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Beyond JLPT N1

#26
So those of you with higher Japanese vocab counts than my 10K -- any suggestions for how to get there? Is it just a matter of putting in the reading hours?
Edited: 2017-01-07, 6:30 pm
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#27
For science, I retook the Japanese test just now. I got 13.5K on the first test and 15K on the second.

Sadly, that seems to confirm that I haven't made much progress since I last took the test. Unless I have gotten better at knowing when I *don't* know something (there were a couple of words that I think might have fooled me when I was greener).

The Japanese test, at least, seems to be invariable. I intentionally did not mark "known" a small number of words that my friends and I discussed back then and which I therefore now remember. It seemed like it might throw off whatever statistical variable lies beneath the "random" selection of words.

To bring this back around to being more on topic: my vocabulary problem gets at the heart of why I've been struggling since N1. Because I acquired a large English vocabulary at an abnormally young age, I literally don't remember what it felt like to read a book and not know what words meant. I can remember (at the age of maybe 13) reading books where the *topic* was too mature to hold my interest, but I don't have any native-speaker pattern to fall back on to gauge my progress in Japanese.

I know that the key to success is to repeat what I did then - read, read, read everything I touch - but it's so hard to get past the frustration threshold.

Interestingly, the blog comments that they estimate that children can learn as many as 4 new words a day, while for adults the rate slows to about 1 a day, if that. Maybe it will help me if I focus on learning just a few new words a day (by adding cards to anki, I guess). That at least would be doable and measurable.

And, of course, keep reading.

(pm215, I just saw your comment now when I went to refresh the page. One reason I miss the old 1kyuu is the fixed vocabulary list. Yes, learning words from a list is stupid, doubly stupid if you learn English meanings and not context sentences, but it had the advantage of keeping me moving continually forward. It is so very hard to feel the progress when you're just "putting in the reading hours" as you so well put it.)
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#28
I got over 20,000 on each test and close to 30,000 on the last.

I picked up my base vocabulary from RTK 2 and the Core6K. After that, I began reading Japanese every day. That was almost two years ago now. Since then, I've read some fairly complex works, like the visual novel 装甲悪鬼村正.

Despite my vocabulary, I don't consider myself a fast reader. I still have trouble parsing sentences sometimes, and my listening skills are abysmal. I could probably pass the written section of the N1, but I'm doubtful about the listening.

So yeah, I'd say this was a result of 'putting in hours' reading. I don't use SRS anymore, but I often try to remember new words I read the night before the next morning. This seems to work for me.
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#29
For more specifics on what I'm currently doing: for the Tadoku project, I am reading novels from the Fujimi orchestra series, and occasionally bits of Wagahai wa neko de aru (the latter is a bit over my head, but it's funny and not totally inaccessible).

Apart from randomly inputting sentences for whatever reason (for instance, right now, whenever I fail a severe leech vocab card, I go find a sentence for it and add that to my sentence deck), my main source for Anki input at the moment is "Jazz up Your Japanese with Onomatopoeia." I notice novels use onomatopoeia a LOT and dictionaries often don't define it well. Will see how long I can stick with one book, I tend to flitter around.
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#30
Thanks for pointing that stuff out about the numbers; I probably should have read the FAQ first, since I was basing my reaction off of some numbers I vaguely remember about the average English vocabulary for a (highschool? college?) graduate, which was higher. Maybe those larger numbers included idioms as separate words or something.

I figured the Japanese was too high because for every word I learn outside of Anki, there seems to be a word that I never run across in real life and have thus forgotten. It's kind of aggravating being unable to easily quantify your learning after a certain point...

The Japanese tests are invariable, but there are three of them to choose from. I didn't check to make sure (it'll be interesting to retake it next year, so I don't want to examine it too closely), but I felt like a couple of the words on the second test were the same as the first. I haven't taken the third one.


@pm215
After Core 10k, I've been adding some of the unknowns from when I read, based on various factors (has it come up multiple times; how useful does it seem; is it common / easy enough to remember without Anki; etc). I've only added a few hundred total, and those include phrases.

But yeah, the best I can tell you is to read a lot, or otherwise force yourself to be exposed to new words. I personally like using Anki (now that my study sessions on it are so short), but you don't have to.

I personally find webnovels to be convenient, since you can easily access them, easily look up the words in them, and easily import words and the sentences they came from into Anki using Rikaisama.
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#31
Those tests were actually quite interesting.

Even if my English grammar is far from good, having scored an estimated vocabulary of 24,500 is pretty good for a non-native who's never lived in any English-speaking country Blush Big Grin .

On the other hand, just because I know a few advanced kanji (I did RTK3 but no vocabulary deck yet Sad ) and some English words given in katakana, getting 12000 on the Japanese test is no less of a plain lie. I'm pretty sure my Japanese vocabulary is way below 2000, probably even below 1000 (unless you include counters, then my vocabulary is infinite Tongue ), and that is taking into account my passive vocabulary.
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#32
Got 26k for the English and 38k for two of the Japanese ones. Guess which one I think is more accurate.
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#33
(2017-01-08, 4:20 am)faneca Wrote: Those tests were actually quite interesting.

Even if my English grammar is far from good, having scored an estimated vocabulary of 24,500 is pretty good for a non-native who's never lived in any English-speaking country Blush Big Grin .

On the other hand, just because I know a few advanced kanji (I did RTK3 but no vocabulary deck yet Sad ) and some English words given in katakana, getting 12000 on the Japanese test is no less of a plain lie. I'm pretty sure my Japanese vocabulary is way below 2000, probably even below 1000 (unless you include counters, then my vocabulary is infinite Tongue ), and that is taking into account my passive vocabulary.

faneca, I'm curious, what standard did you use to mark words "known"? I tried doing it this way: I turned rikaichan on, looked at each word and made a guess at the pronunciation and the meaning, and then used rikaichan to check to see if I was right. In a very great number of cases, the pronunciation and/or meaning were not what I thought they were, so I left them unchecked.

Arguably that's cheating a bit, a more ambitious standard would be to say that I can't check a word unless I can spontaneously utter a Japanese sentence using it appropriately (at which point my score would be zero, since my production capacity in Japanese far lags behind my reading skill). But I assume that's what a native speaker would automatically do (when I saw welter in the English list, I immediately tried to use it in a sentence in my head, and FWIW I ended up with both a right and a wrong usage when I googled to check), and I think that's how they are trying to filter for the truly literate.

It is however also possible that the test is fundamentally flawed in assuming, e.g., that a person who can get the two advanced katakana words right has a baseline of 12000 - but, of course, for an English speaker with a basic knowledge of katakana, those might be the only two words in the whole thing that they know!

Another point about possible test bias, this time maybe in the Japanese test's favor: someone pointed out that the English test is biased toward literary words. I noticed that the Japanese test, by contrast, included a few terms that would probably be considered scientific technical terms. (What the crap is a "land hemisphere"? I could read the kanji, which appeared to say something like "continent-half-rotation", but had to check wikipedia to find the answer: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_hemisphere. I left that one unmarked.)
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#34
I would consider stuff like land hemisphere and parallax kinda general knowledge. Btw, kanken helped for stuff like かんじき.
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#35
Okay, I've given it a bit of thought and here are my goals for 2017 in Japanese.

ANKI

One exercise I am thinking of doing is going through Core 6k/10k and also maybe the WWWJDICT "common words" list (about 20k words) and adding some of those to my decks.

Yojijukugo, slice #2: I did about the top 10% by frequency from this massive yojijukugo deck, and I found it to be useful, so I may do another 10% slice this year as well.

Unsuspend Kanji cards: I should probably do a cram session of all of my kanji cards and also un-suspend my currently suspended leech kanji cards.

I may go through some of my keigo books (see below) and add them as Anki cards.  I'm not 100% sure if they're a good candidate for Anki-ing however.

Decks I would like to find (but may end up making myself, ugh):

Common Japanese names, esp. male first names.  Maybe find a list of the most popular boys/girls names per year for the past few decades.

Japanese places trivia, cities, etc
... basic cultural info about various regions, prefectures, cities of Japan.  I already have a deck that is a map, but would like more of the trivia/tourist info about places.  What are the big cities?  Famous tourist or historical sites?  Famous foods? etc.


BOOKS

When I went to Japan last year I picked up some keigo and business Japanese books.  About half were for foreigners learning Japanese and half were aimed at native Japanese speakers.  Listing some of them below.  I may Anki some of these if I can figure out a good format for doing so.

シャドーイング 日本語を話そう 就職・アルバイト・進学面接編 - I've never done shadowing before so I don't know how effective it is, but I figure this would be interesting to work through.

スラスラ話せる敬語入門 一目でわかる!! すぐに使える!!

敬語すらすらBOOK

敬語これだけBOOK

I definitely will continue reading books and novels for leisure.  If anything, this may be the main focus of my Japanese for the year.  I've already started reading 宮部みゆきの「火車」, and it has been a lot easier than the last time I picked it up and scanned a few pages of it (maybe last year?).  Hopefully that means some progress on my end.

Authors I'd like to read this year: 宮部みゆき (MIYABE Miyuki)、川端安成 (KAWABATA Yasunari)、江戸川乱歩 (EDOGAWA Ranpo)


MULTIMEDIA

Last year I had an online college course and Koukou Kouza listed here, but that was probably a bit too ambitious.  I think I'd rather do lighter and more entertaining stuff than purely academic.

NHK Documentaries: I'd like to watch more NHK Documentaries.  Someone posted a link earlier to a bunch from AJATT, which might be a good place to start.  Perhaps I should look into paying for access to NHK somehow.  There might also be some Youtube channels out there that might be interesting.

J-Drama with Japanese subtitles - This is usually a pretty good exercise for me.  The number of dramas with Japanese subtitles is quite low, however, and doing the timing myself is not that fun.  I should try and do it for a few dramas this year though.  An alternative might be watching the Netflix Japanese shows since those have Japanese subtitles already.  The only downside with those is that I have to watch them on my computer instead of my TV.

BBC Japanese: I like reading news off here because it gives me Japanese vocabulary words for current events in the west & in America.  I should probably try to read this more regularly for practice.

Podcasts: I used to listen to バイリンガルニュース, and I like the format of it.  Unfortunately I got a little tired of hearing the American guy man-splaining everything and the Japanese girl just agreeing with him.  So I felt the vocabulary usage was lopsided towards the English side and the Japanese side eventually turned into a lot of "sou desu-nee."  I'm not really a regular listener of podcasts in English either, but I'm listing it here to remind myself to look every now and then.

Other:  I used to post on Lang-8, maybe it's worthwhile to do that again?  Also, maybe there are teachers on iTalki that could figure out a lesson plan for me?  It's a little more difficult without a set curriculum to aim for, but there are probably teachers out there who have a curriculum for advanced learners.


TESTS & EXAMS

I don't intend on signing up for any tests any time soon (aside from J-CAT), but just as a reference if anyone is interested, here are some other non-JLPT exams out there:

Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) - phone interview
http://www.languagetesting.com/oral-prof...erview-opi

Business Japanese Proficiency Test (BJT) (not held in USA)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_J...iency_Test
http://www.kanken.or.jp/bjt/english/

J-Test (not held in USA)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J-Test
http://j-test.jp/

Kanji Kentei
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanji_kentei
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#36
(2017-01-07, 6:30 pm)Npm215 Wrote: So those of you with higher Japanese vocab counts than my 10K -- any suggestions for how to get there? Is it just a matter of putting in the reading hours?

Well yeah you just consume Japanese media and look up stuff and eventually you'll get there. It takes a lot of time. Of course don't anki too much since it's just a supplement. I personally love the McD format and spend less than 3 secs per card. You don't have to just anki from reading.
Edited: 2017-01-08, 9:25 pm
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#37
(2017-01-08, 10:07 am)tanaquil Wrote:
(2017-01-08, 4:20 am)faneca Wrote: Those tests were actually quite interesting.

Even if my English grammar is far from good, having scored an estimated vocabulary of 24,500 is pretty good for a non-native who's never lived in any English-speaking country Blush Big Grin .

On the other hand, just because I know a few advanced kanji (I did RTK3 but no vocabulary deck yet Sad ) and some English words given in katakana, getting 12000 on the Japanese test is no less of a plain lie. I'm pretty sure my Japanese vocabulary is way below 2000, probably even below 1000 (unless you include counters, then my vocabulary is infinite Tongue ), and that is taking into account my passive vocabulary.

faneca, I'm curious, what standard did you use to mark words "known"? I tried doing it this way: I turned rikaichan on, looked at each word and made a guess at the pronunciation and the meaning, and then used rikaichan to check to see if I was right. In a very great number of cases, the pronunciation and/or meaning were not what I thought they were, so I left them unchecked.

Arguably that's cheating a bit, a more ambitious standard would be to say that I can't check a word unless I can spontaneously utter a Japanese sentence using it appropriately (at which point my score would be zero, since my production capacity in Japanese far lags behind my reading skill). (snip)

Yeah, I did more or less the same as you, so you can say I cheated too (and, maybe, was too lucky as well). It seemed pretty clear to me that the test was split in *columns* of different difficulty and, probably just by chance, I knew almost all of the words in the first column (I think I missed just one). Then, things started to get even more interesting: in addition to 「ライン」, which was on the first column, I got katakana beasts puppies like 「ライニング」 or 「パララックス」 on the last one. And I also "guessed" right two or three words from the last two columns, including meaning, pronunciation and usage/part of speech (but which, as you can imagine, aren't part of my vocabulary at all); I can't seem to remember any of them right now with the exception of 「宿無し」 (which I could also have guessed wrong as 「しゅくなし」, I was like fifty-fifty on that one).

I've always been good at guessing, I guess (pun intended :-P), but if I limited myself to check only words I could use in a conversation, I'd have marked maybe five or six words at most. Actually, probably less than that, as I wouldn't be sure if I could use 「ライニング」 or 「パララックス」 in Japanese.

(On a side note, related to katakana entries helping me score way better than expected, on the English test I was also helped by both loan and derived-from-Latin words, like "pastiche", "imbroglio", "portmanteau", "parsimonious" and so on... but in this case you can't say they are outside my "repertoire" :-P, even if I wouldn't be totally sure I could use some of them in English).
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#38
(2017-01-08, 9:25 pm)howtwosavealif3 Wrote: Well yeah you just consume Japanese media and look up stuff and eventually you'll get there. It takes a lot of time.
Mmm -- the thing is that I feel like I've already put in a fair amount of reading time (22 books, mostly novels, last year, 116 over the last decade), and still only at 10k vocab. But maybe that only *feels* like a lot -- I remember that when I was 12 or so I'd get six books from the library every Friday and finish them by Sunday, so my input rate for Japanese (and reading speed, naturally) is wildly below what it was for English. I dunno if I should be trying to increase the speed I read (and if so how), or the hours-per-week, or mixing up the types of reading...

PS: on the J vocab test my standard was 'do I know the reading and more-or-less the meaning'; I counted anything where I'd be guessing as a 'no', but I didn't require myself to be able to provide an exact definition or usage example.
Edited: 2017-01-09, 4:33 am
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#39
(2017-01-09, 4:30 am)pm215 Wrote:
(2017-01-08, 9:25 pm)howtwosavealif3 Wrote: Well yeah you just consume Japanese media and look up stuff and eventually you'll get there. It takes a lot of time.
Mmm -- the thing is that I feel like I've already put in a fair amount of reading time (22 books, mostly novels, last year, 116 over the last decade), and still only at 10k vocab. But maybe that only *feels* like a lot -- I remember that when I was 12 or so I'd get six books from the library every Friday and finish them by Sunday, so my input rate for Japanese (and reading speed, naturally) is wildly below what it was for English. I dunno if I should be trying to increase the speed I read (and if  so how), or the hours-per-week, or mixing up the types of reading...

I can totally related to the "six books over the weekend" experience! Oh man, I must have gone through the entire children's section at my (pretty substantial) neighborhood library. I re-borrowed some so often I might as well have owned them (a lot of them were OOP at the time). And then I would read everything on my parents' shelves that didn't have a title like "Statistics of Household Income since 1956." 

Your experience sounds a lot like mine - 10K words feels like it should be so much, and really it is (I can read many novels without a dictionary even if at least one word in every other sentence looks like "bargle"), but there's such a gap between my English fluency and my Japanese fluency, I sabotage myself by telling myself I should be able to read faster/better, and then reading isn't even fun.

Your reading record sounds pretty solid. Probably increasing the hours-per-week is your best bet, or else trying to set a consistent page target (like x pages per month) - I know that's what I need to work on. I don't think consciously trying to increase your speed ever helps, unless you mean by skipping dictionary lookups or something; speed comes unconsciously with practice.

Another thing I'm working on is slowly adding cards to anki. I often make the mistake of shoveling too many cards into anki too fast, and then the reviews overwhelm me and I stop reviewing until the backlog is so bad it takes six months just to get current. (Sadly, I have repeated this pattern twice since 2010.) If I had just added one word and one post-joyo kanji per day consistently since 2010, I'd be a lot further along now, so I'm working on the little-at-a-time process.

Good luck! I need plenty of luck as well.

Quote:And I also "guessed" right two or three words from the last two columns, including meaning, pronunciation and usage/part of speech (but which, as you can imagine, aren't part of my vocabulary at all); I can't seem to remember any of them right now with the exception of 「宿無し」 (which I could also have guessed wrong as 「しゅくなし」, I was like fifty-fifty on that one).


If you were able to get anywhere close to guessing that 宿無し means homeless, you are good at guessing! When I first met that word, I not only didn't guess the pronunciation (yadonashi), but I read it as "not-lodgings, what?" I think I have a very literal approach to guessing words from kanji. I hope reading more helps me get past that.

You're going to move fast once you start learning more vocabulary!
Edited: 2017-01-09, 10:23 am
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#40
Pehaps do more audio based stuff like talk variety shows or dramas or movies or anime ( clearly step one is being able to follow the conversation effortlessly before you're able to engage in conversation) . I love talk variety shows (I don't indiscriminately watch them.  I find the ones that interest me a lot) and I've seen A Lot ( I mean a lot. I'm pretty sure the number hours I spent watching talk variety shows easily surpasses thebnumber of hours spent reading) and something about audio makes stuff that much more easy to understand and remeber Japanese. You mentioned speaking but reading books is reading books. Yes there's conversation in it I think you'd benefit more from watching or listening to people converse And use the language on their feet. But anyways eventually you're gonna have to talk a lot ( once again A LOT) and you will eventually go from sucky to effortless speaking but that will take a lot of time. In sure you've heard of the saying practice makes perfect or takes 10,000 hours to master anything. Let's have realistic expectations based on what you're doing

By the way I've also read 116 books( no manga though I did log in 15 volumes of light novel) according to book meter so I know that's a lot of reading. Btw how do you learn from reading. Do you read it without up looking up any words, some words, all words? I take pictures as I come across anything that I don't know or am unsure of and I used to hand write that stuff down before the advent of smartphones . Then the pictures pile up. I have looked up a lot of stuff in the photos and I've learned a lot and reading novels is a lot of easier than it was in the beginning not that it was ridiculously hard in the beginning ( I started reading novels 2 years in only because I didn't Know there was a bookoff near me) . I'm just getting that much more faster at reading. Thanks to rikaisama cardmaking is so much easier


I actually also have 10,000 cards in my anki but I don't get down about it because I know how good I am with comprehending talk variety shows and anime (it's amazing trying to remember the days when it wasn't effortless or I only had 80% etc). You have to focus on your goals rather than the size of your anki deck. In fact I think it's very depressing have the anki deck size as a goal. Like my goal is enjoy whatever Japanese media as effortlessly and completely as possible. There's plenty of words that aren't in anki that I know and ones in anki that I still do not know. It's a tool. If I had 20 or 30 000 anki cards and I still had trouble with following anime or talk variety show with 99% comprehension then would I feel like I really like to torture myself and waste time. Also I started anking in 2008 and I have lost my deck 2 times and I think the last time was 2011 or 2010 and looking back I am glad because I was abusing anki and wasting my time though I was deluddd that I was accomplishing something. Nowadays I love the McD format . When it comes down it to, especially when you get to a high level you just have to do whatever the hell you want to do in Japanese and learn from it if you want using anki

Btw do you have any book recommendations? I was going to start tagging my books into shelves to keep track for myself how much I enjoyed reading it
This a bookshelf I made a while back
http://i.bookmeter.com/category/1114?p=2
Edited: 2017-01-09, 11:27 am
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#41
Just took the J-CAT and posted in the J-CAT thread, but posting here as well for my own personal reference.  Older score is from about a year ago, shortly after passing JLPT N1:

聴解 / Listening 85 -> 88
語彙 / Vocabulary 45 -> 52
文法 / Grammar 71 -> 70
読解 / Reading 52 -> 69
合計 / Total 253 -> 279

I'm surprised my grammar score didn't regress further, since I haven't studied standardized test grammar in so long.  It's nice to see progress in a quantified manner I guess.  Maybe hopefully I get a score of 300 next year if I keep up my reading?
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#42
(2017-01-07, 6:30 pm)pm215 Wrote: So those of you with higher Japanese vocab counts than my 10K -- any suggestions for how to get there? Is it just a matter of putting in the reading hours?
To follow up on this question to which the answers were indeed mostly "put in the hours" -- about midway through February I finished book 3 for this year, and I realised that at this pace I'd probably end the year having read about one book every two weeks or 25-ish over the year, which is pretty much the same as last year, which felt like it would be a bit disappointing. So I'm trying the experiment of setting myself a fixed target of 50 pages a day (with a requirement to catch up the following day on days when I can't manage it). I picked 50 on the basis that the average book is 300 to 350 pages so it ought to work out at a book a week. So far it is working out quite well -- in the just over 2 weeks since I started I've read three books, and I'm actually averaging over 50 pages a day.

I think the benefit is that the fixed daily goal motivates me to actually put in more time, and means I don't have days when I don't get round to reading at all. It also helps to get over the inevitable start-of-book hump where it's harder and less rewarding and into the "want to read to find out what happens next stage" where I'm more likely to read more than the 50-page target. On the other hand it is definitely an increased commitment in time and effort (between 1 1/2 and 2 hours a day depending on the difficulty of the book) -- I might not be able to keep up this initial pace over the long term.
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#43
I thought I'd update this thread with my progress for the year thus far.  Doing this last year was a good motivator for some things I had been slacking on, so maybe it will do the same this year.  Apologies in advance for the wall of text.

ANKI Vocab

So I'm suffering from a little bit of Anki fatigue at the moment, at least on the vocabulary side of things.  I had gone through the Core6k words I didn't know, and was plodding along the Core10k words I didn't know when I just hit a wall and was tired of the increasing number of Anki reviews I was facing each day.  So I completely put a pause on adding new vocabulary about a month ago.  I'll probably start adding in the words I've encountered in the wild that I wanted to add, but forcing down the Core10k words felt sort of pointless so I'm not sure if I'll ever end up finishing that.  The Core6k didn't feel that way, they felt like genuinely useful words I didn't know.

I briefly looked at the WWWJDict common words, but it's about 20k+ words, so I abandoned that idea.

The yojijukugo was helpful, but I spaced them out so that I did about 10 per week.  I got about halfway through the list I wanted to get through this year, and currently put it on pause as well with my other vocabulary.  I'll probably end up finishing this, it has been quite helpful.

    Core6k unknown words  (Completed)
    Core10k unknown words (Finished about 20% before hitting the wall)
    WWWJDict Common Words (Too many to sift through, did not go through these)
    Yojijukugo, slice #2 (completed half so far, intend to finish this in 2017)

    Other vocabulary words - Added 441 so far this year.


ANKI Kanji

I've decided to start tackling some non-Jouyou kanji this year.  I'm thinking about it in phases as a long term project, so I'm kind of rolling my own RTK3-lite list, and then chipping away from there.  I am basically using the Kanji Kentei list as a guide, with potentially my ultimate goal (maybe 1 year from now) being KK1.5 (準1級) + a very small subset of KK1 (1級).  I'll probably assess things after I finish the RTK3-lite to see if I want to continue on to finish all of KK1.5.

I should also note that when I add kanji now I am adding only 4 new kanji per day, so that I'm not overwhelmed by them.

    Unsuspend Kanji cards - Re-studied my backlog of leech kanji cards.  (completed)

     Non Jouyou Kanji cards
        DIY RTK3-lite set using frequency list as a guide (will start soon)
        The rest of Kanji Kentei 1.5 (TBD)


BOOKS

I haven't touched the books that I bought in Japan (maybe I'll get on that soon), which were all on keigo usage.  I have been getting a decent amount of novel reading done, though.  My initial goal was about one novel per month.  It was pretty easy to hit that when I was reading a little bit every day, but the last few months I've been slacking off a little bit.  Reading a different author each time is good exposure, but for motivation's sake, maybe I should back off the more challenging stuff and read a simpler mystery novel or something.

     宮部みゆき (MIYABE Miyuki) - 火車 - It was a nice confidence booster to be able to pick up and read this.  I remember trying to read it a while back and found the few pages I got through quite the slog because of how much I had to stop and look up.
     川端安成 (KAWABATA Yasunari) - 掌の小説 - I struggled through a few stories before I decided to give up on it.  Hopefully in the future my reading comprehension will be up to the task, but it looks like it is not yet there.
     平出隆 (HIRAIDE Takashi) - 猫の客 - Since I had both the English and Japanese versions, I'd read a chapter in Japanese first and then read the English translation.  This novel, while grammatically very simple, still felt difficult because of the author's vocabulary and kanji usage.  He is apparently a poet, so I think that has something to do with it.
     江戸川乱歩 (EDOGAWA Ranpo) - Really interesting to see the different kanji usage from stuff written about 100 years ago.  Since it's past copyright, it's listed on Aozora and is much easier to read with rikaisama/yomichan enabled.

I'll toss in manga in here as well, I've been reading 食戟のソーマ and I started reading 深夜食堂 again.  It'd been a while since I read Shinya Shokudou, so it was a nice surprise to see that it has become a pretty easy read for me now.


MULTIMEDIA

     NHK Documentaries:
         ドキュメント72時間 - I watch this whenever I can find it online.

     J-Drama with Japanese subtitles - I've recently been watching these from Chinese sites that have both Japanese and Chinese subtitles.  For some reason, having both of them on there is distracting to me and I kind of zone out and stop reading the Japanese subtitles.  I should probably find better sources.  Dear Japan, Inc., I would love for a legitimate, reasonably priced streaming option with Japanese subtitle support.  I am happy to watch the commercials.

     BBC Japanese: I at least scan the headlines from this every day.  I should probably read more of the articles, but they seem to publish only 3 articles per weekday, so there's not a lot to choose from.

     Varieties: I've started watching some varieties.  They're quite entertaining, but probably not very educational.
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