Study log of mingusmingusmingusmingusmingus 🌸✨

For a while now I’ve been wanting to create one of these, as motivation definitely fluctuates and I really want to commit to this quest of learning japanese :dizzy:

my background

I’m what you would call a language nerd :nerd_face: and I’ve learned five languages in the past, some were mandatory, due to moving to different countries, and some were just for pure fun.

I decided to learn Japanese because I was interested in learning a non-European language next, just for fun. I considered other languages, like Korean and Chinese, but I ended up deciding on Japanese because out of those, I have most affinity with japanese art and also because it seemed like the easiest to pronounce, not going to lie.

when did I start?

So I started learning January 2022 and I remember the burst of excitement I felt when I started learning the syllabaries. That excitement is definitely still there, but the inherent bumps in the road and inevitable mistakes that come with self study can challenge that motivation and excitement sometimes.

I remember that after learning the syllabaries in March 2022, I had no idea how to continue, and decided to start learning kanji. I did so by watching videos made by the same youtube channel I learned the syllabaries from. They also made 5-10 min videos of similar looking kanji and gave general meaning, on and kun reading. So I hit a dead end, because learning kanji with that little structure and no mnemonics was impossible for me.

It took a lot of navigating the waters of forums and websites of people with all sorts of backgrounds and experiences, to figure out how learn kanji in a more structured and effective way, that’s how I found wanikani in April 2022, and here I am.

where do I stand as of now, August 22?

As of now, I am on level 9 on wanikani, and I’m very happy with it. I love the structure it provides, I know for a fact I wouldn’t be able to learn kanji if not with this predefined structure. Maybe one flaw is the naive illusion it can give you that you’re more advanced at Japanese that you actually are, but you can cure that by interacting with the language in different ways.

As for other aspects of learning, I am still very very behind, compared to my kanji knowledge, because it has been much harder for me to find resources that work for me.

Learning grammar requires me to be more hands on and decide a structure for myself, and then have the discipline to revise material and do exercises to burn grammatical structures into my brain. This has been much easier to bypass with the European languages I’ve studied because they did not differ that much from my mother language, so I knew most concepts already and I only had to learn slight variations of the structures of my own language.

what is my current routine?

Right now I’m a bit unsatisfied with my routine, as the only consistent thing I’m doing is wanikani. I dabble here and there in Tae Kim’s grammar guide and Cure Dolly videos for grammar and I watch Misa’s videos for general knowledge (and because her content is so good).

For reading practice I read the “Japanese short stories for beginners” book, but I’m under the impression that I don’t do it often enough to truly absorb things, it’s more that I spend a long time trying to decipher structures and guess the meaning of things, then either get very excited when I do understand, or google things when I don’t, but then I don’t revise them often enough for them to stick.

Lots of things to improve.

my goals

  • continue wanikani just as I’m doing now
  • study grammar in a more structured pace (from Tae Kim and Cure Dolly)
  • continue reading the short stories book, but in a structured pace
  • incorporate NHK easy Japanese into my reading rotation
  • incorporate grammar and reading notes revision into my routine
  • watch the ひぐらしのなく頃に anime with bilingual subtitles and study the “text” like I do the short stories (I chose this one because I’ve watched it before and I love it)
  • refresh my katakana, I can read it but I realise I can’t write off the top of my head like I can hiragana
  • learn songs!! :notes: for startes, I’ve been listening to 青葉市子 for like 10 years and I still don’t know the lyrics to any of her songs.

what next?
I would like to hire a private tutor to improve my speaking skills (which are so far almost non-existent) but only once I’ve accomplished the goals mentioned above and I have a working grammar knowledge.


If you read this feel free to comment if your experience tells you I’m making mistakes here, or if you have advice in general :cherry_blossom:

SparklingEyesRetsukoGIF

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Week of 22/08/22:

This week I’m going to continue my existing routine and incorporate the first goal, refreshing my katakana. The next couple of weeks I will incorporate more and more of my goals in my check lists.

Then, in order to set up my revision routine, I’m going to gather all my scattered and unorganized grammar and reading notes and compile them into a dedicated notebook that will then be the basis of my actual revisions in the future. I’ll call this task “Revision” in my little table.

WK Reviews
WK Lessons
Short Stories
Grammar
Katakana
“Revision”

A mini goal I want to set for these next two weeks is that I want to finish level 9 before I start work again in September.
Another mini goal is to sort my damn bookmarks for Japanese resources into the ones I actually use, the ones I want to check out and the ones I don’t actually use

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The more you read, the more common grammar structures will stick (natural pattern recognition of the brain).

Don’t hesitate to stop by the Absolute Beginner Book Club, and join the club starting this weekend. Or, follow along with a completed club that’s filled with vocabulary sheets and grammar discussion, and you can still ask questions in and get fairly quick responses to.

Diving into reading and consistently reading isn’t something that works well for everyone, but for those it does work well for, they often find rapid progress in common grammar and vocabulary acquisition, as well as their overall ability to read native material. (But getting to more progressively difficult material still takes a long time.)

Good luck on your journey with learning Japanese!

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Thanks for the advice! I’m definitely going to join this :sparkles:

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Hey! I love reading study logs, so here I am hehehe >:з.
I am also a fellow language nerd. Good job with Wanikani and good luck with everything else! If you join the reading club then, well… See you there!

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Hi! thank you for your comment! I’ll definitely peep into your study log too :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I’m very impressed by your grammar achievements!

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I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished this week, even though I didn’t have time to do as much as I wanted (but I spent that time socialising with people I love, so that’s ok).

Today I had around 150 accumulated reviews, so I spent most of my time allocated for japanese on those, and also went through 10 kanji lessons. I will probably reach the goal of finishing level 9 before going back to work, which is nice.

Also, unexpectedly I ended up watching some Misa’s videos for fun with my partner, who has lived in Japan in the past and teaches me things, just for fun sometimes. Today I learned 流石(さすが) from her. We watched a video on verb conjugations and also one on the particle(?)「ほど」, so I learned how to sound very extra saying things like 「死ぬほど会いたい。」

I did join the book club, reading HunterxHunter. It’s hard and requires constant googling, but it’s also fun. The hardest thing so far are understanding the meaning of unfinished sentences, like “沼の主を…”; and also sometimes attachments at the end of verbs beyond the verb conjugations, like in “許してやなあよ”.

:dizzy: A particularly satisfying sentence so far has been: 「今度はミドさんが約束を守る番だ。」because it taught me three nice things
今度は… - this time
ミドさんが番だ - it’s Mido’s turn
約束を守る - keep a promise

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Week of 29/08/22:

This week I want to continue compiling my notes, which I didn’t finish last week. That will be again tracked as “Revision”. When I’m finished with that I will start making flashkards on mochi of things I want to highlight and remember well.

As Reading I will be tracking reading HunterxHunter and the book of short stories.

For Grammar I want to train verb conjugations and watch some Cure Dolly videos.

WK Reviews
WK Lessons
Reading
Grammar
“Revision”

:dizzy: Aditionally, I want to incorporate more of my goals into this weeks routine

  • learn one song by Ichiko Aoba
  • watch one full episode of ひぐらしのなく頃に with bilingual subtitles and understand the japanese text
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All the best to you…btw EPIC NAME

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Thank you! :musical_keyboard: :notes:

29/08 : Succesfull monday morning, cleared out lessons and reviews. Also finished compiling my messy notes. Next, make mochi flashcards :dizzy:


30/08 : read pages 14 and 15 of Hunter x Hunter and did all my reviews before seeing some friends. Gonna have to step up my game tomorrow to catch up with some reading, still have 10 pages left.
31/08 : Cleared out lessons and reviews, will reach level 10 tomorrow :dizzy: read pages 15-20 of Hunter x Hunter and made some flashcards on mochi of things I want to remember.
02/09 : Reached level 10 :dizzy: will do radicals and try to finish level 9 vocab today. I will also catch up with Hunter x Hunter week 1. I will leave the two additional goals for the weekend.
I also found this post that breaks down how the system of repetition in wanikani works, which is very obvious, but I barely ever stop to think about efficiency, bc I do this for fun. But I think following the 8h -12h - 20h schedule is actually very nice. I will try to implement that from now on.
03/09 : did my 8am (more like 9am) lessons and reviews. Mixed up 和 and 知 :neutral_face: most of the time when there’s similar kanji I only realize when they end up together in the same review session. Now learning the first couple of verses of いきのこりぼくら by 市子青葉 :two_hearts: (which so far has prompted me to learn about the use of まで and the difference between 大きい and 大きな). Finally done with week 1 of Hunter x hunter, got my :peach: kicked, but I’m keeping it up. Today I learned about the use of

  • ような気がする
  • どうして
  • すぐ
  • そっくり
  • の as informal か to mark questions

04/09 : 10 kanji lessons done :dizzy: cleared out reviews and watched the first episode of ひぐらしのなく頃に.

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I’m happy that you’re starting with the scheduling! Hopefully things will get easier so that you can focus on having more fun :grin:

I admire your determination to read this early in your journey btw. Oftentimes, the difficulty can be too big of an obstacle to be able to stay motivated. Keep it up :muscle:

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muito obrigada pela mensagem :smiling_face:

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Week of 05/09/22:

I’m happy that I kept up with my lessons last week. Another thing that I want to improve is transfering my notes into mochi flashcards, I’ve been getting lazy about that.

It was a great idea to rewatch ひぐらしのなく頃に with jp-en subtitles. I enjoyed it a lot and it allows me to tap into more informal speech. Albeit I have to have a tolerance for sentences I cannot understand the structure of yet. Also, it’s been so long that I’ve forgotten so much about the plot, and it’s also a good oportunity to continue watching stuff from the franchise.

:dizzy: This week I’m going to try something new, beause I notice that my grammar game is soooo weak and what I’ve been doing is clearly not working. I’m going to try to follow the Genki books this week, and complement with Cure Dolly, because I love her. As Revision, I’ll track me finally making the mochi flashcards.

WK Reviews
WK Lessons
Hunter x Hunter
Short Stories
Genki
Revision

:seedling: Additionally, I want to:
Learn the song of last week by heart (while understanding what I’m actually saying)
Watch episode 2 of ひぐらしのなく頃に.

:seedling: As I realise now that I am more likely to do things if I track them here, I’m gonna create another tracker, this time for my french study. I’ll be tracking watching Youtube videos and reading.

In my opinion it’s a great exercise to watch booktube in your target language once you’re fluent enough, because when people talk about books they use vocab from many different contexts, depending on the books they’re talking about, so I think it’s a great exercise (I may or may not be a biased book nerd who’s been watching booktube for years regardless of that) :nerd_face:

YT
Reading
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Enjoy that! I’m glad they finally ended the series (?) last year because I don’t feel comfortable ever watching it again with my little one around :sweat_smile:

haha yeah, it’s a lot :joy:

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07/09 : It’s been a rougher week than I expected and I’ve only been keeping up with WK (somehow faster than usual though, inexplicably). Today I managed to read and (try to) understand one page of Hunter x Hunter and learned about:

  • より
  • 私の知る限り

This week definitely kicked my ass, and I was only able to keep up with wanikani and barely make the bookclub deadline. But that’s ok.

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Week of 12/09/22:

For this week I’m keeping most of the goals I didn’t get to last week. With the modification that I need to figure out how to use anki, because the other srs apps haven’t been working for me.

WK Reviews
WK Lessons
Bookclub
Short Stories
Flashcards

:seedling: Additionally, I want to:
Watch episode 2 of ひぐらしのなく頃に.

French

YT
Reading
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So far doing better than last week. there’s a delay in my genki books shippment, so can’t really start with that. Also, I’m finally figuring out Anki.

Regarding the bookclub, out of curiosity, I peeped into the 耳をすませば book, of the beginner’s book club, and it’s soo much easier and more pleasant than Hunter x Hunter is for me, so I’m shamelessly going to switch clubs.

:dizzy: Finished this week’s pages for the new bookclub and I’m very happy with it. And finished learning the song by Ichiko Aoba I was reading (which btw, Aoba came up in my Wanikani vocab :two_hearts:) The rest of the weekend I’ll just keep up with the WK reviews, bc I will be out most of the time.

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Week of 19/09/22:
Last week I was able to do a bit better than the week before, got to do some stuff while at work. I finally have my Genki books and I think I’ll be able to go through the first couple of chapters quite fast.

I fill a bit burned out, honestly, I think it wasn’t the best idea to try to do more things than I normally would, just because I wanted to use the time before work started. Need to be more conscious of the fun aspect of things and not so much efficiency, since that burns me out quickly time after time.

I’m really happy I learned one song by 青葉市子 and I’m very excited to learn more, but not this week, probably.


WK Reviews
WK Lessons
Genki
Bookclub
Short Stories
Anki

:seedling: Additionally, I want to:
Watch episode 2 of ひぐらしのなく頃に.


French

YT
Reading

:dizzy: End of the week thoughts
I’m very happy with how things turned out this week. I stayed home bc I caught covid, so I had more time than usual to dedicate to japanese. So I have to keep in mind that when I set goals for next week.

I’m also happy to say I finally figured out how to use Anki in a way that I like it. I’m doing a core 2k/6k deck and then and then I’m creating my own deck via Yomichan with the immense help of this video.

I’m also enjoying reading 耳をすませば with the bookclub. It’s really motivating to see that most kanji that appears I can recognize.

I think it was a good idea to get the Genki books. I completed the first lesson this week and I think a lesson a week is a realistic goal. I really dont like the romaji and the fact that everything is in kana at the beginning, bc this way I even miss words that I already know, just because my brain relies on the kanji to remember them. But I see that this will change in more advanced lessons. Also, using the books confirms what I had imagined was happening, I had completely missed basics in my unorganized self study, bc already in the first lessons, I learned many new things.

As for french, I’m also happy with how it’s going. I have to say normally I read much more, but atm I’m reading Colette and it’s the first time I read classic literature in french - so far I’d tuck to contemporary - and it’s silghtly kicking my ass, so I’ve been a bit lazy about it.

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