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My little 2017 lower intermediate thread

#26
@sumsum
What does the 狐 say?
コンコン, apparently. Can't say I've ever heard a fox bark like that before... Of course, I can't say I've heard one say 'bark' either...
Edited: 2017-01-06, 5:03 pm
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#27
Finally getting to the point I'm caught up with reviews again. Whoo! Which means I should be adding new stuff soon. Eventually.
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#28
It's been an interesting little run for me with Japanese lately.

I just had my 2nd lesson with my teacher. It was great, but humbling. Basically, I've come to realize that there's LOTS of different way to talk about work. The high level, 1 sentence is stuff is easy. But man, once he asks a few questions, it can get hard fast.

I think that having a lesson every other week is a good pace for me. But the next lesson I'll go from 30 to 60 minutes.

Next Friday I have a bilingual toastmasters meeting. I'm doing the "Word of the Day" role, and I'll be giving a short prepared speech on the word 専門用語.

I've found that my anki reviews haven't been going down as quickly as I'd like. I'm still aiming for no more than 100 reviews a day, but even with only adding 2 new cards a day, I still have some days where it's well over 100. Though it looks like tomorrow it will be below 100 again.

I've been doing a lot of reading, which I'm told is very good for me Big Grin

Though I have to say that I find myself oftentimes wanting to add more than 1 word to anki a day, which means that the number of unseen cards has the potential to balloon, which is something I'm trying hard to avoid!
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#29
(2017-01-08, 4:02 pm)ariariari Wrote: Next Friday I have a bilingual toastmasters meeting.
That sounds like a wonderful resource especially since you are tuning up for public speech later this year. Is it strictly English/Japanese? ...or other languages mixed in? I should search out something like this in my city.

(2017-01-08, 4:02 pm)ariariari Wrote: I've found that my anki reviews haven't been going down as quickly as I'd like. I'm still aiming for no more than 100 reviews a day, but even with only adding 2 new cards a day, I still have some days where it's well over 100. Though it looks like tomorrow it will be below 100 again.
....
Though I have to say that I find myself oftentimes wanting to add more than 1 word to anki a day, which means that the number of unseen cards has the potential to balloon, which is something I'm trying hard to avoid!
I may have mentioned this before, but you may want to try monkeying with your anki settings to get your workload down quicker. I temporarily lowered my settings over the holidays so I could keep up with reviews while I was frolicking in the snow for a week. I managed to get my reviews down to about 2/3 of my usual workload without sacrificing much accuracy.

Lowering your workload while filling the extra time with more reading could give you enough exposure to stay fairly accurate. I've done a fair amount of analysis on how different anki settings affect workload and accuracy so feel fee to PM me if you'd like some personalized suggestions.
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#30
Boom: just finished Orange volume 2. I added a bunch of anki vocab too.

Also, yesterday I did my first role in Japanese toastmasters in a while. I wrote a short little speech myself, had my teacher review it, and then he corrected it with all sorts of funky vocab and grammar. I anki'd the vocab. I think that I'm going to try to do 1 Japanese role a month in Toastmasters this year.

So I'm in the weird situation where my anki has a huge backlog of "unseen" vocab (~60 cards). Today I went from 2 to 5 new cards a day, and tomorrow I'll unfortunately have over 100 vocab review.

So basically, I'm gonna try to pull away from Japanese this week, and just focus on getting my anki under control.

Next Sunday I have my next lesson with my teacher. I decided to increase the lesson length from 30 to 60 minutes. The lessons *feel* easy, which I think is a sign of how skilled the teacher is.

How's everyone else's studying going?
Edited: 2017-01-14, 8:08 pm
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#31
I learned a suite of interesting words recently: 時速、光速、音速

I think that I've know 時速 for years. I want to say I first encountered it in NHK Easy when there was talk about a train going to fast and crashing.

Earlier this month I learned 光速, and was like "that makes sense, I guess there's a pattern?". They were talking about how time travel might be possible if you can go faster than the speed of light.

I was talking about this with a Japanese friend recently and she was like "Oh, do you know 音速 too? It will be so easy for you." And I was like "LOL, yes - it is!"

I love patterns like this in Japanese, because it makes growing my voab so easy!
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#32
This year I have decided to set my goal to be consistent study rather than reaching a particular level. This way each day has it's own goals. Setting big goals are much harder to stay motivated I think.

I am also starting to enjoy reading. Do you recommend skimming over the bits not understood (thus gaining more exposure) or lookup every unknown word?
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#33
I might not be the best to advise since I'm still working on getting better myself, but back when I was just starting novels, my most fluent friend advised me to read every word, never skim. At the time I knew so few kanji that I would entertain myself by mentally pronouncing every word I couldn't read as *bleep*. I used to joke that reading Japanese sounded like a shock jock on AM radio in my head.

On the other hand, try to avoid looking up words any more than necessary. I find a good compromise for me is to underline or highlight words I don't know, but don't stop to figure them out. You can use your notes later to make a vocabulary list if you need to, but keep reading. Even at the slowest reading pace, your ability to consume material by reading will exceed the speed at which you can learn new words.
Edited: 2017-01-16, 8:14 am
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#34
@kooped The two methods you described are basically extensive vs. intensive reading. (First one is focused on a lot of exposure, second one means looking up every word and trying to understand each sentence).

I kind of try to do both. I'd prefer most of my reading to be extensive, but not understanding huge parts can sometimes hurt my motivation as well. On the other hand only doing intensive reading would probably burn me out even faster. So I kind of need both right now Smile

For intensive reading I liked to use satori reader, because looking stuff up is just so easy, and am now working through some stories at etoeto. I should probably read other stuff intensive as well, but I'm a lazy person...

For extensive reading I use anything I'm currently at least mildly interested in and that is on a level that doesn't make me want to kill myself right away. (My standards are not very high...) So for now I'm trying to read short stories aimed at children and want to look into longer children's books next and work my way up from there. I agree with tanaquil to at least try to read every word, even if it's a lot of *bleep* (haha). I'm not super strict with the "not looking up anything" part though. If I see a word repeatedly and still don't get it, but it really starts to bug me, I might look it up. But I most certainly don't look up every word, I don't know.

Another topic: I just took the J-CAT today! Apparently I did improve quite a bit since april last year as I got 209 (+32) overall. My distribution was: Listening 69 (+9) ; Vocabulary 45 (+2) ; Grammar 41 (+16) ; Reading 54 (+5). I'm especially happy about the improvement in my grammar score (which was abysmal the last time around). Actually overall on the report sheet it says, that this is already roughly Level 2 of the old JLPT. Considering that I'm fairly sure that I got crushed by the vocab on N3 in December that's a bit surprising... But then again my score is still rather unbalanced, and without the high listening score, I wouldn't be in that category at all. Overall the score reflects pretty well what I thought after taking the JLPT as well: I'm doing good, when I have some context (listening/reading), but the more the questions focus on small details of the language (vocab/grammar) the worse I get.
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#35
Just coming back to say that I agree with everything sumsum said. It's a lot of using different techniques at different times, depending on what you need motivationally.

One thing I'm currently doing for extensive vs. intensive reading, which seems to be helping me:

I have a Japanese novel on my Kindle Paperwhite. For extensive reading, I read on the Paperwhite. Right now, I have a J-J dictionary installed and I try to make a habit of touch-looking-up every word I have trouble with, but that's just so the word will get saved in my vocab list. Most of the time I don't even bother to read the definition. At most, I try to note whether the word was pronounced the way I thought or not. I know a lot of kanji now, but often have the "is that pronounced on-on, kun-on, or what?" problem with unfamiliar words, so a regular check helps me there. At some point, I might just give up the touch-lookup and go for reading straight through. It would certainly increase my speed because the stupid kindle takes a few seconds to respond each time.

For intensive reading, I took that same novel (actually an earlier novel in the series, I am already outpacing myself...) and converted it to text, then broke it up into sentences and added it to anki as a sentence deck. I add a few sentences to my reviews every day. At first I was just doing the sentences in the order they appeared in the book (deleting the super easy ones); I found that a bit slow, but still helpful. Lately I installed MorphMan and have been using its functionality to show me n+1 sentences from my sentence deck - this is working a lot better for me, because I learn new words more quickly and see more interaction between the sentence deck and other vocabulary I struggle with.

It is in Anki during the intensive process that I will take a few minutes with each card to look up a word in multiple dictionaries, google it to see if it's an idiom, puzzle over a grammar point, copy in a J-J definition, add audio, etc. I learn so much this way. And if I continue with my extensive reading in the same corpus, I often see the same thing I just learned during intensive reading come up again during extensive reading, and it creates a great reinforcement loop.
Edited: 2017-01-16, 11:10 am
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#36
@kooped Most of my reading these days is manga. And I often look up words on my phone as I go (I have the browser set to jisho.org). It normally takes me just a few seconds to look up the word.

There's a very interesting discussion here on intensive vs. extensive reading. You can also read this page to better understand the differences:

https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/artic...ve-reading

It looks like sometimes intensive reading is often done in the classroom, where they give you questions after reading something.

Obviously my manga don't come with questions Smile
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#37
I'm also working on consistency! I'm waiting for life to calm down some so I can start adding new stuff, but right now I'm working on just keeping up with Anki.

Haven't had much time to read, but I'll get there eventually.
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#38
Towards the end of 2016 I lowered my anki settings on the decks which were taking me the most time every day. I was able to lower my workload to about 2/3 of what it was previously mostly by lowering the amount of relearning steps for failed cards to only one review. So far my accuracy hasn't suffered much so I'm going to leave the settings for a while and use the extra time for reading.

So far I'm adding two dialogs per day from jpod101's beginner dialogs. I've already learned most of the vocabulary for the first season, about 200 dialogs. The first 10-20 were stupidly easy, but I'm over halfway through and the dialogs I'm reading now are a good level for me. I'm looking up the majority of the unknown words - especially the words that I feel I should know just to confirm the it's the word I think it is and the pronounciation. Words which don't look familiar I don't look up as often although I do look them up when I feel like it, especially if it's hindering my understanding of the sentence.

I'm adding the dialogs to anki mainly to make sure I read them every day, but also because I want to read them more than once. I space them far apart and never fail a card because I'm not memorizing them, just practicing. I set them so I see them once the first day, then 5 days later, then 15, then 2 months later. I like the subsequent read-throughs because I remember enough of the story to help me with the vocabulary without looking up many of the words. I can usually read much faster the 2nd and 3rd times, so I think it's worth the time I'm spending.

I'll probably finish the batch of dialogs I'm working on and then either move on to other seasons or switch to Lingq. I've recently revisited Lingq and it seems to have a much better interface for what I'm trying to do. It seems to have all of the advantages of jpod along with easier vocabulary card creation, a nice iOS app, and a built-in morphman-like functionality. So far I've only done a few lessons, but I like what I've seen. Is anyone using Lingq?
Edited: 2017-01-17, 6:43 pm
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#39
I'm thinking about changing the language of my operating system(windows) from english to japanese. I've done that with facebook and I like it so far Smile
Has anyone else done the same?
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#40
My Windows 7 install isn't entirely in Japanese, but since I have my location settings set for playing Japanese games, some programs and most install wizards are in Japanese. If you're familiar with how things on your operating system work, and can easily look up words you don't know, I think you'll be fine; most techy Japanese is English anyway.

My laptop (currently running Precise Puppy 5.7.1) is completely in Japanese, so unless the program is English only, it shows up in Japanese. The only time I really had trouble with it was when I was using Libreoffice Calc, since there was a lot of math, economics, etc. terminology that I didn't know (I think the worst was when I was doing spreadsheets for an economics class, since they have to use a lot of fancy words for 'do this algebra'), it didn't cause me that much trouble though.

I don't suggest suddenly switching to a completely new operating system at the same time though; i+1 and all that.
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#41
I'm past lower intermediate level, but when I first started using my computer in Japanese it really helped level up my reading. Make sure you take notes on how to switch back, and don't be afraid to switch to English when you're stumped, take notes, and then switch back to Japanese. Eventually you'll get used to things & it'll get easier. In Windows 7 or Vista you'll probably need to get Vistalizator. I'm not sure about Windows 8, but in Windows 10 you just need to download the language pack and change the language order in Settings.
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#42
(2017-01-17, 5:52 pm)Raschaverak Wrote: I'm thinking about changing the language of my operating system(windows) from english to japanese. I've done that with facebook and I like it so far Smile
Has anyone else done the same?

I'm annoyed actually that I can seem to set Japanese as the display language for Windows 10. Maybe I'm missing something but it doesn't seem to be an option. Maybe it's a problem that I didn't set it as a display language when I initially installed the language pack, not sure.

I have my locale set to Japanese though so various apps show up in Japanese, and web pages default to Japanese. I had my iPhone in Japanese, but I wasn't careful enough in vetting my Android and can't make it in Japanese either. Be careful when phone shopping... just because you can install a language's fonts and keyboards doesn't mean you can set the phone into that language. (I might root my phone to forcibly change it soon though; I'm getting close enough to the end of my contract that the risk is low. Supposedly you can set to any language if your phone is rooted.)

I kind of randomly have a bunch of apps in Japanese and others in English anyway, and it's pretty good practice I think to have the Japanese interfaces there. Also I play almost all my games in Japanese. Every once in awhile I'm trying to do something and need to read a bunch of documentation to figure it out and that can get frustrating just because it still takes me 2-3 times longer to read Japanese than to read English and I'm trying to get the task done. Sometimes I muscle through but sometimes I just switch to English for the time being to get through a task that I'm having trouble working out, depending on how much of a hurry I'm in.

I also ran into an issue on steam when I was updating my credit card, and couldn't get it to work. In the Japanese translation two of the fields were asking for the same thing, and it wasn't clear what was really going on... in the English one was town and one was zipcode. In Hearthstone I've run into problems trying to work sort my collection... for example, in English I can type 'new' and see just new cards, but in Japanese none of 'new', '新しい' or '新' have that effect. (Hmmm, I didn't try 新着 .... ) Well, there's probably documentation, but I'd have to locate it and read it. It's really just a problem that I started Hearthstone before it had a Japanese translation... I'm playing a similar game called Shadowverse in Japanese from the start and because I'm going through all the tutorials and everything in Japanese I know how to operate everything in Japanese. If I changed it to English I'd get lost!

Also I recommend Shadowverse pretty highly; the single-player game runs you through what's basically a fantasy-adventure visual novel broken up by episodes of trading card game fights against the AI. There's a fair bit of repetition, but that's actually an advantage for learners. There's subtitles for the dialogue which is really nice. All for the very reasonable price of 'free'.

I'm definitely going to finish the solo campaign and come back for any extensions to it. I'm not sure how good it is as a card game, but I'll give it a chance on that front too.

Annnyway, the more apps you work with in Japanese the easier it is to work with more in Japanese... there's just tons of overlap between apps in the ways they name buttons and menus, and even the documentation tends to use the same words. Obviously there's some specialization, there will be things that show up in a graphics editing program that don't show up in a word processor and vice versa. Even so, 'computer Japanese' is a pretty manageable subset of the language if you aren't scared of learning a few complex kanji that are rather obscure outside of computer interfaces (and a bunch of common kanji of course, and tons of katakana words...)
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#43
(2017-01-18, 12:30 am)SomeCallMeChris Wrote: (I might root my phone to forcibly change it soon though; I'm getting close enough to the end of my contract that the risk is low. Supposedly you can set to any language if your phone is rooted.)

Depends on which phone it is. I can't root my S7 because the US models have a different processor with a locked bootloader (Verizon is the only provider with any service around here, so I'm forced to buy their phones if I want to use it without wifi). You're probably fine if you aren't in the US though (for most phones, the general market version is rootable).

I wish they didn't hide the language options Sad Optimization is great and all, but the only thing I really want is to be able to run my phone like I want (and in Japanese).
It has Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, one other option labeled 中文 that I don't recognize, Vietnamese, and Spanish, but not Japanese (or French, strangely enough).
They don't even take the missing language options out of the phone, they just hide them...

Anyway, that's the only reason my phone isn't also set to Japanese.
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#44
(2017-01-18, 12:55 am)sholum Wrote: Depends on which phone it is. I can't root my S7 because the US models have a different processor with a locked bootloader (Verizon is the only provider with any service around here, so I'm forced to buy their phones if I want to use it without wifi). You're probably fine if you aren't in the US though (for most phones, the general market version is rootable).

I am in the US, and I have a Verizon S5... I'm pretty sure it can be rooted, but it may require a very specific procedure to do so. Anyway, I'm going to make absolutely sure that my next phone can run in Japanese; if that means changing providers, buying my phone from someone other than my provider, or even just going back to the iPhone. Having my phone in English is really frustrating because so many apps run in whatever language your phone is set to; if you can't change the language to japanese, you can't have most Japanese apps even when they're theoretically available.
Edited: 2017-01-18, 1:18 am
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#45
Some possibly useful links:
How to change the system language in Windows 10: http://www.howtogeek.com/232659/how-to-c...indows-10/

How to change your android device to Japanese without rooting:
http://droider.eu/2013/11/03/how-to-get-...and-above/
(Ignore the Htc sync part. If you've plugged your device into your computer it likely installed the drivers, if not install Samsung Kies software or the equivalent for your phone's manufacturer)
For the smallest, most up to date download, I'd get adb & fastboot, AKA "SDK platform tools", from the official Android site, instead of getting the huge full Android SDK download: https://developer.android.com/studio/rel...tools.html
After you run the command in the article you should be able to switch the device to any language via the Morelocale2 app.
Edited: 2017-01-18, 2:53 am
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#46
Hello guys, this is my first post.

I have been lurking these forums, found by chance btw, for about 2 weeks.

I wanted to make this post to personally say a big thank you to ariariari and all the other people that posted here and in his past year N3 thread.

I currently live in Japan (Tokyo), and I studied Japanese for about 9 months from the first two Minna No Nihongo elementary level books. I have a decent to good vocabolary thanks to those lessons and because I live here in Japan, however my Japanese is a "broken Japanese", enough to survive, not enough to work with it.

While I have a decent job right now, I really want to improve my Japanese and eventually become fluent with it, so in the last 2 weeks I have been using all my free time for studying it.

I have to say that your threads were very, very motivational for me! I found a lot of new interesting ways of studying and while I'm still following my rules, I have to say that you encouraged me a LOT to get into this.

Everyday from my office I lurk your forums and modify my study program based on the things you guys do.

I even decided to do RTK, even though I already know a bunch of Kanji (I would say roughly 500 if not less), because I see how beneficial it is to learn to attach the "primitives" to build new characters and eventually remember them.



So, now, I want to tell you what's my study plan and where I am right now:


I decided to REVIEW completely the Minna no Nihongo two books, as it has been almost 2 years since I studied Japanese. This meant going though the annoying "the pen is on the table" part of the book, but it did let me pick some grammar rules I kinda forgot, even though they are very basic.

To make the review more useful, I've flashcarded all the Kanji that appears in the Minna No Nihongo books, adding them when I find them.

I flashcarded some of the grammar rules (at least the one I was not 100% sure of), but I'm not finding it very useful.

I'm studying in the traditional way, reading the lesson chapter, checking the grammar points, adding the unknown words as I go, drilling the grammar, reading the Kaiwa.

I started RTK yesterday and did the first 4 lessons (plan to add more tonight once I'm off the office), flashcarded them.

Take note that I'm not using premade decks due to lack of experience with them and due to me finding it more convenient to make my deck in Italian (being one).

And nice to meet you all Smile
Edited: 2017-01-18, 2:51 am
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#47
Nice to meet you, TheNoll!

It seems like you've got your study plan going already, but remember, if after a while you decide that certain things that the others are doing don't fit you, you can change them.
For instance, I use fewer learning steps than some of the people here (I only have 1, 5, and 10 minute intervals); I found that I preferred fewer learning steps and slightly lower retention rate on cards less than a week or two old to adding so much extra time to study new cards.

The grammar cards I've done are a mix of recognition (sentence on front, grammar point on back) and production (sentence with grammar point replaced by its intended use). Grammar is a little more difficult than vocabulary to study in Anki, I think.

Good studies! Hope to see you around!
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#48
(2017-01-18, 2:02 pm)sholum Wrote: Nice to meet you, TheNoll!

It seems like you've got your study plan going already, but remember, if after a while you decide that certain things that the others are doing don't fit you, you can change them.
For instance, I use fewer learning steps than some of the people here (I only have 1, 5, and 10 minute intervals); I found that I preferred fewer learning steps and slightly lower retention rate on cards less than a week or two old to adding so much extra time to study new cards.

The grammar cards I've done are a mix of recognition (sentence on front, grammar point on back) and production (sentence with grammar point replaced by its intended use). Grammar is a little more difficult than vocabulary to study in Anki, I think.

Good studies! Hope to see you around!

I agree, my grammar cards have been the least successful by far. Something about grammar just resists anki.

Some people report having the greatest success with grammar using cloze deletion. I need to try that again (I have the grammar domination deck in my "deferred" pile).

Good luck, TheNoll! You are so lucky to be living in Japan. Every trip to the combini is a learning opportunity.
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#49
(2017-01-18, 2:21 am)Bokusenou Wrote: Some possibly useful links:
How to change the system language in Windows 10: http://www.howtogeek.com/232659/how-to-c...indows-10/
I'd seen this page before and been to those settings before, but it occurred to me this time to try something pretty simple that I hadn't done before. Change the language to English and then change it back to Japanese (with suitable rebooting, which is probably what stopped me before. Y'know, you go to start shutting everything down and get distracted by the project with unsaved data... happens to everyone right?)

Anyway, yeah. If you install something as the 'default language' without making it the 'display language' that's apparently how you fix it - change away and change back, there's no switch for turning it on as 'display language'. So now my Windows is fully in Japanese. Smile

Quote:How to change your android device to Japanese without rooting:
http://droider.eu/2013/11/03/how-to-get-...and-above/
(Ignore the Htc sync part. If you've plugged your device into your computer it likely installed the drivers, if not install Samsung Kies software or the equivalent for your phone's manufacturer)
For the smallest, most up to date download, I'd get adb & fastboot, AKA "SDK platform tools", from the official Android site, instead of getting the huge full Android SDK download: https://developer.android.com/studio/rel...tools.html
After you run the command in the article you should be able to switch the device to any language via the Morelocale2 app.
I had no idea this was even possible. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, knowing programmaing and Linux, I knew in theory that developer tools had to be able to manipulate privileges but knowing it must be possible and where to start doing it are very different things.

Anyway it worked perfectly, the phone is in Japanese now, and I feel much better about it that I've toggled just the one permission that I needed instead of rooting the phone. There's apparently ways to set up the phone to be 'root on demand' instead of 'always root' with a sudo-like app which wouldn't be quite as terrible of a security risk, but still, this is much more the way to go about it.

For anyone reading who's not experienced with linux system administration (which I expect is most people reading this)... if you just want to make your phone Japanese, I highly recommend the above method. It's much safer than rooting your phone, both in not being denied updates by zealous vendors detecting rooting and in not creating security risks for yourself.

ありがとうございました。助かりました!
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#50
Hello guys!

Today's update.

I wasn't able to do reviews at work (I usually do them during my lunch break) because I didn't really took my lunch break! (Very busy day).

I will do my reviews tonight after work, while I usually allocate that time to study new things.

What I'm doing now, since my company permits me is listening to youtube random animes to get more Japanese immersion. I found this anime that is very easy to understand, as the characters are all elementary school kids. I grasp almost everything of it: 今日の五の二

And I found an interesting work like スカートめくり
Couldn't have find that in my textbooks for sure!

Regarding Heisen, I completed the first 100, and plan to add more tonight after review. 
I'd love to use this website flashcards but unfortunately they don't support the Italian version of Heiseg, so the keywords are different.
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