Putting it into practice

Hello there, second post. Level 4, still budding.

Background, I do not live in Japan but my family occasionally goes there for trips, almost annually (except now, we obviously can’t go, hahaha!). It has been part of my motive to learn the language.

I am aware that I am still inexperienced for this. However I would like to know how many of you who have gone through higher levels put your kanji to practice… asking for future reference for me. I’m NOT talking about the desire to cheat the SRS system. I’m talking about practical… practice.

Thanks!

3 Likes

Not sure what you mean exactly by putting kanji into practice but I read a few pages of a Japanese book every day, and those have a lot of kanji in them.

If spoken “kanjI” count then I practice a lot more!

2 Likes

WK expects and strongly advises users to read well before getting to level 60. ^^ I wouldn’t worry about how that will affect the SRS.

I have sometimes purposefully failed a WK review because I ran into the kanji / word while reading, and I had to look it up. During the WK review, the word was fresh in my memory from looking it up, but I knew I had already failed to remember it for the length of the SRS interval. So red screen it is, since I wanted to review it a few more times.

Knowledge that isn’t used is purged by our brains, so application is very important. And WK’s system relies on you putting it into practice - that’s why it lets you Burn items. It expects natural exposure to replace the SRS intervals at some point.

So you don’t put it into practice despite WK, you put it into practice because of WK! :smile:

Best of luck!

10 Likes

In my Japanese textbook I scratch away all the furigana, so I have to read the kanji. I also try to erite from memory as many kanji as I can during tests we get in class.

2 Likes

Tell me about it…

One option: even though we can’t visit Japan for real, we can still visit in Google Street view. Just plonk the little man down in a city centre somewhere and read all the signs you come across. Also, there’s an immense library of videos on YouTube like this one of people who’ve sat up the front of a train, pointed their camera out the windscreen, and just recorded the entire journey - just stick the name of any train line into the search bar in Japanese, along with 前面, and you’re guaranteed to find dozens.

Join one or more of the book clubs here. Some of them even have group read-aloud sessions, so you can practice your speaking.

5 Likes

Putting it into practice? I dunno, I read and write Japanese. Could be reading the news, or sharing a travel blurb on HelloTalk.

1 Like

Also, I read other stuff in Japanese. Right now mostly HP book 1. Since I know the story really well already, I can focus on just reading speed.

1 Like

This is why I’m somehow fearing the burning process as much as I look forward to experiencing it in (like 4-5 weeks? first time), but I do find the whole SRS thing working. Even for stranglers/leechers. I pick them up one by one and get them through the process more consciously next time(s). And if I fail, that’s a sign I have to do it more!

I don’t want to rush the process as such. But, I also get bored when I don’t have new lessons (not studying anything else at the moment and I love learning). But, most people on WK seem to have more formal goals and timetables (I do not), so perhaps this live or let die-approach isn’t for everyone? :thinking: (personally I like the idea of never-ending learning ^>^)

5 Likes

Great attitude to have about it. ^^ There were times in the beginning where it felt like I was trying to “beat WK,” and that red screens were bad. Especially when I started reading native stuff, I began to appreciate how annoying it is to blank on words. A red screen became a benefit, rather than a failing of some sort.

I think that will vary from person to person. Some find their stride when they consider Japanese purely an interest or hobby. I, personally, find I can work in a more targeted fashion when I set myself goals.

Years ago, I made two horrendously unsuccessful attempts at teaching myself Japanese. I just decided to “learn Japanese,” without any other goals or plans. I would mostly go for low-hanging fruit that gave me a quick sense of accomplishment (SRSing vocab on Memrise), while avoiding the hard work that would mean I could actually use the language (grammar).

Achieving goals never makes me feel like I ran out of things to learn (Luckily? Unfortunately? My opinion varies). It also motivates me, since it’s a clear indicator of progress. I can remind myself that the goal once felt hard and distant, but I got there. When I’m in a bad period, learning-wise, it reminds me that the daily work pays off.

Not saying you have to change your method or mindset, of course. We all find out what works best for us in our circumstances.

7 Likes

Study grammar? Or heck, you’re level 18, read something. I’ve been working my way through Tadoku’s graded readers. Or watch a show or something, get some listening practice.

1 Like

You have a good point. I really should try to wrap my head around keigo. I know some grammar already, but haven’t really practiced it much. And reading is a good start. I’ve tried it before, but it got too frustating. I stuck to Drama CDs instead. But,perhaps I should have another shot at it now that I’ve leveled up a bit? :slight_smile:

Actually, WaniKani isn’t my gateway into Japanese, but anime, Japanese drama CDs, and computer games were. And I’ve picked up a lot of vocab that way (I’m still not struggling with the vocab on Wanikani, it’s mostly words I already know from somewhere :sweat_smile: somehow). Some grammar seems to have been internalized as well before I knew it, like conjugation forms.

For me, WaniKani is more like the last stop on my language journey - finally mastering reading!

But, it also helps solidify and formalize all that Japanese knowledge I’ve picked up throughout the years. I find it a really interesting process actually. I keep being surprised to find stuff I apparently already know, but also identifying blind spots for really basic stuff that somehow completely passed my radar. It’s a fun experience of exploration! ^>^

5 Likes

My WK level 1 date is September 30th so I started in October of last year.
For the few weeks prior to that I learned hiragana and katakana, read up on some very basic grammar and vocab.

Soon after though I learned about immersion so I started immersing a little bit daily. I had already watched anime for 15yrs so I slowly started watching without subtitles, even though in the beginning I had very little comprehension. I also started listening to podcasts whenever I was at work or driving or cleaning/cooking etc. Again, didn’t really understand anything at all lol.

You’ll notice that none of that is actual reading. I mentioned this because I didn’t want you to think I did no practice (or immersion as we call it) and only did WK for the first few months. :grin:

Anyways around December last year I started doing through the N5 Tango book from Ask-Books. It’s basically around 1000 sentences appropriate for N5 level. As I read through those I added them to an anki deck. The company also provides audio so I added that to my cards as well.
yes, there’s pre-made decks available for this book but I wanted to practice typing Japanese and making my own deck for my first anki deck.

I went at around 10-15 stences per day. I reckon I was around level 10 on Wanikani at that point so some of the kanji in the book was unknown to me. I da
btw, forgot to mention I fully “kanjified” all the sentences in the book. meaning the book itself uses kanji only up to the N5 level but I added the sentences to my deck in full kanji.

So I got done with that book around March I think. By that time I was around level 24 on Wanikani I think, and at that point knew almost all the kanji in that book through WK.

So at that point I started adding Japanese subtitles (not English) to the anime I watch. Now I read along every time I watch an anime episode. I try to watch 6 episodes of anime (a typical episode is 20 mins so that’s 2hrs total) everyday… or at a bare minimum at least 3 episodes per day (1hr).

I also read through a bunch of Japanese folktales but most folktales don’t use much kanji since they are meant for children.

yeah so that’s it. Most of my reading at the moment comes from 1-2hrs of reading subtitles.
In the future (December at the latest) I will begin reading light novels.

3 Likes

Nice idea! I think I will try this. I am always a bit obsessed with looking at signs when I watch my slice-of-life anime series.

1 Like

Try these:

The L0 books are very easy. L1 is about my speed - slow reading, but I understand nearly everything.

5 Likes

This is also a useful resource for my level. Thanks

Thanks for the great tip. I’m checking it out right away! :grinning:

Any experience with Satori Reader too? Or do you prefer Tadoku?

Also, I have a hard time finding out what on that site (tadoku.org) is behind a paywall because I can’t find any info about pricing, even though it says there is a ‘‘subscription’’

I went looking for iPhone apps to read Japanese books and found an app called Sorari ソラリ . There are seveal Japanese books that have entered the public domain which you can download for free to your virtual bookshelf. The app itself is also free.

These are real Japanese books, so they might be too difficult. But, they should be a good read. :slight_smile:

(I downloaded some Edogawa Ranpo books to give a try. Not sure how that’ll go, but I do love a good detective story. :female_detective: =