch goal).
And eventually be able to read an academic paper in Japanese (super stretch goal).