2017-12-31, 2:15 pm
2017 Year in Review
A reflection on my goals for the year. I’ll probably post a follow up in a few weeks for 2018 goals.
ANKI - Vocab
1755 total vocab cards added to 2017 vocab (vs 3834 cards in 2016, 6076 cards in 2015).
I hit a bit of Anki fatigue halfway through the year and so the second half of the year was mostly just adding words from the wild and not working through any vocab lists. The Yojijukugo deck is maybe something I may work on again but I think otherwise I might be done with vocab lists for the time being.
Core 6k (490/490 completed)
Core 10k (213/1513 done) - will probably abandon this, I found Core10k to be less useful than the words in Core6k that I didn’t know.
WWWJDICT “common words” list - way too many to sift through
Yojijukugo (204/399 completed for 2017 target, total 511 of 3300 from complete set done) - will probably continue next year
848 vocab cards from the wild - getting a little harder to figure out if I want to add a card or not. Not many of my vocab words are “common words” now, so it’s hard to say if it’s something worth putting into Anki. Lots of non-Jouyou kanji as well. For now, my rule of thumb is “if it’s a phrase I’d like to use in production” then I add it.
ANKI - Kanji
Unsuspend Kanji leech cards (completed)
non Jouyou kanji (367 cards added) - worked slowly through a bit of my version of RTK3-lite. Hopefully will continue working on it slowly next year as well.
Keigo books - didn’t input any of these into Anki
Decks I would like to find (but may end up making myself, ugh):
Japanese names - The non Jouyou kanji that I learned has helped a bit with reading names. I am starting to get a better feel for how to read names now, without any intentional effort into it. Maybe a deck would be good for it, but that seems like a lot of effort.
geography information - I bought a gakushuu manga in Japan for elementary school kids with basic info on each prefecture. That’s probably about the level of geography knowledge I’m aiming for. I also might want to look for travel TV shows in Japanese that might be an easy way to pick up some information.
I didn’t really do anything with the books that I got last year on keigo. I did get a decent amount of pleasure reading done, however, which I think has been pretty valuable. My rule to read different authors has been working out pretty well I think.
シャドーイング 日本語を話そう 就職・アルバイト・進学面接編
スラスラ話せる敬語入門 一目でわかる!! すぐに使える!!
See my previous posts for thoughts on these authors:
宮部みゆき (MIYABE Miyuki) - 火車
川端安成 (KAWABATA Yasunari) - 掌の小説
平出隆 (HIRAIDE Takashi) - 猫の客
江戸川乱歩 (EDOGAWA Ranpo)
Books I’ve read since that post:
村上春樹 (MURAKAMI Haruki) - 女のいない男たち - A collection of short stories, the usual Murakami style. This was a fairly easy read, much easier than his ‘Colorless Tazaki’ novel that I read a few years ago. I ran an experiment and read both the Japanese and English versions and found that my Japanese reading speed is about 1/5 my English reading speed.
東野圭吾 (HIGASHINO Keigo) - ガリレオの苦悩 - Another collection of Galileo mystery short stories. This was meh, ok. I find that as the actual act of reading and comprehending becomes easier, I am becoming a little more opinionated about the style of authors and if I like them or not. Right now Higashino Keigo is trending down, but I’ve only read his Galileo books. Maybe his other books are more my style.
星新一 (HOSHI Shin’ichi) - ノックの音が - Hoshi Shin’ichi is pretty fun for me to read. Not very challenging but his stories are always so interesting and quick to read. This collection of stories all begin with the phrase “ノックの音が,” hence the title.
東川篤哉 (HIGASHIGAWA Tokuya) - 密室に向かって撃て！ - A comedy mystery from the writer of “謎解きはディナーの後で.” It’s the second in the series and I would say I enjoyed this a little less than the first in the series.
横山秀夫 (YOKOYAMA Hideo) - ６４（ロクヨン） - This mystery made some best-of lists and was actually reviewed in the New York Times, which is where I heard about it first. So, it’s a mystery novel but it’s actually more about the political machinations happening inside the police force. Solving the mystery is almost secondary to playing the politics game. There’s a good chunk of the novel where the plot hangs on whom a particular memo is addressed to and the career consequences of it. Also, I found the writer to be quite difficult to read. He uses jouyou kanji that I know, but in words and readings that I don’t know (maybe they’re rare? I’ve loaned it to a Japanese friend so I’m eager to hear what they think).
村田沙耶香 (MURATA Sayaka) - コンビニ人間 - Picked this up on my last trip to Japan. Won the Akutagawa prize. It was a pretty quick and easy read. It is about a woman who has worked at a convenience store for 18 years, and she’s now 36 years old. She considers her life and thinks about whether she should try to get married or get a regular job and conform to social expectations.
湊かなえ (MINATO Kanae) - 豆の上で眠る - I just started this novel, so not a review here, but pretty excited to read it. I got interested in this writer because her novels went on to become movies and TV shows that I liked (Confessions, N no tame ni, Reverse, etc.). I only found out recently that the same woman wrote all of those.
Manga I enjoyed reading this year:
僕だけがいない街 - A 29 year old guy gets sent back in time to when he was 11 years old so he can try and stop a classmate from being abducted and killed. It’s on U.S. Netflix now as “Erased,” I really enjoyed reading this.
ダンジョン飯 - A comedy set in the world of JRPGs. Lots of humor about the fantasy genre.
深夜食堂 - This is the manga that is the basis for “Tokyo Midnight Diner” on Netflix. Human interest stories based around the regulars at a restaurant that is only open from midnight to 7 AM.
食戟のソーマ - Shounen battle manga around a school where kids settle their differences in Iron Chef-style cooking battles. Pretty difficult kanji usage I would say. After a while the battles get a little tiring but it’s still a pretty fun manga to read.
モンタージュ - A manga based around the “三億円事件,” maybe Japan’s most famous unsolved crime. The main character thinks his father, who disappeared years ago, may have had something to do with the case and begins investigating. Pretty interesting but a little over the top with the violence at times.
ソラニン - 20 something OL decides to quit her job. Quick read, I think it was a big hit 10 years ago.
宇宙兄弟 - A guy who has been fired from his job decides to try out for JAXA (Japan’s NASA), following in the footsteps of his younger brother, who is already a famous astronaut. It’s a pretty breezy read, I’m kind of surprised that adults read this, but it’s a nice bit of escapist entertainment.
NHK Documentaries - Watched a decent number of ドキュメント７２時間 when I can find them online. I do enjoy these a lot.
J-Dramas w/Japanese subtitles - I’ve switched to watching about 90% of my Japanese dramas now with Japanese subtitles. It’s a good exercise, but sometimes makes watching dramas more studying than entertainment (having to pause in order to jot down words I want to add to anki etc).
BBC Japan - Glanced over these headlines every day, but didn’t necessarily read too many articles. It’s a good way to pick up the Japanese words for things that pop up in Western news.
Podcasts - No podcasts really, I’ll probably abandon this idea next year.
Other: Lang-8, iTalki - Didn’t do anything with these this year.
ANN News - Free streaming Japanese news channel.
Japanese bulletin board sites - I’ve started reading more Japanese forums and bulletin boards. Good practice for slang and net slang.
Variety shows that I’ve enjoyed this year for just entertainment purposes