And keeping track of it
I just play videogames in Japanese and hope something sticks
My current plan:
- Read books every day
- SRS words on koohi.cafe
- Do the rest of the N1 grammar on Bunpro. Progress: 62/165.
- Crack open Shinkanzen Master N1 grammar book soom ( = soonTM)
Goals: Read faster. Know more words. Take the N1 when I feel confident I can pass it
I mentioned my study goals in some other threads, but for a reminder, I am aiming for N4 this year (well, want N3 but it may be too challenging and I do not want to rush and stress myself. Also I MUST learn all Elementary School kanji.)
Right now I use these tools:
- みんなの日本語 1 as a textbook.
- Use Kanshudo free version for textbook companion, grammar, vocabulary and kanji practice. Really a great site, like it.
- Use Kani Study app for writing and reading practice. Most writing though. Paid version, but I have a notepad + pencil, so it is a perfect tool for me for writing practice. I am pacticing writing of kanj which are 1 level before my knowledge. For example, I started 3rd year joyo, so I am practicing 1st and 2nd. I test reading for all kanji though, but it is when I have free time.
- Use Anki joyo kanji cards for learning kanji.
- Use easy news to practice reading.
That’s quite enough, I believe.
I do WaniKani with the goal of keeping my Apprentice number right around 100. I usually spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour a day with WaniKani. I use Tsurukame exclusively on my phone for WK.
I also do all my Jalup reviews plus learn 10 new sentences a day. I’ve already gone through all of the Beginner level once, and after a long break from studying, I’m doing it again. I’ll be done by early February. Once I start Jalup intermediate, I doubt I’ll get more than 3 or 5 sentences a day.
I started BunPro back a week or two ago and am trying them for the trial month. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it up or not, but I’m leaning towards yes. I think it would be a tough way to learn new grammar, but so far it seems like a pretty awesome way to review and reinforce what I’ve already learned.
As soon as I’ve finished Jalup beginner, I’m going to start TokiniAndy’s Quartet class. My current intention is to methodically do the entire thing, but we’ll see.
I’ve also joined the Death Note book club here on WK and will start that on the 22nd. I will probably keep joining clubs until I’m reading too much. I also own and read Japanese Graded readers, and I’m just starting on Level 2.
For listening, I find the Jalup app to be pretty great. I’m up to almost 800 sentences, so I listen to them at random while taking a shower or working. I also listen to the Graded Reader stories and the Quartet books are full of stuff to listen to.
I need to go back to watching more anime. I will probably ramp that up as I hit Intermediate.
For reference, I’m 52 and have an empty nest. My wife and I do our own stuff after work, so I end up with plenty of time, most of the time. I finally feel like I can devote time to learning Japanese!
I find that I tend to study a lot when I’m procrastinating other things, which I guess is kind of a good thing? Not sure!
I think the more detailed and formal I make a study plan, the less I want to do it. I’m more consistent at a slower pace.
Currently I take classes ~3 times a week with a local school. I’m on the blue Minna no Nihongo book but that’s not to say I remember the grammar we’ve learnt so far. Sometimes I take top-up review lessons via an online school because the lessons are cheap. And even more occasionally, I have a 1:1 session with a tutor to practice free talk.
WK, I do max 100 reviews a day. I space out my lessons and keep my apprentice items under 100 too.
I try and find shows on Netflix, currently watching a J-drama on Netflix (albeit with English subtitles…). I bought a cute cat manga so I can practice reading kanji (80% have furigana though).
I also have an dictionary app on my phone (Takoboto), I take it to all my classes. I used to write down new words but now I look them up and add them to a list on the app and then transfer them to AnkiDroid. From there, I try and spend 10-15 mins on Ankidroid 4-5 times a week.
My current plan goes like this:
I clear my WK review queue every morning and add 15 lessons. If I still have time left before work I read some easy news using the app Todai. I clear my reviews again around midday and in the evening if I can.
I used to do one chapter of Genki every week, then every two weeks, and now, well, no chapters at all because I needed a break. Going to try and pick up Genki 2 again soon and do maybe 1 hour a week just to get back into it.
I listen to Nihongo Con Teppei and Learn Japanese with Noriko when I’m out for walks. Catch a word here and there, sometimes a whole sentence! Occasionally I watch (listen to) something on Netflix while doing crafts.
What I’d like to do more of is reading but I’m sort of stuck on not doing grammar at the moment…
Last year, my daily study plan varied, which was nice, but resulted in often focusing a bit too much in one area (and therefore ignoring another). Starting December of last year, this has been my daily grind.
Full Immersion: Any/all entertainment must be in Japanese. This includes, but is not limited to, casual YouTube watching, music, podcasts, video games, and social media. If I sit down to watch a TV show or a movie, it has to be in Japanese. I usually spend 30 minutes to an hour every day watching something intensely (stopping after every line, reading the Japanese subtitles as needed, making Anki cards as needed). And then usually two hours of more general Japanese input (watching stuff without subtitles and without pausing to look stuff up, using my Japanese Kindle Unlimited subscription to read books and manga, etc). I also use Satori Reader and NHK Easy News, but will probably start dropping the latter in the next few weeks for regular NHK.
Note: I have an exception to full immersion. Since I’m married, if my wife wants to watch something together in English (usually MCU shows, The Mandalorian, etc), we’ll watch in English. But since she enjoys anime, we often watch stuff in Japanese together anyways.
WaniKani: Last year, when I started WaniKani in earnest, I averaged one level per week. This was doable, since I had some kanji knowledge beforehand. I’m getting to the point, though, where lots of the kanji is completely new to me. Going to slow it down, and do 10-15 lessons per day (but keep my reviews up-to-date to prevent backlog). The amount of time I spend daily on WaniKani depends on my number of reviews, since I keep them at zero.
KaniWani: I couple this with WaniKani, to help reinforce not just kanji, but vocabulary, etc.
Kanji Study App: I couple this with WaniKani. It has a “speed recognition” multiple choice test that I use for 10 minutes of intense focus daily. Great app, used as supplementary reinforcement.
BunPro: 3 new lessons a day, plus clearing all my reviews at 11pm daily.
Anki: I clear out all my Anki reviews daily. Time spent varies, depending on number of reviews. I have an ongoing “words found while immersing” deck that has a couple of thousand sentences I’m slowly learning daily. I also have a JLPT N3 vocab deck I’m working through.
JLPT prep: I have some test prep books I work through. One series of them has daily study questions that I go through daily. Starting next month, I’ll probably start on the heftier JLPT prep books.
Glossika: Shadow practice.
HelloTalk: I post a paragraph in Japanese every evening, and get corrected by native speakers. Incredibly useful.
I also have a weekly call with a Japanese teacher through Italki which has proven to be immensely valuable, since it’s forcing me to output on the fly.
This sounds like a lot, and it does sometimes get chaotic, but I’ve been able to keep up without much issue. The biggest “time consumer” is just direct immersion (reading, watching stuff, etc), but when you think of it as “well, I’d be doing this anyways, just in English, so why not make it a learning experience”, it makes it a lot more palatable. For example, I’m playing through Pokemon Brilliant Diamond, but instead of playing in English, I’m playing it in Japanese. It goes a bit slower (since I stop to make sure I understand all NPC dialogue, Pokedex entries as they come in, item descriptions, etc), but I’ve learned so much while playing a game I’d be playing anyways.
Glossika’s sentences sound quite useful. Until they offer lifetime subscriptions, I won’t subscribe.
My plan is simple: git gud.