Metalosaurio's Log

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 :confetti_ball::tada:

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 :yum: (though the books add to 25 since I started :slightly_smiling_face: )

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 :sweat_smile:
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 :sweat_smile:

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.

I’m keeping record of this in Myanimelist and mydramalist , also I’m keeping a list on IMdb for western shows I watch dubbed, as those are hard to keep track on the other platforms.

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 :sweat_smile:

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. :relieved:

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 :star_struck::star_struck: … 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.
VoraciousWF3

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.

VoarioucWF5

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 :star_struck::star_struck:. (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 :heart_eyes::heart_eyes: … 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 :slightly_smiling_face: .

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… :muscle:)… so lot of thing to do besides japanese during March. :muscle::muscle:

1 Like

Ok, time for a new update. While probably it ain’t the biggest entry in terms of the numbers it might be the one with the biggest news and change in routine of them all… I’m in Japan now!!

So, just arriving to Japan yesterday, the idea is basically immerse myself in the culture, language and overall have a great time for the next three months. Very excited about this, will surely include more details in my next update. I plan on setting a routine for both language learning and some other activities as well while in here.

The timing is no coincidence either, actually the trip is happening in the context of me finishing a 8 year period living abroad and now going back to my country. Lots of things related to moving and closing that chapter, so while very tired from the whole couple of weeks finishing those last details, I finally made it !! :hugs: .

The trip to Japan has been somewhat of a self-reward to mark the end of a period and then get some energies to start a new project next July, so actually is something like a parenthesis, but not really aiming at staying here for longer or anything else.

Anyway… of course my Japanese routine has suffered, but not that much tbh, I think the whole routine is really automatic at this point so fortunately this has helped a great deal. In any case this is how things have gone the last month:

Reading:
I’ve done 2 tales from the Taishukan series volume 4 and then did what apparently should have done long before: getting a Kindle :star_struck: … I mean, there was a before and after when I was able to do sentence mining, listening and shadowing with Netflix content; the re-use value adds up a lot, specially if it’s material you’re interested in watching in the first place. Reviewing that it’s always more satisfying than using any other tool currently. Using a Kindle (I assume other ebooks will be same too) progressively it’s having that effect. For once It makes reading and looking on spot a breeze, and then it’s really easy to do sentence mining with the vocab I look up while reading. I can get the new word and the context from where it came from right from there to Anki pretty much automatically.

So, and since I was trying to avoid as much extra weight as much possible in my luggage, I bought the last volumes of my 10分で読める伝記 series in ebook format and started reading the 5th grade volume. So far so good… still only 2 tales there.
I can see how this series in their early volumes could be a problem for doing the look up with the integrated dictionary though. Been a lot of commonly kanji written words in kana in those first volumes (and still some of those remain in the 5th grade book actually), the parsing for getting the correct word it’s not always so accurate and can take a few tries for it to work properly; I’m really looking forward to progress with my readings and get an even better functionality out of it.

In any case except for the routine change, those 4 tales amounts to something lik 90 pages a month… not great, but with the free time I’m sure it will improve this month :muscle:

Shows and immersion

I’m mostly watching an episode weekly of either 女囚セブン or マザー . Doing this with Voracious keeps a constant flow of new vocab coming to my reviews while actually keeping a good rhythm with both shows and still doing pretty much intensive listening practice.

As for more extensive listening I’ve been watching Friends :sweat_smile: … last two weeks I’ve gone over the first 2 seasons on Netflix. Probably I’ll do the same with those shows I know by heart that are also on Netflix Japan with dubs. Re-watching shows in japanese suits perfectly for watching while concentrating and still leaves some room for space out if I start doing chores over the house.

About these last levels on WK. It was going very well, but during the last week, where my attention was really far from a place where I could concentrate on WK, I just stopped with new lessons after reaching Lvl.58 (actually these last 8 levels or so feel more like a completionist attempt more than something from which I’ll actually see many results in the short term)
I’ll resume those last levels and be over with it. The way I’m doing WK and vocab separately now (more focused on my immersion), really doesn’t justify trying to extend WK for much longer than this month.

Anki stats:

Vocab
6960 mature cards, 138 young and learn.

Sentence Mining listening practice

3152 mature cards. 82 young and learn.

About the Listening Training… I didn’t do a single chapter :confused: … I will set a schedule to finish the book while in here, so I can start then the pronunciation training book, which is in the same series, and actually I’m very eager to start too.

As for outputting
I’m planning to finally add shadowing to the mix. I think now it’s the time I’ll see the most benefit in doing so, and specially in Japan I think it will do wonders for my initial speech practice.

I’ve went as far as buying a mic for trying the setup explained in this video for shadowing; first I’ll do it as a second step in my listening practice and then when I’m done with my current reading series I’ll make use of audiobooks, since both choices I’m considering for reading also have audiobooks available.

Anyway. I’ll set a routine this week and probably post about it when it has more shape.:+1::+1:

4 Likes

Well I’m jealous. Have a fantastic time!

1 Like

OK, some early update I guess, but really this weeks have proven to be very interesting ones.

So first week I got to settle and just walk around my neighborhood near Osaka Castle. Really like the place, and well, my interactions with locals were for the most part as a shopper / customer, so nothing too exciting there.

Second week, I started my 書道 lessons in Baikei’s academy (he has a lot of lessons on Youtube if anyone is interested). Day one was great, Baikei sensei was there alongside with two assistants, a japanese and an american guy. And since my lessons were pretty basic and this guys were there, it actually felt really cool to interact in japanese and still have the help of the american guy if my japanese was subpar (which clearly it is) and the japanese guy was much more available than the sensei for minor doubts too.

Day 2 in the 書道教室: went there, but only a lady (another sensei) was there with some other japanese students, and well, reluctantly she took me in (apparently there’s a longer program for foreigners that has an english speaker as sensei, but during my short course I won’t be putted in that class, since it follow a different rhythm altogether, been a 1 year course, so I can go any day and just jump in, BUT sometimes teachers won’t have assistants and I’ll have to depend on my japanese much more :sweat_smile:), but then during the class I could notice that the explanations she gave me were somewhat numbed down as well as the corrections after dshowing her my exercises… so, yeah… probably a better level at speaking from my part would have changed the scenario there :roll_eyes:

So, after that 2nd lesson, I felt that 書道 lessons would not become my main source for speaking practice as much as I initially intended, so I went using Hellotalk in hopes I would find some suitable language exchange partner. I didn’t have much success back home using this app, so my expectations were really low.

To my amusement, a couple of people responded me right away (been in the same time zone helps too) and after some hours one of them ask me if I wanted to meet. :ok_man:

It was a japanese girl who’s traveling to Canada in a couple of months with a working holiday visa, so she’s very interested in practicing as much a she can.
The meeting went well, but probably the english japanese ratio was 80:20 … which was fine by me, as it was my first time talking for reals. I could see how by the end of the meeting I was really tired (english is not my L1 either) and most likely she was even more, as she put a lot of effort into it, since the conversation could be maintained in english but not so much in japanese. At any case I realize that while a great tool, there’re things that can help to ease the struggle and make the meetings more smooth, so still think more can be made out of this scenario.

Alongside with that, I signed in for a couple of activities with locals, some night tour in hidden izakayas and a cooking lesson over a nearby town.

Both activities were great, and actually I spoke much more japanese there than in the language exchange meeting, mostly because it was more interactive and the pressure wasn’t there, as me speaking japanese came as a bonus for the guys doing the activity, which was well recieved.

So I’m hoping to keep the language exchange meeting on a weekly basis, but probably try pushing those at earlier hours, as my attention is better by then that in the night time; also going for a walk or throwing something interactive along the way I noticed it really helps (we went to the market to pick ingredients before the cooking class), as it’s much more suitable for small dialogues, probably because you have the option of pointing and showing things happening to help with context, which if seated while eating or at a coffee shop won’t be there. I’ll definitely take this into account for the meetings.

Besides that, I’ve been shadowing almost every day, for about 30 minutes. I’m religiously reviewing 15 new vocab in Anki, so those numbers should be increasing at the same rate.

Also I’ve been reading almost daily, I finished the 10分で読める伝記 5生 book today. Only one more book to go in the series and I’m ready to jump into my first novel!! :muscle::muscle:

So, that’s it for now. Next update first days of May, hopefully with me starting my first novel… and this language exchange thing prospering alongside with my 書道 skills :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

1 Like

Well, time is right for an update in the log.

And well, first things first. I’ve realized there’s a handy plug in for Anki to render some accountability regarding my reviews, the heatmap.

Mine looks like this in April, I’ve been super constant this month while in Japan. But actually I’ve been quite constant during the whole year too, so I’m kinda proud of it.

22 32

For stats those go like this.

Vocab: 7291 mature ; 212 young and learn

Listening cards (during this month listening and shadowing these reviews).

Mature 3247 ; Young and learn 127


As for life here, well shodo classes are ok. I’m enjoying the classes, specially because is an introduction course, so I get to try different styles and tools. Last weeks I’ve been doing 続け字 (running script)… which initially was a nightmare, It was hard enough to copy the excercises, but a lot of the time I would be trying just to decipher kanji, a lot of the time ended up been illegible to me in that form :ok_man:

That been said, I’ve decided to do something about it lately, so I’ve started doing RTK. :smiley:
I’m familiar with joujou kanji, and I just finished WK, and for reading it’s not giving me much trouble actually… but… writing was something I paused a long time ago, and I realize the way the characters look in cursive script is much easier to figure out when you do write constantly and get the hang on how those radicals get simplified when writing. Actually it’s kinda the same scenario I’m having when reading Izakaya menus :sweat_smile: … so that’ll be a bonus.

For this I’ve started working on my onw version of RTK. I feel I have enough vocab to just put japanese keywords to each kanji. Mnemonics aren’t too much of a necessity either… so actually seems to be working quite well (only 4 chapters into it though), as I’m really focused on producing the characters and practicing some handwriten semi-cursive style.

So far the cards are looking like this.

For the front I’ll have my keyword and any word I can think of it using that kanji.
53

And then.

Kanji with several fonts to show me more cursive and casual styles for the character.

02

So, for now I’m really enjoying the process. A chapter a day seems a nice pace. It’s much less taxing than learning the characters the first time. It feels there’s much more to attach them in my head now.


As for reading, I’m about to finnish 10分で読める伝記6生 … finally, the 3 stories to go, and I’m done with the whole series :star_struck:

I’ve decided on my next book:

ペンギン・ハイウェイ

Seem about the right level, and I’m planning to go with the audiobook as well. So, plan is reading, and while going through the chapter make of that my passive listening too.
Actually someone came up with a (yet experimental) way to make the ebook serve as susbtitle for the audiobook (previous convertion to video format, and taking out the DRM of both book and audiobook :roll_eyes:). So I was able to make a Subs2SRS deck out of it… which is great for having the vocab cards including the sentences audio. Probably will add that to the shadowing practice as well, as this audio is much clearer than the one coming from my shows.

Anyway, I’m just starting with this routine this next week, so I’ll see how it all stays after a month.

As for immersion… well, I’ve been watching Friends on Netflix :sweat_smile: … I’m getting used to the voices in japanese, though some jokes don’t make much sense tbh :roll_eyes:

I’ve yet two episodes to finish 女囚セブン (which is ok… though not like Orange is the New Black… more like a super light version) and I’ve haven’t watched much of マザー (last episode I watched put all the grounds for a huge drama to be developed so I’ve been hesitant about when to continue :sweat_smile:).


Well that’s a much as I can think about changes during this month. So probably will come back with progress the next one.

A month more in Japan and a new update.

My Shodo classes are almost over, 4 classes left and that’s it.
I’m really glad I did the course, I think this is a great activity to pursue and the crash course style was a really nice way to see many of the possibilities that shodo can offer.
Currently I’m left to deliver my last homework working with the 大筆 in 楷書 style. I find it a great way to actually fix kanji and overall a very relaxing activity. I bought a basic manual and probably will take a few more on my way back.
This week and until the end of the month it will be 小筆, I think it will be extra tricky for me, since I’m left handed. For the first ballpoint pen lessons, writing with the left hand was ok, but not once you start with the 筆 … the big brush it’s not that bad, since the movement it’s quite different than actually writing, but the small brush, resembles pen writing a lot, so I’m yet to see how that turns out using my right hand.

Besides that I’ve been doing cooking lessons, crafts workshops and recently more and more trekkings in the area. Kansai is beautiful, there’s a lot to do once you decide to take the trains and move around.
I imagine myself coming back many times here, but probably living in Japan is a totally different scenario, there’re SO many layers to actually go through and talk to people in a way you feel a conversation is straight and meaningful, even taking aside the language barrier, which still is huge when I try speak in japanese. I’m meeting people for language exchange, is SO noticeable when they have been living for extended periods of time abroad or have a close connection with some overseas country, they are much more direct… it’s quite refreshing; on the other hand people I’ve already said goodbye because they were practicing speaking to actually go to another country to live, and they finally left. The last meetings were so … anticlimactic :man_shrugging: … Those have left me with a very weird feeling.

Anyway… without prolonging the ramble much more.

Vocab Cards:
Mature: 7720 Young and Learn: 220

Listening Cards:
Mature: 3424 Young and Learn: 129

I’ve decided to change a bit the model of the cards, in order to favor a bit more recognizing the actual kanji of the word tested.

the front it’s looking like this now:

I like to see every word written in kanji (in a rather big Kaisho font) , though I will leave the reference sentence just as it appeared in the subs or text, so I get also if it’s actually more commonly written in kana.

Back will look like this:

I use to have a line in the back appearing upon hovering over with the keywords for the kanji in the word. Now doing RTK, and trying to make those words in japanese, I haven’t found a way to (hopefully) do that in an automatic way. I would like something to look for the kanji that make a word in a field and probably from a database or even the information on a field in my Kanji deck export that term to my vocab cards.The Kanji Keyword Overlay add-on was almost there, but brought a box upon hovering over the kanji, which it wasn’t ideal since I’m already using hovering over addons for kanji (furigana) and plan to eventually put also pitch accent there too. Also it’s only for Anki 2.0 so there’s that. (EDIT: turns out… the add-on does exactly what I want it)

Any ideas anyone can think of? :man_shrugging:

As for Kanji… I’ve bump into an impasse… The retention for some Kanji is really low. I’m already at lesson 17 in RTK 1. But making it monolingual has advantages and disadvantages. Main disadvantage is that I loose connection with the keyword provided in the book, so I have to have a really good replace in japanese to have a similar effect. If it’s a kanji not so common most likely it will take some failed reviews to make a meaningful connection with the keyword (usually I find the most common word using the kanji). Then specially if the kanji it’s not so common AND is not specially simple to write… retention will drop dramatically (as expected probably).

For now I’ve kept it in the 400 something kanji up to lesson 17. Will review again the last two lesson where probably things got a bit rougher.For know only reviewing, and will look for a way to deal effectively with this before proceeding.


As for creating the cards. I’m quite happy on how the setup is working.

A somewhat game changer thing this last weeks has been the MIA Japanese Support add-on. I like to have the word tested pronounced in the front too, mainly because it’s very practical if I’m reviewing away from the screen (sometimes I’ll have the headphones and use an app to make my phone a remote controller to advance cards :sweat_smile: ). Adding those one by one was tedious, but now with the addon I get to mass generate the audio (it’s coming from the NHK accent dictionary). The addon has many more features related to mostly pitch accent and also adding furigana to any field. Haven’t done much with those, but the audio capabilities alone are making it so much worth it in my case .

Cards created with Voracious are a pleasure to add (because of that I’ll tend to add more vocab coming from my shows actually :sweat_smile:), some 30-40 will come from an episode. Will add defs automatically, same for audio for the tested word. Next order them by vocab frequency… and right to my vocab deck.
For Kindle it’s really good too. Similar to cards from voracious, will import them with the Kind2Anki addon, and do exactly the same now, with the audio for the line coming from the audiobook and a quit google image search to add some reference picture.


As for the actual immersion

Well, I finally finished 女囚セブン … the ending felt like … meh (really anticlimactic taking into account the whole tension it was building on the last episodes) … but still a nice show.

Still haven’t continued with マザー (I can only forsee heavy drama developing :sweat_smile: ). But I have picked up モザイク ジャパン . I downloaded the videos and subs from Netflix and I’m going through with Voracious, actually I think it’s not even subtitled pass the 2nd episode. It’s aimed at an adult audience, 'cause well, it’s about a guy casually finding himself working in a JAV company. Needless to say the new vocab I’m getting it’s not necessarily the one I would use in a formal situation :sweat_smile: … japanese are so “creative” with porn related words :thinking: … Strangely enough the writer and director of the show are the same ones from マザー . You could say both shows share some social critique in a very different format though.

A more down to earth show I’ve been watching is 夫のちんぽが入らない , is a Netflix release. I’m actually quite glad that Netflix is co-producing j-dramas as the quality is more consistent.
Using the description audio track for this show has been a very good thing too, it makes it so much clearer when I miss any dialogues. I decided on watching shows over Netflix or Amazon Prime if they are at an ok listening level (super subjective … but still), and then pick up any show (specially if I’m specially interested in it) and go through it with Voracious for a more intensive approach. I find this is allowing me to consume more without stressing too much over the not fully getting all of it yet.

As for reading, I tried to keep a super regular pace the first days I picked up ペンギン・ハイウェイ. But even though the reading it’s not hard actually. Maybe the plot and the way it’s been related hasn’t been so engaging . I’m only in page 40… it has almost 400 :sweat_smile: . I was so used to short stories resolved in 15 pages. Probably some has to do with the it been just a novel and the pace been different. It’s enjoyable, but I’m not finding myself with the binging desire to progress at a speedier pace still.
I’ve also started reading 石飛博光・はじめての書道 , which is a Shodo foundational book. It’s really engaging, also much more demanding, no furigana and sadly no ebook edition, so the look up process is more tedious. Still the pace is with a lesson over 2-3 pages which makes it reasonable. I feel after getting the basic vocab from Shodo, it will be way easier to follow along. It has a DVD also (of course my computer doesn’t has a DVD player so there’s that), I’m planning to watch it before moving on to the more practical lessons.


Anyway that’s mostly it for this month.
Next update probably will be already out of Japan.

EDIT:
Well it turns out I just didn’t dug too much into when finding the Kanji Keyword Overlay add-on the first time. I’ve been playing a bit with it this evening after noticing that it has already been made available on Anki 2.1(though through the Github thread).
And what do you know, you can set it up to do exactly what I was aiming for :star_struck::star_struck:

Basically it has a Kanji database with RTK keywords and also readings of some 3000 kanji, which can be displayed upon hovering over when reviewing vocab cards for example.
Thing is you can also select a Kanji deck in the format of kanji (front) and meaning (back) to serve as database. Besides, after contacting the developer today and getting his response I know you can also choose the field where it will look for kanji vocab in your cards (in my case I only wanted to pick up kanji from the tested word not the whole sentence (the addon will use the expression field by default).

After playing a bit with it I’ve setted up the backside of my vocab cards to have a line with the tested word showering only upon hovering over and in that word will show me the keywords of the individual kanji also when hovering only. Those keywords conveniently come from a KKLC deck I downloaded with sample words for over 2300 kanji.

The japanese keywords for the most part match the ones I’m using, but since it’s a line I’ll be looking only ocationally when failing a card I can always make it match my actual keyword if need it.
I have for now make sure the keywords in this deck match the one in my RKT deck in those kanji I’m failing more often than normal, specially if the only keyword I have is not a word that I’m already super familarized with.
I think I just wanted the feature to be as unobtrusive as possible while still been there when needed. Now I got just that. :smiley:

1 Like

Well a bit of a change in the orientation of the log, something I was already considering before leaving Japan.
I’ve been thinking in departing from the language learning routine a bit as I’m actually more interested now in spending time with japanese calligraphy and watching some shows from time to time while still using Voracious to integrate the new vocabulary coming from those shows into a learning routine.

This is the material I plan to go over this year.
Specially the one in the middle which is a 30 lessons course, which I plan to follow step by step.

I’ve actually setted up a blog to register this Shodo adventure. The blog is no longer focused on language learning, so I considered that it would be more suited to be someplace else.

I plan to update every lesson with the finnished result of the exercise and then some more entries about tools, media and resources I become aware of while moving forward.

I’m thinking in at least go through the essential strokes and then maybe proceeding with a teacher by online classes. Honestly I would like to improve my listening skills and gain more vocab regarding Shodo before doing so. I have my previous experience assisting Shodo lessons in Osaka, and I think more is to be gained when japanese is less of an issue.

As for what is to become of the SRS routine. I still see benefit from continuing with some of it. But I’ve decided on trimming some extra fat.

For once, the RTK review routine is gone. The Kaisho method I’m following already has a section (after the 30 lessons) that uses radicals as building blocks and teaches you how to think in radicals for building kanji when writing as well, which seems all I really need for now. So one less Anki deck to review, though I’m still slowly working on the Kanji Keyword Overlay to show me the reference words I’m most likely to relate to any kanji I’m presented.

As for the vocab routine. Most of my vocab is comming from Voracious now. I haven’t been reading much, I can’t say Penguin Highway has really gotten a hook on my atention yet.
Anyway I’m watching shows almost daily, which is having the effect of providing lots of new words and from various sources.
Currently I’m watching some shows I’ve partially watched before, mostly because I have watched them before unsubbed and for the most part getting the gist in some, others I have been able to follow quite well. I’ve picked up again Oishinbo (which I’m basically re-discovering, since it has much more details that what I was aware of, based on the first unsubbed run), Wakako Sake and Atelier. Besides that I’m also watching Signal, which has proved to be really interesting, in the lines of Erased.
I’ve added movies as well: Battle Royal, Sweet Bean and Departures. Planning to add a lot more, since I’m currently syncing the subs for almost all Kurosawa’s films so I can do the same :star_struck::star_struck: .

A nice contribution from the MIA community (ex-AJATT) has been a new Anki addon, the MIA Retirement addon. Basically I can put a limit on how long I will be reviewing cards ( a similar concept to WK “burning items”). I’ve setted the limit in 1 year for vocab cards and 60 days for listening cards. Probably some SRS purist would argue about “messing up” the SRS… but :man_shrugging: … messing up my daily routine is something I care more, so I’m good with it.

Most likely I will continue to update here big changes or achievements, but not sure will be a monthly thing anymore.

1 Like

Well it’s been almost a month since I’ve been practicing Shodo regularly. I think I’ve made so much more progress now that what I did in Japan. Following a clear method and along the way reading different resources has been a terrific way to notice my own mistakes and find a proper solution to them.

This is more or less where I’m right now, still practicing daily the basic strokes (永字八法) while starting to work on the composition within the characters, which is for now drawing them with symmetry and manage to get a proper center.

It’s been a great transition regarding language learning. I get to read out of need and with a purpose, engaging material that eventually helps me to get a point better or come out more informed about a particular topic.
Compared to my previous readings one of the main differences has been the vocabulary. Some words I thought as too obscure and even doubting if continue to keep them on my SRS are appearing so much more. Adult material has that, is way richer in terms of vocab. Luckily having Yomichan at hand has proved to be a terrific resource for going over even the most challenging blogs I have found.

Keeping things confined in the realm of this particular activity serves to avoid overwhelming myself with too much unfamiliar material been presented at once. I might not know some words in a given article, but I totally get what they are talking about, so I can follow along just fine.

Also the thing that has made a huge impact is the social aspect of it. I can show things to friends and family and they understand it as any other hobby I have had before, they don’t care If I read the textbook in japanese or watch some videos using another language to get there, but they do appreciate the explanations and the results I show to them. I’ve signed up for classes at my local Japanese institute in August, I’m really eager to start with those too.
Somehow It feels like for the last years I was doing the karate kid’s “wax on wax off” routine and now I’m finally throwing my first punches :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: .

As for the shows, I’ve been watching a couple of episodes of Signal and Erased lately. They’re very much in the same genre, and I’ve realized is one that I like a lot. Almost all the vocab is coming from this routine, but If I do not watch any episode for some days and no new vocab is been added, I’m totally fine with it too. Usually my SRS is about 30 mins a day and for the time been I think thats a healthy amount of time for it :slightly_smiling_face: .

2 Likes

Well, quite some time since the last update.

I’ve been practicing Shodo regularly, this time assisting classes in my local japanese institute for about a month and a half now.
It’s been only ok actually, the teacher is a japanese language teacher that has practiced Shodo by himself while living here for the last years, but hasn’t move out of his comfort zone, so he’ll only teach a basic Kaisho style mostly to people that are totally new to it and don’t have too much exposure to japanese.

I like been able to talk about Shodo with other people sharing this interest too, but I’m feeling the lack of structure and progress in the classes to a point that has made me decide on finally just take lessons via skype with an actual Shodo teacher in Japan. One that has caught my atention has a school in Shizouka; after I’m done with my present class I’m signing in there.

The japanese teacher from Shizuoka seems very serious about taking whoever is really motivated up to the teacher certification step, which can take quite some years, but sounds like a really nice goal to pursue. Contrary to how I never got motivated to attain any language certification with japanese, in spite of all the time I was investing in it, whatever degree I could get as my calligraphy gets better I feel it will just keep feeding the desire to keep pushing forward. :sweat_smile:


Then about the shows, I finished Boku dake ga inai machi, watched some more episodes of Signal and then got hooked on Kekkon dekinai Otoko (Adam on JALUP is to blame for his pumped up article about the coming 2nd season :laughing:) .
Listening to Abe Hiroshi’s mumbled voice has made one hell of a listening practice :grin: .

Now I’ve left somewhat behind the SRS reviewing in Anki for some days… I have a 500 backlog, which I’ve never had before. I’m really just preferring to watch more and more shows with Voracious, but I’m lacking the interest in go later taking care of the piled reviews.

Probably the biggest reason for my backlog is also a project that I’ve been working on for the last month, which has consisted in transforming my old Kurosawa film collection, which is this set:

into a whole collection of video files with their respective matching subs for using with Voracious!!!

Looking all that like this:

I’ve gone through Seven Samurai already and now I’m starting Ikiru. A have a long way ahead.:smiley:


Japanese films were one of the main reasons I got interested in japanese and Japan in the first place, so getting to the point where I’m finally mixing my routine with the those movies that I hold dear has really renewed my interest in keeping digging further into the language with the special reward of getting to appreciate more my favorite movies. :star_struck::star_struck:

I wrote a lengthy post in the WK forum with the more technical aspect of the project. Beside that you can get the actual subs in a nice srt format for the entire collection too here.

Anyway I’ll be updating how this learning “a la” Kurosawa turns in next entries.

3 Likes

Cool. I haven’t seen that much of Kurosawa yet, but Ikiru is definitely one of my very favourite movies. Thanks to you now I feel like rewatching it soon :smiley: I also liked Rashomon a lot (big fan of Akutagawa :D)

Which are your favourties?

1 Like

This is fantastic! I recently used the .srt of 南極料理人 to generate some vocab flashcards. I really enjoyed watching the movie with the words learned in advance. Looks like Yojimbo is next :thinking::grin:

1 Like

Oh, sorry for the late reply.
Actually my favourites are Ikiru and Dreams.
Even having this box set for so many years I’ve only watched about 7 films :sweat_smile:
It has always been hard for me to watch Kurosawa (and most old films) with the family and friends. I don’t know if is the slower pace or the BW … or what :man_shrugging: … they simply prefer the current blockbuster most of the time.

In any case I’m excited about this proyect, since mixing the films with a “learning” routine of sorts makes me finally join two activities I really like, without feeling I’m spending so many hours dedicated solely to japanese learning. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Hello, long time no see…

I felt like updating the log and dropping a few lines on it.
A lot has changed since the last update :sweat_smile:

To begin with, I dropped all SRS months ago. No more Anki, Voracious, etc… I was a bit fed up with tbh. I got close to those 10K sentences and nothing really change when adding the 10,001 card to the deck, so I decided to just go cold turkey and decided I was ready to take the plunge :crazy_face: .

I resumed reading on a constant basis. Currently, on my 3rd novel (at a 1 per month rate) since last December :books: … コンビニ人間 on December then きらきらひかる this January and I’ve already starter あこがれ. All short novels in the 200 pages, which seem to be a place where challenge meets comfort these days.

Listening, I just started to follow Jdramas, which I realized taking out all school romance and silly comedies still have plenty to offer. Usually I’m watching one-two per month. I sync the jp subs if available and watch them over the TV mostly or sometimes in the PC using Fluentcards, which it ain’t so great to create cards, but works over the browser which means I can simply use Yomichan to look up.

Recently I’m also watching shows, from regular Japanese TV. 奇跡のレッスン and 情熱大陸 are the ones I watch every week. I’m watching those with CC, which it’s a nice compromise to my listening skills. I can’t read as fast as the subtitles, but then they come useful to check for words I won’t get on the fly.

Shodo classes are on halt, probably until March. So not much to say there.

As for the Kurosawa project, not much progress lately, watching shows over the TV with CCs and not on the computer is so much nicer. I’m not quite there for jidaigeki films, which is a lot of Kurosawa’s filmography. I’m following some movie related shows too over the WOWOW and StarChannel networks, this way I’ve found out about more recent directors too, might try more recent films too, some very good films have come up in recent years.

So… yeah… that’s pretty much how things are going… the immersion way :sweat_smile:

Of course some material still seems to be years from been an achievable goal. I miss words, lines, entire scenes of some shows (much less so when reading thanks to the dictionary on the Kindle), but for the most part I’m picking material that like, so it’s way easier to be engaged.

I remember people saying that they were learning just by reading on the Koohii forum. I didn’t knew when that could be a thing in my routine, but, yeah, though I no longer have a proper metric of progress, it seems to be working.:blush:

2 Likes