Summer Break Study Log

I was inspired to make a study log by the ones I saw on WaniKani, especially a particularly entertaining one. I was thinking of how fun it’d be and realized I can just do a log over here instead.

Summer break just started and I’ve decided that I want my reading skills to grow a lot during this time. You’d think during summer break I’d do a lot more studying but I actually do less than when I’m in school, because in the school year I’d make sure to get my work done within the few hours I’m home, but during summer break I have all the time in the world and procrastinate until it gets late enough I just decide to wait the next day. So I’ve decided to keep a study log both to keep me accountable and to keep track of how much I grow.

Grammar: I’m using the Reading question type since I only care for input and not output, and this mode makes it so I can review faster. So far, I’ve finished the Genki 1 and Genki 2 section. Aside from Bunpro, I’m using Japanese Ammo with Misa (:heart:) and Cure Dolly to learn grammar points. Hopefully watching a video for each point that isn’t obvious to me would make reviews go even smoother.

Vocabulary: My biggest problem was grammar when reading but now that I’ve actually started to study it, vocabulary is my biggest limiter. So even though I started this with grammar in mind, I’ve decided to study vocabulary the most. I already had about 3k words in jpdb and unfortunately I haven’t reviewed them in 6 months so I have about 1.5k reviews to get back to. Unlike Anki or Bunpro, you can’t learn anything new in jpdb if you have reviews, so I’ll get through them all today in order to start learning new words. It bothers me knowing how much vocabulary I could have known if I kept going but I’ll just have to be sure not to do take a break like that again. Most of the words I already know, just will take a long while. I can easily do about 300 but once you take a break you have a big problem lol

Kanji: Even though kanji is important in helping me remember vocabulary, I’m not going to include it in my goals or plan to learn a certain amount in a day. I plan to learn the ones that are in the vocabulary that I’m learning, so I can’t say I want to learn 10 a day or want to learn 2k by the end of break. I’ll say I think that I’m learning enough vocabulary that I could possibly see 1.5k kanji. I already know about 1k so that’d be 500 more

Listening: Streams and youtube videos are the main reason I wanted to learn Japanese so I plan on improving my listening in the future, but my schedule is already kind of busy so it will take a back burner so I can focus on reading. I plan to use the cram mode to practice listening but it will be during my down time instead of a part of my schedule. It will probably be added to my daily schedule after all the grammar points in Bunpro are put into review and I’ve finished Yotsubato

Rates:

  • 10 grammar points per day
  • 50 vocabulary per day (this is the pace I used to go before my break but I might have to build back up to it again, so probably 25 a day first)
  • 2 chapters of Yotsubato per day

Goals:

  • 7.5k words overall (4.5k new words)
  • Finish N1 grammar (I just realized that doing 10 grammar points a day I’d be able to finish N1 in about 73 days (2.5 months) so just before the end of my summer break. That doesn’t look right but I’ll keep it as my goal since that’s what the math says. Might be doable because I use the reading mode, and I plan to read a lot.)
  • Read all 15 Yotsubato volumes + the manga from the beginner reading club (I’ve already read 5 volumes but I’ll go ahead and read them again since it’s been a year and I didn’t even know any grammar back then, I don’t know how I managed lol)
  • Read for 300 hours

My goals are probably extreme but I have literally nothing else to do all day so my only limiting factor is my motivation, hopefully having a log would keep it up

Tell me why this post took 80 minutes to write :{

Day 1: Summer Break Study Log - #9 by Florance

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This just my opinion so don’t let it bother you too much.

Don’t do that. The odds that you’ll actually learn those grammar points in that amount of time is slim to none. If you’re in N1 content and you can’t blow through an entire volume of Yotsubato in a few hours or less, then you may need to shift your focus almost completely to reading and go slow on the rest of your grammar.

EDIT: I wasn’t paying attention to the math you did. I think you’re actually talking about going from N5 to N1 over the summer? If so that’s not even an extreme goal, it’s just completely unrealistic.

There’s no point in going fast if it doesn’t actually benefit your learning. Chill out, enjoy your summer, read a lot, and do your best. As I’m sure you’ve heard many times- It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

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I’ve checked posts and saw people do 6 - 7 new points per day so I assumed 10 will be fine, but if not I can go down to 5 points depending on how N3 goes. My retention rate is over 90% rn but if it drops in the future I’ll lower the grammar lessons and focus on reading : }

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i do pretty much all my studying in big chunks during breaks, so i say go for it. 10 grammar points daily is definitely doable. I did n5 and n4 before my free trial even ended. I started like in late june and had school in august so i didnt do much beyond that. After that during winter break i did 10 a day for n3 until i finished. my goal for this summer is to finish n2 and some of n1 (im only doing like 6 a day tho). make sure ghosts are set to minimal if you plan to do this (i think its the default setting)

I would recommend doing one big session in the morning right when you wake up (this is when you add your cards) and one at night before you go to bed (just to kill ghosts and move your cards along). this will take some time (a couple hours maybe) once the reviews start piling up. just know what your signing up for

also, i would say taking a hit on retention is worth it just for more grammar points. I would much rather know 600 grammar points at 70% retention than only know 300 grammar points at 80% retention. you just know so much more its worth getting a few more answers wrong

doing 50 words daily not something ive done before (i do 25 new cards a day in anki). Its doable, but make sure you don’t spend too much time on each card. if you are spending 10 seconds per card while adding 50 cards a day you will want to die. its okay to get a few more wrong just keep answering quick is the most important part. if you ever feel burnt out, dont skip reviews entirely, just stop adding new cards until they get manageable. I use anki and theres a speed focus add on to make sure you answer fast, but idk if jpdb.io has that

My adding 25ish cards a day takes maybe an hour (but it could be faster), so i would estimate it would take maybe 2 hours of reviews daily, give or take time based on pace. youre probably gonna have to slow down on grammar a little bit, but i could see you finishing n2 even with some slowdown. just keep in mind that this will be like a part time job, my estimates have maybe 4-6 hours daily just on reviews for you at this pace, so if you can do that on top of whatever time you spend reading go for it.

my estimates might be off, but if you ever start getting burned out just stop adding new grammar/vocab for a week or so and then you should be good. maybe you can restart a bit sooner on the vocab, but i would wait a week to kill off a lot of the ghosts for bunpro

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I also love to do a lot of studying during my breaks, I hate to sit idly lol. Thank you for your tips, they’ll make my schedule more manageable. Good luck meeting your goals this summer :tada:

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On the assumption you have all day every day available for studying (or at least 5-10 hours a day), it is probably humanly possible to do what you’re planning, especially using the reading review type, however I’d suggest setting a rough time limit for SRS each day and once it begins to hover around that point I’d slow down otherwise it may just balloon. It seems like you have enough vocab and kanji knowledge to start engaging with native materials so if you have plenty of free time you will be far better served by pouring that time into listening and reading, based on my experience. The issue you’ll have with speedrunning vocab and grammar is you won’t really understand how things fit together and what they really mean. You need to be using the language (reading/listening) to see how things are actually used. Of course copious amounts of SRS won’t hurt your Japanese ability but I’d be realistic about what is actually achieved by doing it. Be careful you don’t put yourself in a position where you have to reset. The handful of people who manage to do that much new SRS material daily are also normally putting in 4-6 hours of focused reading a day.

Overall you should do what you want and whatever you find motivating (which could mean a massive heap of SRS) but I’ve seen way more people get burnt out on study plans like this than succeed. My opinion, which I know you didn’t ask for so feel free to ignore, is to add some reading and/or listening goals to the mix and adjusting your current goals. Maybe keep the current goals as stretch goals (even then they would be hard to reach and possibly lead to a hollow victory) but put in some “bare minimum” goals as well. For input goals, on top of Yotsuba I would personally try reading a super easy novel and listening to one or two hundred hours of native TV/YouTube/whatever you enjoy.

Regardless, good luck and don’t forget the main thing is to just keep going. I look forward to reading your log!

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Don’t worry, advice is always welcome. I’m not completely sure of my plans so I’m not too attached to these goals.
I’ll definitely increase my reading time since 2 chapters wont be enough. After posting I realized it’s probably better to do less vocab srs and more reading than the other way around. I used to do only Anki in the past (that’s why I was able to keep up with so many per day) so I forget that learning Japanese isn’t just srs lol. I can add some listening goals too, I already like a lot of vtubers and have ones that speak slowly and calm. What do you think is a good amount of hours for SRS, reading, then listening? I think that listening might have the least, then SRS, then reading will have the most

My view on this is not favorable as I did the same with kanji completing RTK 5 years back and am paying the price to this day.

I learned a lot everyday and as I was very intensely into it and had the time to do so it felt very efficient at the time. I had excellent reviews constantly so everything seemed to work perfectly.
Now once completed I had to take a break of kanji for 2/3 months as it had been a lot towards the end.
When getting back to it I realized A LOT of my knowledge was gone, it was really shocking.
What happened is that I have just used short term memory efficiently, but didn’t build any solid long term memory fundation.

I thought I was gaining time but I have in reality lost a lot so I would advise against doing the same but I also agree everyone should do whatever he wants anyway.
It could be a success or a failure to learn from which is important too, we’re not talking about a long time investment.

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Day 1

I had a late start today and started studying at 4 pm instead of 7 am like I usually do because I was playing Wuthering Waves all night and had to take a nap lol. Not much has changed so I’ll just give more background information

Grammar: N4 101/177 - Doing 10 points a day is going pretty well for me so far (about 2 weeks in), my reviews are staying around 100 and that’s the perfect amount for me to do when I wake up. After those initial reviews, I try to review every few hours throughout the day.

Vocab: I’m still working on my reviews but a lot of them are just words that I know well (like 必要) and piled into my review queue from months of inactivity so it’s going faster than expected. Instead of doing all 2k reviews today like I thought I’d do, I decided to just do 1k reviews today and then 1k tomorrow so that I have time to do some reading both today and tomorrow.

Reading: Today I’ve read 50 pages of the first volume of Yotsubato. I could have read more but the backlog ate up a lot of my time. Still, I’m reading faster than I initially expected. According to Natively, about 2 years ago I read pretty much every day for a few months. It was back when I was reading Yotsubato and each volume took me about 3 weeks to a month to finish. I can definitely read faster than that now so I’m glad I can see some growth beyond just the # of vocab I know. It makes me feel better even though I’m still at a low level after 3 years lol. For reading, I’m gonna focus mostly on webnovels instead of manga (after Yotsubato). I prefer manga but I have a breader for jpbd which both makes looking up words a lot easier and makes it possible for me to do my SRS while reading, which saves me lots of time.

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I thought you’d be able to manage more reading than you said in your initial post!

The jpdbreader (breader) is really useful but watch out for misparses, including less frequent readings, as they do occur fairly often.

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Day 2

Grammar: N4 111/177 - I spent about an hour learning new the new points. Most of them are easily picked up since I’ve seen them around while reading or studying before, but the ones that I don’t recognize I watch videos for. I’m trying to learn the grammar as well as I can upfront before putting it into srs. Unlike yesterday I just did my reviews when I woke up and when I’m about to go to bed.

Vocab: I did about 300 reviews today. I was gonna do the whole backlog but realized that if I do them all at once, they’ll just all come back at the same time later and I’ll have the same problem. So I decided to do it slowly over a few days instead. I was watching people on the jpdb discord and they do about 700 reviews in an hour since they allow themselves less than 5 seconds per card. I understand their logic since when reading you don’t want to sit there for longer than 5 seconds to remember a word, so it should be failed if it takes longer than that. They have a script to automatically turn the card after a few seconds so I might try it.

Reading: I read another 100 pages of Yotsubato so about 100 more to go. Certain parts trip me up like how grammar or words would be changed a bit because of the way the character speaks, but I was able to get some help reading through the Yotsubato thread for the beginner book club. Too bad I was too late to read with them, but their pace was too slow anyways.

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would highly highly recommend the script to auto flip the card after 5 seconds, thats exactly what i use for anki. if you can use something like that for jpdb please try it for a couple days.

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In that case I feel more confident that it’ll be helpful, I’ll start tomorrow and see how things go.

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yeah its okay if you miss a few more cards than normal. just answering fast is all that matters really. if you normally answer in 8 seconds, then if you reduce by 3 seconds per card for 400 ish cards, thats 20 minutes saved. it makes life so much better. when you start adding your 50 daily cards those seconds will really add up

when i first started doing vocab, i would spend way too much time per card to make sure i had the highest chance of getting them all right, now i just farm cards as fast as possible

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Day 3

Grammar: N4 121/177 - I was happy to see I only had 160 reviews to do even after I waited until the end of the day to do any. Overall it’s taking about two hours to do grammar regularly and I’d like to keep it that way.

Vocab: I’m finally finishing my backlog but will have to finish it up tomorrow. It looks like my initial goal of doing 1k reviews each of the first two days didn’t work out lol. In hindsight maybe I should have gotten rid of the backlog before starting everything else but oh well. 4 days isn’t too bad either. 500 a day is easier than 1k and leaves more time for reading too.

Reading: Reading Yotsubato was my favorite part of the day like always. It was relaxing and made me feel better after Demon Slayer made me cry lol. I’m thinking of making my pace half of a volume per day since I can go through it easy enough and want to make reading the majority of my study time. Plus if I read more, it’ll be even easier to do my vocab srs and make it go by faster.

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Day 4

Grammar: N4 132/177 - I’m getting pretty close to the end of N4 and should finish this week. My vocabulary and kanji is beyond N4 so I’m excited to get my grammar up to that level too. My abysmal grammar holding me back was annoying lol.

Vocab: I’m finally free from that backlog and will hold back on vocab SRS for the next week as I said before. Half of the reviews, about 1k, is gonna come back so I don’t wany more on top of that.

Reading: I didn’t start a new Yotsubato volume (looking back at yesterday’s log I didn’t say it, but I finished the first volume yesterday) Instead I started a webnovel called 聖女? いいえ、やったのはこっちのくまです! ~可愛いもふもふくまさんと行く異世界浄化旅~ (why do they have such long names??) on syosetsu and then read through some of the Haruna’s Daily Diary thread. I did this because manga is just dialogue, and I wouldn’t be able to see words that are used outside of that. Also, the beginner book club is starting the Pokemon Special manga tomorrow and I’m excited to read with them for the first time. I noticed it’s only 1 chapter a week, but that’s fine. That way I can easily plop it into my schedule. I was gonna read ahead but realized I had plenty other things to read and wanted to stay on the same pace as everyone else so that I can read their questions and they can read mine without having to spoiler everything. I also switched my Animal Crossing to Japanese today. It was relatively easy besides when they started using a bunch of hiragana in certain places, then I’d have to focus and read what they were saying. I’m gonna know more insect and fish names in Japanese than I do in English lol.

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Day 5

I’ve seen people have spreadsheets on the Japanese Learning subreddit that documented their hours put into certain tasks. After a long while, it’d be satisfying to see how long you’ve been working at reading for example. It also helps since you need a certain amount of hours of learning before you’re a certain level I’ve heard, so you can track your progress based on that too. I avoided making a sheet for myself since 1) I didn’t know how to use spreadsheets and 2) I wasn’t doing enough to warrant it. Now that I’m reading more, I want to track my reading especially but will go ahead and track my jpdb and Bunpro too.

Grammar: N4 142/177 - ~ない~はない (JLPT N4) | Bunpro is giving me the most trouble right now. When I see the translation it’s obvious but when I try to read it myself I’d mess it up. Like in the example sentence わたしけない漢字かんじはない。, it means “There is no kanji that I cannot write.” but I read it as “I can’t write any kanji.” so I’ll have to practice this one specifically. I might put it in a cram section.

Vocab: I only did 100 reviews today to keep my reviews down and wait for the reviews from the backlog to disperse more. The ones that I got wrong are all coming back in a week so I’m gonna wait for them to pass, then will finally start doing my new cards. I’ll probably start on Monday.

Reading: Yotsubato is pretty easy to read right now, just takes a while since the grammar changes a bit to be more natural. It’s getting easier since I’m getting used to how they’re doing it. Reading the webnovel mentioned yesterday is a bit rougher but manageable. Picking a random chapter, I know about 90% of the unique words but many of the unique words I didn’t know only appear once so I don’t think I’ll bother learning them right now. Manga is easier for me to read but harder to look words up while webnovels are harder to read but easier to look words up so it kind of evens out. I prefer manga though, even if constantly switching tabs is a bother. After Yotsubato, I’m thinking of switching to Demon Slayer. I remember trying to read it 2 years and at least the first chapter wasn’t bad, so it should be even easier now (I hope)

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Yeah, the double negatives are quite something initially.

For web novels, I would be lightly careful.
For one if you have seen the anime, the web novel version / story maybe quite different. Normally the anime is based on the light novel version. If there is a manga adaptation, there may be changes to the story beats to better fit the manga format.

Eg the web version of The rising of the shield hero / 盾の勇者の成り上がり is not as developed as the light novel. And there are a lot of side stories at the end on syosetsu.

The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic / 治癒魔法の間違った使い方 are quite similar at the start and towards the middle diverge.

Congrats on nearly finishing N4!

I didn’t realize that the web novel was different than the light novel, I thought it was just the same story in a different format so thanks for letting me know. In the future if I get the funds I might start getting the light novels instead

Day 6

Grammar: N4 154/177 - Today all of a sudden I had 200 reviews instead of 100 when I woke up. Not sure how that happened since I did all my reviews before I went to bed. I guess the stars aligned against me today lol but I finished them before 12 pm as usual.

Reading: I’ve read the second half of the second Yotsubato volume today. It takes a while but easy to read so it wasn’t tiring for me, time flew surprisingly. I want to make a goal to finish all the Yotsubato volumes by the end of next month. So that would be a pace of half a volume per day assuming I skip a third of the days up to July 31. Which wont happen but I like to give myself lots wiggle room so there’s no stress. Then after that I’ll probably switch to webnovels.

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