Ri's study log 🍡🍥💕

Hi everyone,

I’m Ri, I’m from the UK, and I started learning Japanese as a new year’s resolution in Jan 2023. I have had a bit of an uphill battle with it so far, and I wanted a place where I can record my ramblings and sound off to like-minded people. One of the hardest things I’ve found about learning Japanese (or, attempting to learn Japanese and floundering) is that none of my friends speak the language at all. I have lots of friends who speak Spanish, but that doesn’t really help :sweat_smile:. Anyways, today I thought I would start a study log that I can (hopefully) fill in most weeks, with this first log providing some background on my journey so far.

  • I started learning Japanese basics through the Tofugu webpages, which led me to WK. I signed up and started to go through the levels slowly but surely. I started watching a lot more anime at this time and was always looking out for easy to understand works (the one that I have been able to pick the most up from so far is Sailor Moon, because a lot of phrases are repeated every episode).
  • May 2023: I really fell off the Japanese train at this point icl. I was in my final year of my undergrad and swamped with dissertation work, and I was such a broke student so I felt it wasn’t the right time to commit to WK just yet. I basically stopped practising Japanese for around 3 months last year, but continued to watch anime as I enjoyed it so much.
  • September 2023: I moved to start studying my postgrad and pulled myself together and got some goals in place. I made a commitment to practise my Japanese 3 times a week and used a few apps (like “Japanese”, the one with the red cover) and continued to use anime to help. This was all really useful for grammar and such but I still felt stuck as a constant and neverending beginner.
  • January 2024: I started to get really serious about my Japanese goals at this point and wanted to be at N5 level by the end of the year. I logged back into WK after many, many months off … so. Many. Reviews. Genuinely this took me weeks to get down as I was getting everything wrong to begin with and it all felt a bit hopeless. But I stuck with it and by March, the review count was finally down to 0 each night, which was such a relief. I also started watching Tokini Andy, who is an actual life-saver for me as a beginner. And I also started listening to the Masa-sensei podcasts.
  • May 2024: After seeing how helpful WK had been to rediscovering my Japanese learning journey, I decided to commit to a full membership once my reviews were managed and I had moved most L1-3 stuff up to the “Master” bracket and there was less pressure on my reviews. This allowed me to give more attention to the new levels. I started using Bunpro, which I like as it is similar to WK, but again I’m struggling with grammar and vocab here, because it all isn’t really getting through my head and it’s taking ages to get the review count down. Advice on handling Japanese practice across multiple sites/platforms is appreciated!

Where I am now:

Every day I focus on getting the WK review count down to 0, and continuing to work my way through the levels (I just started tackling L5, which has sent the reviews sky-rocketing oml). But I am also trying to incorporate Bunpro, but finding this hard with the overwhelming reviews, on top of WK. I watch anime and sometimes I will practise what I hear or write it down if I recognise a word multiple times (although I’m aware some language that is frequently used in anime isn’t used as much in the spoken language generally). I am also trying to add reading practise a couple of times a week, but I’m struggling at such a beginner level. However, I am starting to understand subtle differences like the different between on’yomi and kun’yomi readings, and when each one is generally used (although I am trying to remember the exceptions).

My current Japanese goals for 2024 pt 2:

  • Understand radicals better - が vs は gets me every single time.
  • Find a way that allows me to learn vocab in a way that is achievable for me, as this has been a big challenge. Or, make bunpro work for me and maybe stop overloading myself with extra lessons.
  • Get to level 15 in WK by the New Year.

I would love to hear words of encouragement/wisdom from all of you! Where are you with your own journey? Have you traipsed through the endless wilderness for beginners, and did you make it out the other side? What resources do you use? As a sidenote to anyone who happens to have a chromebook, advice on downloading anki is appreciated. I’ve tried, but it just opens up the “Download Anki” page for me every time. I’m no tech wiz at all, so any advice is appreciated!

I am hoping to fill in a more traditional study log on Sundays at the end of the week, but for now I just wanted to introduce myself and get to know you all. I hope we can all enjoy studying Japanese together! 🫶🏻

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Welcome to the study log crew!

Something that I’ve found is really nice to read is 遠くにある夢 . It’s an online manga, and free, so you could give it a try. I’m obviously not really reading it and more deciphering it, but since you already had a foundation in Japanese before WaniKani, you’ll probably be able to read it more comfortably.

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I started reading graded readers at level 5. It was hard at first, but I’ve managed to be able to read Japanese at about a 3rd grade level. Very motivating!

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Hello again friends,

I apologise that this log update was released 1 day later than I planned. Not off to a good start am I :sweat_smile:? Honestly, life kind of got in the way late this week. For these updates, I’m planning to discuss my review count, level info, how many things I have for apprentice, guru, master etc. and my non-WaniKani stuff as well.

WK:

Days studies: 6/7 days. Bit annoyed with myself here as I usually hit 7/7 no problem but I had something major come up on Thursday and just couldn’t fit them in. Plus, I wasn’t in the right headspace and that can make learning feel pointless. So I cut myself a break and jumped back on the Japanese train the next day :bullettrain_side:!

Review count: I’ve been hovering at around 100 reviews daily this week. I’ve been trying to do them before 10am in the morning, and then doing another set at around 7pm which is working well. I don’t stay up too late, so I find 7-8pm is a good review sweet spot for me at the moment.

Item count as of today: Today, my Apprentice count is at 115, my Guru count is 307, my Master count is 178, my Enlightened count is 143, and my Burned items are 17. I only really started picking up levels again in March time, when I managed to clear all my reviews after breaking from WK. But I moved quite a few bits from Master → Enlightened this week so yay!

Level progress: I levelled up to L6 yesterday - woohoo! I found level 5 to be okay, and I have the final 15 vocab or so to run through on that. But I’ve started learning the radicals and the kanji for L6 and so far so good! Just trying to get it to stick in my brain as quickly as possible. The mnemonics help sometimes, but I can’t always get them to stick for me.

Non-WK stuff:

Finally my Bunpro reviews are coming down. I haven’t done any lessons this week and have just focused on clearing my reviews and remembering things. But, so far so good. And it’s even helped with remembering some of my WK stuff, too!

Thanks to those of you who made suggestions in the replies for going forward. I definitely want to include these going forwards, so any suggestions on the best versions/where to find them are appreciated!

That’s all for this week, hopefully I can get the next one out on time lol. Take care friends 🫶🏻.

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