I was interested in learning Japanese since middle school, but didn’t make much progress on my own other than going through RTK in high school (2010 or so). I took a semester of Japanese in college (2011 or 2012), but had to drop in the middle of the second semester. At some point after (2016), I went through maybe 2/3rds of Understanding Basic Japanese Grammar, and probably had about 1500 or so unique words in my vocabulary deck.
For most practical purposes, I got back into it in January 2018. I spent January-March 2018 (re)doing RTK. From March - May 2018 , I started going through Genki, in conjunction with ADoBJG and core6k. I made it a lot harder than it needed to be, and only made it to chapter 6 or so before mostly dropping it. I managed to keep doing (though not complete) anki reviews every day during that time (June-December 2018), though I built up a hell of a backlog.
I made plans to go to Japan with some friends this year, so I spent January-February 2019 chipping away at the backlog. I retained a surprisingly large amount (80%+) despite seeing most cards months late. In March 2019, I put the whole of Japanese The Manga Way in Anki to get a quick/dirty overview of a lot of grammar before the trip; that took around two weeks. The trip, in April 2019, was a lot of fun, if exhausting. I confirmed that I’m pretty terrible at the language. Another Anki backlog built up, so the second half of the month was recovering from that.
Throughout the last two years, I’ve been reading/pretending to read manga, a lot of which I had been previously exposed to in English. Even though I far from understood everything, I only looked up words when I felt like it. This went okay with things like 弟の夫; less well with ゴールデンカムイ. (“Okay” here means that I could at least follow what was going on, could take at least decent guesses as to what most words were being used to mean, etc, but at a summary-level.)
Longer term, I want to aim to take n3 in December; I think it’s plausibly in reach.
To that end, this month, I want to
- finish half-assing genki 1
- get about 3k cards from core6k to be active
- … and that’s it, for easily defined goals.
Abstractly, I want to figure out a way to even measure the things I know i"m disproportionately bad at (grammar, listening, speaking; everything except vocabulary, I guess, which I’m okay at).