Yet Another Study Log

Hello everyone! Sorry to clog the community forums with yet another study tracking thread. I’ve been participating in the Intermediate Book Club and found that having some form of accountability has improved my study habits, so I’m writing to discuss more aspects of my studying and get feedback. I don’t have a clear update schedule in mind, but I think I’ll update 2-4x a month.

A Very Brief Summary of My Past Studying
I took formal Japanese classes for around 4 years, and by the end, I knew about 3000 words, N5/N4 grammar, and around 400 kanji. I took a break and then in September of 2023 I decided to start studying again.

Current Progress
Vocabulary: ~8200 words. Completed Core 6k. Add 20 new vocabulary cards per day with sentence mining.

Kanji Handwriting: ~700 kanji. Completed studying up to 漢検7級 with this Anki deck and 漢検トレーニング2 for the 3ds. Currently revisiting 6-5級. Add 10 new kanji handwriting cards per day.

Grammar: Completed all Bunpro grammar points (including N0). Completed 総まとめN2. Currently working on 総まとめN1 and 新完全マスター N2, one lesson per day per book.

Immersion: Currently only doing reading as immersion. You can see my progress on Natively. Currently reading スーパーカブ and 宇宙の声. I’m also reading 逆転裁判5/Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, but as Natively doesn’t support visual novels it doesn’t display my reading progress for the game.

Areas I Want to Improve
Listening: This is an aspect of language learning that I have severely neglected. I have Auditory Processing Disorder, which means that while I have normal hearing, I have more difficulty comprehending verbal language. This affects me with both English and Japanese, but as Japanese is not my native language, the disorder is more prominent. Even beginner listening material requires a high level of focus and I may only reach 50% comprehension. I understand that the only way to improve in this area is to push through the unfamiliarity and listen more, but it is much easier said than done. If anyone has any experience dealing with this or any advice/resources to improve, please let me know!

Reading Dialogue: I find dialogue/spoken language much harder than written language, especially if there is a dialect or non-standard speech pattern. Part of the reason I chose to read 逆転裁判 was because it is told entirely through dialogue, forcing me to address my weak points.

Consistency with Immersion: Not to get too personal or anything, but I also have anhedonic depression, which means that I have little to no interest in activities. As enjoying media is a large motivator for people studying with immersion, engaging with the language has felt like more of a chore than a fun hobby. I’ve felt much more desire to stay in the sterile world of SRS and textbooks than stepping out into native material. I understand this is a complex problem, so I’m trying to improve my mental health and push myself to immerse even if I don’t have motivation.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope that sharing this information will encourage me to be more dedicated to studying.

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Looking forward to reading! I really enjoy reading study logs so I don’t think there can be too many. It’s always nice to see how different people study and get on with the language.

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Good Luck! It feels like you already know what you want to improve.
Something that may help is using a diary or some way to tick off or see your progress. Just put a timer for 10 minutes to do stuff that may not be enjoyable and then give yourself a treat.

On YouTube music phone app its possible to follow along with the lyrics. Also you can try to sing along while listening the song (ie shadowing). On NHK web easy website there is also audio on some news articles - ie its possible to follow what the speaker is saying.

A lot of the Japanese news websites have YouTube channels are they repeat the same thing over and over, maybe it would be interesting to try to watch a bit. Also there is a lot text on the screen which shows what they are saying. NagoyaTV NEWS LIVE

Good Luck!

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I’m making a log to push myself to keep studying too, I’ll be following yours too

But I’ve been wondering, is there a time limit for when you can edit your posts? I was thinking of linking each day to the main post but I don’t know if it’ll lock me out one day

Update #1 (6/10 - 6/16)
I plan on updating either on Sunday night or Monday morning. I’ll try to divide the reports by category.

Vocabulary
Completed Anki reviews every day. Mined 250 sentence cards.

I changed my Anki algorithm to use FSRS about a month ago. I think I’m starting to see an improvement in my accuracy of new cards. However, my total number of reviews has gone up. Once my old cards adjust to the new algorithm, I hope the time I spend reviewing will decrease.

Also, is having a large stockpile of cards bad? I have around 800 unseen new cards in my Anki deck, meaning it will take a little over a month from when I first make the card to when I start learning the vocabulary word. I don’t want to decrease the amount I’m engaged with the language, but I also don’t want to miss out on good opportunities to make sentence cards.

Grammar
Completed Bunpro reviews every day. Finished week seven of 総まとめN1. Finished six lessons of 新完全マスター N2.

総まとめ is structured to take eight weeks to finish. On Monday through Saturday, I do the short review lessons. They cover roughly four grammar points and have eight questions per day. On Sunday there is a 25-question mock test that focuses on the week’s content.

新完全マスター doesn’t have a schedule. While there are different types of lessons, they tend to have 20 or more questions. Because the lessons are longer, I don’t do them on Sundays when I have the other long practice section.

I only have one more week of 総まとめN1 left to do. After that, I’ll do one lesson in 新完全マスターN2 per day. In a few weeks, I’ll finish that workbook and move on to the N1 book.

Reading
Read four chapters of スーパーカブ Monday through Thursday. Read two chapters of 宇宙の声. Finished case 2 of 逆転裁判5.

I’m starting to understand why people recommend visual novels as reading practice. Having a single sentence in a textbox rather than a whole page is less overwhelming. I think it’s easier to get into the flow of reading if the words progressively appear rather than showing up all at once. The visuals and audio can be more engaging and provide clues to help with comprehension. While 逆転裁判 doesn’t feature voice acting, it could see how it would be beneficial.

Even though I haven’t read much of the game, I feel more comfortable with the frequently-used language. The number of lookups I need to do has decreased significantly. At first, I couldn’t understand some of the characters’ speech, especially Simon Blackquill who speaks like a stereotypical samurai. But now I’m more familiar with the way he talks. ChatGPT (free version) has been very beneficial in addressing that obstacle. If a sentence features a colloquial expression that prevents me from understanding the sentence, I’ll tell ChatGPT to translate the sentence. What’s nice is you can ask a follow-up question about the confusing phrase, and it can break it down or phrase it in more standard Japanese.

In case anyone is wondering, I use YomiNinja combined with a clipboard extractor and Yomitan to create Anki cards.

Listening
I listened to an NHK Web Easy article (and that was all I did). I felt that the pace was a bit too slow for it to be helpful. I plan on looking for more resources in the upcoming week.

That’s everything I have to say. I plan on updating next week or the week after that. If anyone has any questions or ideas of what else to include please let me know. Thank you for reading!

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Sounds like a good idea. Do you mean one in English or Japanese?

I tried this a few months ago. It would be nice to revisit and see if my comprehension has improved.

I don’t think there’s a limit. However, it may be easier to read if you made a new reply for every update rather than editing the main post.

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For the daily diary, I think its a personal thing, if its fun to write a bit in Japanese, go for it. Do it how you feel like it, it should be an enjoyable experience (in my opinion).
In my case, my diary is mostly in English but I mix other languages. Eg sometimes I write a sentence in Japanese, even in Korean.

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id say its fine to have a large stockpile of cards. I have mine sorted by frequency, so i add like every unknown word i see. i have like thousands of cards in the stockpile. It shows my the most common words first so im not learning hard words before basic words.

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Do you use something other than Anki like jpdb? I don’t know if it would be possible to sort cards by frequency without importing that information myself.

I’ll try to start writing one tonight. Thanks for the suggestion.

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I use yomitan and anki, the same as you. Im not 100% on how it works as i followed this guide but its a little old and outdated (still uses yomichan instead of yomitan, etc). but the gist of it is that in addition to using dictionaries for the audio/definitions of vocab, it also uses frequency dictionaries (I use vn freq and narou freq, these might be slightly different versions, but it should still work), adds a frequency tag to each card, then uses the fieldreporter add on to anki to sort cards based on their frequency.

i think this is the discord of the people who’s guide i followed, but i dont really go there after i set it up. im sure if you have any questions following that guide, they would be happy to help (probably). for reference, this is what it looks like when i hover over a word on yomitan:


not all words have frequencies, and sometimes you have to scroll to find the entry with a listed frequency, but pretty most common words have them and its better than nothing.

Update #2 (6/17 - 6/23)
This week wasn’t as productive as last week.

Vocabulary
Completed Anki reviews every day. Mined 112 sentence cards.

I had trouble using my Forvo audio inserter add-on for Anki for a few days which was frustrating. I bought some credits to use HyperTTS, allowing me to sentence mine with audio in case the add-on goes down again. It provides access to Microsft Azure TTS, which is apparently also used by Bunpro.

Grammar
Completed Bunpro reviews every day. Finished week eight/the whole book of 総まとめN1. Finished six lessons of 新完全マスター N2.

Very glad that I’m done with 総まとめ! This means that I don’t have to balance two different workbooks at once. Using them has been beneficial in improving my understanding of grammar, as it is a more active way of practice than Bunpro’s SRS. I’m in the final section of 新完全マスター and plan to finish that book next week. The section is about understanding differences in core aspects of the language, such as は/が, こそあど, あげる/くれる/もらう, される/させる/させられる. These sections have been pretty hard to get through. While I understand the meaning and nuance in a completed sentence, it is difficult to replicate it for myself. Sometimes I’ll only 60% of the questions correct, but when I go back I make sure to break down the questions I got wrong and realize why the answer I chose was wrong. I’m considering not starting 新完全マスターN1 immediately after finishing N2. Grammar study has taken up a lot of my time and I have no concrete plans to take the JLPT.

Reading
Didn’t do any reading from Monday to Wednesday. Read three chapters of スーパーカブ. Continued reading 逆転裁判5.

Hoping to immerse more next week. Thank you for reading.

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Update #3 (6/24 - 6/30)
I had (minor) surgery on Tuesday, so I haven’t felt like doing anything.

Vocabulary
Completed Anki reviews every day. Mined 68 sentence cards.

I had problems with the TTS not getting the pitch accent of words correctly, so I switched to the AJT Anki plugin, which works better.

Grammar
Completed Bunpro reviews every day. Finished 新完全マスター N2.

I will probably take a small one-week break from continuing to the N1 book. Grammar study has been very tedious. The book has roughly 50 lessons, which means that it should take around two months to complete.

Reading
Finished three chapters of スーパーカブ. Read a little bit more of 逆転裁判5. I only read on Monday and the weekend. I’ve been feeling much more motivated, so I hope to use that to my advantage in the upcoming week and spend some of the time previously dedicated to grammar on immersion.

Thank you for reading.

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Update #4 (7/1 - 7/7)
Sorry for the late update.

Vocabulary
Completed Anki reviews every day. Mined 93 sentence cards.

Grammar
Completed Bunpro reviews every day. No additional study of grammar.

Reading
Finished the week’s chapters of スーパーカブ. Read more 逆転裁判5. I read every day this week (except for the 4th of July as I could not spend as much time studying).

As these entries are getting shorter due to me talking about the same aspects of my routine, I think I’m going to start updating every two weeks to avoid unnecessary repetition. Thanks for reading!

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This is a thing? I’ve always had trouble understanding conversations and phone conversations are always difficult with me constantly asking to repeat what the other person had said. I figured I was just really bad at listening, but from that link, it lists a lot of the same problems I have.
My dad often needs things repeated for him, and I see it’s hereditary too. maybe I should go get that checked out. Thank you for enlightening me to this.

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If you suspect you have it, I recommend bringing it up with your doctor to see if you can get a formal diagnosis. That way, if you have difficulties at work or school due to it, you can get accommodations. For example, in my university Japanese courses, I’m allowed to take my listening tests in a separate room and listen to the audio for an additional time. I also have accommodations for courses taught in English, but I would say my English comprehension is at the point where I no longer need additional support.

I was diagnosed when I was young, and remember being aware of it when I started elementary school, so I’m not sure what the diagnostic process would be for an adult.