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Japanese Language Study Log: Splatted

#26
For a while, I managed to get a nap in during the early afternoon (though I don't think most people can do this), which refreshed both my mind and body for the second half of the day, improving my results. It also helped me to go to bed at a set schedule, since I didn't need as many hours of sleep at night, which allowed me to be active in the morning and late at night (I prefer both of these to the time around noon, because it's hot here).

I've actually been trying to get back into it, since I currently have time available for a nap.
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#27
(2017-06-30, 12:06 pm)Splatted Wrote: Well it's hard to say based on just that. To parrot what I've read you need to think about:

1. What times of the day do you have the most energy?
2. What activities are the most important?
3. How much energy does each activity require?

So for example if you value Japanese the most and are at your best in the morning/worst in the evening + your work is easy and valueless then it might well be worth getting up earlier to make work the last thing you do in the day instead of the first. OTOH if you are a night owl then leaving things as they are might be best.

Or perhaps you value both work and Japanese but have no energy for Japanese left after work. In that case you could still get up early to study Japanese but also cordon off the morning at work to focus on the skilled aspects and then use the afternoon/early evening to deal with the grunt work.

If this sounds interesting to you I recommend you read Deep Work by Cal Newport. In it he outlines various strategies for carving out time to focus on important tasks amidst a sea of different work and social commitments.

Thanks, I'll check it out! I'm a software engineer so most of the day the work I do isn't easy or valueless, and I can't really get around it. I've been experimenting with doing some light studying during lunch break and so far it's been going pretty well. If I can manage to wake up at 8am every day I should be able to get one productive hour of studying in before work.
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#28
(2017-06-30, 10:36 pm)sholum Wrote: For a while, I managed to get a nap in during the early afternoon (though I don't think most people can do this), which refreshed both my mind and body for the second half of the day, improving my results. It also helped me to go to bed at a set schedule, since I didn't need as many hours of sleep at night, which allowed me to be active in the morning and late at night (I prefer both of these to the time around noon, because it's hot here).

I've actually been trying to get back into it, since I currently have time available for a nap.

Yeah I've found naps really great at times too. I find even if I can't fall asleep I still get a boost of energy from just taking the time to lie down with my eyes closed and relax as completely as possible. This and exercise are the best ways I've found to gain a second wind.



(2017-06-30, 10:46 pm)Nandemonai Wrote: Thanks, I'll check it out! I'm a software engineer so most of the day the work I do isn't easy or valueless, and I can't really get around it. I've been experimenting with doing some light studying during lunch break and so far it's been going pretty well. If I can manage to wake up at 8am every day I should be able to get one productive hour of studying in before work.

Yeah that sounds like a pretty demanding job. I think Deep Work actually addresses it specifically but more in the context of how to become amazing at it.
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JapanesePod101
#29
I think I'm going to try and do monthly updates tracking everything I've been doing. There are some question marks and estimations because I didn't track things before.

June Roundup

Audio books:
イン ザ プール Completed (6hrs 30 mins)
桐島、部活やめるってよ 10 mins through prt 16/19 (4hrs 45 mins)
Total: 11hrs 15 mins

Books:

死神の浮力 Last 25% (109.8 pages)
七瀬ふたたび Completed (325 pages)
エディプスの恋人 32% (85.76 pages) Edit: Changed it to match print page count
Total: 521 pages

Manga:
Claymore 3-18
One Piece ?-29
Total: 588 Pages

News: 103 Pages

Tadoku Total: 1212 Pages

Anime:

Darker than black 10? episodes (dropped)
Jo Jo no kimyou na bouken ?-13
Konosuba ep2 (Didn't watch any last month but in the process of rewatching the 1st season)
Yuri on Ice 4 eps (finished)
My Hero Academia ?-s2 ep12 (This has grown on me a lot!)

Anki: 752 words

I'd also like to retract my statement that I think the Drill and Drill books are great. It's not that they're bad but I do often find their explanations are not sufficient. Hopefully the Dictionaries of advanced/intermediate/basic Grammar that arrived in the post this morning will help fix that.
Edited: 2017-08-02, 7:00 pm
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#30
I hope no one thinks I'm weird but I skipped a few days of Anki and actually enjoyed catching up. Like... it was actually fun and now I'm considering upping my daily anki time. Usually it takes about ten minutes but today I upped it to a single twenty minute time box and ended up in a really focused state of flow.

That being said, loosening my criteria for adding words could completely change the experience so we'll have to see if it's practical to quickly increase review time.

New goals for this month

I want to finish my audiobooks (桐島、部活やめるってよ and 池袋ウエストゲートパーク) so I can hurry up and try the free audible trial. I've been dragging my feet because my enthusiasm for a new challenge ran out, but the problem isn't that the books are difficult it's that they're boring. I love listening to audiobooks in English so if I can find the right books in Japanese I'm pretty sure it will be awesome.

I've also decided to start writing my thoughts about difficult grammar points/words in this thread. The grammar dictionaries have been very helpful but they can't be relied on to directly address the things I want disambiguated so some thought is still required.

だからといって vs しかしながら

I initially thought these meant basically the same thing until a Drill & Drill question asked me to choose betwen them. I'm not going to reproduce the full entries but here's what my grammar dictionaries say about the two. しかしながら doesn't have it's own entry however the index points towards といって which apparantly means the same thing.
Quote:と言って (しかしながら)
A conjunction used at the beginning of a sentence to convey the idea of "however"

Example: あと1000万円あればなんとか欲しい家が買える。 といって、そんな大金を借りられるあてはない。

Quote:だからと言って

A coordinate conjunction indicating that even if one accepts a premise expressed in the preceding sentence(s) one cannot jump to an expected conclusion from the premise.

It often occurs in conjunction with わけではない or とは限らない.

Example: チェンさんは日本語が苦手だ。 テストではいつも半分にも出来ない。 だからといって、あたまがわるいわけではない

So basically I think しかしながら is non-specific enough to be used in place of だからといって, however the latter is used only when you want to contradict a conclusion. If you simply want to acknowledge contradictory evidence/complications while maintaining a stance you must not use だからと言って。

Edit: Something I still feel I need to look out for regarding usage of だからと言って is whether the conclusion being contradicted must be explicit. I.e. the example sentence for と言って above introduces information that contradicts the idea that the speaker will be buying a house. Could だからと言って be used to further emphasize that they won't be buying a house? My intuition is that だからと言って、そんな大金を借りられるあてはない would mean "but that doesn't mean I have any prospective sources for such a large loan."
Edited: 2017-07-04, 8:05 pm
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#31
Yeah, my gut instinct (somewhat borne out by the examples) is that these actually mean quite different things. だからと言って carries a strong connotation of "just because", while と言って (しかしながら)simply contrasts the two sentences. I could see how you could reword the sentence about buying a house to use だからと言って, but it would be a different sentence. "Just because you save up a down payment doesn't mean you'll be able to find a house you like."

The チェンさんは日本語が苦手だ。 テストではいつも半分にも出来ない。 だからといって、あたまがわるいわけではない sounds a little weird to me, but I think there the point is "I'm not saying he's stupid just because he can't get more than 50% on a test." In that particular sentence, と言って could be used instead ("that being said, he's by no means stupid"), but in the other sentence, だからと言って cannot be used in place of と言って.

だからと言って、そんな大金を借りられるあてはない would mean "but that doesn't mean I have any prospective sources for such a large loan."

- I'm not sure this would work at all? と言って alone means something like "that being said..." The sentence "Just because I could buy a really nice house if I had twice the budget, there's no way I can borrow that much" sounds nonsensical to me. But my production skills are way low, so I could be wrong. Maybe you could have a sentence like "There's no point in spending hours reading the ads for a house I can't afford, Just because I could buy a nicer house if I had more money."

TL;DR: I don't think those two phrases are interchangeable at all, except in limited cases.
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#32
Monthly update

I've assigned anime episodes a tadoku style listening score of 10mins, with audiobooks counting as 1:1 minute to minute conversion. Readng mediums use the ReadMOD conversion rules. All pages and page counts and and listening times are post conversion.

Audiobooks

桐島、部活やめるってよ Compete! [1hr 12 mins]
Total 1hr 12 mins (-10 hrs 12 mins)

Anime

Jo Jo no kimyou na bouken Complete! [11 eps/1hr 50mins]
Jo Jo Stardust Crusaders 1-15 [15eps/2hrs 30mins]
Konosuba Still on ep2 [0eps]
My hero academia Still s2 ep12 [0eps]

Total: 26 eps/4hrs 20mins
Listening Total: 5hrs 32mins

Books

エディプスの恋人 Complete! [194.48 pages]
鹿の王 (1) 253/262

Total 447 (-74)

Manga

Claymore 19-23 [5vols /180pgs]
One Piece 30-33 [4vols/ 172pages]
Total:352 pages (- 236)

News: 54

Tadoku Total: 853 Pages (-359)

Failed Goals:
Finish 池袋ウエストゲートパーク
Stick to schedule

Thoughts

As you can see this was not a productive month. I got both sick and busy and ended up having to put my stud completely on hold for a while. After I got less busy I found it really hard to get back in to the swing of things (exacerbated by still being ill) and ended up stopping and starting in the worst possible way.

I found that when I did a test run of just a few days I seemed to be ready to return to the schedule, but as soon as the schedule became something I had to keep up for the foreseeable future I self destructed. My take away from this is that I should make test periods last for long enough that habits start to assert them selves by the end (making it easier to continue), but still short enough that it feels like something I can just push through. Maybe start with a single test day before committing to anything then follow that up with a test week (or 2).

Plans for this month

I'm starting the month with a week of reduced study where I do everything that was in my previous routine but in reduced amounts. After that I'll do another week of the full amount and then see.

An emotional part of my brain keeps telling me there's no way I can pass the JLPT now that I've wasted a whole month and I need to set an even harder schedule to make up for failing to stick to the one I had before. It's easy to rationalise this as simply what the schedule would have been if I'd kept on the planned path, but that's why it was vitally important I made my goals explicit at the beginning of the journal. Consistency and good habits are more important than passing the test and I should choose the route that is most likely to leave me with a reliable study routine come test day, not the route that superficially might seem to lead to the most possible studying. Easy routine I can stick to > difficult routine I might fail.
Edited: 2017-08-02, 7:41 pm
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#33
I've fallen completely off the waggon with my study so this post will be just the numbers as I'm trying to prioritise actual study over forum stuff.

Monthly update: August

Audiobooks

Total: 0 (-1hr 12mins)

Anime

JoJo Stardust crusaders 0 (dropped)
Konosuba s1 3-10 (7eps - 1hr 10 mins)
Konosuba s2 1-6 (6 eps -1hr)
My Hero Academia s2 13 -20 (8eps - 1hr 20mins)
One Punch Man  1-12  (12eps -2hrs)
Maouyuu Maou Yuusha 1-12 (12eps - 2hrs)
Psycho Pass 1-2 (2eps - 20mins)

Total: 7hrs 50mins (+3hrs 30mins)
Listening total: 7hrs 50mins (+2hrs 18mins)

Books

鹿の王1 254-262 Complete! (8 pages)
鹿の王2 1-115 (115 pages)

Total: 123 (-324)

Manga

Claymore 24-27 Complete! (4 vol/ 142 pages)
Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer 1-3 (3 vol/ 114 pages)

Total: 256 (-96)
Reaing Total: 379 (-474)
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#34
I've decided a change in approach is necessary and also that I need to share some personal stuff in order for this journal to make sense. At the beginning of the thread I stated that learning Japanese was only a secondary goal while developing self discipline and creating a good study routine were my primary goals. The reason I'm struggling to do that is because I have some mental health problems. I've not yet been diagnosed with anything, but symptoms include hallucinations and emotional and sleep problems. The up side is that I'm on disability benefits so have plenty of time to study.

I don't really intend to write anything about this stuff but I realised that if someone else was writing a study journal from a similar perspective I would appreciate knowing.

New study plan

I think I bit off way more than I could chew with the constantly expanding routine I was attempting before. For me  the focus should be on reliability not quick results, so I've decided to for half an hour of really focused study time every morning. I'll be working through the Drill & Drill books while consulting grammar dictionaries to make sure I really understand everything.

Outside of this I'll still do more studying on days that I feel like it (I do enjoy it), but I won't track any of it because that creates a feeling of failure when the numbers go down on days when I most need to be feeling good about meeting my goals. A low score usually means a day when working hard was harder work and I don't think it's at all helpful to focus solely on the decreased productivity.

It's also important to note that consuming native media and looking things up functions as a relaxing, purely recreational activity for me so I can end up doing a lot even when I'm not studying per se.

I'm over 1400 cards in the hole in Anki. In terms of study efficiency starting fresh might be best but I think I want the goal of catching up to motivate me for a while so I'm going to try and push through. Plus, Anki isn't going to be part of my 30 mins so why make a new deck if I'm not going to keep on top of it? If it goes badly I'll have no qualms about scrapping it.

The JLPT

I Decided not to take the JLPT this time due to feeling up to the trip to London but I'm going to retake the J-CAT to see if I've improved. I might also try and take a practice JLPT test as well as one of the longer vocab tests on here.
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#35
Vocab test

I decided to take the 100 question vocab test mentioned above. When I first started this thread I took the ten question version and got eighteen thousand and something, but didn't mention it because I figured it would be inaccurate.

Edit: Meant to say I like this test because it forces you to demonstrate an understanding of nuance. English vocab tests I've taken usually ask you to select an antonym or synonym and I feel it's too easy to answer correctly when you have only the vaguest idea of what the word means.

Result: 25200

正解 40問
誤答 31問

あなたの推定語彙力は25200(±1698)語でした。
あなたには推定19530(±1316)語の、理解のあやしい語彙があります。

誤答 => 男っ気、オブラートに包む、一流、賢察、後件、陸送、押し詰める、鎌鼬、穴埋め、色を失う、朝飯前、アンドロイド、甘味、犠牲、遠足、薬缶、朝っ腹、石持、市に虎を放つ、一挙一動、打って回る、肝を潰す、生まれ変わる、売りたたく、覆う、学用品、安易、幾久しい、不穏当、面忘れ、苦熱

I've no idea what the bolded sections mean but 25000 is really good! I was just hoping to show the 18000 I got before wasn't a fluke since even that seemed quite high. Tongue

I'm worried that I got 犠牲 wrong because I was amused by the evil answers like [社会の弱者] and now I think they might be right.


p.s. I'd like to try comparing it to a different vocab test so feel free to recommend one.
Edited: 2017-12-05, 4:09 am
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#36
(2017-12-05, 4:01 am)Splatted Wrote: I've no idea what the bolded sections mean

The bolded sections are almost certainly the sampling error based on the proportion of the sample size vs data-set size.  I.e. even if you got all 100 questions correct, you couldn't extrapolate that you know every Japanese word in existence.  So you need an uncertainty factor that is proportional to the sample size.
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#37
Hmm, that was an interesting vocab test.

正解 27問
誤答 10問

あなたの推定語彙力は17010(±1146)語でした。
あなたには推定6300(±425)語の、理解のあやしい語彙があります。

誤答 => 温帯、貴族的、アンドロイド、オピニオンリーダー、顔色、垢、公園、原油、訳有り、くだくだしい

Not sure how much trust I put in that 17000 figure though :-) (and yes, I do know what 公園 means, but all the definitions were a bit weird.)
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#38
Thanks for sharing pm215. I think you're right we shouldn't put too much confidence in it, but I feel the same about all vocabulary tests and it's still fun to try for a high score. Like a horoscope for language learners. Tongue

When I said I liked this one better than others I was only really commenting on the approach taken and not the execution. Your trouble with 公園 suggests a problem as it seems more like they're making trick questions. I doubt 公園 has any nuance for them to test you on so in my opinion the answers should have been simple.
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#39
Yeah, I think checking if you really know the word rather than just sorta recognizing it is good. (The JLPT takes a slightly different approach of making you pick the example sentence where the word is used correctly).
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#40
J-Cat

Previous scores:

May 2015

セクション   スコア
Listening    52
Vocabulary 70
Grammar   57
Reading     77
合計         256

May 2017
セクション    スコア
Listening    83 (+21)
Vocabulary 62 (-8)
Grammar   58 (+1)
Reading     52 (-25)
合計          255 (-1)

I'm going to be aiming to beat my best individual scores for each section this time. I did have the very ambitious goal of getting everything in the 80s by JLPT time but I think it's safe to assume I failed that. I did feel last time that I lost a lot of points due to poor test taking technique in everything but the listening sections, which means if my score does improve it will be hard to judge whether it actually represents any improvement in my Japanese and a lack of improvement will be extra disappointing.


Result:

セクション スコア
Listening 84 (+1)
Vocabulary 69 (-1)
Grammar 60 (+2)
Reading 73 (-4)
合計 286 (+30)

It's an okay score. I pretty much met my targets but that really was a bare minimum and I still fell short. I think the time limits in the vocab section are much harder than the rest of the test. I did find myself running out of time on the reading as well but I think I had slowed down because I was tired.

I'm glad grammar is my weakest section because it's what I enjoy studying the most at the moment.

I find it strange that my listening score is 1 point different. I think I got all the same questions as last time so presumably I answered the same as well. I didn't recognise anything in any of the other sections but I think I'll wait longer before retaking the test next time. Also this probably says something about what makes things memorable for me so I should think about incorporating more sound in to my study. Edit: Or maybe it's the scenarios they act out.

(2017-12-07, 3:48 am)pm215 Wrote: Yeah, I think checking if you really know the word rather than just sorta recognizing it is good. (The JLPT takes a slightly different approach of making you pick the example sentence where the word is used correctly).

The problem with that is that people often know how a word is used but not what it means
Edited: 2017-12-07, 8:14 am
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