I’m new to the Wanikani community, but I have been learning Japanese casually for about 4 years now. My understanding of the language has definitely increased this year. I’m actually grateful to have found Wanikani because I was really struggling with learning the kanji in my Memrise courses. To the point where I wasn’t enjoying learning anymore.
For 2022, I’m extremely motivated to learn as much as I can with my Kanji. I feel learning as little as I have here has helped me pick up on my other Japanese materials since the kanji makes more sense to me now. Before I found myself not understanding structure and felt almost dyslexic trying to string combinations of kanji together. So overall I’m just looking for more progression.
work through at least one Tobira chapter every three weeks, inclusive of the the textbook, kanji workbook, grammar book, and website material ( but slow the pace down in fall for school)
improve my reading comprehension by
** continuing WK (and aiming to reach at least level 30 by the end of the year)
** sticking with tobira’s reading material
write at least one sentence a day in casual form & share it in my study group’s writing channel to keep myself accountable
What actually happened was...
Any goals centered around Tobira became null the moment I chose to switch over to Quartet, and I am not sorry in the slightest for doing so. I was so bored with Tobira and its readings. So, so bored. I was also doing pretty well in writing a minimum of one sentence… I got behind several times and would “catch up” for the lost days, although 1) I lost interest after a few months, I think, and 2) it was one of the ‘small’ things I let drop when life got too stressful. I obviously did not reach level 30 here on WK, but I was doing well — I was keeping up on all of my reviews and making steady leveling-up progress, plus I had joined the news reading challenge and even picked up the first volume of Sailor Moon.
Unfortunately I hit a huge snag when stress started piling on and I couldn’t balance everything. I house-hunted for months, moved… and moved back in with family (which I am still adjusting to ), and went back to school three weeks after moving. I chose to re-take a certain science course and had to take it hybrid-style for pandemic-related reasons. I’d done the class before with the exact instructor, and I’ve taken online and hybrid before, so I thought I’d be fine—ha ha, nope. Science online with only video instruction and weekly tests were a horrible combo with having to do everything at home and my family not understanding my stress… which just compounded my stress levels. The latter half of 2021 was just a really bad time for my mental health tbh.
So I went from only being able to focus on finding a home, moving, and then cramming for tests each week, and I felt there was no room for Japanese in between all of that. I got stuck on the very beginning of Quartet’s third chapter, I dropped Sailor Moon and the news reading challenge, and my WK reviews just piled up (I am always forgetting about vacation mode…).
It all started well enough, but then crashed. Hard. So here’s to hoping 2022 is a little better.
Finish Quartet, parts I and II (I spend around a month on each chapter/lesson, and inclusive of some review and genuine breaks with no plans on going back to school yet–especially after that experience–I think this is reasonable…)
Continue studying grammar in some form at least once per week
Well this failed spectacularly around…February xD At least I did really good at this last January? Whoops
Pick a grammar resource and stick with it (aka STOP STARTING OVER AND FINISH SOMETHING)
Well…I mean, I stopped starting over, because I stopped…doing…anything… I didn’t start anything over, but I also didn’t advance much to at all because I just…stopped all grammar study pretty early in the year. According to my log, the last time I studied grammar was in March. Whoops
Continue listening to something in Japanese at least once per week
Yeah, this failed around the same time as everything else lol. Actually, it looks like I stuck with this through about February, then listened to something once in March, three times in April, and never again xD
Chip away at my backlog of unread physical books/manga
This time last year, I had 65 unread Japanese-language books and manga hanging out in my apartment. I now have…85 (81 that are unstarted). Dang it I did read quite a few things from my backlog this year, though - it’s just that I also bought even more things xD I blame the Read Every Day challenge.
Stretch goal: maybe, just maybe work on speaking a little?
Not even a little bit, but I kind of knew that would happen anyway.
Non-Japanese "Themes" Recap
Theme: Healthier Choices and Cooking
Well…sort of? For part of the year at least, I did pretty good. Haven’t been so good about eating better the past few months because I stopped caring about…lots of things But I did at one point lose about 19 pounds, which is probably the best I’ve ever done with purposeful weight loss (I honestly may have gained all of that back though sigh why does being a person require so much maintenance). Before my relapse I did also do a better job of choosing healthy things more often and less healthy things less often. Cooking…never got very far off the ground lol. I did cook one thing this year
Fail. No progress whatsoever. What a surprise. I hate me
Theme: More Books, Less Screens
Yeah, this failed around the same time as everything else, end of January to mid-February. I did have brief resurgences of motivation to read in May and August, but I didn’t really read anything in between. Overall, I finished 5 English-language books, which is 3 books less than I finished in 2020. I know I started a few others, but I didn’t get very far with them for really no particular reason.
I literally started for…maybe one week and then never picked it up again xD Why am I like this
And, one final goal: keep my plant alive xD
I did this! In fact, I kept not just one plant alive, but a multitude of plants alive xD That really did escalate quickly, I had one plant this time last year and now I have almost 30. I love them very much
My biggest mistake in 2021
I feel like one mistake I made in 2021 was trying to over-document everything. I didn’t think it would be that much, because I documented my progress in the same exact way through pretty much all of 2020 and it was fine, but I did add some additional goals/things to the logging and I think that tipped the logging over into the “too much” zone. It’s so hard to find a balance. I have to log stuff somehow, so I can remember what I actually did and see that yes, I am actually doing something. But there seems to be a tipping point where I start to unconsciously avoid doing things so that I don’t have to log them, which gets easier to reach the more stressed out I become. I think that contributed to my failure earlier this year. I was trying to log too many different things, and it all just crashed and burned when I got stressed out with work stuff and had to “jettison the cargo,” metaphorically speaking.
tl;dr, I basically failed all of my goals pretty early in the year because the New Year is poorly timed with my work schedule. The main thing I did do this year Japanese-wise was read - I finished 29 volumes of manga and a little over two thirds of a light novel, mostly thanks to my participation in the Read Every Day challenges. (If reading more is one of your goals, come check it out, we have a fun time ^^ Next one is starting January 1st! /shameless plug)
For 2022…I’m not sure. I’m not feeling terribly motivated for, like, actual studying right now, if I’m honest. Historically, this January/February/March/April/May period has been a hard time for me to do anything because work tends to take over my life, so I tend to fail all my goals during this part of the year and forget about them completely by the time I’m not busy again. (Like…why can’t the new year just be in June?) BUT, I still want to make a few goals for now, based on things I am likely to do (watch me say that and then do none of these Maybe making goals unrelated to listening or grammar will reverse-psychology me into doing listening and grammar )
2022 Japanese Goals
Make progress on reducing my backlog of unread manga/books - I’m sure I will find new ones to add to the pile but I’d like to at least not have the same ones still sitting in the pile xD
Keep doing the Read Every Day Challenges
I have a couple of 365-day books (one about colors and one about life in Japan), so I’d like to try to read those every day.
Finish both High Speed! light novels - I read about two thirds of the first one during the fall Read Every Day Challenge, so I’d like to finish that one for sure, and maybe read the second one too ^^
I was thinking about how to tackle/advance my grammar, because pretty much everything I have tried to do so far has failed one way or another xD I had a thought that I might try to just read through Japanese: The Manga Way, like one entry per day. The entries are pretty short, if I remember right, so that might work. I’m not sure if I’ll keep up with that (especially if I’m trying to do a lot of other “daily” reading things), but I was thinking it might work well if I pair it with the Read Every Day challenge. But I also don’t recall what the grammar level of that book is - it may turn out to be too basic, which…puts me back at square one, trying to figure out how I can study grammar without wanting to claw my eyeballs out. Maybe I’ll look more into the grammar dictionary I have and see if that might make for good nugget-sized grammar bites.
Start a Listen Every Day challenge??? Maybe this summer??? Just a nugget of an idea right now, but the Read Every Day Challenge has been working so well for me that I’m sort of wanting to see if I can expand on that success.
Stop forgetting about my goals - even if the first half of the year is busy, there’s still the whole other half of the year, windupbird Wish I could make this post ping me in June.
Maybe look up grammar as you go and just count that as good enough? It sounds like you enjoy reading, but dislike sitting through grammar explanations?
Or maybe push two goals into one (listening and grammar exercise) and work through a JLPT level list of grammar points like this one from てんぷら先生 or this one by 出口日語 or this one by 日本語の森? I choose N3 lists but I don’t know what level would be relevant for you.
I also really, really don’t like sitting around reading grammar exercises so those are two things that have worked ok for me in the past, although now I’m fully in camp “look up as I go along”.
I feel like I never even look up grammar in a legit source though, I just intuit it/guess from context and/or run it through a translator to get the gist, which feels…not the most legit, or efficient (although it’s more efficient than staring at the cover of a grammar book and never opening it, I suppose, so I’ll give it that xD). Maybe it’s more in my head than in reality, but I feel like I’m doing it wrong. I’m not sure I’m really learning anything/learning concepts correctly, or if I’m constantly missing stuff because I just don’t realize that it’s a separate grammar point? Idk. Maybe I am learning and it’s just slow because it’s not very systematic or methodical. I mean, I guess I have to be learning something…maybe…it’s not that obvious, though, from where I’m standing. I’m insecure about my approach, I suppose would be the tl;dr version of this rambling paragraph, and perpetually uncertain about my skills because the extent of my formal grammar study is barely equivalent to finishing Genki I xD
The other factor in this equation is output, which I would at some point like to be able to do - doing grammar the way I’m doing it is not really helping me with that at all (though I feel like, in order to really get a decent enough foundation for output, I’d have to actually do textbook exercises or some other type of output, which has even less chance of happening than me sitting down to read a grammar book because my brain hates me)
Ha I don’t really know either tbh N3 is probably a reasonable guess, I passed a mock N4 test once like over a year ago so I’m at least that, I think. I would characterize my Japanese skill set as “patchy, uneven, and weird.” My listening is like…bad (and so is my knowledge of grammar terms) so I’m not sure how much I’d be able to understand from those videos, but I’ll check them out and see, thanks for the recommendations! ^^
This is an issue I have as well haha. I mean part of it is probably that a lot of higher level grammar points seem to be things that are kind of combinations of more basic grammar that means you can get the gist (if sometimes not the nuance) but also there is the trouble of just spotting them. I don’t know what your method is for lookups when reading so this may not work for you, but what I have found helpful is using the Takobo dictionary app (I use android, not sure if it’s also on iOS) because when you are looking up vocab it is pretty good at flagging when they are grammar points and linking to a basic description (usually in renshuu). If I’m feeling diligent I will then go look it up in something else, but I feel like even having that little flag of ‘oh yeah this is a grammar thing’ can be helpful.
I just started my first beginner Japanese course this year - it’s so inspiring to see everyone’s progress. Through the class I have made it through Chapter 12 of the first beginner Minna no Nihongo textbook and am signed up for another “semester” of the class. Now discovering a bunch of resources like WaniKani - so my goal for 2022 is just to stick with learning at a consistent pace, and not give up when am feeling overwhelmed.
Happy new year! It’s been around 4 years since I was active on the forums, so this feels a bit strange.
My friend’s christmas gift for me in 2020 was to fund my yearly subscription to Wanikani. She knew I’d been meaning to get back into studying, and thought I needed a little push to get started. I felt pressured to work hard on it since she’d spent her hard-earned money on my subscription… I reset to level 1 and made goals for the year!
Reach level 30 on Wanikani
Get through Genki 1
Get started on playing games/reading visual novels in Japanese
Read a beginner friendly book in Japanese
Write bi-weekly short diary entries based on the grammar i learn in Genki
How it went
I’m due to hit level 28 in around three days. I probably would have reached my goal if it wasn’t for the massive block I hit around level 20-23. It happened during a busy work period in the summer, and doing reviews while commuting in the morning felt really terrible. I honestly don’t want to know my accuracy for those months!
As for the other goals… I got about halfway through genki before I started working, and it’s been hard to motivate myself to get back to it. I didn’t get any writing done either. I’ve been reading bits and pieces of manga I’ve come across, but nothing substantial here either.
I did finish playing Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX earlier this year. It was so nice to have a game with furigana to help me get into reading and playing! Now I’m playing Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and I think knowing ~900 kanji makes it much easier to play without furigana. Being able to do that was a pipe dream back in March, so I’m happy about my progress. I’m excited to play more games in 2022. I think this is one of the key points to keeping myself motivated. I enjoy gaming so much it doesn’t feel like I’m studying.
Reach level 60 on Wanikani
Clear all N5 and N4 grammar on Bunpro (I’ll adjust this based on how fast I feel I can progress)
Finish Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and play more games.
Watch a drama/show without eng subtitles.
Follow at least one book club on the Wanikani forums
2022 will be the year of grammar! I can recognize a whole bunch of kanji now, so reading is much easier than it was. Unfortunately, grammar is what’s holding me back. I’m about halfway through N5 on Bunpro right now, and I want to keep that going. I’d love to say I’m heading back to Genki, but I’ve gone down that route like 3-4 times now and I give up every time. It’s so mind-numbingly boring, I can’t force myself to do it. I’ll look into other textbooks and grammar series on youtube instead.
I’d love to say I’m gonna use the language more actively (chatting, writing, speaking) but I’m perfectly okay with waiting. I’m not very fond of stumbling my way into anything and language learning is no exception. The amount of English I absorbed before I started producing was huge.
I’m so pleased I was able to finally make studying a habit. My Wanikani streak is 366/366 right now, and I’ll continue working hard in the new year. I also hope I can get back to using the forums more actively again.
If I may, perhaps it would be helpful if you just googled ‘[structure] grammar’ every time you came across something you didn’t understand while reading/otherwise consuming Japanese content? I spent about… a year (?) doing that for almost everything new I came across in anime (checking dictionaries and grammar sites by googling ‘[structure] grammar’, ‘[structure] 文法’ and ‘[structure] とは’, along with vocabulary look-ups), and I ended up covering almost all the grammar points in Tobira. Most N2 grammar points (if online lists are accurate) were also familiar to me as a result, and after about 1.5-2 years, so were about half the N1 grammar points I found in a JLPT prep list. I’ll admit that I don’t necessarily have deep knowledge of all of them though.
I do use somewhat formal resources (I’ve gone so far as to try reading studies in Japanese in order to understand how the ば conditional should be used), but I’d say that it’s not so much ‘formal’ grammar study that is useful as it is ‘comprehensive’ grammar study. You need fairly clear and complete explanations in order to grasp how a structure should really be used, along with some examples, and as I think some discussions on these forums have shown, not all formal resources – even the most famous ones – consistently give clear explanations, even if they should be complete. That aside, resources can disagree (or at least say different, complementary things): Tobira’s self-other distinction for 〜なくてはならない・いけない isn’t what most resources distinguishing between the two say, with the more common distinctions being formality (ならない tends to be more formal) and obligation type (ならない expresses more ‘natural’, universal obligations like social and moral duties; いけない tends to be a little more subjective). That means that it’s more important to get a good general idea of how something works before worrying about the details that not everyone agrees on.
Practically speaking, you might want to prioritise certain sites when going through search results, like Maggie Sensei, WasabiJpn, Imabi, Tae Kim’s Guide and so on. Try to pick fairly reliable ones. English-language JLPT sites are good for getting the gist of each structure, but they’re really skimpy when it comes to explanations, and because of how different English and Japanese are, their translations don’t usually do the explanations justice. I’d say that the free ultimate resources that balance completeness, clarity and conciseness are Japanese JLPT sites, and I think you should really use those if you’re prepared to tackle a little reading in Japanese. Some of my favourites are edewakaru.com, nihongonosensei.net and jn1et.com. Dictionaries are good too, especially the monolingual ones. Even if you’re not learning things the ‘proper’ way with a 200-word technical explanation for each grammar point, you’ll be learning a lot more while also getting some reading practice.
Yes, this is pretty much exactly it. I tend to go “oh, it’s just X + Y” (two separate grammar points I know) rather than thinking “oh, XY might actually be its own separate construction.” And part of me is like, well if you can pretty much figure out the gist of it anyway by looking at it as X + Y, does it really matter whether it’s its own combo construction or two things separately, but the perfectionist part of me is like what do you mean, of course it matters lol
Oh, I haven’t tried that one! I typically just use Jisho, which does have some grammar in it but not always links and stuff like that. I’ll check it out ^^
I’ve been using this forum for how long without realizing this?? I just set one for that post in June, thanks for the tip!
I do do this on occasion, but I feel like I got annoyed with doing it at some point because it distracts from the “experience” of reading if it gets too much (aside from the other problem of just recognizing that it’s its own construction and knowing I should look it up). I used to be better about that though. I remember having some tabs with certain grammar point explanations just open permanently because I felt like I was looking them up every five seconds
Maybe what I should try is a) still doing my quick “I just want to get the gist” look-ups while reading but then b) being better about making a note to look at it more deeply after I’m done reading for the day so I’m not as sidetracked by it in the moment and can still enjoy the story. In my experience, some of the grammar points/explanations on webpages feel so broad and comprehensive that it’s hard to narrow down what it means in the specific context and I get lost too easily or overwhelmed with the amount of info. Especially like, Maggie Sensei, is one where I recall feeling that way a lot in particular - the info is good and can be helpful, but there’s so much of it to sift through on any given page to get to the meaning of the grammar point that’s actually relevant in the moment. By the time I get it sorted, I’ve forgotten what was happening in the book.
I really did not even know that those existed, thanks for the resources!! I feel like I might get annoyed trying to read explanations in Japanese “in the moment” while reading something else (because my reading is not that good yet and I feel like there’s a good chance of me getting lost in a chain of look ups, which is what I want to avoid), but if nothing else that would be a great thing to look at afterward for better understanding.
Ooo, edewakaru has pictures too :o I guess that was implied by the name LOL but that’s actually really exciting, I’m way more likely to understand pictures quickly so that could actually be a pretty quick reference for me xD
My 2021 was pretty much a write off for learning Japanese. My wife and I had a baby, and I was busy doing other fun stuff. I also found that my inability to travel to Japan (due to COVID restrictions) has really affected my motivation to put the time in to learn.
Since reaching Level 11 a year (or two?) ago, my hiatus left me with a massive review list of thousands of items. Insurmountable.So, I’ve decided to reset and start from scratch. Here’s hoping I’ll get back up to L11 and beyond by the end of this year. Time is limited these days, but I’m hoping to average at least 20 minutes of daily WaniKani time.
Other goals include finally returning to Japan so my newborn son can finally meet his Japanese grandparents and doing the JLPT test in December.
Good luck everyone!
I started learning Japanese last spring, went hard for about 2 months, and then I got really sick from my chronic disease and had to basically give up all my hobbies for awhile.
But I picked it back up about a month and a half ago and am feeling really good about 2022! I might not have made huge progress in 2021, but it’s something to start with and I’m feeling better having this “new start” with a little bit of an edge from my small time studying last year.
This year I want to:
Finish Genki 1, start Genki 2
Aim for level 30, but not get too obsessed with meeting any deadlines and adding unnecessary pressure
Do some supplemental vocab and sentence mining
Finish my graded readers and try something like Satori Reader plus maybe an easier manga
Watch more Japanese media! I have this problem where I avoid watching some of the things I really want to watch because I know it’s too far past my level and I don’t want to “ruin” it on my first watch by struggling a lot. I’m trying to get over that quickly because it’s keeping me from watching anything at all!
I wish I could do more, but I’m mostly happy with this plan and just taking it a day at a time. Good luck to everyone, it was inspiring to read everyone’s goals!