Kanji Progress Report
As of yesterday, I’m at a little over 1,300 kanji. I’m at the part that sucks, the part where there’s still hundreds left, and it seems like it’s taking forever. It’s taking a bit longer than I initially planned because of recent time constraints. No matter, I press on. 1,800 is my current goal, and once I reach that I feel it will be finished sooner than even I think possible. Currently I’m hitting about 200 reviews a day, with between 20 and 30 new kanji a day (unless time is really short – then it’s like 5). Cool thing is I’m at the point where I can look at a web page in Japanese and recognize most of the symbols, or at least parts of them. I still can’t always make out words or sentences, but I can sometimes […]
So, I just figured I’d post about an amazing experience I had yesterday. My fiancee and I went to this small すしresteraunt nearby. We’d been there a few times before, and love it more each time we go. The reason: it’s owned and operated by a very friendly, down to earth 日本語 couple who lived in Japan most of their lives. It’s an authentic experience, like stepping into a restaurant in Japan. But more than that, I discovered that many family and friends of the owners frequent there, and it’s a great place to take in some real Japanese. As I ate, I listened to conversations (though 未[not yet] able to understand most of it). But that wasn’t the coolest part. When I finished, I told the owner’s wife 度も有難うございます。 She responded どういたしまして, and I understood it without thinking about […]
おはようございます！ I know, it’s been a bit since an update, but I have reasons. Good ones, in fact. First off, I’ve noticed that trying to have a new post every 2 or 3 days seriously hampers my ability to accomplish other things. For instance, if I’m constantly writing new articles in English (such as this one), my time spent learning Japanese is reduced. So, I’m spreading updates out a bit, at least until I can start writing them in Japanese. 🙂 The second reason was that I was out of town for almost a week, with limited access to computers/my tools for learning Japanese. Writing an update is kinda hard when you’re not able to access a computer easily. Anyway, a new, well-established and well-written (as always, don’t you know? Actually, that’s bullsh- crap, but you know what I mean) […]
Overview of the Method
Credit Where Credit Is Due Before we begin, I’d like to give proper credit where it’s due. This method is largely based on that from All Japanese All The Time (AJATT). I’m using my own modified version of that method for what best fits me. There are some differences now, and probably will be more in the future as well, but the overall idea is the same. Bird’s Eye Overview First off, if you haven’t read the Start and About pages, I suggest you start there first. Prior to jumping in with both feet, there are a couple things that I should point out. First is the Table of Contents, which provides a method of progressing through the articles on this site in a somewhat-organized manner. Next is the fact that this method may change slightly over time, as I […]
Aiming Too High = Aiming To Fail?
For most people, we’re told from the very beginning to aim for the sky when it comes to goals. “The sky is the limit”, we’re told. When you’re a child, this sounds amazing because you can’t comprehend the scale these phrases imply. But we’re (at least I assume) adults. Aiming for the sky is all well and good, but chances are you’ll not make it that far – at least not in the short run. It’s not to say that you’ll never make it there, because maybe you will. Maybe you’ll go beyond that (space?). Or maybe you’ll fit in with the rest of the “average” population. Remember: Average is not bad, it’s average. Average is okay. If average were bad, then what would failure be? For that matter, failing isn’t always bad either, but that’s a topic for another […]
Secrets To A Successful Immersion Environment When Around Others
This is an issue I’ve been asked about several times, and even ran into myself. My fiance is not learning Japanese at the moment (though hopefully in the future she will want to once I’m fluent 🙂 ), so sometimes it makes studying difficult. It’s not anyone’s fault, really, but studying a foreign language does not allow one to easily communicate with their better half. The same is true at work. Nobody there knows/speaks Japanese either. So, how do I fit studying Japanese into my life? The answer is more simple than you would think. It’s a concept called “weaving”, where you mix it in along with what you are currently doing. I’ll start with the job. I work at a job that does not require constant (verbal) communication with others, so I can squeeze things in. Typically this is […]
Useful Tool for Reading Kanji
Found a great little tool for inserting furigana into Japanese pages, making them easier to read for those who don’t know all the kanji but have knowledge of katakana and hirigana. 平がねめがね Hiragane Megane (hiragana.jp) As an additional tip, you can do this by prepending “trans.hiragana.jp/ruby/” onto the URL of the website you wish to insert the furigana. *NEW* I’ve added a bar at the top of the site that allows you to put in the URL there as well. Enjoy! Overall, it’s pretty accurate, but you can occasionally get an inaccurate reading, so be careful.
SRS: Flashcards 2.0
Updated 7.12.2011. What is SRS? SRS stands for “Spaced Repetition System”, and works off the idea that you should stretch out the time in which you review whatever it is that you’re studying in order to keep it in long term memory. That’s the short answer, anyway. I first heard about SRS over at AJATT (All Japanese All The Time) in a number of his blogs. And I’ve got to say, it’s working damned well for me. One thing Khatz stresses is that drilling yourself repeatedly to try and remember something only utilizes your short term memory, and therefore it stays there – in short term memory. Take, for example, that kid in your class in high school or college that always aced his exams by cramming the night before. Ask him about any of it a week later: さようなら, […]
400 down, only 1600+ to go…
I’ve hit the 1/5th mark today. Retaining new kanji is beginning to get tougher now; not much, but it’s not as easy as the first couple 百。The reason for this is that I still review the ones I’ve already learned along with the new ones using Reviewing the Kanji. At the moment though, I’ve done about 1,200 reviews, with a roughly 96% retention rate (not bad in my opinion) overall. I have slacked a bit the last week though, and have only been averaging about 15 a day. I’d rather this be 25 a day (it was 28 yeasterday), so next week I’m stepping it up a bit. I’m more than comfortable with my current rate, so I don’t think 25 a day for me will be too fast. More updates soon!
How fast is fast enough?
Truthfully, the answer is this; you’re going fast enough when you actually retain the information you are studying. I know we’re all (including myself) tempted to rush things sometimes. This is especially true when you’re not seeing any immediate progress (or at least, you’re not perceiving it as such). But, when it comes down to it, what is immediate progress? Or progress for that matter? Immediate progress is one of the hardest things to see sometimes – especially when working on something for as long of a time span as picking up a new language takes. Immediate progress is the progress you make in a short amount of time. This amount of time is somewhat arbitrary – say a day, or a week. In the span of 2,000 kanji, 25 a day might not seem like much. And by itself, […]