Ok, I doubt many people will read the whole study log up to this point if I bring it here, so I’ll just make a short review of where I’m now before continuing.
Learning since July 2017.
Kanji wise, I’m expecting to finish WK this month, all over those 2000+ kanji in a month hopefully
Reading: my readings lately consist in those last volumes of Graded Readers Collections (my easy reading this is, where I can just read and maybe have 1 unknown word every 3 pages). And the last books in the １０分で読める伝記 collection (reading at a pace a feel confortable enough to both enjoy the story and don’t struggle that much, something like 1-5 unknown words per page).
I’ve kept a Bookmeter account to keep track of my readings… It will be great when there’s something else than Graded Readers and books aimed at 小学生 in my list of books (though the books add to 25 since I started )
Listening: I’m starting to watch shows raw regularly, getting the plot and dialogues up to a point, where I hope there’s enough action to fill the wholes in my understanding still
I also listen show’s audio and audiobooks of books I’ve read or know at least (Harry Potter and Kiki’s Delivery Service) for passive immersion .
Also I’m doing the lessons in the book やさしい日本語の聴解トレーニング, for a more in depth listening training. The aim it’s a couple of chapters a month or so.
As for the stats of this month.
WK: Level 51 (1677 Kanji)
Vocab Monolingual Cards:
Mature: 6578 / Young Learn: 192
Setence Cards (listening) Subs2SRS/Morphman
Mature: 2996 / Young and Learn: 133
The listening training book… well I did one chapter of the やさしい日本語の聴解トレーニング book, will do another this weekend. No rush with it. I like the book, it’s very to the point an the samples are really natural. I just havent sitted and work on it
Reading, wasn’t that great, I only did one book (the last volume in the Lvl.4 from Ask Graded Readers) 180 pages or so, but I don’t feel bad about it anyway, I’ve done other things instead.
What is it that I’ve been doing then?
Watching a LOT of shows… Yeah, I just hit play and went on binging content this last month. Raw, no subs… Which has been a different experience, specially because I ceased to depend on shows I’ve already watched or dubs for movies I’ve watched in the past too.
This time it has been new shows, so all the understading has depended on my actual understanding and the visual clues that the shows has.
Most of this binging has been: Umbrella Academy, which surprinsingly worked very good in japanese. The voice actors really match the characters. It was a good show, but since Netflix it’s bombarding us with superheroes series it didn’t felt so special tbh …
Then there was Shingeki no Kyojin, have seen the first season with subs when it first came, but then I just kept on hold the rest of the series until now.
This was a really good sample on how lively action with immersion can help at keeping understanding and excitement while watching a show, even having a limited comprehension of the language.
Season 1 was really good, I already knew the plot and the action was abundant, season 2… well… there was much more struggle, it has more dialogues and explanations about the whole plot of the show that are less action prone than the first season, so it didnt’ felt so smooth, and left me with some wholes in the plot. Then season 3 (actually I’m still left to watch the last 2 episodes), has felt much more easy to follow, more action, the plot has been explained, so much of my guessing has been resolved.
Besides this binging, I watched some more episode of Claymore and Also Blood C. Again the action element there to help with following the plot. Though, I don’t feel super engage with either show, they are good enough (specially Claymore).
Now for the change in routine, well basically I’ve started using Voracious , for watching, while still aided by the japanese subs if needed and having an dictionary in the same place it’s been wonderful, but most woderful has been the flawless interaction with Anki to create cards on the spot having a Subs2SRS style (audio line + snapshot of the scene) in the cards + the J-J definition right there… so basically doing cards has become mostly effortless.
Actually the effort that I was still putting into it was to then select the vocab cards that where created and just keeping the frequent ones. Watching 2 drama episodes a week would result in about 100 cards, so I was checking the frecuency on the words with yomichan later (exporting to a browser friendly app first) and then checking too with the sentence cards in my own library.
Fortunatly enough a member in the WK forum mentioned this Word Frequency addon for Anki, so know the list of words comming from Voracious it’s automatically ordered for frecuency … such a time saver!!!
So the workflow goes like this:
If didn’t get a line while listening, I will un-blur the subs, check if any unknown word there. Pick that word and add the def to the card.
Then in Anki I will use the addon to add a frecuency number and order the list accordingly. Most of words under 20K and 30K I’ll simply add.
If a word strickes as rare or it’s above the 30K ish frequency, I will check in my sentence bank (Subs2SRS decks from many of the shows I’ve watched / I’m watching) for relative frecuency of that word. If more than 4-5 repetitions most likely will add it. If it doesn’t have more repetitions, and I don’t have any particular interest in the word, will simply delete the card.
And the finnished card with the audio for the word (using Anki addon) and the line of the show looks like this. Time spend per card … only seconds . (something unheard of until now if creating a card from scratch)
So there you have it. I’m super psyched about this addition to my routine, 'cause basically solves most of the issues I was having for keeping a SRS routine and not wasting additional time curating that material… Now there’s no need to choose, I can have the best of both worlds.
As for what is it that I’'ve been watching using Voracious. Well, actually though most of my amusement with the app it’s related to how it has ease my workflow for watching / studying, the other part of my joy with it has been Dramas!!
Dramas, where always something I only ocationally looked into in japanese, but they aren’t as popular as anime in japanese learning communities, so I left those on hold for quite some time.
A also did some raw watching during the past month. I watched the first 2 episodes of Mother and Tokyo Joshi Zukan.
Problem was, that action is more paced… you know … there aren’t that many explotions or heavy action scenes in most dramas, so you rely much more on dialogues, so that could sometimes be a real struggle (specially considering the episodes are longer than anime).
So here is where Voracious really has shined!! I’m watching Dramas in a much more pleasurable way. No holes in the plot, but not lack of practice neither.
Right now I’m watching Mother and Joshu Seven.
I’m considering jdrama to be a better resource than anime in my case. Truth be told, I’m not a huge anime fan, in spite of how much I’ve watched last year. If not for japanese learning, I would have watched lot less.
The dialogues in drama aren’t that exagerated, and language feels more natural (in the ones I’m watching anyway). You see how people talk, more related to what kind of character they’re playing (kid, young adult more informal, more formal adult, super strict formal, old grandma, etc) and it doesn’t feel so artifitial as with anime, where sometimes the way of speaking it’s just that character’s way, no connection to reality.
Joshu Seven has a character that is a Maiko with a lovely Kyoto ben … I remember last show with a heavy ben really put struggle upon my understanding (Sakamichi no Apollon), now been able to pick up the ben peculiarities from the first chapter it’s a huge relief.
Anyway, I’m guessing I’ll be leaving anime as raw immersion, because of the extra visual clues it provides, but for more detail, I feel drama it’s starting to really grow in my routine .
I’m still to finish my last “basic” readings (graded readers from other collections and 小学 series). After that I will really look for a similar efficient routine for reading, I looking the possiblities for Kindle to Anki, and maybe a way to first put all the text into a text analysis tool to have a relative frecuency report to start with.
I will keep entries a monthly thing most likely. Besides, I’m moving next month (to Japan by the way, for 3 months, but still… )… so lot of thing to do besides japanese during March.