Re: START (coming back after disappearing for 5 years) A Study Log

This looks like it may be the beginning of a study log - you’d be welcome to add it the Master List

Welcome back and all the best! :bouquet:

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I disappeared for 3 years and reset from 15 to 8, so you can do it. :smiley:

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If Wanikani releases me, I’ll never come back. Ever. But I don’t see being released. Ever.

I honestly lucked out! I decided to tackle the review pile as way to “test” where my knowledge/memory was. Once I realized I was constantly getting things wrong or confusing them with other kanji I made the decision to go back to level 7.
Went at the review pile again and found it easier to review and that I know at least the meaning, and just worked on the readings. I also searched the
Forums for help!

Wow thanks for welcome back everyone!
I’ve decided that just keeping my Apprentice level items under 100 will leave me with nice review stack sizes that I can do in small chunks. So I’ve started lessons again, I’m very small batches.
But my biggest accomplishment is FINALLY understanding the difference between がつ and げつ when reading 月 combined with other Kanji. This has been driving me insanse and probably one of the reasons I stopped in the first place! I of course found the answer in the forum and it was like a revelation. It made SO MUCH SENSE and made me so happy! Lesson learned: if I struggle with a reading search the forums, someone may have found a way to remember more easily.

Today I learned different reasons!
理-logical reasoning
由-cause (reason)
理由-motive

Yes they all mean “reason” but since this is my third language nuances help me in the long run when it comes to comprehension.

I’m almost done with all my level 7 lessons! I’ve been making great progress with keeping my apprentice items at manageable level so I’m pretty happy.

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Birthday week update:

So, unsurprisingly I’m not having quite as much time as I’d like to dedicate to reviews as I’m currently on a mini staycation. But I have been chipping away at my review pile everyday, keeping it at a manageable level. So I’m at least proud of that.

I also found out some of my close friends are ALSO learning Japanese and are on Wanikani. So now I have some study buddies!

Now on to something new I learned:
I found out Tofugu has a podcast and I’ve been giving it a listen. I really do enjoy the back and forth banter and the explanations. And since some of the episodes our with an article I think it really compounds the knowledge (like when you read a chapter of a textbook and go over the textbook the next day in class). One of my favorite episodes was the one on pitch accents. The explanation and mnemonics to remember the different pitch accents were great

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Man, lucky. No one I know in real life uses it.

Welcome back and all the best getting those few reviews done and moving forward!

Yay! So back to my normal routine AND I’ve got my review pile back down to zero! Also started chipping away at my lesson pile.

I’ve made it a priority to do vocabulary words first (as they’re available) and then radicals and Kanji. I feel this solidified the kanji I’ve learned this far.

And I’m trying to read the sentences available with the Kanji and I’m finding I’m starting to get the 大体 of the sentences! Very exciting and motivating.

I would like to start learning non-kanji vocabulary. So far my plan is to add any non-kanji Vocab I find in manga and when I listen to Let’s Listen to Japanese with Small Talk (the hosts list the vocabulary used in each episode). Where else should I look?

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I think this is a great update:

I leveled up to 8 and the system I’ve set up for myself has been really paying off.
-My goal is to keep my apprentice stack at 100. I find this gives me regular reviews that I can manage.
-I do my lessons Radicals, Vocabulary, Kanji
-I focus on vocabulary as a priority over Kanji because it puts the Kanji in better context for me, and allows me to find any discrepancies I need clarified (like 思うand 考える) so I can better my understanding.

I found a study group for Genki 1,2 and Tobira! I’m super excited about this as I feel it will really hold me accountable and help prevent disappearing for another five years.

I found Koohi.cafe to help me learn and study non-kanji words (and later different kanji and vocabulary than found on WK).

I hope I can make it to level 10 before Halloween. I want to give myself an incentive if I do, although not sure on what the prize should be. If you’re reading this and you have an idea let me know!

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I’m so happy and proud of myself for making it to Level 10. The farthest I’ve ever gotten. I feel like I can give more brain power to my grammar studies as well.

It turns out in my area finding the rice flours I need at a decent price is pretty hard, so instead my prize ended up being Mooncakes as my small 人間 is currently OBSESSED with Over the Moon.

My next goal to strive for is to finish Genki 1! I’ve had this book for years and finishing it will feel so good.

I want to start conversation practice, but a bit nervous to. I know I should just rip off the bandage because I know that reading AND speaking will be what advances my language studies.

I guess we’ll see if I can muster up the courage before the new year!

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When I started writing my (much overdue) update, WK informed me if I really want to revive this “old” topic as it has been 8 months since I last wrote. EIGHT MONTHS?!

Let me catch you up:

  1. Midway through level 10 I abandoned my kanji studies because life started to hit hard, my work started to hit hard, and my retention was like water in a sieve. I was extremely discouraged. And procrastinated until my reviews hit over 800 and then I really just slunk away.

  2. Even despite being part of a really great study group for the Genki textbooks, due to all the stress with my job and my family I was just getting more and more demotivated and learning Japanese, while fun, was getting harder as I was struggling to understand grammar points, remembering vocabulary and kanji.

  3. Despite my slump, my study group carried on and I struggled to keep up with them. In March we did our final review for Genki 1. We did it. We finished Genki 1 (although for me it was like passing with a C-) and we were to move on to Genki 2. As a reward I finally signed up for ToKini Andy, a YouTuber who’s Genki grammar videos really helped me out.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when the game changed.

  1. After gaining access to all of Andy’s Genki content and going back to PROPERLY review Genki 1, things got better for me. The motivation and drive was back. And once I started paying attention to the vocabulary again I noticed many of the words were covered in WK.

PRESENT DAY: Now I’m back to loving and finding my comfort in learning Japanese. I get so much joy watching Anime with no subtitles and understanding the gist of what they’re saying. I can read. In Japanese. I’m still over the moon about it. While I still struggle grasping grammar point sometimes, ToKini Andy makes it easier for me go over it in detail until I do understand it. I’m back to studying WK and got my 800+ review pile back down to zero. I try to participate in the grammar stream TA does even though it’s for the next grammar textbook as it’s fun and really gives me a glimpse of what’s coming up next.

GOALS: Right now my current goal is just to finish Genki 2. I want to be able to read native material and then hopefully, write. I feel like once I get comfortable with writing, speaking will come next (I’m the kind of person who speaks as she writes).

I’m taking WK very easy. I’m keeping my apprentice items under 50 as much as possible, but definitely no more than 100. I’m ALSO keeping a strict eye on my Guru count and shooting for under 500, but preferably like it under 400. No more than 3 new lessons a day, focusing on Vocabulary first then kanji, and finally radicals.

Once I start doing Quartet I’m intending to start actual conversation practice with an italki instructor. I found one located in North America (so better time zone placement), that loves animals, AND was an animal nurse. Being a current vet tech I couldn’t believe my luck. I’m so looking forward to speaking with her and learning all about the Japanese side of animal medicine.

NEW RESOURCES: So I found some resources aside from ToKini Andy that has really helped or will definitely help in the future.

  • Genki Exercises - 2nd Edition | Genki Study Resources
    This has really helped me actually UTILIZE the workbooks. I have both Genki workbooks but since I can’t PHYSICALLY write in Japanese I have to resort to converting it to a PDF file and editing it by typing in my answers. It’s actually pretty hard and very tedious and very frustrating. But this website has really helped make it easier, as well as the reading portions in the Genki textbook.

  • https://jpdb.io/
    A Japanese dictionary/ SRS flash card system that ranks anime, manga, novels by difficulty and offers prebuilt flashcard decks with Vocab FROM THAT ANIME/MANGA/NOVEL!! It’s SO cool! I’m obviously not at the point of free reading due to my grammar level, but I will be soon and this’ll be so helpful!

  • https://learnnatively.com/
    A website that ranks native Japanese reading material by JLPT level. I’ve already used it to find reading material at my current level. @sweetbeems shared it here on the forums and I gotta say, it incredible. All literary listings also tell you where you can find a copy, if it has furiagana, and if it has been read for a WK book club (which means Vocab lists and discussions y’all).

I’m so excited for my Japanese learning journey right now. I’m hoping the next update will be filled with more excitement.

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if this jpdb.io could use WK api,

it would be great to have stats what manga I could try to read based on already learned items.

Those stats in difficult I dont have any idea what parameter they are using

Natively shows a level number but it is odd recommending よつばと as level 21?

I thought it was one of the basics to start using it like in level 10 wk.

よつばと is one of the easiest manga on the site and a commonly recommended first manga, but it certainly is not as easy as other things :slight_smile: . The vocabulary and kanji usage are quite limited but there are a lot of colloquialisms.

Agreed the JPDB would be lovely if it could combine with WK somehow, but I personally just add the Genki decks as “known” and blacklist any words I know I know already. Little bit of foot work on my part but worth it. You can configure it so I DOESNT teach you Kanji as I personally don’t like their method of teaching it.

As for Natively, so far their leveling has been accurate. At level 21 (natively) you’d know all the grammar points of Genki 1 and 2 and probably be around level 27 WK which would make reading よつばと fairly easy. Grammar is what really makes or break reading ability.

This year, I upped my grammar knowledge (any N5 I was lacking, and more N4), and joined book clubs in the community here. This pushed me to start looking up grammar I didn’t know. When I returned to Yotsuba, I was able to make my way through volume one, and understood a lot of it! Grammar was the big thing, but having an increased vocabulary helped keep me from having to look up every word. While knowing kanji isn’t necessary due to furigana, being able recognize some kanji is always nice.
What level would I be able to start reading Yotsuba? - #10 by ChristopherFritz

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jpdb.io owner here; feel free to ask me anything.

Agreed the JPDB would be lovely if it could combine with WK somehow

If there is enough demand that could certainly be done.

it would be great to have stats what manga I could try to read based on already learned items.

FYI I don’t have any manga yet. I want to add a list with manga in the future, but compared to things like anime/light novels/visual novels it’s a lot more difficult simply because manga is usually distributed as images, so I’ll need a reliable way to extract the text from those images to be able to analyze it. It should be doable, but it will be very time consuming to get there, and since I only have a limited amount of time to work on this app (since I have a full time job and this is only a side project) the priority of this is pretty low at this point.

Those stats in difficult I dont have any idea what parameter they are using

The difficulty ratings are automatically calculated by a machine learning model based on thousands of different parameters, including exact vocabulary used, grammar complexity, kanji used, etc.

You can configure it so I DOESNT teach you Kanji as I personally don’t like their method of teaching it.

If you’re already using WK then it definitely doesn’t make sense to use my app to learn kanji. (Also, to be fair, WK is “finished” while my app is still pretty much a work-in-progress.) Still, I’m curious, would you care to share what exactly you don’t like about it?

Even still in its early stages JPDB is pretty great. When I tried out the Kanji learning on JPDB it would ask me to think about what the Kanji looked like and how to write it. It was a little frustrating for me as handwriting isn’t a skill I’m focusing on at all in Japanese. If it would show me the English term “water” and I have to type in the kanji “水” (not just the reading) I’d like it better. But it’s all a personal preference. I know some people do not like WK way of teaching or the Vocab they teach and would then prefer your system better.

When I tried out the Kanji learning on JPDB it would ask me to think about what the Kanji looked like and how to write it. It was a little frustrating for me as handwriting isn’t a skill I’m focusing on at all in Japanese.

That’s somewhat of a misunderstanding I’m afraid. (: The app doesn’t actually care about this. It’s just a suggestion meant as “can you imagine how this kanji looks like in your mind”, instead of actually having you to physically write it. Since you grade yourself anyway you can choose on which aspect you’d like to focus on and ignore the rest.

Anyway, I’ll look into improving the wording on that so that it’s more clear!

If it would show me the English term “water” and I have to type in the kanji “水” (not just the reading) I’d like it better. But it’s all a personal preference.

Yep, that’s perfectly fine! Some people prefer the Anki-style “grade yourself” method, and some people prefer the WK-style “type in the answer” method.

I actually intend to support both, and let the user select whichever they want. Currently I only support Anki-like grading, but I have plans to add WK-like style grading too.

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