This year I’d really like to get better at speaking. I’m a big believer in getting a lot of input before trying to output, but I think I have a pretty good foundation now, and you don’t build muscles that you don’t use.
I took the N3 in 2018 and only failed by a few points – but I was literally finishing up the last few N3 lessons on Bunpro while I waited for the exam room to open so the fact that I didn’t bomb is completely inexplicable. I had planned to take N2 this past time but my test location filled up, so the current plan is to try for N1 this December. Who knows whether I’ll pass, but I’d rather aim too high than too low.
That’s the idea! WaniKani still takes up a good chunk but my daily reviews have been going down for a little while now. I have an average of 80 reviews per day for the next two weeks, which feels great.
My goal for this year is to read 52 volumes of manga and I’m already on a good pace to exceed that. I’m also participating in the WK book club for 氷菓, playing Persona 5: Royal and Radiant Historia (both in Japanese) and watching unsubbed anime whenever I get the chance.
At this point I’ve finished all their content and my subscription is on hold for a little while. My Bunpro pace was pretty insane; I literally dumped all N5 lessons into my queue day 1, then worked through N4 and N3 at 10 lessons/day, only slowing down when I got to N2. It was review hell for a while but it stabilized eventually and the gains were huge. I really like Bunpro’s manual burn feature – it didn’t take long to realize that I didn’t need to review だ anymore, and it’s nice that you can just get it out of circulation forever.
Bunpro is a phenomenal resource and I can say for sure that I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
Hmm…that’s a bit of a tricky question to answer. So far nearly all my reading has been 総ルビ manga. I only follow a few series that don’t have it.
Something I find is that seinen manga (which uses limited furigana) often has a more limited vocabulary than shounen manga (which has furigana on every word). When I read ３月のライオン I find that I can go pages without encountering a single unknown word, whereas with 鬼滅の刃 I barely go one page without seeing a few of them. It’s almost like the authors take advantage of the furigana to introduce words that the average person wouldn’t be able to read automatically. So if you want to expand your vocabulary or learn unusual kanji like 痙攣 or 五月蠅い, reading shounen is the way to go.
For some easy recommendations, I like 甘々と稲妻, ゆるキャン, and 少女終末旅行. I’m currently reading３月のライオン and not having much trouble with it, though the shougi stuff might be a bit stiff for some.
Another transition tactic could be to play games in Japanese. Video games and visual novels usually don’t have any furigana at all (the only exceptions I can think of are some of the Zelda games and SMT IV), but they often have voice acting, which can help you out as well as helping you train your listening ability.
Furigana will always be with you in my opinion. There are so many good series that are 総ルビ; just off the top of my head I read 鬼滅の刃, ５等分の花嫁, 古見さんはコミュ障です and Flying Witch, all of which I intend to keep reading until they stop running. Don’t stress about it inhibiting your progress; I’ve found it to be the the opposite.
I agree with you here, it just becomes an issue when trying to read things outside of manga. When relying too much on furigana it can make it hard to transition into short novels. I guess it’s just a case of practice makes perfect.
Well, this is my first novel and I can say for sure that the lack of furigana is not the most difficult thing. In fact I’m not finding all that many words I don’t know.
I’m gonna say it was a little harder but mostly just different. In manga the vast majority of text is dialogue and you can get a lot more context clues from the images. Oftentimes video games are nearly all dialogue (visual novels excluded, but my main experience here is the Persona series).
Novels on the other hand have a lot of narration and descriptions that would otherwise be covered by the manga art, which is a style of writing that can be unfamiliar (it is for me at least). I’m sure it’s something that I’ll get used to in time. Everything is impossible until it’s not!
And thank you very much for your post. It really gave me a motivation boost.
Usually when I read posts like this, many people in lvl 60 made almost every level in 7 days. But seeing that even with a higher average the journey can be ended, make me feel that I’ll make it someday.
Heck yeah! It’s not a race, it’s an endurance sport. As long as you get there eventually that’s what matters. There are definitely things I wish I’d done differently, but everything builds upon what came before it so I don’t believe in wasted effort. Even abject failures bring with them the knowledge of how to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.