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My little 2017 lower intermediate thread

#76
I'm planning to add a pre-made deck eventually to add review material, although, I'm really inexperienced with them.

Which decks would you guys recommend me to add once I'm done with the MNH 初級 level?



My planned progress to attempt JLPT N2 is the following:

I'm currently studying 6 days out of 7.

Adding 28 new Heisig Kanji everyday.
Studying all the vocabulary and the grammar from MNH lesson, at the pace of 1 lesson per day. (sometimes 1 lesson in 2 days when I want to drill better some grammar points).

If I don't get any delay, I should finish Heisig by April 12th.
From there on, I will have to review the onyomi and kunyomi of the 1000 JLPT2 Kanjis (I'm already doing it now, but I will do it more seriously after I'm done with Heisig). This means that I will be forced to review 15 Kanji (and a great deal of compounds) per day. Not sure I can do that, but why not trying? Wink



I have to say that these forums were very, very motivational for me. Thanks to you guys I started using flash cards for the first time in my life and I'm questioning why I didn't before. I'm still fixing my study method day by day when I see soemething works better.
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#77
February Stats

grammar: a backlog of 104 reviews, with 644 mature (2/1) - a backlog of 174 reviews, with 640 mature (1/1) = ?
kanji: 728 mature - 727 mature = +1
vocab: 5,475 mature - 5,416 mature = +59

Biggest thing was starting lessons again. Followed by weekly anime watching and some reading. But I just got a few english books from the library, so I haven't been reading much Japanese lately.

Kinda surprised that I learned so much vocab, because I've really been trying to keep the reviews low.
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#78
It's definitely true that when you state something, you will screw up.

I was following my strict program but then random events stopped me from studying properly last week.
1. Super busy at work
2. Wife crying all the night and I had to stay with her

I never skipped my reviews though, and I was still able to study a bit.

February 8 (tuesday) stats:

Elementary Minna no Nihongo Review: from 30 to 33 (only 3 lessons...)
Heiseg: from 340 to 464 (Here I though I did less!)

I find Heisig very helpful but some keywords, at least in the Italian version, are too similar. Thankfully I'm just replacing such keywords with the most common onyomi or kunyomi of the kanji when it doesn't make sense. There are just few cases but it's definitely helping.

Vocabulary: I have no idea! But it's growing and growing. I'm not really counting how many words I add, but I probably added around 150/200 this week. I'm adding all the words I find in the MNH review, and not only those, there is a section in the grammar book called "useful words", I'm adding those as well.
Edited: 2017-02-08, 12:52 am
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#79
Well for one reason or another, I finally had an opportunity to visit the local kinokuniya. Got myself a few non Japanese study things (stationary) and bought myself this N3 Sou Matome book. Hopefully making this purchase will give me the *push* I need to really get back into studying Japanese. I can't claim to have an AA degree in Japanese if I don't have some language ability.
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#80
I feel like whenever I'm posting here I'm just getting out of a study slump or something... But I guess that's just how it is if you are an on and off learner like me. *oops*

So, here we go: I'm currently getting out of a study slump! Big Grin Reviews have been piling up for a while but for the last few days I've been starting to tackle them. I did review some grammar here and there over the last few weeks, so it's not as if I stopped completely. Nothing systematic though, but I think that's just fine. I'm not really adding much new material just yet, but I'll probably just go ahead with it when I feel like it. (I'm really not someone who "clears all the backlog" before adding new stuff, because I find that rather depressing, and even if I feel super motivated I usually prefer spreading "clearing the backlog" out over a few days, so that the huge lump of reviews won't come back to haunt me all at once)

I think one problem that got me into the slump this time around is that I don't really have anything Japanese I'm super interested in right now. I liked watching some anime last season, but this season nothing has really piqued my interest yet. That hasn't really changed over the last few days, but... I somehow just REALLY felt like learning Japanese. I mean there's fun in that itself as well... right? Right??? I just sometimes tend to forget that, but I guess that's all good as long as I always come back to it.

@RawrPk Ah, when I read "sou matome" I thought you meant the usual books (you know the ones split up for reading/listening etc) but that's actually the 500mon book. I've seen an older version (for the old jlpt) in my local university bib and I kind of liked it. But at that point most of the stuff inside was still new to me, and it kind of felt like it would work better for review (and plugging some holes) than learning new stuff alltogether. But I think I like the format, it seems good to get some short practice in whenever you feel like it. I'm curious how you will like it Smile
Edited: 2017-02-14, 10:37 am
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#81
Hey guys!

My weekly update.

(Posted Feb15)

February 14 (Tuesday) stats:

Elementary Minna no Nihongo Review: from 33 to 35 (This is slowing down a lot!)
Heisig: from 464 to 563 (I'm now finally into the make your own story part of the book)

So basically I'm still reviewing grammar that I'm supposed to know, but I'm finding very useful to review the whole Minna No Nihongo, mostly for the vocabulary and for the kanji associated with it.

I really want to finish Heisig to dedicate myself to Kanjis in the REAL WAY. Heising is helping me a lot to memorize Kanji in the REAL WAY whenever I find a word that uses a Kanji that I already studied in Heisig.
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#82
(2017-02-14, 10:24 am)sumsum Wrote: @RawrPk Ah, when I read "sou matome" I thought you meant the usual books (you know the ones split up for reading/listening etc) but that's actually the 500mon book. I've seen an older version (for the old jlpt) in my local university bib and I kind of liked it. But at that point most of the stuff inside was still new to me, and it kind of felt like it would work better for review (and plugging some holes) than learning new stuff alltogether. But I think I like the format, it seems good to get some short practice in whenever you feel like it. I'm curious how you will like it Smile

I already own the entire N3 Sou Matome set but only called the new 500 Mon the review book because this version is specifically used to review after studying the set. I have "acquired" the older version too which is N3-N2 level. I thought buying the new version would be better due to the fact that it is still N3 level and streamlines with the Sou Matome set.

The Shin Nihongo Mon 500 book (what I like to call the "N3 Sou Matome review book"; should have been more specific XD ) is a book that should be used after studying the N3 Sou Matome set.

white rabbit japan Wrote:Recommended for you if:
  • You already learned some or most of the N3 kanji, vocabulary and grammar.
  • You want to prepare specially for JLPT N3.
  • You want an easy way to review what you have learned so far.

My plan is to review the Sou Matome set first and then use the Mon 500 afterwards. I'm sure it will be a great help.
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#83
I have a question for you guys.

How do you make / manage your grammar decks? I'd like to start a grammar deck as well (I didn't yet), and I'm looking for hints. What's in your opinion the best way to make it?

Something like


FRONT OF THE CARD:
A sentence with the grammar part of it highlighted

BACK OF THE CARD:
An explanation of the rule?
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#84
(2017-02-15, 7:58 pm)TheNoll Wrote: I have a question for you guys.

How do you make / manage your grammar decks? I'd like to start a grammar deck as well (I didn't yet), and I'm looking for hints. What's in your opinion the best way to make it?

Something like


FRONT OF THE CARD:
A sentence with the grammar part of it highlighted

BACK OF THE CARD:
An explanation of the rule?

I have had a terrible time with this. As much as I love anki, my grammar decks have been my least successful. I have many leeches and even the ones that consistently pass, I don't know as well as I should and often struggle with exam questions.

I have one deck that simply has the grammar point and a translation of the grammar point; I still review this, because it was my oldest grammar deck, but it is basically only useful for briefly reviewing grammar that I have seen in reading and understand well. For anything that I'm not familiar with from reading, it is all but useless.

I've been having more success with a deck where I put an entire sentence with the grammar point highlighted on the front, and a full explanation of the rule on the back. It is important to have more than one sentence (note/card) per grammar point, and if I were doing it again I would repeat the explanation of the rule on every card (right now I have some that are just additional example sentences, and sometimes I wish I could review the full explanation on the examples).

It's important to include information about what forms of connections the point allows, as that is often what the exams test (i.e. preceded by present/past tense of verb, followed by a noun, etc).

Because of the way grammar is tested on the JLPT, I think the cloze style might be best of all, but I personally find cloze frustrating (I keep guessing a related expression, and then wondering if the other expression would fit the sentence as well). But there is a Grammar Domination cloze-style deck that people speak highly of and that I would like to try at some point.
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#85
(2017-02-15, 7:58 pm)TheNoll Wrote: I have a question for you guys.

How do you make / manage your grammar decks? I'd like to start a grammar deck as well (I didn't yet), and I'm looking for hints. What's in your opinion the best way to make it?

Something like


FRONT OF THE CARD:
A sentence with the grammar part of it highlighted

BACK OF THE CARD:
An explanation of the rule?

I don't have very many 'grammar' cards, but the ones that I do have are simply disguised as vocabulary cards, with the 'grammatical expression' as the 'vocabulary word'.

So it would be like
Front:
学校行きました

Back:
学校行きました
I went to school
に: at, on, to

(Except, y'know, using complete definitions and sentences got from a reliable source instead of made up off the cuff, but for the sake of illustrating the idea that'll do.)

I thought about doing clozes but never could be bothered.
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#86
Hey guys,

I wanted to point out that NHK has a nice article today:

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k1001088...31000.html

I learned some very useful words from it:

議会
議員
築地市馬
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#87
My weekly update

February 22

I was so busy this week that I didn't study much. I feel ashamed.
Thing is, I got a job promotion and... well, many things to do because of it.
Today I have over 600 ANKI cards accumulated from the past 2 days. I will clear them tonight after work...

Here's my progress:

Elementary Minna no Nihongo Review: from 35 to 37
Heisig: from 563 to 640
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#88
I've finally decided to take the JCAT. I wanted to take it as soon as I finished my first year of study, but I didn't have a stable computer back then. That would have been on Sep 15, so it's been a while... but on the other hand, I haven't improved nearly as much since then, so there no way my score will be significantly different.

I haven't really done much to improve my Japanese lately other than finishing Zero Time Dilemma (japanese game/visual novel) since I have to study for the diplomacy exam... but we'll see how it goes. For now, I'll be waiting for my password.

Oh, and those sample questions... oh boy... they seemed either super easy or super scary/impossible! Not sure, but it seemed to go from something easy like N5-N4 to N1 stuff. At least I hope the challenging ones weren't representative of N2, because they were way beyond me.

I'd love to get a score slightly above 200, but realistically speaking it'll probably be somewhere between 150-200. I guess I should be happy if I get close to 200, but I'm so greedy Big Grin. I think I'll be a little disappointed if my score isn't even close to 200 after all the time I put in in my first year of study, but I'll have to wait and see.

By the way, do you guys know if you get the results as soon as the exam is over?
Edited: 2017-02-24, 12:28 pm
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#89
(2017-02-24, 12:19 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: By the way, do you guys know if you get the results as soon as the exam is over?

Yes, you do!
I think the mapping onto JLPT is a little bit off though. In my opinion 200 is more N3ish rather than N2ish.  (Nukemarine mentioned the same on his recent reddit post  and I'm inclined to agree) So looking at my score from last month (209) and how I feel like you are way ahead of me in terms of studying, (I'm usually strong on the listening parts, so I don't know about that one, but I really feel like you are way way better when it comes to grammar/vocab/reading) I think you'll probably crush the 200 easily Tongue
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#90
(2017-02-24, 12:19 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: I've finally decided to take the JCAT. I wanted to take it as soon as I finished my first year of study, but I didn't have a stable computer back then. That would have been on Sep 15, so it's been a while... but on the other hand, I haven't improved nearly as much since then, so there no way my score will be significantly different.

My recommendation would be to take the jcat in a distraction-free setting. For some reason every time I took the jcat I was always distracted (a visiting relative kept asking for help the first time; 2nd time was an urge to use the bathroom). Each question has a short time limit and the test is full screen. Exiting full screen will take you out of the test which will result in your skipping the question unanswered all together. :/

sumsum is right: your scores are shown as soon as you answer the last question. You also have the option to download a PDF file of your results for documentation as well.

Good luck with the jcat! I plan to take it soon also.
Edited: 2017-02-24, 1:22 pm
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#91
(2017-02-24, 1:09 pm)sumsum Wrote:
(2017-02-24, 12:19 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: By the way, do you guys know if you get the results as soon as the exam is over?

Yes, you do!
I think the mapping onto JLPT is a little bit off though. In my opinion 200 is more N3ish rather than N2ish. (Nukemarine mentioned the same on his recent reddit post and I'm inclined to agree) So looking at my score from last month (209) and how I feel like you are way ahead of me in terms of studying, (I'm usually strong on the listening parts, so I don't know about that one, but I really feel like you are way way better when it comes to grammar/vocab/reading) I think you'll probably crush the 200 easily Tongue

So perhaps 250 would be closer to N2 then? I guess 250 should be the score I'm really looking for... but now that I think about it, they're probably not THAT off. Oh well, I haven't even taken the test, so it's hard to know. But it would be nice to know how it actually lines up with the JLPT.

To be honest, I think you may be overestimating my proficiency a bit, or perhaps underestimating yours... but hopefully I'll live up to your expectations (haha)! Big Grin

Like I said before though, the toughest sample questions were wayyyy out of my league, so if the n2-equivalent questions are anything like that... which reminds me, how come can you not skip a difficult question if you don't know the answer? Being forced to wait until it times out is a pretty bad idea. Sad


(2017-02-24, 1:21 pm)RawrPk Wrote: My recommendation would be to take the jcat in a distraction-free setting. For some reason every time I took the jcat I was always distracted (a visiting relative kept asking for help the first time; 2nd time was an urge to use the bathroom). Each question has a short time limit and the test is full screen. Exiting full screen will take you out of the test which will result in your skipping the question unanswered all together. :/

sumsum is right: your scores are shown as soon as you answer the last question. You also have the option to download a PDF file of your results for documentation as well.

Good luck with the jcat! I plan to take it soon also.
Oh yeah, I'll set some time aside to focus on the test exclusively.

As for the full screen thing, I don't think I'll have any problems. But I'll make sure to close any software that could mess with it.

Thanks for the heads up and good luck on your test as well. Smile
Edited: 2017-02-24, 2:10 pm
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#92
Life has been insane. I've barely been able to keep up with Anki, much less add stuff. :p Hopefully it'll calm down sooner rather than later.

It's frustrating, not being able to progress. But...
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#93
Just finished the JCAT!  Cool

Kinda disappointed though since I couldn't score higher than 200. Not a bad result, but I thought it was going to be an easier test after sumsum gave me false hope! Cry  

Anyway, here are my results:

Listening 43
Vocabulary 57
Grammar 46
Reading 42
Total 188

Dat 語彙
Not surprisingly, vocabulary was my highest score. Interesting to see that some people who are able to score 200-300 sometimes don't score much higher than what I did.

Reading and listening
The same level? Kinda bullshit imo... or perhaps not so much, depending on how you look at it. Speed definitely plays a huge role and that applies to all skills. It's as if the reading section were trying to prove a point - that my working memory is still horrible in Japanese. I read the text, then check the answers but can't recall what I read, then I read the text again but I can't recall the answers... an infinite loop if you will.

Overall difficulty
Some passages were meant to be easier - furigana, spaced chunks of words, a few words in kana rather than kanji -, yet they didn't feel as easy as they should have. I also feel the test was throwing difficult words at me randomly, especially in the listening section.

Something that really confuses me is that while I'm supposed to be more than ready for N3 according to the results, most of the test seemed to consist of passages that were either more challenging than N3 or dumbed-down like N5-N4 exams (except the questions were definitely harder than N3). Definitely not representative of N3 vocabulary or grammar imho. I don't recall seeing common stuff like によって and に対して in the grammar section at all... in fact, not even in the reading section, yet I found it harder to read and answer quickly than reading regular N3 material such as most of the chapters in Tobira.

I find this kind of odd because the N3 vocabulary and reading samples I've seen are pretty easy. But the JCAT seemed to be attempting to gauge my level by using this weird mix of asking not-so-easy questions about dumbed-down material and suddenly making things harder than N3.


Anyway! For a free proficiency test, this was really cool. It's just that I can't help thinking it couldn't quite gauge my level, so I never felt at home because of how dynamic it was. I found myself answering a lot of questions based on my gut feeling with little confidence. More often than not, I had not idea whether my answer was right or wrong. I think the ideal thing would be to skip the question if you don't have much confidence, but if I were to do that my results would have been really off so I decided to answer everything unless I was totally clueless.
Edited: 2017-02-27, 1:39 am
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#94
(2017-02-27, 1:21 am)FlameseeK Wrote: Just finished the JCAT!  Cool

Kinda disappointed though since I couldn't score higher than 200. Not a bad result, but I thought it was going to be an easier test after sumsum gave me false hope! Cry 

Oh no, I'm so sorry Sad   I didn't mean to pressure you! And I was so sure as well Confused

(2017-02-27, 1:21 am)FlameseeK Wrote: Interesting to see that some people who are able to score 200-300 sometimes don't score much higher than what I did.

Yeah, I just looked at my scores from last month and they seem pretty similar... Actually if we exclude listening your score would be 5 points higher than mine. My listening score (69) just carries me so much, that I somehow score over 200 (Your vocab score is 12 higher than mine!) I thought something similar to my listening score might happen with your reading score, but you said you forgot what you read a couple of times Confused  Maybe for reading my test taking skills just were a little better? I'm still pretty convinced your reading skill in a normal environment is higher than mine, really! So confusing!

I guess my listening score is just a mistery in itself. But it was my highest score on the N3 too, so I guess it's not really surprising that it's highest on the J-CAT as well :S I just don't really feel like it's all that great, but apparently I'm pretty good at picking up the important parts...


(2017-02-27, 1:21 am)FlameseeK Wrote: Something that really confuses me is that while I'm supposed to be more than ready for N3 according to the results, most of the test seemed to consist of passages that were either more challenging than N3 or dumbed-down like N5-N4 exams (except the questions were definitely harder than N3). Definitely not representative of N3 vocabulary or grammar imho. I don't recall seeing common stuff like によって and に対して in the grammar section at all... in fact, not even in the reading section, yet I found it harder to read and answer quickly than reading regular N3 material such as most of the chapters in Tobira.

Funnily enough, I don't think I've seen many of the patterns taught in the N3 books on the actual N3 I took in December. So I'm not sure if I'd really take those prep books as a measurement. (I think what they teach is important and COULD be on the test, but there might as well be questions to N5/N4 patterns, maybe in a slightly more complex sentence than you'd see on the lower levels or so and some stuff seemed more like common collocations)
With the J-CAT I felt like the Vocab and Grammar sections weren't all that long, but maybe I remember that wrong. I remember though that the lapses in difficulty especially in the reading section through me off a bit as well. When an easy question popped up, I kind of thought "huuuh? so did I get the previous question wrong?" Though I'm not entirely sure if that's how it actually works (I mean maybe they don't change difficulty after every question but only every other or so?) But yeah it can be a bit irritating when you work your way through what you perceive to be a really difficult text and then the next text suddenly has easy vocab and furigana everywhere.
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#95
Yeah, the difficulty seems very dynamic, so the changes are pretty evident.

Your score in listening is actually pretty high! If all your skills were just as good, you'd probably be ready for N1 (according to the test). Or almost ready? At the very least, N2 wouldn't be much of an issue if the score is anything to go by.

I don't know about my reading being better to be fair. I mean, I'm not sure what gives you that impression... it may very well be the case that we just read different kinds of text. Reading the news, blogs, textbooks, a sci-fi novel,  playing a fantasy rpg... these are all different activities, even though they may share certain core elements.

Or maybe you think some of the stuff I mentioned reading here seemed more challenging than what you usually read? That may also be misleading because it may still be a slow and painful experience. If anything, your reading is probably significantly better than you realize. Wink
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#96
Hey there guys! How are you?

I'm coming here to report my progress. I got a bit of a burnout last week due to skipping 2 Anki days and reviews accumulating. I realized the most frustrating part of it was clearing the 300+ Heisig deck. While I find Heisig interesting for the order he put the Kanji in and I definitely plan to finish his book, sometimes it frustrate me.

I decided to slow down with Heisig to avoid a complete Burnout and it was the best choice made. I had a lot of fun studying yesterday and skipping Heisig for once.

Note that I'm still reviewing all the Heisig reviews in Anki, I just didn't add any new one for few days.


I also started from yesterday a listening deck. I love it! Especially because I can extract the mp3 and listen them from work.


Here's my stat for March 1st:

Elementary Minna no Nihongo Review: from 37 to 39
Heisig: from 640 to 720

Added listening reviews, some of them voiced by wife, the majority of them by Google Translate.


It's been 1 month and half after I started this study adventure, and I'm glad to see that now more than 50% of Anki cards are "Mature".

Total cards is still quite low (I made them myself, one by one), there are around 2300 cards, growing and growing.

I can definitely feel an improvement from 45 days ago, although there's still a lot to be done. I can't wait to finish reviewing the MNH and move to the Intermediate one.
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#97
I've just recalled a good example to illustrate how the JACT turns supposedly simple stuff into much more complicated questions. One of the conversations in the listening section was about when the people were going to do something. They only talked about months. Next thing you know, the 4 answers available are 冬, 夏, 春, and 秋. So you basically have to determine the actual season rather than the months. If you don't know much about when seasons begin and end in Japan. too bad.
Edited: 2017-03-01, 9:55 am
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#98
March Stats

Vs. Last Month
New Grammar: 1 mature (from lessons with my new teacher)
grammar: backlog of 54 cards, with 640 mature (3/1) -  a backlog of 104 reviews, with 644 mature (2/1)  = +50
kanji: 736 mature - 728 mature = +8
vocab: 5,552 mature - 5,475 mature = +77

Again, I remain surprised at just how much vocab I add. Especially since I am trying hard to keep my daily reviews under 100. It's also nice to see the slow and steady decrease in my grammar backlog.

The big stories this month were
  1. getting more regular with italki lessons
  2. Meeting with an organizer of the conference I'll be speaking at in December 
  3. regular anime (1 episode a week)
  4. finishing orange volume 3
  5. doing more japanese toastmasters
I hope to finish orange volume 4 this month.

Vs. January 1
New Grammar: 1 mature (from lessons with my new teacher)
grammar: backlog of 54 cards, with 640 mature (3/1) - a backlog of 174 reviews, with 640 mature (1/1)  = +120
kanji: 736 mature - 727 mature = +9
vocab: 5,552 mature - 5,416 mature = +136
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#99
OMG Shirokuma episode 39 they totally change the theme song again!
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(2017-02-27, 3:33 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: If anything, your reading is probably significantly better than you realize. Wink

Maybe that's true. I think I usually just shy away from difficult texts and stay in my comfort zone a lot. I remember that during the J-CAT I'd look at some of the texts and find myself thinking "NO WAY I can read that" and then still making it somehow through it and being at least somewhat confident about my answer. So uh... I guess I should just start tackling more difficult texts but I get really scared off if I see a huge wall of kanji Tongue

Anyway, I finally caught up on my iknow reviews and am back to mainly adding new stuff, yay! Maybe I'll finally be able to finish the Core2k? (I'm currently at 1824/2000)... I actually have no idea how many words I really know. Between wanikani, iknow, some dropped anki decks, the words from my textbooks and stuff I just randomly picked up it's really really hard to tell. Especially between iknow and the beginner textbooks there's a huge overlap, but it's not as if it's exactly the same. Well I guess it doesn't really matter as long as I keep learning. Smile

I recently found an old study notebook of mine and I kind of liked looking through it. I just wrote stuff in there during the course I took back then and I'd especially write down any words I struggled with. It's not like it's a super thought-through format and I wasn't writing down everything I learned or so, but I still found it pretty useful to look through it again later that day or before the next session and review what was difficult for me. Anyway, I kind of started that kind of journal once more, and we'll have to see how it goes. I have to admit I'm really rusty with writing Japanese by hand but so far it's kind of fun!
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