Midi's Study Corner

I decided to start a study log :slight_smile:

Background
I started learning in August of last year when I participated in a beginners’ Japanese summer course. I got hooked and have been studying for the whole year now. Somewhere halfway through the year I found out about anki for memorising words and kanji, and I’ve been keeping up my reviews. I also have weekly sessions with a very good native Japanese tutor. In those sessions we communicate exclusively in Japanese, which is difficult but very helpful for learning.

I think my main motivations for starting to learn were my interest in Japanese music and art and the challenge of learning a completely new language. Right now I feel I’m mostly learning because I enjoy the learning itself a lot. Most of the long term goals I have in mind, like being able to read Japanese novels and watching movies without subs, still feel very far away, but I’m determined to get to that point eventually.

Next up
So in a few weeks time I’m taking the N4. It’s my first time taking any kind of test for Japanese so I have no idea what to expect! But I’m looking forward to it a lot. I bought N4 practice books for grammar, listening and reading and plan on working my way through all of those in the next couple weeks.

With the Tadoku thing just starting up I was hoping to get a nice number of pages. I don’t feel like I could compete yet so I’m going to ignore the ranking for now, but I’ll try to read as much as I can and I’m aiming to get something around 80 pages for this round. The things I’m reading are mostly graded readers, ‘easy Japanese’ websites aimed at learners, and よつばと. I’m also struggling my way through first volume of the 3月のライオン manga, it’s way above my level, but since I already know the plot from watching the anime I’m still having fun with it.

Anki
I use two decks: one for vocabulary (Japanese to English) which includes the core2k and some of my own cards, and one for writing words with kanji, from kana + English translation, using only cards of my own.
Currently my stats are:

  • Vocab: 1046 Mature, 213 Young+Learn
  • Kanji words: 395 Mature, 202 Young+Learn, 351 different kanji

Long term goals
I think right now what I want most is to be able to comfortably read. Now, whenever I try to read native materials, I’m always sort of translating-reading, looking up a lot of words and grammar points. I’m really looking forward to just being able to take a nice book and read it for the story, as a relaxing activity, like how I would read a book in my native language. Still a long way to get there.

So, I’ll update this log weekly, looking forward to studying with all of you!

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It sounds like you have doable goals and are taking good steps to get there! It does take a lot of time to be able to read what you want to read (without massive struggle), but keeping going without giving up will surely get you there. <3 Welcome!

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Thank you @valkow!

Update 1
So, here’s my first update!

Studying was a bit hard in these last few days because of the hot weather here… but I did get a lot of work done. I’ve been studying mostly for the JLPT this week, only 10 days to go until the test. I got about halfway through the practice books. Right now my weak spot is listening, so I’ll try to focus on strengthening that.

I read some more chapters of よつばと vol. 2, it’s gradually getting easier to follow without looking up much, so I’m happy with that. I loved volume 1, but in volume 2 Yotsuba’s antics made me actually laugh out loud a few times, I guess that’s the first step to naturally enjoying native material!

I think my goal for 80 pages on tadoku was way too optimistic, but there’s still some days left, so we’ll see.

Anki stats

  • Vocab: 1077 Mature, 252 Young+Learn
  • Kanji words: 422 Mature, 229 Young+Learn, 368 different kanji (17 new)

Next up
I’ll keep practising for the N4, and I’ll focus on getting better at the listening parts. I hope to have the practice books finished by next week, so I can use the last few days to take some mock tests and build up confidence for the actual exam.

More next week! :slight_smile:

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Update 2

Only 2 more days until the JLPT!

I’ll keep it short. I’ve worked through most of my N4 practice books. I’m doing fine on the mock exam questions. For extra listening practice I listened to some of the audio versions that come with level 3 graded readers, you can download them for free on the publisher’s website. During studying breaks I tried watching anime with both English and Japanese subs on animelon, to keep the Japanese input going even in my downtime.

I finished よつばと vol. 2 too.

Anki stats

  • Vocab: 1096 Mature, 347 Young+Learn
  • Kanji words: 450 Mature, 232 Young+Learn, 379 different kanji (11 new)

Next up
There’s really only one thing I need to do this week, which is passing the N4!

Will let you all know how it’ll go in the next update :slight_smile:

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Update 3

This is the JLPT N4 update!

I really enjoyed participating in the test. It all was a lot more official than I’d expected (so many staff involved, so many rules) which made me feel a bit nervous even though I was doing it purely for fun.

I think I did well on the test. Listening was the most difficult, I wasn’t prepared for how quickly they change to the next question. But overall I’m pretty sure I passed.

New goals
So my experience at N4 left me feeling I could be putting the bar a bit higher. I think I want to try for N3 in December. Half a year might be too short, but I want to see if I can pass.

I don’t want to study just for passing tests though, so I’ll try to keep my learning content diverse. One thing I want to try is rewatching anime and drama that I watched with English subs, but now I only turn on Japanese subs. I will also try to keep up with reading, for now it’s mostly Yotsuba and graded readers but I hope I can move on to more native content soon.

Anki stats

  • Vocab: 1124 Mature, 447 Young+Learn
  • Kanji words: 473 Mature, 250 Young+Learn, 390 different kanji (11 new)
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I passed the N4 with 155/180 score :slight_smile:

Making a lot of progress with Japanese lately, but I’ll stop updating this log for now as I’m busy with my music studies.

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Congrats on the pass!

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Congratulations!

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Congrats Midi!

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