Yay! I got another new-to-me kanji this week (“Temporary” 仮). I believe that when I looked ahead to the levels when I first started, I saw that from here on out I’ll be getting at least one new kanji per level, often much more obviously, the higher I go. I’m getting plenty of new or forgotten vocab words and I’m seeing a small impact when I’m reading my textbooks that things are just swifter to recall and I can read more fluently. Wanikani is starting to do the job I’d hoped it would for me.
I’m halfway through my speedrun to the end of April. This level took a few hours longer than expected because I fumbled some timings and mistakenly didn’t do the kanji lessons right away after radicals. I wanted to continue doing under 7 day leveling so I can work backwards from the evening level-ups to morning.
I very nearly got some radical names wrong on one of my reviews, but remembered before faultering… But… I’m gonna install the typo userscript. I’m PLANNING on abusing it for radicals… I’m not here to memorize arbitrary names for radicals (if they were the actual linguistic names for them, maybe I would care more). I still remember what the radicals are when I see them for the mnemonics, so I feel like yeah… I’m never getting a radical wrong from here on out EVEN if I don’t remember the name because yeah… what’s the point? I’m hoping not to abuse it for kanji or vocab though, though at least so far my accuracy has been so high that there isn’t much to cheat… but I am concerned I’ll start going much faster and just be more reckless with it installed.
Tobira textbook study
Solidly in Chapter 4 now! Plugging along. For whatever reason this chapter has a lot more grammar points that I haven’t internalized to the same degree as those from the first chapters. Like I’d still recognize all of them in writing, but I don’t USE them to the same extent in my own speaking so I’m looking forward to working to integrate them more because they’re pretty useful honestly…
Kanji N2 Study
Nearly through Chapter 4 now in the Tobira workbook, and I also started doing a page a day from the Kanji in Context Workbook Vol. 1. I’m doing that because I’ve realized that I really want to be through all of Tobira, the kanji workbook, the grammar workbook, and the majority of Kanji in Context by the time I give birth (likely July). That’s so that when I come back from my fourth trimester break in late October and start studying again… I want to just be focusing on JLPT N2 focused materials and practice tests before taking the N2 that first weekend in December. So with that in mind, I’ve gotta do a bit more study on this end. But the good news is that I’m now over my morning sickness and have a lot more energy than I did a few weeks ago, so I’m pretty raring to go with the kanji study, too!
Uh. I did exactly zero speaking this week (French week at my house so no Italki in Japanese) following the OPI last week. I’d like to start doing simple audio diaries (aka voice memos) and shadowing on a regular basis in the evenings. I’ll make a plan for that this week and get started.
Happy Lunar New Year everyone! We celebrated with delicious Chinese food that my husband made and we don’t do presents for Christmas or other mainstream US holidays or in between, but rather we give our kids gifts on Chinese New Year and birthdays only. Since we were unable to travel to Japan in November 2020 as we had been planning for four years, we had some extra book money saved up for some Japanese books. Our last Japanese book haul was from BOOKOFF in California in spring 2018 at which time we bought mostly baby and young toddler books. We were able to get probably three times the books at that point because they were used and in the continental US. This was our first time ordering books (new) from Japan, so the sticker shock was a smidge staggering, but we got an amazing haul and our kiddos have been obsessing over them! Mostly for the 4+ crowd but our little baby doesn’t mind.
So I haven’t been doing much reading of the novels I have slated for my own reading list, but I have been decoding a whole new set of books!
I’ll share a little about a few of these books:
We got three books of poetry. The two you can tell are from the same series (しゃべる詩、あそぶ詩、きこえる詩 and おどる詩、あそぶ詩、きこえる詩) are delightful. We had another kids’ poetry volume and the poems are beautiful but they are very nature-based and rather esoteric for kids’ poems. These are more playful like Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky. Tons of wordplay and fun topics. The third poetry book (こどものしっぽ) is poetry written BY children (from three years old to sixth grade) and so they’re written with very easy-to-understand vocabulary but they are just delightful. Maybe I’ll share one or two next week.
The カタツムリ小笠原へ is a really beautiful picture book written as a manga/comic centering a pair of common garden snails from Tokyo who float on a log to Ogasawara island and their ensuing adventures.
セミ神さまのお告げ is an Ainu folktale about a cicada god who unites two divided villages. Each picture is hand embroidered, clearly by someone who took painstaking effort to create the most beautiful and texturally-rich story experience. The result is absolutely breathtaking.
ノラネコの研究 is a super cute documentary story of following a stray cat, Naosuke, around for a day. When my partner and I went to Iceland in 2015 we would curl up at night and watch Icelandic TV and we happened upon this documentary that followed housecats on their exploits around a village and this reminds me so much of that. There’s a lot of scientific information about cats and their roaming patterns and daily habits sprinkled throughout the book but in a totally digestible format.
月へ行きたい is a clever book about dreaming up different ways to get to the moon and then explaining the way we humans actually did it. There’s obviously a lot of space-travel related vocab and kanji (with furigana) in it, so I look forward to studying it more closely and then rewatching 宇宙兄弟 (Space Brothers), which I really enjoyed a few years ago.
Similarly, I’ve been watching 昭和元禄落語心中 (Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu) with my husband on our COVID “date nights.” We had really wanted to go see a Rakugo performance on our trip to Osaka that didn’t happen, but I bought 落語少年サダキチ based on that inspiration and wanting to learn more Rakugo terminology. It’s a middle-grade novel (clearly currently beyond my level of reading comprehension, particularly given the specialized subject-matter) about a young boy who gets really into Rakugo after his chance encounter with a drunken Rakugo master. I really look forward to working on it.
So yay for books! Yay for reading! Most of these books have a fair bit of kanji in them (albeit with furigana) as opposed to our last haul for the younger set so I’m looking forward to mastering more kanji and reinforcing what I’m working on with WK.
Lol… my husband is in the same spot. If he is in the same job he has now (which he wants to be), he won’t be joining us… He will visit us 3 times during the schoolyear for a couple weeks a piece, but it will be my solo adventure with the kids. I plan on teaching English and the kids will be in school, and when papa shows up we will go do touristy things and travel together.