My little 2017 lower intermediate thread

(2017-06-13, 10:34 am)ariariari Wrote: Hahahah, that's cute.

DO anki while you walk him! Even if it's just a few cards a day, it's better than letting the reviews just go up and up and up.

This is the little cutie - her name is Chai ("big" dog is Mocha).

Unfortunately, she's too little to walk so when we go outside she gets carried right now, and since I'm juggling two dogs, it's been chaos. xD

It's taken me almost two weeks to get my iPad charged for bed, but I get to do reviews at night again starting tonight! And I'm getting my schedule back under control so I'll have time to add new cards, etc, when baby is napping. Gonna get there.
@Nohika - Cute dog!
For me, I'm kinda shocked that I'm halfway thru the month but my number of mature vocab cards has actually decreased!
I'm now at 5,726. And on the first of the month I was at 5,727.
Most months I feel like I add ~50 mature cards. And I don't feel like this month has been different at all. So we'll see what happens by the end of the month.
So I just had a 30 minute lesson with my teacher. I still haven't finished anki'ing all the kenjyougo rules and exceptions, so we just had a free conversation lesson.

I got bored talking about daily life activities, so I steered the conversation to work, and we wound up talking about monetization strategies for free online content. The word "monetization" is actually in Japanese too, and here's the dictionary definition:

After reading that definition, I realized that I'm definitely not interested in taking the N3 this year Big Grin

There's just so much vocabulary specific to my work (and consequently related to my upcoming talk in Japan), that it could easily keep me busy in and of itself until December!

I wish that back in 2014 I knew about italki, and had the benefit of having cheap, online conversations with professional teachers about the topic of my presentation months before I actually flew to Japan.

My talk is in December, and I'm *so* grateful to be having these conversations 6 months out!
That's awesome, ariariari!! I'm so excited for you. Big Grin

I'm finally getting back to my reviews, slowly but surely. Fitting all my work into puppy's naptimes, which is harder than it sounds since she's going through an OMG DON'T LEAVE ME phase. :p

But! I'll get there.
So I'm still experimenting with how to prioritize my studies over the next six months until my trip to Japan.

I just did a language exchange session with the sponsors of my conference. They are actually on their way to Europe for a conference now, so we focused on helping them with English. Some of the guys have translation-level English. But some were just as bad as my worst students on JET:

Me: What's your name?
<waits 60 seconds>
Him: My name is Tanaka.

This made me realize that I want to get more regular speaking practice in. When I lived in Japan speaking was my best ability, and it was always the most fun thing for me to do with the language. I want to arrive prepared to speak with native speakers. I just scheduled a 30 minute call with my teacher (only $11, I can't believe it!). My goal here is just to improve my speaking ability, and not focus on explaining my research at all.

Since time is finite, though, this means that I also have to remove something. I think that I'm going to slow down the rate at which I add new cards to anki, and probably spend less time reading and watching new material. We'll see how it goes.

But man, I can't believe that this guy is going to Europe to present his research project, and it takes him a minute to say what his name is  Huh Confused
Edited: 2017-06-24, 11:24 am
July Stats

Vs. June
New Grammar: 59 - 50 = +9 mature
grammar: backlog of 0, mature of 647 - backlog of 0, mature of 648 - backlog of 0 = -1
kanji: 741 - 739 = +2 mature
vocab: 5,759 - 5,727 = +32 mature

Vs. January 1
New Grammar: +59 mature 
grammar: backlog of 0, with 647 mature- a backlog of 174 reviews, with 640 mature (1/1) = +181
kanji: 741 - 727 = +12 mature
vocab: 5,759 - 5,416 = +343 mature

The biggest thing, stats-wise, is the change in pace of vocabulary acquisition. Two months ago I added 80 mature cards. Last month I only added 32. Recently I've been adding only 2 new vocab cards a day, and this is helping keep my number of daily reviews to around 100.

Now that I'm moving towards preparing for my December trip and presentation in Japan, I'll probably continue to keep my anki time low. There are lots of ways to prepare for this trip that don't involve anki, and I'm interested in experimenting with them.
So I saw something about J-CAT recently and I realized that I haven't taken it in ages. I think a while ago I was interested in taking it every 6 months to measure progress. Especially since I didn't take JLPT last year, and have no interest in taking it this year, I thought it might be useful to take again.

From what I can tell the last time I took it was 2016-01-28.  (Was it really 18 months ago? If someone has better search ability than me, feel free to try and find my more recent score!). 

Anyway, I'm reposting that old score here so I can have an easier time doing a comparison later.
Here's my jcat score:
Quote:2016-01-28 JCAT score:

listening: 26
vocab: 40
grammar: 38
reading: 35
total: 139

Their scoring system:

< 100: basic 
101-150: pre-intermediate
151-200: intermediate

I think that back in January 2016 I hadn't watched any anime (I certainly hadn't finished all 50 episodes of Shirokuma, and probably hadn't watched any Orange yet). Ditto reading the corresponding manga.

So hopefully if I take it soon I can see some improvements in those metrics. Maybe I'll take it on the holiday tomorrow.
I found some newer scores of you here:
apparently I'm a good stalker (oops)

I'm considering taking it as well, buuut maybe not just yet. I last took it on January 12th, so I'm still below the 6-months-mark and I'm not sure if it would be better to have a little longer break anyway.

I dropped my reading for a while but recently got back to it. I'm still somewhat fascinated by how little I get but how I'm still somewhat able to get the overall plot. At least I feel like I do, can't be too sure, right? Big Grin I kind of want to continue this but it is a little frustrating at times as well.
Edited: 2017-07-04, 9:54 am
Thank you sumsum!

I remember that now. My score went up overall, but I was really disappointed that my grammar and reading went down.

That was a year ago, and I've been studying regularly since. Hopefully I can eek out the remaining 5 points to hit 150 and "officially" call myself intermediate in this language already!

High stakes!
AAAAAAAHHHHHH, I just got my JCAT registration details. Too bad I have plans this evening. I kinda want to drop everything and take it RIGHT NOW! Big Grin
(2017-07-05, 6:15 pm)ariariari Wrote: AAAAAAAHHHHHH, I just got my JCAT registration details.

haha  Big Grin now I wanna know your score too, so hurry up and take it Tongue
Edited: 2017-07-05, 9:57 pm
OK, OK! I'm taking it now.

PS Here's a funny word a friend just taught me: 新米
Hey guys, I did it - I hit intermediate. And I solidly hit it as well! I'm so proud of myself and so happy. Thanks to all of you for helping me stay motivated!

Based on this score, if I went to Japan right now, I would probably have a very different experience in terms of what I could understand (my last trip was December 2014). I'm now really looking forward to the trip in December. It should be a fascinating experience to return with such a difference in my language skill.

Here's a comparison between my score today and my score last year (July 2016):

listening : 48 (today) - 41 (last year) = +7
vocab     : 45 (today) - 45 (last year) = +0
grammar: 36 (today) - 29 (last year) = +7
reading  : 42 (today) - 30 (last year) = +12

total: 171 (today) - 145 (last year)

So last year there was this weird thing where grammar and reading were both way below my other abilities. And it looks like now reading definitely caught up, but grammar is still a bit behind.

So according to this, the money I am spending to do 1-1 grammar lessons with a teacher is money well spent!

The listening portion of the test made me really wish that I was watching dramas with "real" people as opposed to anime. The speech patterns between the exam and shirokuma cafe were just so different that it really threw me off.

I'm also surprised that reading was lower than listening. Maybe I should do more reading. 

But who knows. Most of my studying right now is geared towards my presentation in December. So I will resist reading to much into this or tweaking my studies too much as a result.

Except for continuing to study grammar with my teacher  Wink 

(Also, I have some serious questions about just how accurate and precise this exam is (if you compare these results with my results 18 months ago you'll see some weird things). But for now, it told me something I'm happy with, so I'll just take it Big Grin
Edited: 2017-07-06, 12:20 am
Will I have to enter the Twilight Zone to see your results from 18 years ago? Rolleyes

Congrats on such an improvement! I hope I can pull off similar improvement on my next attempt (in October, I think).
(2017-07-06, 12:17 am)sholum Wrote: Will I have to enter the Twilight Zone to see your results from 18 years ago? Rolleyes
Bwahahaha - I fixed that typo Big Grin
Congratulations on the awesome score! And here you were worrying if you'd hit 150 and you smashed it! Nice! Big Grin

Yeah, I think we discussed that last year as well... the accuracy of the test is somewhat debatable (as with any test, I guess) but I'd say 21 points is big enough of a puffer to account for some oddities here and there. So definitely solidly over 150!

Aw man, I'm seriously considering taking it as well (the hype is real), but then again I don't feel like I improved all that much and would probably just get depressed over that... oops. Though it might be a good idea to have that on paper?
Thank you sumsum! I'm still in disbelief on what a high score I got!

I recommend taking it as soon as you can. Odds are there will never be a good time to take it. And as soon as you take it, you can start measuring your progress with it!
So after realizing that my reading score lagged behind my listening score, I decided to go back to NHK Easy for a while. 

I am amazed at just how different newspaper vocab is from manga vocab. I mean, I guess I always knew this, but it's been a while since I made a concerted effort at reading a newspaper.

Here is a list of some types of words that I just never come across in my manga reading that seem to always come up in NHK Easy.

  1. Place names. 福岡県 is having bad weather, so I picked up not only a flashcard for a new prefecture name but also a new kanji (岡). I probably can't recognize all prefecture names yet, let alone their capitals, let alone, say, the 100 most common place names. So there's always something new in this department for me.
  2. Government agencies. For example, 気象庁 comes up whenever there's a weather problem.
  3. They always seem to talk about 行方不明 and 避難. I finally got around to adding the first to anki, but haven't added the second yet.
Yeah news talk really is different from anime. I should probably get back to that as well....

Talking about anime, I started watching 一週間フレンズ just recently and at least for the first few episodes I've seen so far the vocab seems really easy. Contentwise... sometimes I find the shojo vibe a bit strong (I mean I enjoy it, but it sometimes makes me a bit embarrassed just by watching haha) but in case someone is looking for an approachable series I thought I'd throw it out there. Smile
Edited: 2017-07-07, 8:57 pm
Thanks for the rec! I will check it out. Recently I've just been rewatching shirokuma. It's good practice, but I do feel like moving on to something new as well. I just haven't had anyone to (even virtually) watch something with.

(2017-07-07, 8:55 pm)sumsum Wrote: Yeah news talk really is different from anime. I should probably get back to that as well....

Talking about anime, I started watching 一週間フレンズ just recently and at least for the first few episodes I've seen so far the vocab seems really easy. Contentwise... sometimes I find the shojo vibe a bit strong (I mean I enjoy it, but it sometimes makes me a bit embarrassed just by watching haha) but in case someone is looking for an approachable series I thought I'd throw it out there. Smile

Thanks so much for the rec. I just watched episode 1 on Crunchy Roll and it seems perfect. Yes, nothing that I'd watch in English. But I could follow the first episode pretty well without subtitles, and even learned some new words. There are 12 episodes, so if I watch 1 episode a week this will give me listening practice for 3 months. 

Also, I looked online and there are 7 volumes of the manga. I'll check later to see if my local kinokuniya has it. If they do, and I read 1 volume a month, that could give me reading practice til the end of the year.
Edited: 2017-07-08, 11:13 am
It's been a while since I've posted! "Life" I guess would be my only excuse (another new job but this time I like it and don't plan on quitting anytime soon lol). Been a roller coaster of a year but the thing I've been missing on these past couple of months is Japanese studies.

As for anime, I'm watching "Baby Steps" which I believe I mentioned before is about tennis. I'm actually taking tennis lessons hence the drive to want to watch the anime in full. It doesn't hurt that I can learn a sport and Japanese along with it!  Big Grin So I thought why not get back in the game again?

(off topic but worth mentioning: I had notice right when I went on hiatus that I hit 1000 posts and made 10 topics. Then I received a total of 100 likes. How weird is that?!  Tongue )

Anyways I'm glad to be back! Oh, finally I posted my recent jcat score from May here.  To compare to what I had before:

listening : 28 (May 2017) - 25 (Aug 2016) = +3
vocab     : 7 (May 2017) - 15 (Aug 2016) = -8
grammar: 24 (May 2017) - 33 (Aug 2016) = -9
reading  : 11(May 2017) - 15 (Aug 2016) = -4

Total: 70 (May 2017) - 88 (Aug 2016) =-18

Strange how a lack of Japanese studies has actually increased my listening score lol  Tongue Though I do listen to jrock daily on my commute to and from work so that could be the reason. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Welcome back RawrPd - we missed you! Smile
Welcome back RawrPk!

I still have the audio of Baby Steps on my MP3 player as I've been hearing it up and down last year while working Big Grin I guess it's especially cool if you are learning tennis yourself. For me it was just a random sports anime, though it did kinda make me want to try tennis Wink
Edited: 2017-07-11, 8:29 am
A little update from me.

I've been having an interesting time since taking J-CAT.

Reviewing my scores right now I realize that my reading improved the most, and that's impressive.

But for some reason the lesson I took away right after the test was "Hey, my reading is below my listening. I should read more."

So in addition to picking up the manga "one week friends", I've also been reading NHK Easy frequently. Almost daily, really.

The down side is that I constantly encounter interesting vocab I don't know (民主 and 共産 come to mind). And then I wind up adding it to anki. And then I get this huge backlog of cards, so I start adding more unseen ones each day ...

.. and for the last week I've been adding 5 new cards a day. And now my daily anki reviews is around 130, which is around the point when it starts crowding out doing other things with the language, which is when I start to resent it.

Perhaps more importantly, I just signed up to give a short speech August 11 in Japanese at my local toastmasters. I'm going to try and give an abridged version of the speech I want to give in December in Tokyo (which in turn is a copy of a speech I just gave in English).

So at some point in the coming weeks I'll have to end this little binge I've been doing on vocab and reading, and focus on writing.

How is everyone else doing?
This article taught me some fun words:

I already knew 軍 (who doesn't).

But this article taught me 海軍. After anki-ing that, I couldn't resist just typing 空軍 into jisho and yes, it's what you'd expect.

Why did I ever think that this language was hard again?

Update: after talking with a Japanese friend I learned that the best word for "Army" is not in fact, 軍: it's 陸軍. 軍 by itself seems to most closely mean "armed forces" or "military". That is, it doesn't specify a branch of military. I actually didn't know that 陸軍 was a word before that conversation!
Edited: 2017-07-17, 1:13 pm