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2016 JLPT N2/N1 Thread: A New Hope

Flameseek, I usually only remember the common reading/s for kanjis and radicals - It's really rare to run into uncommon readings, and they usually have furigana. I should note that I am still terrible with 人名用 readings because they make things too damned complicated.

I basically subscribed to renshuu Pro and used it to that purpose + Japanese-only kanjibox drills.
Non-website wise, I avoided texts that had furigana since I kept taking shortcuts and would read the furigana instead of the kanji, I read some blog posts with common radical-onyomi associations, and I also read the Intermediate kanji book (and drilled its kanjibox set). I think that RTK2 is meant to help you learn 音読み、but I haven't tried it out.

Regarding your current exposure... 7k words should give you ~500 common kanjis IIRC. About half the kanjis on the 常用 list are used sporadically in words that you won't see until you've passed the 10k mark. You can easily go about your life without knowing them, but it depends on what you need Japanese for.
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(2016-09-26, 2:29 pm)FlameseeK Wrote:
(2016-09-26, 9:41 am)yukamina Wrote: Are there a significant number of joyo kanji you don't know words for?
Well, I've studied a little more than 7k words so far, so I should have relatively decent coverage when it comes to most common kanji.

I mean, if there's several hundred kanji you can't read, it'd be helpful to study them (with vocab). If there's not that many that you're missing, just keep going with your studies and input and learn them when you come across them.
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(2016-09-27, 8:03 am)Zgarbas Wrote: About half the kanjis on the 常用 list are used sporadically in words that you won't see until you've passed the 10k mark. You can easily go about your life without knowing them, but it depends on what you need Japanese for.

That`s interesting. Learning kanji by frequency has often been discussed on this forum, but I never realized that the "value" of learning each new 常用漢字 waned of so quickly!
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See this thread for Holiday Countdown Deals (until Dec 15th)
JapanesePod101
Well, I haven't been doing much lately anyway other than watching anime and studying a 3-5 N1 grammar points a day, so I've decided not to drop the kanji reading "project". While it was my initial goal to read a lot every day and just let my Anki reviews go down a couple of weeks ago, I got a little tired and ended up taking a break.

I guess I should still get back to reading at least 10 pages a day whenever I have no work to do. But learning readings is pretty laid back (though I can already see my Anki reviews going up significantly once again), so it should still be productive way to chill for the time being. It's a lot of random knowledge, but further reducing the burden of learning new words is nice, even if it's mostly in the case of uncommon words.
Edited: 2016-09-28, 1:38 am
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(2016-09-28, 1:15 am)Hinsudesu Wrote:
(2016-09-27, 8:03 am)Zgarbas Wrote: About half the kanjis on the 常用 list are used sporadically in words that you won't see until you've passed the 10k mark. You can easily go about your life without knowing them, but it depends on what you need Japanese for.

That`s interesting. Learning kanji by frequency has often been discussed on this forum, but I never realized that the "value" of learning each new 常用漢字 waned of so quickly!

One factor in determining the 常用 list is to include ever character that appears in the Japanese Constitution, regardless of whether or not it's actually used in modern Japanese. That accounts for a fair few obscure kanji that are also 常用. I don't know all the details, but there are probably other similar factors. All the characters used to name all the Japanese historical eras, perhaps, or maybe all that's necessary to read some other important document. The list is, after all, to make sure that people are literate for high school purposes, and there's a lot of things that most people only read or learn about while in school unless they go on to be specialists in that area.

On the other hand, I can't imagine the horror of trying to complete a high school literature course with -only- the 常用 kanji, so I don't know how much real value it has.
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(2016-09-28, 2:12 am)SomeCallMeChris Wrote: On the other hand, I can't imagine the horror of trying to complete a high school literature course with -only- the 常用 kanji, so I don't know how much real value it has.
I finished RTK by new year's day this year and I've learned almost 230 non-joyo kanji already without doing RTK 3. I recall learning a couple before I even finished RTK. That being said, many of them also come with furigana depending on what you're reading.

If you think about it, the joyo kanji list doesn't encompass all kanji used in city names, which I find kinda odd. But then again, names in Japanese are a mess. The same kanji can be represent more than one name and one name can be written with different kanji... that's as chaotic as it gets. It may be beautiful from an "artistic" perspective, but it's still retarded. I never thought I'd ever learn a language where I'd be reading the newspaper and have to skip someone's name if I were to read it out loud, because there's no way to be certain how the name is pronounced even though it's written right there.
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What a day! I`ve been studying Japanese for a good 4 years now and all the time I though as the 常用漢字 as kind of a ”minimum requirement” for getting really proficient at Japanese. I kind of wish I hadn`t spent so much time on Heisig now…. On the upside I guess brushing up on my kanji could be a much less daunting task than what I first thought. Time to find a good frequency list I guess….
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Don't get me wrong, to be fluent in Japanese you should know all of them, and then some. 

However, fluency is a vast and complex concept, hence why I said it depends what you need Japanese for. If you want to be able to tale a basic university course, read a niche article, etc., then the joyo simply would simply not cut it. 

I'm just saying that if you just want to get the N1 and be conversationally fluent, then I'd say 1000 kanjis would be more that enough. 

For example, I am terrible with plants and trees; I just don't care about them at all, so even though some kanjis for trees are commonly used, I don't think I need them. I did learn them and they come up in, say, flowery literature, but that is more about perfectionism than genuine linguistic need. Sometimes I get genuinely excited to see a rare joyo kanji since I finally get to use it. Would most people need those hundred kanji on the joyo list that are only found in the constitution? Unlikely. Can you call yourself fluent if you can't read the constitution?
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(2016-09-28, 4:46 am)Hinsudesu Wrote: What a day! I`ve been studying Japanese for a good 4 years now and all the time I though as the 常用漢字 as kind of a ”minimum requirement” for getting really proficient at Japanese. I kind of wish I hadn`t spent so much time on Heisig now…. On the upside I guess brushing up on my kanji could be a much less daunting task than what I first thought. Time to find a good frequency list I guess….

I wouldn't worry about that. Heisig gives a great foundation in kanji, and most of his rare kanji are important building blocks to other kanji. Or trees. He really likes trees. (I've had occasion to read almost all of the tree kanji though... sometimes as specific trees and sometimes in names, so I don't mind. And I like trees too so it's fine.)

Even if some of the kanji could've been better prioritized from a good frequency analysis, well, you run into a problem of what corpus are you going to analyze? Newspapers, with a bias towards economic and political terms? Novels with a plethora of adjectives and adverbs that are rarely spoken? Textbooks which, well, read like textbooks? After the first thousand most common kanji, your frequency lists start to sharply diverge depending on what material you're looking at.

The vast majority of the Kanji in Heisig you will end up using directly as characters that you read or indirectly as building blocks for recognizing other characters. Saying there's a couple hundred kanji that you won't see often and perhaps not for a long time is just the reverse of saying you will use 90% of the characters relatively early and often.
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i know there isn't terribly much keigo on the jlpt but there is some (in those questions where you must decipher a business letter or announcement)

one thing i learned recently that really made things start to click for me was that one thing i learned recently that really made things start to click for me was that 尊敬語 and 謙譲語 are used to discuss 相手の動き (the other person's actions)
[b]edited:
尊敬語
= 相手の動き
謙譲語 = 自分の動き
[/b]sorry it made sense in my head Big Grin

i always had this (wrong) perception that you use keigo based on who you are talking to, not who you are talking about.
so, this was enlightening for me.

(by the way, it was from the nihongo no mori series on youtube)
Edited: 2016-09-30, 9:31 am
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(2016-09-29, 8:29 am)angelneko Wrote: 尊敬語 and 謙譲語 are used to discuss 相手の動き (the other person's actions)
これはまずおかしい。謙譲語は「自分」の動作などをへりくだって言うときに使います。

Quote:i always had this (wrong) perception that you use keigo based on who you are talking to, not who you are talking about.
uuuuuuuuuuu. it's kinda both/no right answer?
you're probably gonna use more keigo about teacher-B (not present) when talking to teacher-A rather than to friend-A, for example.
and the heirarchy relationship between the person you're talking to and the person you're talking about can be relevant too (talking about 部長 to 社長, or about 社長 to 部長? lol)

Google 第三者 敬語 or something to get a feel of the various opinions about this :/

edit: sorry if this is incoherent, excuse = it was written at 5 a.m BEFORE going to sleep xD
Edited: 2016-10-02, 3:16 am
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(2016-09-29, 2:47 pm)Ash_S Wrote: you're probably gonna use more keigo about teacher-B (not present) when talking to teacher-A rather than to friend-A, for example.

Probably, but this is not a correct, highly educated way to speak Japanese. If you are talking about teacher-B to either party you are supposed to use keigo phrases when discussing actions about them or towards them. This is one of the major ways people are able to deduce the relative standing of others rather quickly.

Another important tip is that keigo has absolutely nothing to do with politeness, only formality. You can be a complete prick and say plenty of mean and hateful things while maintaining the correct levels of speech. (I've been on the receiving end of this occasionally and there is nothing more enraging than a verbal beat-down by someone who can pull this off.)
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^definitely. The best way to be mean to someone is to use keigo. I don't think that getting angry at a clerk and yelling at them would get you anywhere in this country, but up the keigo when you say something cold and succint and suddenly you're getting the best possible treatment. 

I even had a clerk run after me and check me in at the next airport thanks to a well-keigod 'this is somewhat troublesome for me, but I understand *death glare*'
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(2016-09-29, 2:47 pm)Ash_S Wrote:
(2016-09-29, 8:29 am)angelneko Wrote: 尊敬語 and 謙譲語 are used to discuss 相手の動き (the other person's actions)
これはまずおかしい。謙譲語は「自分」の動作などをへりくだって言うときに使います。

oops you're right. i edited my post.
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I'm going to half-way copy everyone on the N3 thread and post some study updates:

- Added 31 cards to my kanji production deck yesterday (it had some easy things like 自分、共鳴、究明). Surprisingly enough, the card I had the most trouble with was 京都; 都 was fairly easy to remember, but I kept forgetting 京; I also had a little bit of trouble remembering the right side of 線.
This will likely be the end of the new kanji production cards until after the December JLPT, but even after all these years of recognition study only, doing this production stuff seems to be helping my reading speed, so I'll have to change my advice about it.
Anyway, I think this puts me at the level of a third grader (305 kanji that I've practiced writing; pretty sure my tutor put them in the 教育 order).

- I've been going through another grammar deck (a Shinkanzen Master deck from somewhere) and adding one or two more cards for the grammar points I'm not solid on. I should finish adding new cards within a week or so, so long as I add them every day.

- Surprisingly, my RikaiSaves deck still only has 257 cards in it so far; I think it'll go up quite a bit over this month, since I'm going to really buckle down on reading more articles about economics and culture (and science, hopefully, but those are always really slow compared to the other ones).
Minimum requirement of one article per day, though I hope to do more (maybe two or three from a group on 社説比較くん).

- Speaking of reading, it's Tadoku time! I'm actually ahead in my course work for the first time in a while, so I should have more time than I expected!


Goals to report at the end of the month: number of days I met my minimum 社説 reading goal. It'd be great if the ratio was 1, but this is me, after all...
Edited: 2016-10-01, 8:40 pm
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Gotta love it when you learn words as random as 網膜 to work on kanji readings, just to hear that on the same day you learned it later on when you go watch some anime.
Edited: 2016-10-02, 2:29 am
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(2016-10-02, 2:28 am)FlameseeK Wrote: Gotta love it when you learn words as random as 網膜 to work on kanji readings, just to hear that on the same day you learned it later on when you go watch some anime.

It never fails!
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I finally got my real-paper JLPT N1 certificate, and interestingly they've started (from the July 2016 test onward) telling you what your "percentile rank" was if you took the test outside Japan ("the percentage of examinees with a score lower than yours in the six latest tests"); this wasn't on the online-notification. I'm at 97.1%, apparently...
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(2016-10-02, 2:28 am)FlameseeK Wrote: Gotta love it when you learn words as random as 網膜 to work on kanji readings, just to hear that on the same day you learned it later on when you go watch some anime.

Can't tell you how many times this has happened to me.
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Yeah, it's happened to me, and it's always motivating, but I suspect it's one of those things like the birthday paradox that's more probable than it seems at first glance -- if you learn 10 words a day and this happens once a week or so then that's memorable but it only needed one word in 70 to overlap with the set of words in what you were reading...
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Yeah. 網膜 was a pretty random word to add, but I did notice that it was listed as common. I thought, "but how?". Then I realized that perhaps I'd find it in stories with higher levels of technology in situations people get their eyes scanned... and that's exactly what happened.

But of course, this only happened because I added a whole bunch of random words. It may be a coincidence that I saw it on the same day I added it, but when you take into account the fact that I added a little more than 70 words yesterday and have been watching a lot of anime daily, that kind of stuff is a lot more likely to happen. It's not like I added 5-10 words and watched 1 or 2 anime episodes, but even in that case it would certainly happen sooner or later.

This reminds me of the time I used to pick up Japanese words just for the hell of it and didn't really study Japanese. One day, I said or thought なるほど before watching an episode for some reason and it was the very first word spoken in that episode. That was pretty funny, but I knew that なるほど only came to my mind because I'd learned it recently... and I'd only learned it because it's incredibly common and easy to pick up in the first place.
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(2016-10-02, 11:12 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: Yeah. 網膜 was a pretty random word to add, but I did notice that it was listed as common. I thought, "but how?". Then I realized that perhaps I'd find it in stories with higher levels of technology in situations people get their eyes scanned... and that's exactly what happened.

It's common because it's used an expression... 網膜にsomething ... I forget what the verb is, or maybe it has variants. In any case, it's obvious though in context, seared or etched or something into one's retina, similar to the English expression seared/burned into one's memory.
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I failed the N2 by one point in July so I've signed up again for December. I guess if I pass it'll show my score or percentage on the certificate? Ouch. Hahah. I do expect to pass but I don't expect to pass by a large margin =(. I'm just not good at this test.
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(2016-10-03, 1:33 am)SomeCallMeChris Wrote:
(2016-10-02, 11:12 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: Yeah. 網膜 was a pretty random word to add, but I did notice that it was listed as common. I thought, "but how?". Then I realized that perhaps I'd find it in stories with higher levels of technology in situations people get their eyes scanned... and that's exactly what happened.

It's common because it's used an expression... 網膜にsomething ... I forget what the verb is, or maybe it has variants. In any case, it's obvious though in context, seared or etched or something into one's retina, similar to the English expression seared/burned into one's memory.
Are you thinking of 焼きつく? It's often used with 網膜, like retina in English... something is burned into one's retinas. I was looking at sentence examples a little while ago (from here http://sdict.xuanji.li/), here's an excerpt: 網膜に焼きついた映像
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Just did the first part of a mock exam I did sometime last year (too late to find the CD for the listening portion). I wasn't worried about remembering things, since it's been so long (I didn't even remember the reading passages, and that'd be the thing I remembered).

Results so far (Compared to last time I took this exact test):

言語知識
34/61 (24/61)

読解
28/63 (16/63)

聴解
[will take tomorrow; make it a 44/64, please!] (36/64)


Thoughts:
I got murdered on one set of problems: all six of them wrong, and they were weighted at two points per problem... And it was all fill in the blank grammar questions. I got them all wrong last time too...

I thought I did a lot better on the reading than that; I think finding the best answer is harder than the reading. I'm quite pleased that I made the minimum score for the first time ever, though.

Based on my performance on the listening portion a year ago (and assuming it wasn't pure chance that got most of those points), I think I might just make the passing mark.



More importantly, though, I completed this portion of the mock exam with over fifteen minutes to spare! And I did this on little sleep after being awake all day and waiting until midnight to start!
If I manage to do that on the next one as well (probably in a couple of weeks; hopefully without the sleep deprivation), then I think passing is just a matter of getting more of those quick points in the 言語知識 section. I'd like to do even better in the reading section, of course, but I don't know that I can improve it much in just two months...
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