Hi! I like making tools to help others and I was curious about other learners’ pain points. Mine would be tracking my progress in reading/speaking and visualizing it. What are yours?
Actually doing the studying…
Definitely searching for something interesting for me to read/watch/listen/play in Japanese. Sometimes I wish there were some genre-based collection of not-mortifyingly-hard-content for beginners. Or just content with double subtitles, easily-available translation for referencing, etc. Heck, I hope there are some, and people will point me to them. I’m fine with struggle, as long as the content is interesting, but right now I’m spending way too much time searching.
Anyway, that a very nice hobby. I hope you will create something great.
Have you looked at the Anime Sentences script? It’s at least got the double subtitles,with the English hidden until mouse-over. I find it much more useful than WK’s examples sentences.
I totally agree! I want to spend more time immersing rather than looking for beginner-friendly-yet-interesting content
As a self learner: finding the exact answer I need to for some questions.
There’s a plenty content out there, but it’s not always I find then when I need to.
Also, keep learning interesting.
I love the japanese language, but ironically, it’s hard to delve into it.
My Japanese is still low level and the things I like (animes, games, books) have very advanced grammar.
So I’m in the middle between reading/seeing things that don’t interest me very much, but with easy to understand Japanese, or doing things I like but with extreme difficulty in understanding.
I dislike doing workbook exercises by hand. It helps for sure, but I find it tedious. Most of it is fun, and if it’s not fun sometimes it’s about changing strategies.
I definitely have the same problem. I’ll try coming up with some solutions and I’ll keep you updated!
What kind of workbooks do you use?
I remember when I did workbooks and it was fun but tedious like you said. What would you say is the most fun part of it? For me it was writing and seeing my progress.
My biggest difficulty is disambiguating vocabulary words with the same or nearly the same English “meaning”. I think this would be extremely difficult to develop a tool for, but you asked!
These come up all the time. Off the top of my head:
The English word “use” is given as the meaning for:
The first two can be about a thing’s use (soft ‘s’) or about actually using (hard ‘s’) something. Learning when you might employ 使用する vs. 採用する vs. 使う is quite difficult.
Similarly, 寄与, 寄付, and 貢献 all mean “contribution” but there are subtleties between them and they aren’t interchangeable. The first is like “contributing” to world peace, while the second is more about monetary donations and concrete contributions. The final one at least has a different primary meaning (“submission”) to teach the difference, but since they all three accept “contribution” during reviews, so it can be hard to learn the shades of meaning.
The context sentences help a lot, but I wish there was a systematic way to learn and practice some of these distinctions.
Note that often the problem is with English! These differences can be subtle and extremely difficult to translate to English (which often uses the same word for completely different “meanings”).
The best way I can think of to teach and practice these “similar concept” distinctions is with multiple choice quizzes, but that seems pretty far afield from Wanikani:
B. 寄付しました (正解)
A. 寄与しました (正解)
That kinda looks like the JLPT.
It can be said that, an actual pain is knowing I need JLPT-like quizzes for both vocabularies and grammar, but not committed to doing it yet.
I used Anki instead, but it isn’t that similar. Also, recently, I am not diligent with Anki anymore, adding more vocabularies only.
The most annoying part is time management as a full-time working parent.
It’s a matter of balancing my need to relax and let my brain settle down from the daily grind with my need and desire to acquire the language of most of the people around me.
For me I think the most difficult part is finding a balance between what I can handle and feeling as though I’m not making enough progress. I’ve had to seriously cut down on my daily rotational activities for Japanese because it was just too much, but I feel like I’m not doing nearly enough
Heh. I think I passed the N3 test circa 1987. I don’t remember any of it, but I know it didn’t have any significant reading or writing tests at the time.
be nice to be able to swap words within demonstration phrases to quickly see the conjugation etc. change
This isn’t particularly something I need a tool to fix, but it’s definitely maintaining the patience for SRS, for me. With Wanikani and Anki together I have quite a lot of daily reviews. I’ve found that I run up against my tolerance for time spent on it in a day before it seems to be tanking my accuracy from adding too many new words, so I have this tension I have to maintain: I really want to learn a lot of words, and as quickly and efficiently as I can manage (which Anki is fantastic for), but I have to have the self control to stop adding new cards so future me doesn’t hate current me. It doesn’t always work!
I do have some auto suspending on and I’m aware of the general advice regarding throwing out leeches and the like, but it doesn’t help that SRS is by nature designed to show you the cards that annoy you the most, heh. There’s a third balance point of just generally not letting the SRS fool me into thinking I haven’t managed to learn anything. It still works so well I wouldn’t dream of totally going without it, but you have to pay for that efficiency somewhere unless you’re one of the lucky few who doesn’t tire of the process, heh.
I also run into this, I’m currently on a break from WK, and for Anki I am trying to prioritise learning new words which I have either just come across from immersion (manga/books/anime), or which I am about to come across (from shared vocab sheets, or vocab sheets I self-create to pre-learn).
I like this because Anki and the material I’m reading reinforce each other, I’ll read something in a manga and then maybe the next morning I see that word come up for review in Anki and I’ll remember the context it came up in yesterday.
This is how I’m learning most of my vocab now, and I find this method makes words ‘stick’ more for me than they do if I learn words in isolation.
For trickier words I’ll create mnemonics or similar memory devices, and if I am regularly failing a word then I’ll stop wasting my time on it for now and mark it as needing a revisit later on.
I’m in exactly the same situation. It seems like you can get burnout from going too fast and burnout from going too slow, and I haven’t managed to find a good middle ground. Especially since I’m living in Japan, so I’m studying for survival, not for fun.
That’s great to hear, thank you! I’m really looking forward to it.