Hi all! This is my ~~ first time making a topic, ~~ please be gentle
I’ve been thinking a lot about building good Japanese-learning habits that I’ll actually keep, and I’m curious how the rest of you have managed to integrate the different parts of language learning into your routine. Probably like many of you, there’s the study plan I aim to follow, and then there’s what I actually manage to do (shoutout to my neglected Genki I book).
So I’m making a thread to share our current routines and hopefully get some inspiration from each other about how to work learning Japanese into your life with everything else. (Also, there’s a lot of talk here about how WK shouldn’t be the only thing you do, so hopefully it’s helpful to see a kind of full rundown of one person’s version of ~~all the things~~)
Here’s my work-in-progress routine so far. Also including my particular goals, since I try to gear what I’m doing toward those.
My interests: Japanese pro wrestling (Noah, NJPW and a little AJPW), Japanese food, fashion/design, 1960s Japanese cinema (Ozu, Kurosawa, Shindo, Kobayashi), politics & current events
My goals: Most of all I want to be able to read and consume Japanese media (i.e. interviews with pro wrestlers and wrestling magazines, but also reading general news would be cool). Also want to be able to get to a place with listening comprehension where I can understand wrestling commentary/movies/maybe the news, and to speak some survival Japanese for when I travel there.
I do WaniKani reviews and BunPro reviews most mornings when I wake up. This is the thing I stick to most consistently (though things happen and I skip a day here and there, or I’ll be overwhelmed with WK reviews and not get to BunPro).
If my BunPro reviews went well, I learn 2-5 new lessons (depending on how well I felt things went and how hard the lessons are for me to grasp).
I listen to one Mango languages (free w my local library card) lesson in the shower and try to actually say everything they prompt you to say. This gives me some practice listening and speaking, and they talk about some grammar things here and there, which reinforces the BunPro lessons nicely. I manage to do this nearly every day.
While I’m commuting I listen to Japanese music on Spotify. I listen to the same songs often enough that I kind of pick out new words each time. (And it’s fun to recognize random WaniKani words, especially ones I didn’t expect I’d use – randomly I’ve come across two songs about summertime that mention かき氷).
When I’m heating up food/waiting for something to load/otherwise idle at work I’ll use the Genki verb conjugation review app. (I find this app really useful and have probably learned more from it than the Genki textbook itself, which for some reason I find very daunting). I’ll alternate between using this or using the Pastel Kana app to drill myself on Katakana and improve how quickly I read it. A time to do this doesn’t always present itself, but I do either app maybe once or twice a week.
At home I usually have ambitions of reading a book in Japanese or going through a Genki I chapter, but I tend to end up doing something more fun/passive like watching wrestling with Japanese commentary or some Japanese YouTube videos (PDR with subtitles if I’m not feeling super motivated, his friends who don’t add subtitles if I’m feeling more ambitious/willing to be confused).
On weekends, if it’s time for me to level up on WK I’ll write out all the new level’s kanji by hand and do what I think of as “DIY SRS” – I make 3 columns in a notebook, and write all that level’s kanji in each column, randomizing the order. I wait 5 minutes, quiz myself on the first column, wait 15, cover the old answers and do the second column, wait 30, do the third. (Being able to write isn’t a huge priority for me, but I feel like writing them helps me solidify them in my mind and tell visually similar kanji apart more easily). I used to do this every weekend, but WK has been kicking my ass lately so I’ve been leveling up closer to twice a month.
– Also on weekends, I’ll usually do at least one of the following:
- Read a little of a book in Japanese. The two I’ve got going now are: “Okada’s Room,” basically a bunch of transcripts of Kazuchika Okada interviewing other wrestlers. It’s generally easy conversational Japanese. I highlight all the words I don’t know but don’t stress too much about coming back to them later; A Doraemon manga where he travels back in time to witness the Meiji restoration. I ordered these both online from Kinokuniya.
- Watch wrestling (Noah or NJPW) and try to pay attention to what the commentators are saying / what the wrestlers say in their backstage comments.
- Watch a movie or TV show in Japanese with English subtitles. I have vague intentions of going back and rewatching something I’ve seen without subtitles, but haven’t gotten myself to do that yet. (Recent favorites: “Erased” on Netflix, “Kuroneko”)
OK, sorry to write a novel! I’m pleased that I’ve found a couple of things I can keep up with some regularity – but my routine changes all the time and I’m hoping I can improve it with some inspiration from yours.
How do you work learning Japanese into your routine? What resources do you end up actually using & how often? What fun things do you read/watch/listen to? Please share with lots of detail and links and I will eagerly read it allll