Back

2016 JLPT N2/N1 Thread: A New Hope

#51
(2016-06-01, 12:59 am)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote:
(2016-05-24, 11:01 am)rich_f Wrote: But what I have figured out from my own experience is that reading LNs or WNs doesn't help me with N1 very much. It helps my Japanese, and it's entertaining, but aside from some limited vocab help, it doesn't really help me with N1 as much as reading a stack of writing by old men yelling "Get off my lawn!" would. :\

I've been using that book I mentioned on page 1 for some help with that. The essays are more enjoyable than shasetsu.ps.land.to's stuff, and overall the content has a very N1 feel to it.

I have a subscription to 日経 now and have been reading that for "fun" every day. I guess I have a weird definition of what I find entertaining. Undecided

However, I've also found that it's helped my Japanese to up the level of the novels I'm reading. At some point, you outgrow the material you started with, and it's time to look for something more challenging. I've been reading 池井戸潤 lately, and between the complicated subject matter (Ikeido seems to specialize in stories of salarymen caught up in massive financial swindles) and the specialized vocab, it feels like a nice stretch for me. Yeah, I *could* read a fifth 東野圭吾 novel (and I very well might at some point), but I know that's not going to give me the same mental workout.

For me, I get plenty of doom and gloom from the daily stuff, so when I read, I want to read fluff. Probably because I was a lit major in college, I burned out on the heavy stuff. RL is plenty. Big Grin

LNs are generally fluff, and pretty much the literature version of chocolate ice cream. They're not particularly nutritious (I haven't learned any great truths from them), but they're comfort food, I guess.

I've got Rikaisama up and running again, so it's time to go to shasetsu-land, I guess.

Oh, a note of caution about the Target Series Books (Vocab for N1 and N2): they came out with new revised editions, but honestly, if you already have the old edition, I'd hold off. I've been going through the N1 book deck from Memrise which is based on the old edition (to import into Anki eventually... if there's anything not already in Core10k) and I've been comparing it to the revised edition. After 500 words, most of the changes I've found are word order

Maybe 1 new word has been added, and it's already in core 10k. I wish I had made a note of it, other than, "Oh, that's in Core10k. I already know it. Meh." Frankly, a lot of the vocab is already in core 10k.

TL;DR if you have the old Target N1/N2 vocab, don't rush out to buy the new ones yet. I'm kind of kicking myself on that purchase.  Dodgy
Reply
#52
(2016-06-01, 9:07 am)rich_f Wrote: For me, I get plenty of doom and gloom from the daily stuff, so when I read, I want to read fluff. Probably because I was a lit major in college, I burned out on the heavy stuff. RL is plenty. Big Grin
Oh trust me, this is what I read for fun, so it's not like I have any room to judge anyone.
Something else I've been doing lately is checking out magazines with at least some essay content. The format is close to the JLPT essays, but they tend to be a lot more interesting. E.g., Dancyuu (http://www.president.co.jp/dancyu.html) usually leads off with a one-page lifestyle essay that's often worth a chuckle. If you're a dude into food and nihonshu, the rest of the mag is pretty interesting as well.
Reply
#53
I was wondering how you guys feel about the effectiveness of NHK easy news and the like for those past the N3 vocabulary threshold and done with an N3 level textbook like Tobira.

A lot of people praise it, but I feel the grammar is perhaps a little too simplistic to push someone forward once they've seem most N3 grammar points. The vocabulary seems closer to N3 and every now and then I find an interesting word that I didn't know, but they oversimplify things sometimes by writing the hiragana equivalent of words commonly written in kanji, which can be more confusing than helpful imo (esp. if you've finished RTK).

So is there any point in reading NHK easy news at this level? Despite the fact that I still need exposure to N3 vocabulary, I'm not sure it'd be worth it. Aside from reading whatever you enjoy, is there a more reliable, solid next step? I've been thinking regular NHK news, but I'm not so sure about that since the gap in vocabulary seems to be a little too big to help one absorb N3 vocabulary efficiently. In fact, I think that might be true even when it comes to N2 vocabulary. Maybe TED talks? They do have transcripts.
Reply
JapanesePod101
#54
Deciding to post an update on my listening progress, because...well, because I'm sitting in a room in the Shin-Takanawa, it's three-1/2 hours before I have to go and support Japanese customers in lab exercises, and studying sounds about as thrilling as eating boiled cardboard for breakfast.

I got pretty sick and tired of my Anki deck, which consisted of cards imported automagically using Epwing2Anki. The card quality was hit or miss, and my success rate started creeping down into the mid-70s. So I deleted the damned thing, and am now slowly inputting new cards by hand. Slow and less efficient? Surely. But it's giving me time to select good J and E definitions, and to dig up good, memorable example sentences from Yourei. My failure rate on vocab cards has decreased dramatically as a result, and Anki feels like less of a giant pain in the ass as a result.

Beyond that, much the same as before. I need to slot some time in June to take a sample test, and see exactly how far I am from making the N1 mark this year.
Edited: 2016-06-02, 6:37 pm
Reply
#55
(2016-06-02, 6:36 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: I was wondering how you guys feel about the effectiveness of NHK easy news and the like for those past the N3 vocabulary threshold and done with an N3 level textbook like Tobira.

A lot of people praise it, but I feel the grammar is perhaps a little too simplistic to push someone forward once they've seem most N3 grammar points. The vocabulary seems closer to N3 and every now and then I find an interesting word that I didn't know, but they oversimplify things sometimes by writing the hiragana equivalent of words commonly written in kanji, which can be more confusing than helpful imo (esp. if you've finished RTK).

So is there any point in reading NHK easy news at this level? Despite the fact that I still need exposure to N3 vocabulary, I'm not sure it'd be worth it. Aside from reading whatever you enjoy, is there a more reliable, solid next step? I've been thinking regular NHK news, but I'm not so sure about that since the gap in vocabulary seems to be a little too big to help one absorb N3 vocabulary efficiently. In fact, I think that might be true even when it comes to N2 vocabulary. Maybe TED talks? They do have transcripts.

When I was ready, I simply started reading NHK News, using Rikaisama to help look up words. I also used Rikaisama to save the words to a text file, and then pulled them into Anki for further study. After several months of this, the news got easier, and I was able to progress to a point where I could read many articles with few or no lookups. 

It might seem like a mountain of words, but NHK News in particular uses fairly standard, consistent grammar and vocab across all of their news stories. 

That said, I would recommend some exposure to N2-level grammar, as the news makes use of a lot of grammar classified as N2 (and occasionally N1).
Reply
#56
Yeah, I agree with gaiaslastlaugh on NHK News Easy. If it's too easy for you, and you're not getting any challenge out of it, move on to the grownup version.

There is a big gap in vocab, but there's not much you can do about it, other than study your 漢語 like crazy. NHK News loves their 漢語 over 和語. Lots of kanji, strung together, is a pretty regular thing for them. On the upside, you'll get really good at on-yomi.

You'll notice after a while that NHK latches on to certain set phrases that will get repeated over and over. 意識不明、心肺停止 are two I really find annoying, but they love the latter one a lot lately to describe "unofficially dead people." But yeah, there's a ton of NHK語 that you'll learn after a while, too. Big Grin
Reply
#57
I'm not exactly expecting a positive answer, but would you guys happen to have any tips to speed up the ability to immediately recognize numbers and dates when you hear them?

Japanese is my third language, so I know listening solves this in the long run. The thing is, I don't think numbers, dates, and the time were that challenging when I was learning English. More often than not, when I hear a date, my brain is still trying to put the year together when the speaker is already saying the month and day.

If possible, I'd like to take a shortcut at this point rather than leave it up to the randomness of input. I haven't been able to find any useful tools so far though. I mean, I did find a blog with a audio tracks designed for this purpose, but the person didn't read certain numbers properly so I ended up ditching it.
Edited: 2016-06-04, 5:50 pm
Reply
#58
You could watch history documentaries/lectures to guarantee lots of input of dates. I'm pretty sure this helped me with the same kinda problem with dates (processing them quickly while listening and saying them smoothly myself).
The other thing to recognise is that Japanese often says the year in full (せんきゅうひゃくよんじゅうごねん etc) so 「せんきゅ…」 (edit: or acutally even from the 「せん」 cus of the intonation) is like a big sign saying "Hey! Listen up! Here comes a date!!!"
Edited: 2016-06-04, 10:00 pm
Reply
#59
(2016-06-04, 5:49 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: I'm not exactly expecting a positive answer, but would you guys happen to have any tips to speed up the ability to immediately recognize numbers and dates when you hear them?

Listen to 日経平均株価 reports until your ears bleed.
Reply
#60
Sounds like torture. I don't even listen to stock reports in English :/ maybe Japanese auctions? I know based on what I've seen that English speaking auctioneers speak fast. Is that the case for Japanese auctioneers?
Reply
#61
If you have Android, you want this:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai....Kikisuuji

It was made by one of the posters here, IIRC. Basically, it just reads random numbers out loud to you using TTS, IIRC.
Reply
#62
Any nakama taking N1 (or N2) on July 3? I took N2 last Dec, got 168/180 (I think). Been wandering on Mandarin territory & doing other non-Japanese-related stuff since April and now I officially have 4 days left to review plus a stack of 20-30(?) barely touched N1 books :(( N2 was a last minute thing for me too but I'm not sure I leveled up much since then -__-"" I've read some 文法 points but not yet touched any 聴解/読解. I think my plan is to cram as many 語彙 as my brain can handle whilst doing 模擬テスト on the side, hmmm...
Edited: 2016-06-28, 1:30 pm
Reply
#63
Yep, I'll be taking N1 in London on Sunday. Should be OK if the real thing is in line with the mock tests...
Reply
#64
just started getting back into a study routine for JLPT n2 (my second attempt. december exam)

basically same as last time, run through my vocab book up and down.

i also got a 読解 book because according to my last score, i only understand about 26% of reading passages lol
it's kanzen master and it's nice because it identifies several different writing patterns and how to discern key points.
Edited: 2016-06-29, 3:32 pm
Reply
#65
(2016-06-29, 3:22 pm)angelneko Wrote: just started getting back into a study routine for JLPT n2 (my second attempt. december exam)

basically same as last time, run through my vocab book up and down.

i also got a 読解 book because according to my last score, i only understand about 26% of reading passages lol
it's kanzen master and it's nice because it identifies several different writing patterns and how to discern key points.

The 完全マスター series is great, particularly the 読解。It helped me a lot in leveling up to pass N2.

Welp, it's half year point, so time to get really fracking serious. I'm resorting mainly to extensive reading and TV watching to help prep as much as possible. (Tadoku got me on the extensive reading bandwagon.) I'll be working with a teacher next month on the 総まとめ読解, and doing some drills on the weekend for the 懲戒using the ドリル&ドリル book. Also going to set August 15th aside to take a day off and take a 模擬 to see how far off I am for N1 this year.
Reply
#66
gaiaslastlaugh Wrote:Welp, it's half year point, so time to get really fracking serious.
Don't frack too seriously, or gas prices will be all over the place again... I don't need more of those times where I get gas one day, and the next day its forty cent cheaper, and by the time I need gas again, it's gone back up...

I've mostly been doing extensive reading, working with my tutor (writing and speaking), and a tiny bit of listening practice through watching things. I also need to check how I'm doing, so when I get around to it, I'll redo one of my older mock tests (don't have any knew ones yet, but it's been most of a year since I saw the first one).
I was going to take the JCAT, but I registered for it a while ago and never took it, so my token has probably expired... I'll check when I have time.

I've been reading editorials on 社説比較くん (読売新聞 is a great one for this; more difficult language, and lots of facts, with opinions often being to the side; requires a bit more understanding to see what their lean is, so its helpful in judging how well you're understanding). Honestly, I could do without more politics in my life, but I'd rather prepare thoroughly; I really don't want to have to drive to Atlanta a third time...

Anyway, the vocab in these editorials is getting me a lot more than I expected; it's a bit obvious it would at some points, just because it's very specific vocabulary, but it's a lot more frequent than I'd like... It's going to take a lot of reading to prepare for this year's test.
Reply
#67
I`m going to do the N2 in Tokyo on Sunday. A pass is possible, but I need a good day - and then some luck. The lase month has been super busy and just keeping up with my anki reviews has been a fight.
Reply
#68
(2016-06-29, 7:41 pm)sholum Wrote: I've been reading editorials on 社説比較くん (読売新聞 is a great one for this; more difficult language, and lots of facts, with opinions often being to the side; requires a bit more understanding to see what their lean is, so its helpful in judging how well you're understanding). Honestly, I could do without more politics in my life, but I'd rather prepare thoroughly; I really don't want to have to drive to Atlanta a third time...

I've largely eschewed 社説 during Tadoku, but should get back into it. I have been reading articles from the Mag2 service (http://www.mag2.com/), which carries a ton of op-eds that tend to be a little more interesting than newspaper 社説, but still feel extremely "JLPT-ish" in tone, grammar and word choice. I primarily get article links mailed to me from their various メルマガ, which makes it easy to casually pour through my mail and pick up something to read when I need a break at work.
Edited: 2016-06-30, 10:37 am
Reply
#69
N1 here. First time taking it; expectations are pretty low but I'll do my best!
Reply
#70
(2016-07-01, 10:25 pm)Gekusu Wrote: N1 here. First time taking it; expectations are pretty low but I'll do my best!

(2016-06-29, 4:10 am)pm215 Wrote: Yep, I'll be taking N1 in London on Sunday. Should be OK if the real thing is in line with the mock tests...

(2016-06-30, 5:36 am)Hinsudesu Wrote: I`m going to do the N2 in Tokyo on Sunday. A pass is possible, but I need a good day - and then some luck. The lase month has been super busy and just keeping up with my anki reviews has been a fight.
  Good luck みんな! *\(^o^)/*Remember to bring a watch (just in case)+ ~2 pencils/1 eraser. Also try go to the bathroom before the test, and maybe write down ur answers (on the back of your test voucher so u can bring it home to check later) - only if that's ok to do where u take the test, though. (I forgot to do all that the last time.) I might also need some gums to keep me awake since I'll probably pull an all-nighter...
Edited: 2016-07-02, 11:23 am
Reply
#71
(2016-07-02, 11:20 am)miyurin Wrote: maybe write down ur answers (on the back of your test voucher so u can bring it home to check later) - only if that's ok to do where u take the test, though
Is that permitted anywhere? Seems pretty close to "taking the contents of the answer sheets outside the test center by copying them or recording them" which is a listed misconduct in the test rules I have which look like they're stock ones and not particular to the UK.
Reply
#72
(2016-07-02, 1:31 pm)pm215 Wrote:
(2016-07-02, 11:20 am)miyurin Wrote: maybe write down ur answers (on the back of your test voucher so u can bring it home to check later) - only if that's ok to do where u take the test, though
Is that permitted anywhere? Seems pretty close to "taking the contents of the answer sheets outside the test center by copying them or recording them" which is a listed misconduct in the test rules I have which look like they're stock ones and not particular to the UK.

This is not allowed, anywhere, by any standardized test or certification program, JLPT included.
Reply
#73
So how did it go for those who gave it a go this time around? I`m pretty sure that I won`t pass. The kanji section was more difficult for me than I the mock tests I`ve done previously, I had to guess for the last 5 questions of the reading and it was really difficult for me to keep up the concentration for the listening part (which I would have expected to be my strongest section…..)

On another slightly different note, I was pleasantly surprised to find the room was nice and cool. Previously I heard some stories about tests taking place in Japan in some very hot and humid gymnastic halls.
Reply
#74
N1 for me went pretty much how I expected it to go from the mock tests -- it felt about the same difficulty level, and I didn't screw anything up, I think. The marking system is a bit of a wild card but given I was scoring 85% or so in the mock tests I'm fairly confident I've passed.

Of course the evening after the test I encountered one of the vocab words I got wrong in the novel I'm reading :-)
Reply
#75
Most of the answers for N1 and N2 seem to be already up on the usual Chinese sites. Reading much better than expected, grammar completely s*** and listening who knows... It's a long wait again Smile

( http://jp.hjenglish.com/new/p790730/ )
Reply