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My little 2017 lower intermediate thread

(2017-04-14, 8:26 am)sumsum Wrote: Though it might actually feel like I'm stuck for a while. (Because "getting it somewhat" has a pretty big variance and "getting it fully" probably is still pretty far away)
I think if you were getting it fully then your material would be too easy and you wouldn't be learning as much as you would with harder material. Of course there will be material that is too hard, but if you are getting enough out of it to be enjoyable then it's not too hard. And as you continue reading the series, you'll naturally get better at understanding it. Also, as others have said re-reading something greatly increases it's understandability. So if you're following the plot enough to be enjoyable, then I wouldn't stop.
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So just a note as I'm closing in on the final volume of "Orange".

This is hard! There's not much text on each page, but I've recently still been encountering 2-3 unknown words each page.

I think I'm able to read a lot of the easy manga stuff. But there's still enough unknown vocab that it's not quite pleasure reading.

I think when I finish this volume I'm going to go back and reread either the early shirokuma, yotsubato or Orange. I feel like for each of them maybe I understood 80% of the words without looking them up. I wound up anki-ing a lot of the unknown vocab. So I'm interested to see what I get out of the books now that I know so much more of the vocab.
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Good idea! If it goes anything like my re-reading experiments, you'll understand a lot more - like 95%. Some of that will be simply because you know the story now. But like you said, you know a lot more of the vocabulary, so you'll be able to solidify that vocabulary and hopefully learn most of the ones you didn't know the first time around.

Let us know how it goes. I'm interested how much you'll need the dictionary the second time around.
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Yay! Fingers crossed it goes well for you! I'm getting to the point where I'm considering mining vocab from manga since I have a base vocab (about 2k words) and not horrible grammar (somewhere between N4 and N3). But. Decisions, decisions.
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Good news on my end. I'm now on the last "letter" of the entire series of "Orange".

A nice little accomplishment to have before posting the month's stats tomorrow!

I also peeked ahead and it looks like I will have some good stats to report.

I also have a 30 minute conversation lesson via italki today. I can't believe that this teacher only charges $11 for 30 minutes. It's incredibly valuable to me.

And another little milestone: I just updated my kanji list in anki to have a "non-joyo" section.

People who have known me a while will know that a few years ago I switched my RTK deck to be recognition. And I never made it thru the entire deck.

That being said, I find that I do occasionally run into non-RTK kanji. An easy example is 翔くん in "Orange". His name means "fly or soar", but it's not in joyo kanji.

So I just added a card for it into my kanji recognition deck. I've probably encountered a dozen or two kanji like this. I might as well add them to my list!
Edited: 2017-04-30, 11:22 am
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(2017-04-30, 10:49 am)ariariari Wrote: Good news on my end. I'm now on the last "letter" of the entire series of "Orange".

A nice little accomplishment to have before posting the month's stats tomorrow!

I also peeked ahead and it looks like I will have some good stats to report.

I also have a 30 minute conversation lesson via italki today. I can't believe that this teacher only charges $11 for 30 minutes. It's incredibly valuable to me.

And another little milestone: I just updated my kanji list in anki to have a "non-joyo" section.

People who have known me a while will know that a few years ago I switched my RTK deck to be recognition. And I never made it thru the entire deck.

That being said, I find that I do occasionally run into non-RTK kanji. An easy example is 翔くん in "Orange". His name means "fly or soar", but it's not in joyo kanji.

So I just added a card for it into my kanji recognition deck. I've probably encountered a dozen or two kanji like this. I might as well add them to my list!

Yay!! :Big Grin I'm soooo close to being done with school and being on my own. I'll be self-employed and have plenty of time to study. My vocab's in a decent place so I want to maintain that, hammer some more grammar in, and then get started on reading more. I can't wait to actually have stuff to post about on this thread besides 'not dead...'
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(2017-04-30, 10:49 am)ariariari Wrote: Good news on my end. I'm now on the last "letter" of the entire series of "Orange".

A nice little accomplishment to have before posting the month's stats tomorrow!

I also peeked ahead and it looks like I will have some good stats to report.

I also have a 30 minute conversation lesson via italki today. I can't believe that this teacher only charges $11 for 30 minutes. It's incredibly valuable to me.

And another little milestone: I just updated my kanji list in anki to have a "non-joyo" section.

People who have known me a while will know that a few years ago I switched my RTK deck to be recognition. And I never made it thru the entire deck.

That being said, I find that I do occasionally run into non-RTK kanji. An easy example is 翔くん in "Orange". His name means "fly or soar", but it's not in joyo kanji.

So I just added a card for it into my kanji recognition deck. I've probably encountered a dozen or two kanji like this. I might as well add them to my list!

Grats! I want to add Orange to my reading list. Soon maybe.
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May Stats

Vs. April
New Grammar: 26 - 15 = +11 mature
grammar: backlog of 0, with 645 mature - backlog of 29, with 639 mature  = +35
kanji: 731 mature - 735 mature = -4
vocab: 5,647 mature - 5,565 mature = +82

The amazing thing, as always, is just how much my vocabulary grows with seemingly no work from me. To me, this is really the magic of anki. All I do is add vocabulary that I encounter in real life (speaking with friends, reading or watching anime) to anki. And then I set anki to add in 2-3 unseen cards a day. And I do my anki reps in a cafe each morning over a (long) cup of tea. (OK, some days I add more, but I try not to!)

I hope that one day someone in the situation I was in before (living in a rural place on JET, struggling to learn Japanese) reads my posts here, and thinks "if someone living outside of Japan can grow their Japanese vocabulary so much, so regularly, as just a part-time hobby, seemingly on autopilot, then imagine what I can do!"

Vs. January 1
New Grammar: +26 mature
grammar: backlog of 0, with 645 mature- a backlog of 174 reviews, with 640 mature (1/1)  = +179
kanji: 731 mature - 727 mature = +4
vocab: 5,647 mature - 5,416 mature = +231

The big story last month was beginning to do do grammar with my italki teacher. The rough thing was my travel schedule. And next week I am traveling for work again as well. But I hope to continue with another grammar lesson or two with my teacher next month.

I also hope to finish reading the "Orange" series in May. I have only one "letter" left.

After that I think it would be nice to start rereading Shirokuma Cafe once I'm done with Orange. Reading is such a struggle for me due to vocab, I think that rereading might be much more enjoyable for me.

Also, I'm now on episode 45 of Shorkuma. (The last one was a tear-jerker!) There are only 50 episodes in the series. So there's a chance I'll finish the entire series this month. Though it seems more likely that that will take another month.
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I'm 99% of the way done with school!! It means I actually have time to study again! Working primarily on grammar, but continuing to build vocab.

It's so nice.
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(2017-05-11, 7:13 pm)nohika Wrote: I'm 99% of the way done with school!! It means I actually have time to study again! Working primarily on grammar, but continuing to build vocab.

It's so nice.

I thought you were already done!
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(2017-05-11, 7:29 pm)ariariari Wrote:
(2017-05-11, 7:13 pm)nohika Wrote: I'm 99% of the way done with school!! It means I actually have time to study again! Working primarily on grammar, but continuing to build vocab.

It's so nice.

I thought you were already done!

Me too. :p I'm finishing up small things for my research assistantship. And chasing down people that need to be chased down in order to grant my Masters. So mostly small things at this point - but they often require driving to campus, so they get longer.

Especially since my dog has separation anxiety and gets to go to daycare while I'm out of the house...
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Good luck @nohika!

As for me, I'm on the plane now, just finished up attending a big conference.

I have another conference talk scheduled in June. It's been busy days.

The nice thing is that planes have wifi now, and I've been watching a lot of shirokuma!

I'm on episode 47 now, and there are only 50. It will be a very exciting milestone for me when I finish them all!

And it seems like whenever I watch an episode, or read a manga chapter, I wind up putting a ton of new vocab into anki.

So I guess everything is going according to plan.

The downside lately is that I'm wondering if I should plan to give my conference talk in December in English.

It just seems like a lot of work to me, and I'm not sure if it will be worth the effort.

Luckily I don't have to decide anytime soon!
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Yay I'm done! And yay for Shirokuma!

I'm taking a break and going through Tae Kim's Grammar Guide and steadily becoming a fan of consulting various grammar guides, + the internet, when reading. I see nuances differently almost every time I read a different explanation.

I am thinking of trying a couple of the 'Read Real Japanese' books, because I'm really literal and I think it might help to learn some of the metaphors, etc. I'm excited to keep moving forward, though.

Yay for continued learning?
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Neat! I haven't read the "read real japanese" books, but everyone seems to rave about them.

I just finished the last part of the last book of "Orange", so I have now OFFICIALLY FINISHED THE ENTIRE SERIES Smile
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YAY!

I used to live near a Kinokuniya, and they had them on sale once so I grabbed a couple of them. I think they also have CDs, so that'd be useful for listening, too.
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(2017-05-13, 4:12 pm)nohika Wrote: I am thinking of trying a couple of the 'Read Real Japanese' books, because I'm really literal and I think it might help to learn some of the metaphors, etc. I'm excited to keep moving forward, though.

I only have  'Read Real Japanese: Fiction', but it was definitely a great help in bridging the gap between being able to read learner's materials, easy manga, etc., and being able to read actual books. The dictionary lookups/vocabulary building grind will go on for awhile and Read Real Japanese doesn't really help that much in the long run (it helps greatly in the short run though, with the words right there for the stories you're currently reading!).

It does however, help a whole lot with understanding the common patterns of prose writing, which means a lot more sentences that make complete sense if you know or after you look up all the words, and a whole lot less of that 'I know all the words but what does it mean?' feeling.

(Oh, and yes, the CD was pretty good listening practice, although the one story.... オウム肉屋 I think it was called... the narrator gets really loud when imitating a cow, which can be a little startling, especially if you're listening to the CD as you fall asleep. Some of the other stories could also result in disturbing dreams. Nothing really terrifying, just some were kind of unsettling. All in all, though, there may be better choices for the last thing you listen to at night. )
Edited: 2017-05-14, 1:45 am
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I have both Fiction and Essays, I think. I still haven't figured out a good system for looking up words, so I tend to skip them, haha! Trying to get better with that with manga, but dealing with an anxiety/depression spiral that makes making decisions very...difficult, on days like these.

That's what I'm mostly looking for, understanding the common patterns of prose writing, etc. I write fiction for a living in English, but Japanese is a whole different kettle of fish!

Hah, I watch TV to fall asleep. Although I do watch Forensic Files sometimes, so perhaps it wouldn't be quite as bad as I'm expecting...
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Somehow it's not as easy to find material I like listening to in the background as I thought... I basically listened to the whole Haikyuu series at least half a dozen times, but I have to face it: It's not particularly dialogue heavy.... And if it switches from 「持って来い!!」 to the teacher holding a short monologue, I have trouble keeping up and before I can get used to the other speech pattern the scene is over and it's back to a match and more 「持って来い!!」 haha. So while I do enjoy listening to it and will probably continue doing so for a while, I need some more material to switch it up with, preferably something with more text in general.

I tried a few series I watched recently but I didn't rea~lly like it all that much. (I loved watching 3月のライオン but there are these huge periods of silence; I binge watched Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 recently, but even though it was interesting the first time around, relistening felt draining and there were some speech patterns I just didn't feel like dealing with for hours as well). Some of the problems could be circumvented (E.g. I could cut out the silence in the former as a lot of sub2srs people do, or I could just skip episodes I find overly annoying in the latter) but mehhhh.

However I finally did find something I enjoy listening to! My newest addition is 蟲師 (mushishi). It's definitely a stepup from my shonen sports anime... There are some scenes of silence/music but there's also a lot of speech. The MC is speaking rather calm and IMO has a pleasant voice. Of course there's some vocab that's really not that usable outside, but overall it feels like good listening practice. Not too hard from the characteristics (E.g. no overly fast speech and as far as I can tell so far not as much overly stylized speech as you sometimes find in other anime) but of course a lo~t of vocab I'm unfamiliar with etc. Definitely brought a nice change of pace for now Smile
Edited: 2017-05-15, 7:24 am
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Nice to hear from you again sumsum!

I wanted to share some thoughts about rereading shirokuma.

First of all: speed. I am reading at something closer to my reading speed in English than my pace the first time around.

Second: there are still words I don't know! I'm surprised that I never added some of these words into anki. But I guess if I added every new word I encountered, I'd never have finished the book to begin with.

I need to find a nice English language novel to read before going to bed. But until then, I guess I'm stuck with shirokuma.
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(2017-05-15, 7:15 am)sumsum Wrote: Somehow it's not as easy to find material I like listening to in the background as I thought... I basically listened to the whole Haikyuu series at least half a dozen times, but I have to face it: It's not particularly dialogue heavy....
Maybe it would be worth looking for some drama cd audio? They might be closer to what you're looking for than just the audio for anime episodes, because they have to have enough narration and dialogue that you can understand the story from just the audio. OTOH they're rather harder to find than anime... Come to think of it I should have another search myself.
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(2017-05-15, 9:28 am)ariariari Wrote: First of all: speed. I am reading at something closer to my reading speed in English than my pace the first time around.
That's pretty cool and shows how the effort paid off!
What are you doing now with the "new" words you encounter on your second read through? Adding them or not? I mean you did fine the first time around without them Big Grin


(2017-05-15, 9:28 am)pm215 Wrote: Maybe it would be worth looking for some drama cd audio?
Yeah, I've been considering that as well, but I don't reaaally know where to look as well, hmmmm If you find anything managable and mildly interesting, I'm open for suggestions, hehe. Angel
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Yay for reading speed, ariariari!! That's exciting!

I'm challenging myself to read 5 pages of manga a day for the next week. It's a manga I've read in English, so some stuff I can guess from context, but I really want to incentivize delving into the literature because I'm terrified of it. Smile Part of my anxiety brain thinks if I study everything perfectly, reading will be easy. Wink But I know that's not the case.
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(2017-05-15, 7:15 am)sumsum Wrote: Somehow it's not as easy to find material I like listening to in the background as I thought... I basically listened to the whole Haikyuu series at least half a dozen times, but I have to face it: It's not particularly dialogue heavy....

I'm really digging having documentaries in the background (or JSTScienceChannel's content); I had to make a different YouTube account to keep my regular viewing from getting in the way of the recommendations (which I let auto-play). I've thought about taking the stuff I like and sticking it in a playlist, but that seems like too much work (and I can't get my TV to shuffle them)

Some of it is a little difficult to understand, but I've found it to be a lot more accessible than I expected; JST's stuff is probably the easiest to understand; you might want to cut off the first few seconds of the shorter videos though (if you rip the audio), or you'll be hearing the same intro over and over every few minutes.
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It's nice to see the thread picking up!

To the person who asked about what I'm doing with unknown vocab ... I'm sticking to the same thing. I'm trying to add in just 2 new cards a day (although sometimes I go above that).

Right now I have 35 "unseen" cards in anki, which is too many for me. At 2/day it will take me over two weeks to get through them all! So basically, I'm not adding in any new cards right now. Or at least I'm trying to exercise restraint!

But as the number of unseen goes down, I get more receptive to adding in new cards. This is a system that's been working well for me recently.
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Do you still look them up as you go?
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