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Japanese Language Study Log: sholum

#1
My personal 'dairy' thread (kept reading 'diary' like that when gaiaslastlaugh was asking if we could make something like this).
Figured I'd make my own of these, so I can have somewhere to post the things that aren't quite on topic in the other threads. I hope to make this useful for others, and I'll try to keep it legible. Feel free to comment, ask questions, etc.
Gonna try to update every other week; might not happen every biweekly period; might happen before two weeks has passed; depends on if something big/interesting/irregular happened or not.

Past:
Started studying Japanese (or at least attempting to) at least a year before I joined here, so around 2010... Maybe earlier, but I don't remember.

Kana
Started with kana. I did these with regular flashcards, for some reason or another; recognition and production. I did hiragana in one week (hiragana | romaji), then katakana the next week (katakana | hiragana); I reviewed with the flashcards for a couple more weeks, I think, then relied on seeing them in the wild (old Pokemon games: all kana; didn't actually read anything, because I had almost no vocabulary) and looking through my cards for any that I'd forgotten.

Kanji
Did RTK the lazy way (kanji -> keyword) in Anki just so I could learn to 'see' kanji, since I was having tons of trouble just distinguishing characters. This worked quite well, and I finished this exercise in about four months (don't have the actual timescale, because that deck is long dead).
Recently started learning to actually write the kanji.

Vocabulary
Didn't really make any progress on vocab until after I'd finished the lazy RTK run. Tried various word lists on various learning sites (and not in Anki, for some reason) and using flashcards (didn't last long). I eventually found iKnow (when it wasn't called iKnow and was free) and was digging that for a while, but then it went payed again, and I'm a super cheapskate, so I finally moved to Anki and started on Core 2k again with it. Did the regular steps for a while, then got tired of all the extra cards, sounds I didn't use, and images that weren't very helpful, so I switched to one of the compiled versions of Core 2k and 6k and removed those fields.

About half way through, I started adding a lot of new cards per day (60, 100, and even more a couple of times); I managed to keep up with it all the way until I added the last few cards of 6k, and burnt out shortly after (probably something to do with school or life).

Some months later, I tried reining it back in, but realized I'd forgotten a whole bunch of them and decided to start over from scratch with the Core 10k deck. Started 30months ago, finished adding cards from Core6k 23months ago, finished adding from Core 10k 16months ago.

Reading, listening, writing, speaking, misc:
Started reading easy stuff (NHK EASY, JOI teacher's blogs, a tiny bit of easy manga with furigana, etc) about 2k into my first run through of Core. Eventually moved on to mostly manga with a bit of VNs, then added more games, then regular news articles, then webnovels and not-newspaper articles, recently got to where I'm okay with LNs.
Only recently been able to write or speak anything, really; very slow and halting; often wrong, even if I should know how to form the thing I screwed up.
Started watching YouTube videos a few months ago, and Japanese subbed (occasionally unsubbed) anime a couple of months ago. Before that, it was mostly music (I found some Japanese bands I liked around the time I started learning kana; haven't added many since... too picky), some occasional learner stuff (always too boring to continue), and English subbed anime (which is mostly useless).

Started learning from a tutor in mid to late 2015 (JLPT practice). She's been helping with my listening and production skills, and has helped me find good resources for the JLPT. For a shy person like myself (you wouldn't think it, would you?) in an area with almost no Japanese speakers, she's been a major help; I lucked out on finding such a good tutor in real life, on the first try even.


Present:
- Adding vocab from things I read using Rikaisama
- Watching the most anime I have in a while (usually subbed), less YouTube though (the rest of the site makes me procrastinate, so I have to limit access)
- Conversation and writing practice with my tutor (was delayed by test prep until a couple weeks ago)
- About to start a short paper on a topic relevant to my field of study (electrical/computer engineering)

Current Tadoku graph:
[Image: TadokuPlot201610_zps7t0ya0wm.png]
Some of the numbers from the older rounds surprised me! Did past me fudge some numbers, or was I actually reading a lot more (easy stuff) back then? I curse past me if I did fudge numbers, because that would mean my old data is no good...

Future (plans/goals):
- Continue things listed in Present
- Retake the N1 for a third time (I failed again)
- Write more things related to my field of study (I think I said at least two in the resolutions thread)
- Get better at speaking...
- Start looking through some professors' research at Nagoya University and getting in contact with some of those professors with the goal of finding one who can help me get over there for my Masters (maybe PhD, depending) through MEXT as soon as next year (maybe the year after, depending on how the application timeline plays with my course completion date). Obviously requires me to get better at communicating in Japanese first... This entire plan gets shoved to the side if I don't get the MEXT though (from what I've heard, the final selection is a crapshoot, depending on the number of applicants, so...); can't afford it without that (almost) free money.

Will update the Tadoku graph every round. Might throw some of the short papers I write up here after they've been corrected. There will definitely be the miscellaneous "Hey guys, I've done this recently!" stuff.
Edited: 2017-01-24, 3:29 am
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#2
Welcome! Great to see more "dairy" threads.

What anime have you been watching Japanese-subbed, and where did you find your subs? I'd like to do more of that. I am following the Netflix thread with great interest, but always keeping an eye open for more resources.
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#3
What I've watched recently:
-I finished watching Hyouka last week or so. Normal highschool setting, various mysteries (well formulated in that the solution is possible to solve on your own as the evidence is presented; doesn't mean they're difficult, but it's at least a proper mystery), nothing supernatural.

-Working on Blue Exorcist right now (got about six episodes left). Doesn't live up to the hype, but it's still a pretty fun series, will have to check out the manga later. This series has made up for all the missing anime dads by killing off a whole bunch of them.

-Finished Hunter X Hunter (2011) a couple weeks ago, but mostly without subs (will be explained in a bit). I loved Yu Yu Hakusho, and I loved Hunter X Hunter; it's definitely on the slow side starting up, but once it starts, it just keeps you absorbed. Lots of unanswered stuff at the end, but I don't know if that's the anime or the series in general; the ending didn't demand that everything be answered though, so...

-Watched all of Tokyo Ghoul about a month ago; the pacing is better in the anime, but it's still... meh. It was fun, and there are parts with feels, but the censoring of a lot of the violence and most of the blood destroyed most of the action (and torture) scenes, and considering this series doesn't have the best story...

Got a few more series ready to watch: Mushishi (never got more than a couple episodes in, despite how nice it is), Psycho Pass (may or may not finish it; it gets hype, but so does Death Note, and I never finished the manga or anime of that), along with a few others.


How I got subs:
For Hyouka, Hunter X Hunter, and both seasons (series?) of Tokyo Ghoul, I used animelon.com
For everything else, I find subs on kitsunekko.net and go through the mild pain of delaying or advancing the subs to match the video (a lot of the subs are apparently ripped from TV broadcasts, and so have spaces for commercials). Didn't want to bother with Hunter X Hunter, because after watching the first thirty episodes on Animelon, it was pretty easy to follow unsubbed.
No current anime from those, but that's fine with me, since I prefer to watch a few episodes at a time.
Edited: 2017-01-26, 11:34 am
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#4
Weekly (maybe) update:
Articles: 2/3 (days where I read articles out of required 3)
Kanji cards added: 12
Vocab cards added: 42


Vocab:
Most of the cards I added were actually from stuff I read at the beginning of the month, and I just got around to extracting them from my RikaiSaves files (I have one for my desktop and one for my 'formerly a cell-phone, now just used for reading' phone); I can't go without the export feature anymore!
However, a number of those (a bit more than ten, I think) came from the two articles I read. So that's definitely going to be a wealth of vocabulary from now on.

Reading:
So on the very week I declare my intent to read three articles per week, I fail to read three articles... Well, what I did read was very helpful in showing me why I suck so hard at the reading section of the JLPT, so that's good. Since I'm still having to look up so many words (and a lot of names), I can't really time myself properly, but it's clear as day that it takes me longer to read a page's worth of text in an article than a webnovel, VN, or something else.
I'm going to try timing myself starting next week, once with an article, once with a webnovel. I know it's not going to be very comparable on a week to week basis using just one sample for each (of varying lengths, at that), but maybe over a couple of months I can start to see some trends.

Once Tadoku ends (so, in two days), I'll start recording my pages here weekly. I'll be using the same definitions as the contest, for consistency.

Listening/Watching:
Nothing beyond the usual anime and YouTube yet. I was going to start on 新完全マスター this weekend, but didn't, so there's that. Watched Highschool DxD (instead of doing something more useful), which is a bit of plot sandwiched between lots and lots of "plot". How much "plot"? So much so that the original TV airing was nearly unwatchable, due to all the magic light beams (and not the ones from the normal plot), and the show opens and transitions with generous helpings of "plot". I must admit that I enjoyed the series (for the normal plot as well as the laughable physics in the larger "plot" points) enough that I'm currently acquiring the next season; don't know if I'll make it all the way through the third season, though.
Didn't have Japanese subs for this and ended up watching with the English subs turned on; only managed to ignore them about a quarter of the time.

Writing:
Haven't done the paper on power generation yet, but I did write a kind of diary entry at the beginning of the week about some things that had happened the previous week. Got a decent amount of corrections from my tutor, but thankfully only had to completely rephrase one sentence. It took hours to write, though, even though it was only a few hundred characters long (maybe 320). Since I'm actually learning to write kanji now, I wrote it by hand, but I don't think that affected the composition time that much.
I can already tell that this is going to make huge improvements in my Japanese.

Speaking:
Conversation practice with my tutor, because I have no other Japanese friends... and only a few other friends, overall. I still suck at speaking, but that's the whole reason I'm practicing. Between short stretches of decent speaking, I'd have trouble forming sentences quickly enough in my brain and become lost for words, or with my mouth and end up with some really choppy accents on my words, especially at the end of each word. To hopefully remedy the latter (and maybe help with the former), I'm going to read out loud some. I still have it stuck in my head from when I was just starting to read English that reading aloud when you're by yourself is a poor reflection of your ability to read, to put it nicely (I was a pretty proud brat, I must say; I think I've dropped the brat part now, at least), but even if it doesn't help me to form sentences better on my own, it should help with the formation of actual speech.
I might record myself. If I do that and put it online for some reason, I'll link to it so that everyone can get a good laugh.
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#5
Weekly Update:
Articles: 1/3
Pages read: 26.5 (doesn't include pages from Tadoku)

Reading speed:
Article: 168 char/min
Webnovel: 185 char/min

Kanji cards added: 62
Vocab cards added: 6

Vocab:
Very little reading this week, so very little vocab added. I've considered more than once whether I should start adding from the Core Supplement deck, but I think I'll stick to adding just from my reading for now; premade decks are great for starting out, but I feel like I'm retaining the words I add from reading better. Maybe that's just because I have better example sentences for them...

Reading:
Again, very little reading. I have my first test in the (supposedly) hardest class of my undergrad next week, so I've been spending a lot more time studying. Of course, I spent a lot of time watching anime, so...

As for reading speed, both of the numbers above were done with decent precision (a character count less spaces in LibreOffice and at least minute precision on the time; the article time was to the second, because I was at my computer). The article I read was one about robot arms with a light touch. Compared to previous articles I've read, this one was quite easy; it didn't have many words I didn't know (only added one word from this article), didn't have a lot of names in it, and wasn't using fancy language. That being the case, I don't think it's a very representative time, but it was an interesting read.

Anyway, compared to times I took back in October (though they weren't as precise with regards to time), which were 101 and 106 char/min, this is a huge improvement! If that can happen in three or four months, I can't wait to see what it looks like after this year!

Listening/Watching:
Watched 10 episodes from the second season of Highschool DxD, no subs (they exist, but they're for the TV version, and apparently the BD version has scenes that were just too much for magic lights to cover up); interest is starting to wane, but it's still funny in the way that these kinds of series are. Might actually make it through all three seasons.
Important observation: Issei (and the other guys?) are all aliens or mutants, and are lacking nipples... In a series where it seems like half the budget went to animating breasts.

Also started watching Ranma 1/2, because I apparently decided I needed some late 80s / early 90s in my life. I'm thirteen episodes into the first season of the second attempt at an anime, so far. Very fun, very dated, very much hard subbed Sad (at least what I have is)
On the bright side, I'm getting tons of practice ignoring subs this way. I'm also getting practice with listening to crappy audio, because somewhere along the line between TV and a DVD release that someone hard subbed, the audio quality faded quite a bit. It's not inaudible, but it has that distinct smoothing of aged audio tapes.

Writing:
Nothing. I'll be finishing a clean copy of the diary thing I wrote last week or so, but again, studying (and anime) take up too much time for my slow ass writing to have a chance of happening. I have decided a topic I want to touch on though (because I always thought it was cool): the reason we use high voltage A/C power transmission. It's fun to explain, because you can show it by solving really simple circuits problems.
Does brainstorming count as progress?

Speaking:
Read aloud some. I don't know if it'll help, but I'm going to keep doing it.
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#6
(2017-02-05, 10:01 pm)sholum Wrote: Also started watching Ranma 1/2, because I apparently decided I needed some late 80s / early 90s in my life. I'm thirteen episodes into the first season of the second attempt at an anime, so far. Very fun, very dated, very much hard subbed Sad

Lol, Ranma 1/2. To some extent, that series can be credited for launching me into this Japanese adventure. I absolutely fell in love with the series (and Akane) at the first anime convention I attended back in the 90's. The first season theme song is one  of the first songs if not -the- first song that I could sing by heart (in any language!) I can't sing it by heart anymore but at least I can actually understand it now when I do hear it.

One day I hope to go back and read the Manga. I was super discouraged because as much as I love all Rumiko Takahashi's work, the puns are very hard on a person who's learning Japanese. (パンだ・パンダ being a rare exception of an easy pun.)
I wonder if even now (having passed N1 a couple years back and easily understanding ight novels, romance/school-life dramas or slice-of -life anime) might I yet be able to understand Takahashi-sensei's work... in the sense of actually getting the jokes without having to work too hard for it. (A little thought is okay, but after multiple dictionary lookups the joke is no longer funny even once you figure it out, kind of like having the joke explained to you only you have to research the explanation...)

The series unfortunately weakens after the first few dozen episodes and keeps getting weaker, excepting a few moments of brilliance. Unfortunately she was more or less a victim of her own success and forced to keep writing the series long after she was out of inspiration.
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#7
So do you learn from the anime or just watch it?? In my opinion at your level it's more effective to just watch whatever with English subs or Japanese subs or no subs then relisten to the ep many times (you can even regenerate efficient audio with sub2srs) and go through lines of certain scenes and add those words or phrases to anki
Edited: 2017-02-06, 9:36 am
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#8
@SomeCallMeChris
That theme is definitely catchy, though I'm personally digging that outro more. Heck, just those first few notes are fun to hear (so much funk packed within a couple of seconds)
But yeah, popularity has caused the slow death of a lot of series (and authors) over the years. Some of the magic smoke starts to escape when you realize that mangaka (especially of popular, weekly series) spend most of their time working under constant stress and lack of sleep.


@howtwosavealif3
I'm just watching them, really, though it's helping with my listening. The reason I don't want English subs is because I'll tune out most of the audio, which makes it harder to claim that it has any study value. I have to admit that I miss some information when I don't have any subs at all, but I've come to prefer no-subs over English subs. I guess I'm extensively listening rather than intensively listening?
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#9
(2017-02-06, 1:37 pm)sholum Wrote: @howtwosavealif3
I'm just watching them, really, though it's helping with my listening. The reason I don't want English subs is because I'll tune out most of the audio, which makes it harder to claim that it has any study value. I have to admit that I miss some information when I don't have any subs at all, but I've come to prefer no-subs over English subs. I guess I'm extensively listening rather than intensively listening?

I feel the same way. I like to balance extensive and intensive listening. I view listening to podcasts as extensive listening, and watching J-drama with J-subs as intensive listening (I usually copy the dramas I'm watching to my phone and try and re-listen to them several times after I watch them initially).
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#10
Quick update:

Did a lot of conversation practice with my tutor today; over an hour of conversing in Japanese. Though the conversation topics were started by the textbook topics (what are your hobbies, what would you buy if you had more money, etc.), they didn't stay there; ended up talking about the DNR hatchery that I ride to when I'm cycling (government and fish; two things I'm not good at talking about) and the hunting culture of Japan and where I live (we both agreed that killing for sport is unpleasant, but it's fine if you eat it).

While I was still losing words and making weird phrases (I expect to be doing this for quite a while yet), she remarked that I was speaking much more clearly and fluidly than I was just two weeks ago. I also noticed that I was pausing less and had less of that choppy accent on my words that I mentioned before.
So apparently the reading aloud thing is working. I don't know how much more benefit will come of it (since it's probably just helping with the physical production of speech, and not the composition), but I'm going to keep it up for a while if it's made that much of a difference in just two weeks.

So yeah, I'm recommending reading aloud to anyone that's having trouble speaking. If you don't already do it, it might help more than you think.
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#11
Weekly Update:
Articles: 2/3 (kind of)
Pages Read: 80.835

Reading Speed:
Article: 130 char/min
Webnovel: 169
Other: 138

Kanji cards added: 12
Vocab cards added: 12

Vocab:
Again, not very much added; most of it was from a website I was reading about the manufacture of firearms (I found it when searching for one of the terms on a wrench that was posted in the Relics thread). About half of those were materials and manufacturing words (casting, brass, lathe, etc), the other half were gun parts (barrel, stock, etc). Four came from the chapter of 無職転生 I read.
I wonder if this slow rate is good enough... I don't want to add a whole bunch of vocab I haven't seen 'in the wild', but...

Reading:
Not much, unfortunately. Had a difficult test last week. Have more tests coming up (they shouldn't be anywhere near as bad, though).

My times dropped a little; for the article, I think it mostly came down to too many things I didn't know (the article was on 夏目漱石; too many names...), but I think it's closer to the average than the previous time. I was reading the webnovel while riding in someone's car to a party, so I can forgive a drop of 16 points with all that bouncing and distraction.

Listening/Watching:
Finished the second season of Highschool DxD (still laughed some, but it's starting to get dull, don't know if I'll watch the third season) and watched the currently released episodes of the second season of Blue Exorcist with no subs. Tried a couple of other current anime, but nothing's really standing out. I will be binge watching Chaos;Child when it finishes, though (I love me some semicolons, and Chaos;Head was the first of those that I watched).
Watched some R-15 too, because apparently I like these perverted comedies more than I care to admit... Whatever, it's pretty funny sometimes; not the best I've seen, but I say that about everything, it seems.

This has really become the "What anime I watched" section...

Writing:
Jack all.

Speaking:
Nothing after the mid-week update thing. I read my articles aloud, but that's it.
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#12
Since this is the second week in a row I've posted this late, I'm making this note to myself (and others) that these numbers are still up until Sunday.

Weekly Update:
Articles: 0/3 (why do I even have a three article goal if I never meet it?)
Pages read: 16

Reading speed:
no measurement this week

Kanji cards added: 19
Vocab cards added: 0


Reading:
Hardly anything targeted, just a bit here and there; some subs (that I haven't been counting); pretty much nothing of note.

Listening/Watching:
Watched a crap ton of anime this week (probably why I didn't have time to do much else in Japanese):
All thirteen episodes of 'Flip Flappers': story continuity is... almost non-existent at the beginning, and it really doesn't seem like I should like it so much, but damned if I didn't watch the whole thing in just two chunks. And in both of those chunks, I sat through the ending for every episode, and I almost never watch endings or openings more than once; the scrolling images in the top half of the screen are really nice, and the loops in the bottom are adorable! The song that goes with it is fairly chill too, instead of the usual caffeinated pop sound.
No subs.

Two episodes of 'Blue Exorcist': I realized that there isn't much point in waiting for my preferred group to sub it, since I'm not watching the subs, so two episodes this week (I don't have a video setup good enough to care about the differences in encoding that much). They're really good at getting me, even with cliched feels.
No subs.

Five episodes of '俺、ツインテールになります': Getting kind of bored already. It's certainly funny at times, but it's mostly the usual stuff, just played with the gimmick of the story. Will stick it out for a few more episodes.
Japanese subs on Animelon.

Six episodes of 'Durarara!!': Really nice character driven story, though I'm told that it's a far better experience to read it for that very reason.
Japanese subs on Animelon.

The first episode of '幼女戦記': Not really my thing; I've never been a big fan of that kind of character (I don't care for 'Death Note' either, which apparently makes me a heretic. I just think that God complexes and 'pure evil' types get boring really quick, especially when taken seriously). Also not terribly interested in the setting.
Might try a couple more episodes to see if it hooks me, but I don't think it'll appeal to me.
No subs.

That's about 9.5 hours in one week... And most of it on the weekend... And I have plans for what to watch next ('Flying Witch' and 'Gabriel Dropout', because I've read both; the former gives much fuzzy warmth, the latter gives plenty of laughs, and I could use some of both).

And because this is my dairy thread, I'm going to say that I wish Hinamatsuri would get a really good anime adaptation, even though it has nothing to do with my studies. By the way, read Hinamatsuri (https://myanimelist.net/manga/36413/Hinamatsuri), it's a super good series; I can't even give it justice by describing it, but to try and give an idea I'll use an example, so spoilers, I guess (but not a lot). Starting fairly early on, one of the supporting characters, Hitomi, gets into a running gag where she gets forced to work as a bartender (and other things) and becomes really, really good at it; she hates having the work forced on her, but the continuing pressure (and success) actually affects her character! And yes, the whole process is incredibly entertaining.
Go read it!


Ignore the fact that I'm missing two sections because I did absolutely nothing relevant to them!
Edited: 2017-02-21, 5:24 am
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#13
I was originally just going to be late again, but since it was over half-way through the next week, I decided to wait and wrap both weeks together, then I got horribly sick last weekend and barely got out of bed... And now I've caught a cold.

(Tri-)Weekly Update:
Articles: zip, zero, zilch, nadda, or however you like to say it / 3*3
Pages: 290

Speed: no measurements

Kanji cards added: 65 (I think, I used the cards added in the past month minus the 19 from the previous post)
Vocab cards added: 0 (there are some in the pipe, I just haven't made them yet);

Reading:
First off, I'm changing my goal for articles. I'm setting it to one per week; while it'd be better if I read more, I'm lowering it to the minimum in order to make it easier to do. Currently, with the goal set to three, I feel like it'll be a pain to meet that goal without boring myself completely reading about topics I don't enjoy (politics, famous people, trends, movies, etc). By setting it to one article per week, I should be able to easily find something interesting to read, and even if I get all the way to Sunday without reading anything, it won't be so much to do that I don't do anything.

Most of the reading these past three weeks was done last Sunday while I was sick with a stomach virus, with a couple of chapters on other days last week.

Listening/Watching:
Been watching Flying Witch like I said I would; been trying not to binge all the feel good at once, so I haven't finished it yet (I think I'm on episode seven, or there about). It's such a nice series~
It's that special kind of series that makes you smile without realizing it.

Both seasons of Noragami. I stopped reading the manga after the arc that makes up the first half of the second season of the anime, don't feel any desire to read it again. As for the anime, both seasons start fairly strong and then fall off after the first major arc. In the first season's case, it's because they filled the remaining four (?) episodes with filler (I think? I don't remember that plot line at all, so if it wasn't filler, it was just bad); I'm sure we all know how bad anime filler tends to be.
For the second season, the second story arc just wasn't very well done, IMO (I didn't actually read that part, so I have no idea how it goes in the manga; the only reason I think it is in the manga is because of the structure of the story); it seemed like they wanted me to feel something, but were failing to induce it the whole time: this scene looks like it wants me to be sad, but I don't care; this fight seems like it should be suspenseful, but I don't care; this backstory is begging for sympathy, but I just don't care.
The previous arc, while no masterpiece, was entertaining and got me invested, but the last one just didn't.

And something that's not anime! ... Except it's basically anime without picture! I listened to the last episode of 'LAST desire' that I had on my phone again (episode six, I think) after realizing it's been almost a year since I listened to it. So now I've got a few more of those to listen to. I remember thinking it was pretty easy to grasp before, so I don't know how much study value it has now, but I do want to see were the story goes.

And the weekly anime of course.


Writing:
Nothing yet, but I've been given a writing assignment by my tutor.


Speaking:
My tutor does most of my lessons in Japanese (except when an English explanation is more effective), and a decent chunk is spent on conversation practice (at least thirty minutes). She embarrassed the fool out of me by making me listen to my own voice (I'm really glad it's not as bad as when I was a teenager), but made the point that it's easier to figure out what I miss consistently if I record myself, since I'm not worrying about what to say next and can ensure that I'm saying enough to be properly understood.

In my case though, the first problem to tackle is the constant pausing (I'd make the excuse that I was still mentally and physically weak that day from last weekend's sickness, but that won't help me improve my speaking). I'm doing better than before, but not better than that apparent day of clarity I had a month and a half ago; granted, I haven't kept up with reading aloud either.

In any case, I'm supposed to record myself talking about a few simple subjects, so I might as well record myself reading aloud too. As promised before (I think), I'll share some of it once I actually do it. This cold would make the perfect excuse for some of my bad speaking skills, so maybe I should do it before my throat finishes clearing up.


Anki:
I've decided to severely cut back my plans for adding kanji cards. The twelve per day that I said I'd do isn't happening, and the main reason is because kanji reviews take too long (even though I just write them with my finger), so I don't want to have too many on any one day. I'd like it to stay at less than fifty reviews per day.
I should be able to finish the remaining ~1500 cards by the end of October, but I might end up putting it off to study for the JLPT again. I think learning to write the kanji has helped my recognition speed and accuracy, so I want to do as much as I can before the test (I'm going to have to rethink my plans if I can't pass the N1 this year...)
Speaking of tests, I can take the J-CAT again, so I'll do that as soon as I have the time.
Edited: 2017-03-12, 2:42 am
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#14
Quick update (full two-week update will be on Sunday... maybe) and a request.

Haven't started recording myself yet, but I have everything set up. The thing is, I can't think of anything to talk about. A friend of mine suggested coming up with some questions to answer as if I was talking to someone else, and I think that's a good idea. Problem though: if I could come up with questions, I could come up with topics.
If y'all could ask me some questions/topics, it'd be a big help.



Gonna take the J-CAT tomorrow or Sunday; I got my password on Monday, so I hope it doesn't expire before I can take it. Didn't see anything on the site or the email about how long they last.

Came up with an idea for vocab acquisition (that's fairly obvious and more than one person has definitely suggested somewhere before, but I'm going to pretend I did it all on my own): I'm going to look into topics I like (astronomy, manufacturing, physics, history, medicine, etc.) and learn words that are common in them; not super specialized things, but things that someone who watches a lot of documentaries would know (because that pretty much describes my knowledge of most of these fields). After I get some of the broader words done, I'll go into more specific stuff (types of (sea, air, land)craft, anatomy, words that the specialists that explain some of the detail of the topic use that throw you off when you've otherwise understood everything).

I expect that most of these will be pretty easy cards in Anki, because I've been keeping documentary-type programming (jst science channel, NHK specials, other documentaries uploaded to YouTube) playing on the TV; I let it automatically play another video, so I'm only half paying attention, but the same programs play a few times, depending on how often I have to reset the stream when YouTube goes off into who-knows-where with its recommended videos...
Point being, I'll probably hear these words a lot.
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#15
Cool idea! If you feel like it, I would love to see a list of more specific weblinks to the content you've been playing in the background. I know I could google it myself and/or I might not be interested in the documentaries that interest you, but seeing what you're watching will help give me ideas for what I could be googling.

I'm also very curious to hear whether you are confirmed in your hypothesis that the words you are learning in anki will be easier because of background exposure. I am never sure how helpful half-conscious exposure is, and it's possible I should be doing a lot more of it.

Also, good luck on the JCAT. I meant to take it over spring break and didn't because I was so immersed in other work... maybe soon.
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