Talkingalone's study log 🦧

talkingalone's study log

Hi there! I decided to start this study log. I know myself relatively well by now, so I won’t be making any promises about keeping it up to date. But since I seem to be serious about learning Japanese, at least for the moment :grin:, I would like to keep track of my learning and struggles, and hopefully it may be of some help to newcomers.

My background :man_beard:
I’m a 36yo Spanish :es: software engineer (yeah, probably the only one around here) from the South of Spain. Apart from Spanish, I speak English :uk: at a bilingual level and German :de: at a lower level. In 2016 I went to Japan on my own and had the time of my life. It was probably the best trip I’ve ever done. Being the geek I am, I bought some Game Boy RPG games over there. I had always wanted to be able to play them, but obviously I couldn’t…

Starting from scratch? :racing_car:
I’m not completely starting from scratch with the language. After that trip, I did the Michel Thomas Japanese Courses which I strongly recommend for beginners. They allow you to effortlessly learn the basics of the language and to make relatively complex sentences on your own. I also learned hiragana with Dr Moku some time after that.

My main goals :white_check_mark:
:ballot_box_with_check: Reach wanikani level 30 in about a year
:ballot_box_with_check: By that time, be able to have relatively simple conversations.
:ballot_box_with_check: Be able to play those Game Boy games and understand most of it.

My current routine :calendar:
:arrow_right: Do at least 15 lessons a day in wanikani
:arrow_right: Do 3 lessons a day in bunpro (sometimes I skip this, but I do the reviews)
:arrow_right: Read Tadoku level 1 books as often as possible
:arrow_right: Try to listen to Nihongo con Teppei for beginners as often as I can
:arrow_right: Currently watching Monster on Netflix.

Some additional thoughts
I can’t stress enough how helpful the Michel Thomas courses can be for complete beginners. I totally recommend them. Also, I started on vanilla wanikani, without any additional scripts, but I recently installed the Double-check script and I thoroughly recommend it, since many times mistakes are due to typos.


That's all for the moment, thank you for reading!
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If that’s what you think – you are in for a surpurrize! trunky_rolling

Anyway, welcome to WaniKani and this community! catwave

We have a very nyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaice commeownity here and I really hope you’d like it here! love

Anyway, best of luck with your studies! wricat

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I dunno, I’d be willing to gamble that there’s only one thirty-six-year-old Spanish software engineer. That’s a lot of stars that need to align there.

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Thank you! Obviously being sarcastic about being the only software engineer :smile:

It has an advantage though: since I work from home, I can do my reviews whenever I want, so I’m quite relaxed about it.

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So recently I started using some scripts, after doing the first levels with “vanilla” wanikani. These are my thoughts:

  • Double-check: really useful. Many of the mistakes I used to make were due to typos, and many times I just ended up checking in another tab the pronunciations I didn’t know. It’s true that it betrays somehow the principle of SRS, but I don’t think having the ability to undo a bad answer influences that much in the learning process. As long as you’re honest with yourself and fail the ones you think you should really fail, it’s almost mandatory to use it.
  • Reorder omega: I started using it to prioritise the radicals and kanji over the vocabulary in my lessons. The result was that I passed level 6 very quickly, but ended up with a huge queue of vocabulary… so I have been doing that vocab exclusively for the past 5 or 6 days. I think I’m going to stop using it for the moment.
  • Anime sentences: it’s nice to have something like this, although the sources are limited. It’s also a bit disheartening to listen to a sentence and realise that sometimes you can barely even hear the word it’s showcasing. But apart from that it’s always nice to have additional context.
  • Self-study quiz: useful, although the interface is not great. I’m using kamesame now instead, which I recommend. It’s not the same to be able to read, than to recall a word when wanting to say something, and this allows you to have quizzes from EN to JP.
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A few days ago I discovered Nihongo con Teppei for beginners and I love the guy! He makes me feel good. Like all cozy and warm inside.

Jokes aside, from my point of view it is a really good listening source for beginners, especially to pick up after doing the Michel Thomas course and a few wanikani levels. Fully recommend it.

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Made it to level 8. Level 7 took me significantly longer, as I rushed through level 6 and left a lot of vocabulary behind that I had to learn. I also went one or two days without doing lessons. I usually stick to the 15 lessons a day.

I still don’t understand how people can do 7 days per level and learn vocabulary. The only way I can imagine is by maxing out the lessons every time, but can you really retain everything that way? Also, even though I made it to level 8, I still have a bunch of vocab left from 7 :dotted_line_face:

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I 100% agree!

I did 7 days per level until level 20 while hitting 0/0 at least once every level, and it actually wasn’t that hard, once I got a consistent routine, that being that I do 25 lessons every single day without exceptions, with the ordering Radicals > Kanji > Vocab. I believe you have to do one or two more lessons per day until about level 14, but from there, 25 is more than enough. The hardest part about it was not getting too many kanji reviews wrong as well as staying consistent with my lessons. However, that is given that you have enough time. You also have to have enough time to do your reviews (I had about 180 reviews every day despite having a high accuracy) and study other aspects of the language (e.g. listening).

So, 7 days per level is not something I would recommend all the way to level 60 if you don’t have enough time. That is just my personal experience, and other people will have other experiences, but perhaps it answers your question :slight_smile:

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Hey @NeoArcturus, thanks for the info! Yeah I guess that if I ramp up my number of lessons I will get there quicker… I do have time, although I worry a bit about burnout. I might try and test your method :wink:

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Reached level 9 today. Been doing 25 lessons per day for the last few days. I might keep doing it, even though it feels like it’s a bit too much for me to digest. I’m afraid it might lead to burnout. My main goal is to reach level 30, at which time I hope to have learned the first and most frequent 1000 kanji. That should be enough to be able to read many things. I think that’s the key to be able to learn the language properly.

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