Sleppibunni Study Log

Hi!

I also want to make a study log in order to check my progress and because it seems fun. :books::sparkles:

I’m a self study learner, English is my L2 and my Native language is Portuguese.

Before Study Log:

Studied for about 4 months in 2014 and then had to completely stop for years, before the pause:

I’ve done a little bit of the Genki I before moving on to Tae Kim. I think that Genki is a great book, but it felt a little too slow for my taste. And I didn’t really liked the use of romaji… But that’s really a minor complain. Unfortunately I’ve lost my copy of Genki.

I read the entire Tae Kim Guide or at least most of it. The Japanese grammar is in special my weak point, as I am not familiarized to the English grammar terms and I got confused by them a lot of times. Often, learning grammar with Tae Kim Guide wasn’t fun and left me very tired.

But that’s okay! I won’t let some silly language barrier to stop me.

In 2014 I also learned the Kanji radicals with a book called Let’s learn Kanji. I very recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn Kanji radicals and general rules for the stroke orders, just don’t rely much on this book for for the Kanji by itself, as it has only 250 on it.

For vocab, in that time, I had done only about 400 words in the Anki Core 6k deck.

Restarted studying in March of this year, since then I (2019):

Bought the みんなの日本語 I and みんなの日本語 II Textbooks, which I got interested especially because they have a Portuguese translation with Grammar lessons. I also got all the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar books, in case that I need a more thoroughly explanation. And because I really like collecting books.

Which just started reading only 2 days ago!

As for vocabulary, I’m using Anki on my phone with the Core 6k and the VN Core. I feel like I own a lot that I’ve learned until now to this program! Bless the guys who made Anki and also compiled those decks. I’m almost at the end of VN Core, with 1000 cards done of 1200. As for the Core 6k, I am about 1100 words on it. I’m learning 10 new words by day both in Core 6k and Core VN but this number changes to more or less depending on how confident I’m feeling with the new vocab.

I still need to learn Kanji separately. As up until now I didn’t feel the need to, since knowing radicals already helped me a lot to separate one character from another. But since hitting the 1000 words mark, it has been more difficult to do so with so many words. So last month I’ve decided to do Remembering the Kanji and am about the 200 mark. I write the charcters and started doing SRS too for it.

I’m watching a lot of Japanese Style Originator on Netflix which is a great show about the traditional Japanese culture. (Also is very relaxing and fun!)

I’m replaying Ciel nosurge to help me to see more words in context. I also hope to start playing more Japanese games soon, especially small free games which have no translation. I just need to set my head to start them and not feel bad about not understanding 100% of the words shown! But I’m glad that I can understand a lot more than in 2014.

By the way, I’m taking a break from university until August. That’s what let me return to my Japanese studies. I hope that when classes start over again, I can keep studying in my free time.

Short term objectives:

  • Finish RTK.
  • Finish VN Core
  • Read more games and manga’s in Japanese.
  • Review and advance to the intermediate level on grammar.
  • Learn more about the Japanese culture
  • Take the JLPT N3 at the end of this year if possible

Long term objectives:

  • Be able to read and understand anything that I want to read in Japanese.
  • Travel to Japan and be able to guide me by myself.
  • Finish Core 6k.
  • Finish Minna no Nihongo I, II and the Tobira textbooks.
  • Advance from the Intermediate grammar to the Advanced grammar
  • Read all the books that I own in Japanese
  • Pass the JLPT N1 level

It has been such a long post! Better stop talking here.
I’ll post my impressions from Minna no Nihongo later and try to keep a weekly journal here. (Or more often if I’m really inspired)

またね!

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This week has been kinda unproductive but at the same time full of new findings.

I’ve done already 4 Chapters of Minna no Nihongo. A little bit behind of what I wanted (1 Chapter a day) But that’s okay since Chapter 4 kept me more time on it and because I got distracted a lot this week.

I said that I would talk more about Minna no Nihongo, and that is what I will do today.

First, I need to say that I also got the Workbook for it and am also doing its exercises now together with the ones from the regular book, yay.

They are okay, the first chapters were a little short, so do were the exercises. Most of them, (both in the Textbook and Workbook) on the first two chapter were really repetitive, as in, you needed to repeat the same phrase over and over just changing one keyword.

I skipped those. Little by little the exercises were getting less like that. By chapter 3 and 4 they are already okay-ish. I can see them becoming more and more interesting with time.

Worth to be noted is that each chapter has some personal questions for you to answer using what you just learned. I thought that it was really cool to add something like that.

Anyway, Minna no Nihongo is one of the books often recommended besides Genki. The motive for this is because of its availability and broad variety on languages that it can be bought. A lot of Japanese classes are done using this book.

I picked up the translation book on Portuguese and it is really nice to see all the vocabulary translated in my language and the explanations too. The grammar lessons in Minna no Nihongo are made in a very ‘textbook’ way. Using a lot of grammatical terms when I feel that just using simpler explanations would be fine. But anyway, the book does its job. And there are people who prefer this approximation. In my case, I wasn’t exactly the best with those terms even in my native language so, eh.

For self study I Minna no Nihongo is a little strange to do without a teacher. The reason is that some concepts aren’t mentioned on the grammar book and you still are supposed to apply them in the exercises. I suppose that a teacher was supposed to explain those?

For example, in chapter 4 the use of 午後 and 午前 wasn’t mentioned before we got an exercise with it. The translation/grammar book gave the translations of those the terms in the vocabulary list okay. But it was kinda strange that they didn’t mention those at the proper explanation of how to indicate time. (Which was the topic of this Chapter)

I already knew the terms before doing the exercises and they are very simple, so I didn’t have any problems. I just think that it’s best for me to pay more attention to the vocabulary list.

Another fishy point is, the tables with some information that you will need are in the end of the book. Not in the chapter page that they are explained. This happened when I was checking how to say half hour in the time lesson and didn’t find it. It’s kinda annoying to have to change between pages all the time, especially when you are already having to use two books. But that’s just also minor complain.

What really worries me is the ‘red box’ exercises.
To be honest, I’m not really sure what they are.
Are they exercises…? Multiple examples…?


Seriously, what are those? => Edit: Some kind user pointed out that they are just examples and I’m silly for not assuming so. :relieved:

It doesn’t have explanations neither in English, Japanese or Portuguese. It just say ‘practice’ on the page. Sometimes, more than one option seems to be correct, sometimes only one of the choices seems to be right. But this may be or may be not just me being dumb with Japanese exercises.

Those little things added up and kinda bothered me a lot.
Since I knew one YouTube channel who had done a course for people who were self studying with Minna no Nihongo I’ve gone ahead and watched a lot of his videos! They help too. Maybe a little slow, but that’s okay. It’s free and has a cute Siamese cat in every opening!

The name of the channel is Kira Sensei and it is on Spanish. Just look in the playlist and you will find it!

Watching the videos wasted one day of studying new things too, as I didn’t want to go foward without reviewing and understanding 100%. (And I wasn’t even able to watch all…)

I said a lot of bad things about Minna no Nihongo so I’ll go ahead and say a few positive points about it.

It’s great to have the vocabulary and explanations translated directly to your native language. It makes much less tiring to study and it’s very fun to do it. Also, I love the illustrations. Almost every page has one drawing. The translation book has some very interesting information talking either things that you will find in Japan, explaining cultural points or just everyday stuff that someone would expect to do when traveling to Japan. One image that I really liked was the one that explains how to use Japanese ATM’s. I can’t wait to see more~

So, I would recommed Minna no Nihongo? It depends.

Do you want to use a textbook just for grammar and English is your native language? If so, I would instead recommend that you get Genki or The Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar.

Do you want to practice a lot of reading and don’t mind clarifying a few grammar points in other sources? Then get Minna no Nihongo.

Do you want something that has a slower pace? Then get Genki.

Do you want something that has a fast pace and teach a lot of things at once? Then get Minna.

Do you feel overloaded with English explanations of a grammar that isn’t even English grammar but still uses terms for English grammar? Then get Minna no Nihongo in your native language. It helps a lot.

Minna no Nihongo is a okay book. It’s just expensive to get all three books that you need in the collection. (Japanese Book + Translation/Grammar + Workbook)

So, Genki might be a better choice after all, but like I said, it depends.

I also wasted a lot of my time this week creating a Discord group for Portuguese speakers learning Japanese. That probably wasn’t a wise decision, since it ate almost 3 days of my week making it work and look good. But at least I’m proud of it and it has plenty of resources on it!

If you want to participate on it, here is the invite:

Just keep in mind that it is really just a small portuguese server that I made and that it is really quiet right now haha. :sweat_smile:

As for the Anki… I’ve mostly done my work on VN core this week but I skipped 3 days of iCore because I did too many dumb decisions as you can see. So I wasted the time that my brain was awake and left it to do when I was already collapsing of sleepiness and fell asleep.

RTK suffered from the same fate but worse. With me only doing 2 days of it this week. But I promise that from now on I’ll try to take more care.

I also downloaded a bunch of Anpanman movies and the Anpanman DS game.

I didn’t watch the movies yet but the game was fun to play, especially because I knew almost all the words on it!

The game even had an mini dictionary with J-J definitions that I could easily understand them. Made me really happy and proud of myself. I know that this is silly because it’s a game for really young Japanese children but still, it’s for Japanese children and I could understand it! Yay!

But yeah, it’s a kid’s game so I finished it in just one or two hours, I might re-check it later to see if I missed anything, tho.

I’m kinda divided if I should stick with playing Ciel nosurge, since I already played it once and I already know what is going to happen. (So I kinda procrastinate on continuing it)

Maybe I will switch for Majou ni Naru. It’s really cute and I think that I can finish it in one or two weeks, compared to Ciel nosurge who uses real time and has a lot of items to make.

Sorry, this turned up to be a really long post again.
But until next week

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Just a heads-up on those ‘red box exercises’, those sentences are in fact all correct, I think you’re supposed to practise by reading them out loud or using them in conversation.

Good luck with studying! :slight_smile:

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Thank you very much! :heart:
I was getting crazy with those.

I can relate :sweat_smile:

But I think Discord servers and anything similar are worth the lost study time when, in the end, they create spaces for people to come together and form communities. You get to connect, talk, learn, and share resources with each other, which ultimately beats a few lost study days, I think!

Good luck with your Discord group and studies! :smiley:

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I just wanted to keep recorded here that I decided to take a little break on July. Since soon university classes will be back for me and I was traveling. Plus kinda wanted to rest more, read books and play games unrelated to my JP studies.

Hopefully I’ll be back on August and not give up! :books:

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