I just reached level 60 this morning, after exactly 650 days. In this post I will reflect a little bit on the journey, and talk about my future plans. I do not really have anyone to discuss my Japanese-learning with, so there is a lot of text incoming. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
I have never been so consistent with anything else in my life as practicing Japanese, specifically using WaniKani. Since I started August 5th 2019, I have used WaniKani every single day. Since early 2020, I have been doing my reviews (120-220) each morning on the bed while drinking my coffee, then I do 10-20 lessons and do the reviews once more in the evening. Now I also do BunPro, Japanese classes, private talking classes, some reading and writing almost every day. I have been using no more than 14 days at each level (about 11 days in average, so not lightning fast, but very consistent). I usually go “all in” when I decide to learn something new, but I have never developed such a strong habit of doing stuff at the same time of day. Therefore, the consistency I have been having is an achievement in itself!
The only script I have been using much is double-check. I have allowed myself for some slack on English spelling accuracy, given that my mother’s tongue is Norwegian. Actually, level 40-60 have been pretty challenging on the English part, I have learned (and not yet learned) a lot of new English words. The past few months I have been using some leech-squashing script as well, and I think I will use them a lot in the next couple of months. I only really started to get some serious leeches at the late level 40’s.
WaniKani has truly been an excellent way of learning, and I am surprised by my own Japanese reading abilities. When I decided to start learning Japanese, it was a rather spontaneous decision. I realized I wanted to learn a new language, spent two weeks wondering on which one, then ended up with Japanese. Since I obviously knew it was going to be a tedious task, I (very luckily) spent some time on how to efficiently learn. I stumbled over SRS and Tofugos Kana guide, and one week later I started with WaniKani. It gave me a big jump start into a jungle of new symbols. Without WaniKani I would not know where to start, and I honestly think I would not be still learning Japanese. All though there is still very much work to do to become proficient at Japanese, the Kanji-jump start has been irreplaceable. I often come across very well spoken Japanese students who struggle to read more than a couple hundred kanji, and I have on a several occasions recognized kanjis that Japanese natives did not. It really feel good to be learning so much and being so productive.
So since there is still a way to go, here is a little bit on my future plans. I obviously still have some time on WaniKani left, and I still want to learn more vocabulary and kanji (at least all of the Joyou kanjis and the 2200-2500 most frequent ones). I am currently using HouHou (SRS) for that, which is great! BunPro is an almost equally important application as WaniKani. I am almost finished with the N5 and N4 grammar, so there is obviously much left there too. I am going to put a lot more time into reading. I started in a beginner bookclub here on WaniKani, and despite the community being absolutely fantastic, I gave up because it was too difficult. My point of focus the last couple of months have been actually speaking and holding a conversation. About two months ago I could almost not say anything, but I began with online private classes and seminars with fellow students, and now I can actually communicate a bit. I also started writing a dairy, and I am honestly surprised of how much I can express in Japanese (although the motivation vanishes fast if I listen to a real Japanese conversations haha). I have been attending Japanese classes “101” and “102” at my university (University of Oslo), and will hopefully do the two next semester the next year. Lastly, I hope to be spending more time in this community, because you guys are amazing and I have not really been hanging out here a lot.
Finally, my plans on actually going to Japan. I was originally planning to go this autumn, but will probably go autumn 2022 instead. I am finishing a bachelor in Mathematics with Computer Science in June, and starting on a masters in Data Science this autumn. I am applying to MEXT for a graduate scholarship. If I get it, I will do a two year masters in Japan. However, I did not get it last year. If I not get it, I will try to make a deal with Tokyo Data Science (a small institute of graduate studies) to be an exchange student for one semester at my master’s degree, and then probably come back after my finishing my masters and doing courses there for an additional year. In other words, my main goal in life is a career in math, computer science and research, but I hope to combine it with Japan. My studies have been going really well and I am starting an internship at Simula (research on computational science and AI) this summer, which I really look forward to.
Well, that was it, I am finally level 60 after all this time. Tomorrow is my countries national day, so I am really looking forward to celebrating, even though I got 5 exams this semester. Hope to see you guys around! Thanks!