My Journey Learning Japanese - Study Log

Hello, my name is Javi and I want to learn Japanese.

These latter words hide what I think is going to be a long and challenging journey. I’d like to give some context first.
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1. Background

I am a non-native English speaker, in fact I was born Spanish. Always thought I would be pleased with just being able to have knowledge of 2 languages (technically 3, but don’t mind it). That mindset has been present even in my weebest moment when I could watch a lot of anime episodes a day.

In the last month I’ve been researching hundreds of resources, sites, blogs, videos, etc. to see which is the ‘ultimate’ way of learning Japanese. The point is that, after moving through different sources and collecting a huge wave of information about different methodologies (Tofugu’s blogs, MattvsJapan’s MIA or Refold, Reddit… you get the idea), I discovered that All Japanese All The Time or similar methods are quite unrealistic (for me) and I prefer (in my opinion) working little by little but every day.

Anyway, after all this digging (which I did after I learned Hiragana and Katakana on my own, sorry to not mention it before) and after I started WaniKani, I realized it is more important to actually doing the work and be persistent rather than wasting a great extent of time trying to figure out what it is “the best” method.

With all that being said, I would also like to give some credit to a few WK old users, who have made an outstanding progress and have shared their experience with the community, and from whom I’ve read lots of their posts.

I’m sure there are many more nice people out here, since from what I’ve seen this community seems to be a healthy environment, full of respectful people. I hope to get along well with you all. :nerd_face::point_up_2:

2. Reasons for learning Japanese

My goal is to read anything in Japanese like Manga, Light Novels, etc. and understand raw native content, such as Anime, movies or series. Besides, I also have a liking for the culture. Maybe another reason could be that I have some free time (although I’m focused in my studies) and want to spend it in a productive way.

3. Why do a Study Log

I love to organize and arrange all my things and keep track of my language learning is a cool idea, at least for me. However, I admit I’ve already done this to track my Kana progress, but it is not worth giving many detalis about this in this log.

4. What I already know…

  • Pronunciation: As a Spanish I find Japanese pronunciation very easy.

  • History: I learned about some History of Japan and where the Kanji come from.

  • Kana: I know how to write Hiragana and Katakana, and recognize them.

  • Grammar: I’ve seen few Cure Dolly’s videos, read through this page of ultimate beginner’s guide and some articles from Tae Kim’s grammar guide.

  • Resources: I’ve been able to set up a lot of future resources I know I’ll be using (Anki) and I am already using some userscripts as well as other useful websites and/or tools. Credits to the authors of the scripts.

  • Kanji: Level 1 in WK and currently LV2.

4.1. and what I don’t

  • Immersion: I can’t understand anything :grinning::+1:. (I mean, just typical single words known by every person who has watched anime).
  • Vast majority of Vocab, Kanji, Grammar.


5. My Scheduled Routine 1

My plan is to reach first a certain level in WK (maybe 10?) before I tackle grammar in depth (that is, a textbook like Minna no Nihongo, Genki, ADoJG, etc.). Taking this into account, here is what my planned routine during these first steps looks like:

WANIKANI

  • Do my reviews & lessons as they pop up (don’t know whether is best to use Lesson Filter or not) and reinforce this study with Self-Study Quiz and write down the Kanji to practice a little bit of writing (I think this is useless at this level but I’ve already done some and I like it).

  • Use KaniWani ro reinforce even more. It’s more complicated to recall the reading of the Vocab given the English meaning than backwards, but it’s good practice.

IMMERSION

  • READING
    I want to start reading some Graded Readers, some easy Manga and stuff that best suits me at least once a day. It would also be good to record words (that won’t appear in WK if possible) in order to study them in the future, but as for this routine I think it’s too much already. First, I need to adapt myself to this agenda.

  • LISTENING
    Watching native content (Anime, for instance) may be worth it and listen to the language everyday is in my plan, but passive listening is not (for the moment).

GRAMMAR

  • At the end of this routine I will be done with Cure Dolly’s videos (theoretically) and (I hope) with Tae Kim’s guide.

6. What I expect after this first routine

At the end of this routine I wish I’ll have some foundational knowledges and a certain number of Kanji learned. If everything’s goes as planned, it can well be the kick-starter for a new routine (textbooks for grammar, Anki for vocab mining, etc.).

7. Conclusions

Long story short, I hope I stick with Japanese as long as it’s fascinating for me (I love deciphering what a sentence or a word means. In fact, the other day I could read, and not just guess the meaning, a word in someone’s clothes, I think it was 人工 ) and I’ll try to give some updates (every 2-3 levels or so?).

Thank you beforehand and this blog reaches its end now.

11 Likes

Wow, thank you so much for the shout-out! I’m touched :pleading_face:! And totally agreed on rodan being an inspiration!

I definitely think working little by little every day is a good approach! I ended up also having grand plans of waiting until level 10 to start proper grammar study, and, well, ended up too impatient, haha, and started Minna no Nihongo much earlier… :sweat_smile:

It worked out for me, though! So I guess my main advice at this point would be to not hold yourself to an arbitrary level goal there if you start to feel impatient. It’s never too early to dive into grammar! Though it sounds like you’ve already started, which is good!

In any case, good luck! I’m looking forward to following your log! :blush:

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