Nandemonai's Study Log

I’ve maintained a language learning study log with ever since 2013. First at HTLAL and then later on the Language Learners forum. I figured I might as well keep a study log here now that this forum is maintained by me under Tadoku.


January 2021

Japanese

I’ve been mostly reading for enjoyment. Last month I got really into the 呪術廻戦 anime and picked up the manga where the anime left off at the time. Got caught up with it after a couple days. Last week I did the same with 神達に拾われた男. Finished the anime and ever since then I’ve been reading it daily. So far have read 500+ pages of it.

I also no longer need to take the 基本技術者試験 now that I’ve changed jobs. I won’t be studying for it anymore.

Mandarin

Spoonfed: 5988/8085

I’ve just been doing the bare minimum to keep Mandarin alive to be honest. Job hunting took most of my free time.

Tadoku

Made some user experience improvements by showing the start/end times of a round, current tadoku time, and the time remaining until the round starts/ends. I’ve also changed the schedule of the contest after feedback from several participants on Discord.

Plans for 2021

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 2020, it’s that a lot can happen in a very short time period. Most of my plans for 2020 didn’t pan out because of the current state of the world.

I’m only gonna set goals for the next month and evaluate my progress more often. This way I can pivot my strategy much earlier when I notice things are off.

January

Japanese

  • 150 new words core10k
  • 300 book pages read

Mandarin

  • 200 new Spoonfed sentences
  • Read 花木蘭 graded reader

February 2021

Japanese

January goals

  • :white_check_mark: 150 new words core10k → 150 learned
  • :white_check_mark: 300 book pages read → 1470 pages read

I caught up with 神達に拾われた男, so now I’ve got to wait for new chapters to come out. I’ve now started catching up with One Piece. I’ll keep my goals for February modest so I can focus more on Mandarin.

I read a lot more this month than I originally anticipated. My reading speed has improved so much that I can now read 300 book pages in a single day spread over 7-9 hours. This kinda took away all my time that I was planning on using for Tadoku improvements.

Mandarin

January goals

  • :white_check_mark: 200 new Spoonfed sentences → 200 learned
  • :x: Read 花木蘭 graded reader → Didn’t even get started on this one

Spoonfed: 6157/8085

I’ve been going a bit easy on myself and have been more liberal with the suspend button. Mostly with cards that take me too long to answer. This cuts down on the time I spend doing Anki. I might get to these cards eventually.

I didn’t get any reading done in Chinese this month. One of the reasons why is that reading a physical book in Chinese is still very challenging. Because of this I’ve decided to scan all my graded readers and bundle them in PDFs that I can read on my iPad. I can annotate words directly and have a dictionary on the side for quick lookups. I’ll report back on how this went next month.

February goals

Japanese:

  • 150 new words core10k

Mandarin:

  • 200 new Spoonfed sentences
  • Read 100 pages of graded readers
  • Study 2 NPCR lessons
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I’ve been considering moving over my study log as well. I think I will start next month. Curious about this goal: 150 new words core10k

How big is your deck currently? Do you add cards as well that your run across when reading or do you try to just read for enjoyment?

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I’m mostly focusing on building up my Mandarin vocabulary at the moment. I have this goal because I want to keep up momentum with Japanese. Learning words in Japanese has also become a lot easier over time and now it doesn’t require much effort anymore.

I don’t have a big need to do core10k, but it’s an easy/lazy source of new words. I have to suspend a bunch of words because I already know them though. Many words I’ve learned through reading/listening from media or from the people around me.

I read just for enjoyment. Mining words while reading hasn’t worked well for me. Novels tend to have fairly long sentences, which means they’re not a great source for vocabulary sentence flashcards. I keep a list of words I don’t know and that seem useful. I’ll probably turn those into flashcards when I’m done with core10k.

I have about 6000 mature cards for Japanese right now. I’ve also completed core6k/passive rtk1 in the past but I’ve suspended those decks a couple years ago. My current active cards are not all vocabulary sentences. ~3.9k grammar sentences, ~1.4k vocabulary sentences, and ~700 active rtk1 deck. RTK active run has been put on hold due a lack of time/motivation so I’m not adding new cards to it anymore.

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Got it! That makes a ton of sense. Thanks for explaining.

Japanese

February goals

  • :white_check_mark: 150 new words core10k → 190 learned

Pretty much going on auto-pilot, not much to say here. Started watching JoJo which has been entertaining.

Mandarin

February goals

  • :white_check_mark: 200 new Spoonfed sentences → 196 learned
  • :x: Read 100 pages of graded readers → 6 pages
  • :x: Study 2 NPCR lessons → Did half a lesson

Spoonfed: 6380/8085 (+223) (my previous number must’ve left out my filtered deck as it doesn’t add up)

Sigh, I really need to work on forming habits for Chinese. At this rate I won’t be making any progress :confused: February was a shorter month so I fell a couple words short of my target. I’ll need to do things daily like I’m doing with Anki. March is also a new round of Tadoku, and this time I will not read in Japanese to make time for Chinese.

I’m thinking of doing the following:

  • Read at least one page of my graded readers during lunch
  • NPCR: one lesson a week, 20 mins every morning
    • Monday: Mine new words and add to Anki
    • Tuesday: Read text 1
    • Wednesday: Read text 2
    • Thursday: Review text 1
    • Friday: Review text 2
    • Saturday: Reading exercise
    • Sunday: Review all reading

March goals

Japanese

  • 150 new words core10k

Mandarin

  • 200 new Spoonfed sentences
  • Read 30 pages of graded readers
  • Study 4 NPCR lessons
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