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Japanese Language Study Log: Skullclutter

#1
Hey all

Long time lurker, first time poster. I've really been enjoying the language learning log threads lately -  they're a great way to get motivated for a study session. I know most people logging are way more advanced than me, but as a beginner, I though it'd be useful (to me, if nobody else) to join in for the accountability and so I can look back later and see how far I've come.

Ultimate Goal:
I'm a web developer, and I've been working on branching out into game development. My goal is to be able to create translation patches for old games that were never localized, and I want to be able to read materials on game design and development written by japanese developers. And, of course, partake in any other japanese media that strikes my fancy.

Long-ish term goal:
I'm aiming to take the N3 exam December 2018. I won't quite be ready for the N4 this December, and I'm not sure if writing the N5 instead would be helpful. I'm also hoping that by then I'll be at a point where I can start an account on pixiv to post my game art and communicate with other artists as production practice.

Mid-term goal:
Finish Genki 1 & 2 and start working in sources like NHK Easy news, Watanoc, Yotsubato, etc.

Currrent Study Plan:
Grammar:
Genki 1 - textbook & workbook, creating custom anki deck as I go.
Genki 2 - textbook & workbook
Should finish these by mid-december at which point I'll be moving on to Tobira.
Currently 1/4 through chapter 5.

Vocab:
Core10K anki deck at 20 new cards per day
Currently at 79 mature, 96 young+learn

Kanji:
Just Genki so far. Planning on ordering KKLC.

Goal of the Week:
- I'm currently working on the textbook exercises for Chapter 5 grammar section, so this week's goal is to finish Chapter 5, both grammar & reading/writing, in both workbook & textbook.
- Keep up with Anki reviews
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#2
(2017-08-09, 11:43 am)Skullclutter Wrote: Long-ish term goal:
I'm aiming to take the N3 exam December 2018. I won't quite be ready for the N4 this December, and I'm not sure if writing the N5 instead would be helpful. I'm also hoping that by then I'll be at a point where I can start an account on pixiv to post my game art and communicate with other artists as production practice.

I think you should consider taking the N5 this December.  Then do N4 then N3.  I did the N5 in 2016 and passed but it was harder than I thought it would be.  Now I'm studying for the N4.  Writing the N5 was extremely helpful because going through the experience gave me an idea of what these exams are all about.

The pass rate for the N5 is around 50% each year while for the N4 it's around 35%.  I wonder whether the pass rate for N4 is so much lower than N5 because a lot of the people writing the N4 skipped the N5 and wrote the N4 before they were ready.

Anyway, if you're "not quite ready" for the N4 this December I would consider writing the N5 this December instead.  Then do N4 in 2017.  Just my two cents.
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#3
(2017-08-09, 3:55 pm)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-08-09, 11:43 am)Skullclutter Wrote: Long-ish term goal:
I'm aiming to take the N3 exam December 2018. I won't quite be ready for the N4 this December, and I'm not sure if writing the N5 instead would be helpful. I'm also hoping that by then I'll be at a point where I can start an account on pixiv to post my game art and communicate with other artists as production practice.

I think you should consider taking the N5 this December.  Then do N4 then N3.  I did the N5 in 2016 and passed but it was harder than I thought it would be.  Now I'm studying for the N4.  Writing the N5 was extremely helpful because going through the experience gave me an idea of what these exams are all about.

The pass rate for the N5 is around 50% each year while for the N4 it's around 35%.  I wonder whether the pass rate for N4 is so much lower than N5 because a lot of the people writing the N4 skipped the N5 and wrote the N4 before they were ready.

Anyway, if you're "not quite ready" for the N4 this December I would consider writing the N5 this December instead.  Then do N4 in 2017.  Just my two cents.

This is definitely food for thought. At my current rate, I should finish Genki 2 by the end of December, and the JLPT is held early December, so that's why I say I won't be quite ready. They only hold the December JLPT in my area, and I don't want to wait a whole year after the N5 to write the N4, but you make a good point that having the test experience at an easier level would be helpful. Maybe I could take an N5 mock test after I finish Genki 1 and judge things from there.
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#4
Didn't quite manage to finish Chapter 5 this week. I've still got one page of exercises in the reading & writing section to do, so it will take one more evening.

On the plus side, though, my copy of KKLC arrived in the mail yesterday. I'm excited to start that, but I also don't want to take too much time away from Genki. I'd like to finish Genki 2 before I divert time away from studying grammar, so then at least I'll have NHK News Easy to study with. Might take some experimenting to find a good pace.

Goal of the Week
Complete up to the grammar exercises in Chapter 6 of Genki textbook & workbook
Read KKLC preamble
Edited: 2017-08-16, 7:58 am
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#5
Gonna switch my reporting-in day to Mondays to see if that extra motivation helps me be more productive on the weekends.

Had to work overtime over the weekend to make a tight deadline, so I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped.
I added cards to Anki for the Chapter 6 vocab and took notes on the new grammar points, and got the first page of exercises from the textbook done so far.

I've also added the first 28 Kanji from KKLC to a custom group in KanjiStudy.

Lastly, I ordered Level 0 of the Japanese Graded Readers and they should have arrived today!


Goal of the Week
Going on a cruise for my honeymoon on friday, so I expect a pretty slow couple of weeks.
I'm going to take my graded readers with me with the aim of getting through at least one set.

Really, though, the main goal is just to keep up with Anki so I don't end up buried in reviews when I get back.
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#6
Congratulations on your marriage! Don't spend too much time on anki - you only get one honeymoon(hopefully), so make sure to enjoy every minute.
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#7
So, didn't end up touching Anki at all this week, so I came back to a mountain of reviews. It was worth it.

I did end up reading through the first three stories of my graded readers, though, so at least I got something done. Had no problems with the grammar, but there was some vocab I wasn't able to figure out from context. I know you're not supposed to look up vocab when you go through these books, but I'm thinking of doing it anyway.


I also got about half of the textbook questions for Genki chapter 6 done before I left.

Goal of the Week
Get caught up with Anki

Finish Genki Chapter 6
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#8
I had a very productive week, so I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.

I finished Chapter 6 of Genki and moved on to Chapter 7, adding the vocab to Anki, taking notes on the new grammar, and got the first two pages of textbook exercises done. I also got caught up with my Anki reviews over the course of about 4 days or so.

I also read the last 3 stories in Level 0 Volume 1 of the Graded readers and was able to understand them all. I still find I have to listen to the audio as I read, or read it out loud myself. Still have a long way to go.

Goal of the Week
Genki Chapter 7
Add the Graded Reader CD audio to my cell phone for listening practice.
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#9
Japanese Graded readers are really great! I didn't read level 0 or 1 but I recommend starting reading Level 2 while doing Genki I if you want some extensive reading practices! Don't feel discouraged as they stated that lvl 2 is JLPT 4, I found them easy to read and understand while I was half through in Genki 1. (maybe because they were written to be used without a dictionary?) But definitely lvl 2 is very suitable if you are half through in Genki 1.

Good luck!

Edit: hmmm, I gotta work on my English grammar too...
Edited: 2017-09-12, 8:54 am
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#10
So, I got sick last week and things got busy at work so I wasn't able to finish chapter 8 last week. 

Still got quite a bit done - I just have two pages left in the workbook grammar section, then the reading/writing section to do. Should be doable in an evening or two.

I also read 2 stories in Level 0 volume 2 of my Graded Readers, even if I didn't manage to port the audio. I think the Ryo the Policeman stories are my favourite so far.

Goal of the Week
Finish Chapter 7
Finish Chapter 8 grammar section.
Add the Graded Reader CD audio to my cell phone for listening practice.
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#11
Had a more productive week this past week, but still ended up slacking off a bit this weekend. I need to make sure I keep some video game time in the schedule or I'll end up feeling deprived and won't stick to studying.

I looked over the sample pages for Level 1 of the graded readers and the grammar looks doable for me at this level, but I'm not too sure if I'll have enough vocab under my belt

Last Week:
Finish Chapter 7 - Done
Finish Chapter 8 grammar section. - Got half done
Add the Graded Reader CD audio to my cell phone for listening practice. - Still nope

This Week:
Finish Chapter 8.
Put that audio on my phone, dammit.
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#12
Happy to say while I did get sucked into Minecraft for a few hours on Sunday, it didn't eat up all of my free time. I was able to finally rip those graded reader CDs, yaay! On the other hand, I didn't finish Chapter 8. Oddly enough, this chapter has really helping me nail down those i-adjective conjugations, which I've been having trouble with.

Last Week:
Finish Chapter 8. - Got the grammar section of the workbook done, still need to do the reading & writing.
Put that audio on my phone, dammit. - Done!

This Week:
Finish Chapter 8
Finish Chapter 9 grammar section.
KKLC - 8 new Kanji.
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#13
So, with Thanksgiving this past weekend, I fell a bit behind in my Anki reviews. I should be able to get back on top of things in a couple of days or so, though. I was starting to feel art-deprived, so I spent most of my free time Sunday and Monday working through a Blender course on Udemy. I'll try to schedule some time for that in once or twice a week so I don't feel so burned out.

That said, the rest of my week was fairly productive. I did manage to finish Chapter 8 and the grammar section of the textbook of Chapter 9. No KKLC, though.

Last Week:
Finish Chapter 8 - Done!
Finish Chapter 9 grammar section. - Done, for the textbook
KKLC - 8 new Kanji  - Nope.


This Week:
Finish Chapter 9
KKLC - 8 new Kanji
Add vocab from graded readers to anki.
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#14
(2017-09-05, 10:36 am)Skullclutter Wrote: I did end up reading through the first three stories of my graded readers, though, so at least I got something done. Had no problems with the grammar, but there was some vocab I wasn't able to figure out from context. I know you're not supposed to look up vocab when you go through these books, but I'm thinking of doing it anyway.

I read each story twice. First time, no lookups. Second time, lookups and harvesting for flashcards. It was pleasing to see what could be picked up from context, but I still wanted the flashcards.
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#15
(2017-10-10, 12:25 pm)satogaeru Wrote:
(2017-09-05, 10:36 am)Skullclutter Wrote: I did end up reading through the first three stories of my graded readers, though, so at least I got something done. Had no problems with the grammar, but there was some vocab I wasn't able to figure out from context. I know you're not supposed to look up vocab when you go through these books, but I'm thinking of doing it anyway.

I read each story twice.  First time, no lookups.  Second time, lookups and harvesting for flashcards.  It was pleasing to see what could be picked up from context, but I still wanted the flashcards.

I've been starting to do the same thing. I read them through the first time in 'proper' tadoku style, making a guess from context. Lately, I've felt the same way, that I'd be helpful to create flashcards to make sure I don't forget, so I've been looking up the words I had to guess at to verify I got it right. There was just one or two words in those first three stories I had no clue about.
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#16
So, things have been crazy busy at work for me over the past two weeks, and I've had to put in a ton of overtime, which has killed any study time I had. The one thing I tried not to let slide was Anki. Things should hopefully return to normal this week.

A little disappointed I won't be able to finish Genki 1 this month, but I will definitely finish in November!

Two weeks ago:
Finish Chapter 9 - Not even slightly
KKLC - 8 new Kanji - Yes!
Add vocab from graded readers to anki. - Added 2 stories' worth.

This Week:
Finish Chapter 9
KKLC - 8 new Kanji
Add 2 stories' worth of vocab from graded readers to Anki
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#17
So, things were not quite back to normal this week, and I spent a little time getting sucked into Minecraft now that PC & Xbox can play on a LAN world together, but I did feel I had a productive weekend.

Again, the one thing I've tried not to let lapse is Anki, and I feel like it's been paying off. I did the listening comprehension exercise this weekend, and was able to follow the conversation perfectly without having to stop and re-listen to certain parts.

That said, Chapter 9 is finally in the bag! 3 more to go!

What did slip is my KKLC and Graded readers. Only got half my KKLC done and didn't touch the graded readers. Just gotta keep plugging away at it and I'll get there eventually.

Last Week:
Finish Chapter 9 - Yes!
KKLC - 8 new Kanji - Did 4
Add 2 stories' worth of vocab from graded readers to Anki - Nope.

This Week:
Chapter 10
KKLC - 8 new Kanji
Add 1 stories' worth of vocab from graded readers to Anki
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#18
Nice work!

How many kanji total so far?

How many kanji would you say you need to know before you can enjoy reading?
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#19
(2017-10-30, 12:28 pm)Furikake Wrote: Nice work!

How many kanji total so far?

How many kanji would you say you need to know before you can enjoy reading?

I'm up to 101 with Genki and 52 with KKLC. Factoring in the overlap, I'm probably at somewhere like 125 total. I think that having a low level of Kanji as a beginner isn't too much of a barrier as long as you go for reading materials at an appropriate level.

I've been using level 0 of the Japanese Graded Readers. Level 1 would probably be doable as well at this point. There was a bit of new kanji, but every kanji has furigana, so that's not a problem. Online, you can check out watanoc for free. Their articles are sorted by JLPT level and every word or phrase in the article has a tooltip with translations.
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#20
(2017-10-31, 8:07 am)Skullclutter Wrote:
(2017-10-30, 12:28 pm)Furikake Wrote: Nice work!

How many kanji total so far?

How many kanji would you say you need to know before you can enjoy reading?

I'm up to 101 with Genki and 52 with KKLC. Factoring in the overlap, I'm probably at somewhere like 125 total. I think that having a low level of Kanji as a beginner isn't too much of a barrier as long as you go for reading materials at an appropriate level.

I've been using level 0 of the Japanese Graded Readers. Level 1 would probably be doable as well at this point. There was a bit of new kanji, but every kanji has furigana, so that's not a problem. Online, you can check out watanoc for free. Their articles are sorted by JLPT level and every word or phrase in the article has a tooltip with translations.
Wow that's good that you're able to do reading with only 52 kanji. I know KKLC has the graded readers to go with its kanji order, but I wouldn't have thought there was much other stuff available for reading with 52 kanji learned.
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#21
(2017-11-03, 1:17 pm)Furikake Wrote: Wow that's good that you're able to do reading with only 52 kanji. I know KKLC has the graded readers to go with its kanji order, but I wouldn't have thought there was much other stuff available for reading with 52 kanji learned.

As I recall, white rabbit graded readers level 0 are all kana, so you wouldn't need any kanji for those.
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#22
(2017-11-03, 6:21 pm)yogert909 Wrote:
(2017-11-03, 1:17 pm)Furikake Wrote: Wow that's good that you're able to do reading with only 52 kanji. I know KKLC has the graded readers to go with its kanji order, but I wouldn't have thought there was much other stuff available for reading with 52 kanji learned.

As I recall, white rabbit graded readers level 0 are all kana, so you wouldn't need any kanji for those.

That's not correct. There is kanji with furigana in level 0, covering what seems mainly to be in the scope of N5.

So, decently productive week. Finished the textbook exercises for Chapter 10, and added another story's worth of vocab to anki. (It was the one on soybeans. Lots of new vocab there). No KKLC this week, though.

On the non-Japanese side, I also managed to finished my lamp animation for my blender class, so I'll be able to move on to the next project. AND I was able to fit in more minecraft time.

I'm feeling a lot better about being able to fit Japanese study into my schedule without sacrificing my other interests. It will take longer this way, but if I start to feel deprived, I won't stick with it.

Last Week:
Chapter 10 - Finished textbook exercises
KKLC - 8 new Kanji - Nope
Add 1 stories' worth of vocab from graded readers to Anki - Done!


This Week:
Finish Chapter 10
KKLC - 8 new Kanji
Add 1 stories' worth of vocab from graded readers to Anki
Edited: 2017-11-06, 9:56 am
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#23
Things are picking up with Theatre - was struggling to finish the set painting on Saturday so that we were ready for move-in on Sunday. Managed to get quite a bit done in my downtime on Sunday, though.

Going to be at the theatre every evening for the next two weeks, so I'm going to take it easy on the goals for now.


Last Week:

Finish Chapter 10 - Finished the workbook, halfway through the reading & writing section
KKLC - 8 new Kanji - Nope, again
Add 1 stories' worth of vocab from graded readers to Anki - Nope

This Week:
Finish Chapter 10.
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