Final Fantasy VII
This post is probably going to be huge so I think it’s best if I divide the replies so it doesn’t get too messy. Hoo boi, here I go:
Yeah I think this could be a nice experiment. I guess it comes down to the old need to have everything perfect, I feel very uncomfortable with uncertainty sometimes. I managed to work a lot on my perfectionism with these challenges, I remember being annoyed when I missed a day and then by Winter’s challenge I was fine with it. Now I need to work on being fine with not doing things optimally.
I think it’s not so much that they’re not working per se, only that I think they’re taking an extra effort that could go to just relaxing my approach and going through more things in the meantime, with a bit more varied context and a fresh mentality, with no “x number of words max” per day “limit”. I guess I’m looking for a more comfortable approach. Making cards is not actually huge work because usually it’s only a click in Houhou or in Yomichan, but… I’m not sure, I guess the issue is that I burn out on SRS after a while, because it’s straining to think about what to add, what not to add, how many words, “am I doing enough words today? Oh I barely added anything today, oh today again, oh I already added 20 words so have to stop (Houhou sadly doesn’t have a new cards per day limit, that’s probably a big downside)”, and so on. Too much mental gymnastics and technicalities sometimes. I’ve been testing with JP-JP cards with Yomichan+Anki and I think these are working much better, actually, so that’s good, though still fairly limited for me because I don’t add cards whose definition I don’t understand fully. An approach could be to only add these types of cards whenever I can and leave it at that that would also reduce the daily reviews and overall tediousness.
It often does feel boring, truth be told. It can get so… lifeless. It’s of course probably not pointless, because the method definitely works overall, I’d say. It just seems to be sold as the only valid method to learn a language “properly”, often coming from the Japanese learning community. I sometimes browse /r/languagelearning and it gives me the impression that there are many people there who advocate for the “read, read, read a lot” approach, among other things, even if the SRS population is still very prominent, though not as noisy as in the Japanese community. I wonder what makes Japanese different from other languages, if it’s something inherent to the language itself or the population that learns this language in particular. Sorry this is a random train of thought .
I think so too. I left the language school back then because it felt a bit slow, but the truth is that even if it was slow we did reading, listening, writing and speaking, and it was a much more effective and varied approach, looking back. Over time I’ve come to realise that if I hadn’t left the school I would have achieved a much higher level by now, not worrying about trying to find the best approach or the best pace. Though I wouldn’t go back to the school now, I think I would benefit from returning to my mindset of back then of just keep going, however slow or fast, while maximising fun and curiosity. I’m not sure when the other mentality started to take place, probably when I started researching (and potentially misunderstanding) self-study methods in the online community.
That’s really reassuring .
Yeah that’s my thought as well. I’m not sure why I thought Japanese would be different, I suppose it just looks more intimidating than English ever looked for me . Probably because English already shared a lot of things with Spanish so I felt much more confident, whereas Japanese feels like a completely different beast.
That’s a funny coincidence
I like that reasoning. I’ve seen it before, people using SRS to acquire a first set of “critical” vocabulary and then off to the battlefield.
Do you still learn kanji like in WK or do you just acquire more vocabulary? Ever since I finished WK I’m not sure of how I should approach kanji learning, I’ve only been adding words while having a look at each individual kanji’s meaning and that’s about it, but no formal learning.
Honestly that sounds amazing. I hope I’m not mistaken, but I think I’ve seen you spend multiple hours many days with whatever you’re doing, simply because it kept pulling you in, and I always thought it was impressive. I wouldn’t be able to do that myself with my current approach because of that pressure you mention. English never felt like studying for me, either, because I never sat down to study it. I absorbed it in exactly the same way you are approaching Japanese, only over a long period of time.
I think this is really good advice, and reassuring at the same time, tysm!
It’s exactly the same for me. I encounter words from WK all the time that I don’t remember studying at all, and I burnt about 70% of them. Which is kinda disappointing if I think about the hundreds of hours it took me to reach Lv60 in total that could’ve been used to learn things more in context, but if anything I’m really grateful that at least the readings seem to have stuck very well, and now I’m able to guess correctly the reading of most words I encounter, if I know their kanji.
I think that’s a great way of expressing it. I feel the same, I learnt to associate many words with their meanings, but I never internalised the idea behind them. I learnt to “get correct answers in a software”, as opposed to learning words. And it’s because I never got emotionally invested in them, nothing happened with them, it was purely going through a word list. Though, again, at least a portion of them stuck after all.
That’s interesting! I think I’ve seen the takoboto list approach other times around this community, possibly coming from you, I can’t quite remember. Also thank you for reminding me I hadn’t installed it when I changed phone . I’ll keep the lists idea in mind.
You’re right. It’s reassuring to know that other people use other methods and still learn just fine, even if not in the most efficient way. I don’t care much for efficiency either, which is a contradictory thing to say considering my post from the other day. I guess I could say I care about not getting stuck in a place where I feel I’m not going forward, and it’s good to see that that’s not necessarily bound to happen at all.
Yeah I think you’re right. I have been doing the same thing with the same approach for a long time and I don’t know what it feels like to change direction and walk a different way, especially when most people seem to be walking the other way ;-; . Though ultimately all paths reach the same point, even if some take a bit longer.
To be fair I don’t even know how it works myself either . I just add what I want, with context sentences in the backside in the case of Yomichan and that’s about it. But yes, I think it’s good advice to get rid of whatever that doesn’t seem to be working. I don’t owe these artificial cards anything, after all, they’re only a tool. I could aim for only a small number of cards when I feel like it, as you do, and leave it at that. Perhaps a break from SRS altogether is due for a bit nonetheless.
That’s honestly a good and tricky question. The honest answer is that… I don’t really know specifically. I started learning out of pure curiosity. I thought it would be really cool to learn because I liked a lot of Japanese things in my childhood and still do to this day, so I applied to a language school many years back and got admitted. And I absolutely loved it, it always felt so much fun. It was never a specific thing that drove me, but more like… everything? It’s kinda complex to express, or I’m just very tired . It was similar with English, it wasn’t so much one specific thing but many at the same time. I wanted to watch movies, play games, read books, interact with the English and international community, and so on. I feel like with Japanese it’s similar, I want to be able to enjoy books, play Japanese games, connect with Japanese people, travel to Japan again, and a big etc. There’s a big aura that pulls me in and brightens my life a little bit, and it’s a struggle to put to words what exactly it is what I want to do. Is “everything” and answer? Video games are definitely a big factor, though.
Yeah it’s exactly the same with English for me so it doesn’t really bother me. I don’t feel the need to quantify my vocabulary, I don’t even know how many words I know in Spanish. It’s not something that I think is worth keeping track of . The number of words growing in the SRS is mostly so I could see that I’m indeed being exposed to a wider and wider range of vocabulary, but ultimately I’m happy deleting them at any time.
That’s one nice option, though I don’t usually feel like doing anything else when my energy has been spent scrutinising one thing already. Honestly I think I’m walking in circles to allow myself to drop the SRS and I’m trying to rationalise this a lot when in fact it’s so easy to just stop using it . I guess I was just afraid of doing so and not getting anywhere, but everyone’s responses are giving me a lot of hope.
I think it’s exactly because of not seeing Japanese as straining study that you all are improving a lot over time. I definitely need to return to that mentality . And also I hope I didn’t misunderstand the sarcasm, but I wish you very good luck with the JLPT!
I think I’m starting to realise that overall I’m just burnt out of SRS and need a change of tactic, at least for a while. Replying to you all has made me realise that I’m trying to convince myself to keep pushing a study method that I’m not really enjoying very much, when I can just drop it and try something else for a bit. It has been very enlightening to me .
Yeah definitely, I think I need to be more selective of what I add, but also most importantly of when I add it. Sometimes it’s a word that seems to be important or common enough to learn, but in a context I don’t care about. I’m just usually not inclined to let it go, because it feels important to know.
I think that sounds great, honestly. I think I’ve also had moments when I felt I enjoyed SRS a bit, but it might have been very dependant on mood. I would definitely benefit from adding less words, or better put, reducing or eliminating the pressure to add words overall.
Yeah definitely, flashcards are very efficient and effective with the right method and the right mindset. It just seems so easy for them to be super boring, though ;-; .
That sounds extremely painful . I commend your dedication It’s so weird to think that these comfy tools haven’t always existed, now that we are all so used to them. I’m so grateful.
Thank you for linking this, I’ll definitely give it a read soon!
Yeah that seems familiar. I mentioned it in a reply before, but I get the impression that sometimes I was learning how to type the correct answer, instead of internalising what the words meant, so the natural progression was to forget a lot of vocabulary after a while.
This is definitely my experience as well. I burnt some words in WK that I kept having doubts about, and then I encounter them somewhere else with a very strong context and suddenly they click.
You are completely right. I’ve also mentioned it in another reply but I think I’m subconsciously looking for reassurance and validation to quit the SRS, perhaps temporarily or permanently. It’s definitely food for thought, thank you so much.
Okay that was a lot . Again thank you all so much for your input, I really appreciate it <3 .
On a side note, I mentioned Game Gengo the other day. Coincidentally, he released a video today with a list of video games currently on sale for the golden week (linking in case anyone is interested in any, again it’s a veeeery long video but there’s no need to watch it completely, can just skip to see if there’s anything that catches your eye, though the first minute and a half is important). So anyways, one of them was Team Zero Escape bundle, which grabbed my interest both from Game Gengo’s introduction of it and the price. If I remember correctly I’ve seen some of you play them, @natarin , ZTD is one of them, right? I know absolutely nothing about these games, but they seem interesting enough for a first contact. I… might consider getting it . So uh, thoughts? Is the language there too obscure or difficult to get into, or is it manageable?
This is the pack (they can also be bought separately)