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Another 日本語 Journal

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 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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dampingwire
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3103 days ago

1185 posts - 1513 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian*, French
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 1 of 256
28 April 2012 at 10:26pm | IP Logged 
I've been reading a few other logs here lately and I've decided to start my own, mostly
so I can track my own progress (or lack thereof :-)).

I decided to learn Japanese late last year and spent some time in November and December
solidifying the hiragana and skimming one or two Japanese language books from the
library.

By Christmas I decided that I was really going to have a go at learning Japanese and
became (relatively) serious.

I've used my daily commute to get through the Michel Thomas Foundation course (which I
found at the library). I'm now working my way through Pimsleur. I've done the Japanese
I and 25/30 of Japanese II. I'll probably work through Japanese III and then start
going over it all again.

For the Kanji, I've recently started using Reviewing the Kanji
(http://kanji.koohii.com/) and I've now seen just over 200 kanji.

For vocabulary I've been using Memrise (http://www.memrise.com/). I've harvested all
the vocabulary in the N5 course and I've added a few other more focussed courses to
improve coverage (Adverbs, Dates etc.).

I have a few books as well. I've read "Making Sense of Japanese", which was
interesting, and will no doubt come in handy when I learn a bit more. "All About
Particles" had good reviews and has lived up to them all.

The only grammar book I have right now is "Japanese Step by Step". It seems to be quite
helpful. However, when I bought it at the start of the year, the Japanese writing
system looked daunting. Now I it's use of romaji to be quaint. I feel that it's not
going to be long before "quaint" becomes "annoying". Still, there's plenty of grammar
to get to grips with in the meantime.

I have a Penguin parallel text, "Short Stories in Japanese". I spent about an hour with
it 2-3 months ago and it was obviously way too early. It'll be waiting for me, when I'm
ready.

Finally I have a Japanese picture dictionary that covers about 1500 words or so. I've
not used it much yet, but I bought it because my daughter found similar French, Spanish
and Italian picture books quite handy when she was working through here GCSEs. If I'd
found Memrise earlier, then I would probably not have bothered with this.

For grammar, I've started to work through Tae Kim
(http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar). So far everything I've learned has been
the "polite" form, whereas this starts off with the "plain" form and then introduces
the "polite" style later on. Should be interesting.

I don't have much free time at home - I can generally manage an hour or two at most for
memrise + RTK + Tae Kim. The commute, however, gives me about another 90 minutes of
audio to add. Overall that means I'm managing about 18 hours of Japanese a week.

I feel I work best if I have a target to aim for. So I've decided that I'm going to
work towards the JLPT N5. I don't really know what's involved there, or how many hours
of study would be expected for that. Anyone have any suggestions?

2 persons have voted this message useful



atama warui
Triglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 3139 days ago

594 posts - 985 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, Japanese

 
 Message 2 of 256
29 April 2012 at 3:43am | IP Logged 
I think you're already well on your way. Keep it up! :)
2 persons have voted this message useful



dampingwire
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3103 days ago

1185 posts - 1513 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian*, French
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 3 of 256
02 May 2012 at 11:46pm | IP Logged 
I intended to update this log at least once a week on Sundays. Only three days late :-)

I've only been keeping track of studying for a few weeks.

w/e 2012-APR-15: 14h21m
w/e 2012-APR-22: 18h11m
w/e 2012-APR-29: 22h33m

When I use Memrise or RTK or TaeKim I tend to note my start time and then round down to
a 5m interval at the end. When I listen to an audio lesson however, I check how long
that lesson is (to the nearest minute) or what my MP3 player says (again to the nearest
minute).

I gave myself a target of ~15h each week so I'm happy that I'm managing to meet that so
far. This current week might take a bit of a hit as real life intrudes somewhat.

If I can get into the habit of a regular update every Sunday, I should have time to
note how much of my time is spent on Audio lessons, Memrise, RTK and Tae Kim. For last
week the breakdown was:
Memrise: 6h05
RTK:     1h05
Tae Kim: 0h30m
Audio: ~15h

That's not too surprising, I have about ~9h of weekly commute (driving) during which
anything other than audio would be pretty dangerous :-) In addition if I go out on the
bike or walk to the shops I like to fill that dead time with audio too.

At some point I'll run out of audio lessons. Not sure yet what I'll do next. I've seen
various sites that offer (free) MP3s of fairy tales and stories in Japanese (e.g.
Little red Riding Hood). When I tried those a few months ago they were quite beyond me.
When I finish Pimsleur in about 2-3 weeks, perhaps I'll have improved?

1 person has voted this message useful



dampingwire
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3103 days ago

1185 posts - 1513 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian*, French
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 4 of 256
05 May 2012 at 10:06pm | IP Logged 
Went to the library today and picked up "beginner's japanese script" because I happened
to see it there. The Japanese language section isn't particularly extensive (about 6
books and 3 audio courses). I remember looking at this book at the beginning of the
year when I'd just started to learn Japanese and I found it a bit of a slog at the
time. Now, having worked at RTK a little, I've managed to get through the first 4 units
in an hour. Admittedly only some of the kanji are new and I've not tried to learn the
readings yet, but it's certainly *much* smoother sailing now than it was before. There
are 10 units in the book and, by page count, I'm about one third of the way through.
I'll probably tackle the rest of the book in the same way to get the new kanji out of
the way and then go back and work through the readings.

Found two new (to me) interesting sites today
(http://language.tiu.ac.jp/materials/jpn/yomu/yomu01.html and
http://thejapanesepage.com/) through a log here that I forgot to note (if this was you,
then thank you ...).

Woodsei's log (http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?
TID=30623&PN=2&TPN=8) has convinced me that I should try to up my Kanji work at RTK.
Adding 10 or so a day is probably too slow. I should try 50-100 and see how it goes. So
I'll go do that now!

I guess those two experiences do show that I'm not just goofing off when I read stuff
on HTLAL. Coincidentally, I've just learned 油を売る from one of those new websites :-
)).

1 person has voted this message useful



kraemder
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3622 days ago

1497 posts - 1648 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 5 of 256
06 May 2012 at 7:14am | IP Logged 
Good luck and it looks like you're doing well for self study. Smoother than I if you look at my log heh.
1 person has voted this message useful



genini1
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3906 days ago

114 posts - 161 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 6 of 256
06 May 2012 at 9:05pm | IP Logged 
I personally found RTK to be most useful in simply showcasing most of the kanji and making it so you can see and recognize the differences. At the beginning a lot of them look the same but after an iteration or 3 you start to pick up the various radicals and it becomes a lot easier. Very much worth doing and even going semi-quickly through.
One book you may want to invest in is A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. It's basically the book recommended by every Japanese course taught in universities and it is quite simply the best grammar book I've found of any language. They also have two more levels of the book but the basic one can get you through almost everything.
If you're looking for a good website for vocabulary http://iknow.jp/content/japanese is extremely useful. They have the top 6k words sorted by frequency and even have each word recorded with a sample sentence as well.
Good luck and God speed with Japanese.

Edited by genini1 on 06 May 2012 at 9:13pm

1 person has voted this message useful



atama warui
Triglot
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 3139 days ago

594 posts - 985 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, Japanese

 
 Message 7 of 256
07 May 2012 at 1:12am | IP Logged 
I tried learning Kanji via Heisig 2 times. It felt really bad to remember them with English vocabulary words (even if it enabled me to "read" them fluently). Kind of detached the Kanji from the language I was learning.

Then again, I've been banging my head against the Kanji wall for some time now, with not enough results to show for it, so I might give it a try again, some day.
1 person has voted this message useful



dampingwire
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3103 days ago

1185 posts - 1513 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian*, French
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 8 of 256
07 May 2012 at 10:58am | IP Logged 
Last week I managed 23h15m of Japanese despite having quite a lot to get done round the
house.

I'm up to 300 kanji in RTK. That's more like 40/day rather than the 50-100 I was aiming
for but it took me an hour or so to decide on the stories and try to remember them. I
don't have enough spare time to do more than that at the moment, so that's that. At
200/week it'll take me maybe three more months to get through them all (and then I'll
need to learn the readings too). I don't have a time limit, so it doesn't matter if it
takes a while.

I'll try to get through the rest of the "beginner's japanese script" book in the next
few days. The bulk of my time is still going into audio lessons, which isn't
surprising, but I'm not really putting enough time into Tae Kimm. For now, I'll keep
the kanji going through RTK and put just enough time into Memrise to stop things
wilting, but I won't start any new courses. Instead I'll work through Tae Kim a bit
more regularly.



1 person has voted this message useful



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