My little 2017 lower intermediate thread

I confess. I guess I'm having a bit of a love affair with Japanese newspaper vocabulary right now.

From this one:

I just learned 赤十字. (Incidentally, 十字 by itself is also a word, with the expected meaning)

Edit: a Japanese friend just taught me the word 十字軍, which for some reason made me laugh!
Edited: 2017-07-18, 5:37 pm
I finally finished reading the first volume of 黒魔女さんが通る!! So proud! I mean it took me ages and I took a way too long break in between, but I'm still so glad I finished it! I didn't really save words from it but I did look up and (so far) retain some nonetheless. Such useful things as 墓、墓場、墓石 come to mind spontaneously Big Grin   I didn't know the first kanji, but after learning it the rest of the words were so incredibly easy to get from context. Just makes it obvious how much kanji help with vocab acquisition. I guess I did pick up some more general purpose words as well, but those somehow stood out...

Quote: Edit: a Japanese friend just taught me the word 十字軍, which for some reason made me laugh!

That's so literal, that I probably wouldn't get it if I were reading it. But now I won't forget it Big Grin
Edited: 2017-07-18, 6:54 pm
Aww yay! I'm glad things are going well. Smile

I've been so sidetracked by raising puppy and now my family is in town...blech. But! I am catching up on my Anki reviews, finally. So that's nice. Once I'm actually caught up I'll start adding more again. Goal is to make it to the N3 grammar stuff by the end of the year...

At the rate I'm going, it'll probably take me that entire time. :p

On the bright side, Chai gets her final set of shots on the 7th of August and she'll be able to go to daycaaareeee!! Which means some more freedom for me. And more exhaustion for her.
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@sumsum congrats! Is  黒魔女さんが通る a good read? I love how you list all those sorta similar words which become easy to understand once you know the kanji.

@nohika welcome back!

Edit: recently I've been trying to do more NHK Easy news. Here's yet another 行方不明 story, right at the top:
Edited: 2017-07-19, 11:04 am
(2017-07-15, 3:29 pm)ariariari Wrote: 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.

You may want to consider setting the new anki cards to higher settings, strict leech settings, or even pressing hard or good instead of failing cards.  This way you get some exposure to words and you end up learning most of them, but the harder ones don't end up eating up all of your time.  Some additional exposure to supplement the exposure you are getting via reading might be all you need to learn most of the words over time.

Also, not sure if you know kanji web easy, but it has a frequency list generated from nhkeasy.  You might consider adding only words above a certain frequency threshold so that they show up often enough to learn the words more from occasional reading then from anki vocab cards.
(2017-07-19, 10:59 am)ariariari Wrote: @sumsum congrats! Is  黒魔女さんが通る a good read?

Thank you! I wonder if it's a good read. Definitely not something I'd usually read in one of my better languages but I found it quite fun. It's probably not really ideal for learners either (the caveats that usually come with children's books apply, few kanji, more onomatopoeia than usual, relatively simple story so maybe not for everyone etc) but for me it's still more easily understandable than books aimed at adults and more interesting than working through my textbook stories. Overall quite enjoyable I'd say Smile And I already bought the second volume so it can't have been that bad haha.

@yogert: that's an interesting idea, I've been considering making a deck with some longer stuff and just longer intervals as well. Haven't really put that into practice yet though...

@nohika: welcome back! Never raised a puppy myself (watched a few times from afar), but it seems to be quite time consuming at first  Big Grin But then again I guess it's a good thing he's so healthy!

I'm also currently working through n3 grammar as well. I'm using the shin kanzen N3 grammar book once more. Last time I only made some short notes on each grammar point and crammed them before the test, this time around I'm doing all the exercises as well and going through it more in depth. We'll see how that goes Smile
Edited: 2017-07-20, 4:20 pm
I just took the J-CAT as well! I last took it on January 16th, so I'm just barely over the 6 month mark. Those were my scores:

Listening: 70 (+1)
Vocabulary: 49 (+4)
Grammar: 43 (+2)
Reading: 59 (+5)
-- Overall: 221 (+12)

To be honest, the listening and reading passages still felt rather familiar (especially the readings). So I'm starting to doubt that taking the test so often really makes a lot of sense. For one of the reading sections I actually remembered the answer without reading the text.... I mean overall I still felt like I struggled on the same questions and the "remembering" really was mostly on the easy questions anyway. But it might still screw the results a bit because I obviously was faster than the first time around(?) No idea how the scoring really works. So yeah, seeing the improvement there still is kind of nice , but I'm not really sure if that reflects my actual ability at all. I'd say from what I feel I got right and where I struggled it was still very similar to January.

For the vocab and grammar though I didn't remember anything from the previous rounds. I guess those questions are just so much shorter and without any context, that they are easily forgotten. So I'm happy that my scores ever so slightly improved there as well Smile

The overall score seems scary. I mean on the interpretations sheet that would put me well into the (old) JLPT 2 range which just seems way out of reach to me. Though I guess my listening score just makes up for a lot there and looking at my vocab and grammar scores, those are pretty much in the intermediate (and roughly N3) bracket, which seems about right. (As I said I'm currently working through N3 grammar once more etc)
Edited: 2017-07-22, 7:12 am
Congrats Sumsum! You're a full 50 points higher than me!
So, an update on my study methods.

I just accepted to give a talk in English at a conference here in the US in September. So I'm going to postpone worrying about translating my talk, or giving a "mini" version of the talk at my local bilingual toastmasters, until that talk is completed.

Instead, now I'm focusing on more language basics: reading (mostly NHK easy news), listening (anime) and grammar (from my teacher). I'm also adding in lots more vocab to anki than before.

We'll see how it goes.
Yay that sounds fun, ariariari!

Puppy-raising is exhausting, sumsum. She's 14 weeks old now, adorable, but also a demon. Had family in town for ten days (ugh) and that threw her off too. But, she's getting there. And getting so big!

I'm getting ready to start my year off from my PhD program and contemplating life...may switch careers. Smile
So, another weekend, another episode of "one week friends". The art in the series is quite beautiful. But man, the subject matter ... totally just using this show for listening practice!

I'm looking forward to August 1 so I can post new stats. And write out a language plan for the month.
August Stats

Vs. June
New Grammar: 65 - 59 = +6
grammar: backlog of 0, mature of 646 - backlog of 0, mature of 647 = -1
kanji: 754 - 741 = +13
vocab: 5,834 - 5,759 = +75

Vs. January 1
New Grammar: +65 mature
grammar: backlog of 0, with 646 mature- a backlog of 174 reviews, with 640 mature (1/1) = +180
kanji: 754 - 727 = +27 mature
vocab: 5,834 - 5,416 = +418 mature

So, lots of vocab added, and also a bunch of kanji in the last month. With stats like that it's not surprising that I cancelled a bunch of lessons, and also pulled out of giving a speech in Japanese at my local toastmasters. There was just too much time spent doing anki.

The upshot is that I did a lot of reading of NHK Easy News (which has become much easier recently), and also regularly watched new episodes of "1 week friends".

In August I hope to chill a bit with anki and take more regular lessons.
Yay! That's awesome, ariariari!

My family's left, puppy will be able to go to doggy daycare next week, and I will have more free time and sanity.

I'm currently playing Pokemon Black in Japanese to get at least a little bit of study in, even if I'm not fully caught up with Anki. I can definitely tell that I'm super rusty, though.
I've been passively getting my Japanese listening immersion via watching the anime "Baby Steps". I know I am definitely rusty! Mini tadoku round is happening in the last 2 weeks of August) and I can use that to read Baby Steps anime for some reading immersion.
Edited: 2017-08-01, 8:23 pm
OK, some more fun words I just learned

五十音 (seriously? I just learned this?!?!?)
成田離婚 <- LOL!
Hey guys, I know I'm a bit late to the party (as it's August already!) but I thought I'd finally hop on the train.

I'm studying in Japan for 4 months (starting 3 weeks from today...) and I was recently told that I'll be taking the N3 in December, which I wasn't really prepared to hear, lol. Even though my goal for studying in Japan isn't the N3, it is a good measure.

So, I figured I'd make my 'starting point' post, so I can see how I've progressed by the time I come home to the US at the end of the year.

For background, I'm about half way through Genki II (which I haven't touched in a couple of months), and 400 kanji into RTK1. I feel pretty wary about my position with regards to the N3, but I'm hopeful!

Japanese study has been something I've picked up and put down a lot, and every time I come back to it I think "What if I kept up with it? I'd be done with RTK1 and Genki II by now for sure!" So, this time around, I'll keep a bit of a log and try to focus on what I enjoy.

I decided to stop doing Core2k, because every time I got back into studying Japanese, it was the one thing that killed my motivation, so I'm going to avoid it for now. I know many people swear by Core, but it has always been painful for me (knowing much of the early vocab already, but being unable to really remember the few words I don't know). It just felt like I was spending an hour a day for a few weeks and not getting much out of it, but it's probably just my impatience  Tongue

I was advised that listening practice is incredibly vital, so I've been focusing on that by listening to a podcast actively and passively, watching easy anime with Japanese subs, and watching Japanese youtubers for something a bit more entertaining, albeit difficult. I've also been focusing on RTK because it's one of the more fun and motivating things to improve on for me. Additionally, I've recently started to read NHK News Web Easy, and I'm having a much better time than I was when I last tried to read it a year ago, although I do have to look at the vocab definitions pretty often Smile

I'm not entirely sure of what to do about vocab; I'm thinking of just learning Genki vocab while I'm working on it, but I also like the idea of learning NHK vocab.

I'm currently starting lesson 18 of Genki II, it takes me about 4 minutes to read an NHK article, and I'm at 412 in RTK1.

Thank you for making this thread and for all of the interesting and informative posts!
Welcome shintoo!
I'm so looking forward to next week ...

[Image: Screen_Shot_2017-08-20_at_3.00.53_PM.png]

I'm guessing it was a year ago when I said "I really need to reduce my time in anki". It looks like I succeeded!

It looks like next week will (pretty much) be the last week in the last year that I had more than 1,500 vocab reviews. And it pretty much went down quickly to 1,000 reviews.