Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:14 am

The rest of my ideas all basically amount to ignoring dedicated vocabulary study and reading more instead. Basically continuing on as normal. I'm not going to do this.

I can't stand English-Japanese 1-1 vocabulary words either. In French it's downright easy, the vast majority of the time there's some shared root word between the English and French word, especially for more technical or abstract vocabulary. But for Japanese, it's not really the case, and abstract words are just plain old more difficult to memorize. Also it's boring boriing boriiiing.

So the first idea is the only one left to try. I'll be working through drill sheets given to Japanese kids to help them learn to read, probably somewhere between 15-30 min a day. I'll write stuff here to say how it goes.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:11 am

The drill sheets seem to be tolerable, I work with them for about ~15 min a day. For now, most of my effort goes into reading and writing common words and expressions.

There's a sprinkling of very obscure words that I can only assume are there for testing purposes. It's nice to see them introduced in very simple sentences.
---
stuff that basically sorted itself out on my Japanese to do list:

-find something i enjoy watching in japanese regularly.
-continue listening to music and looking up lyrics when needed.
-continue reading small articles online, small chapters from stories, math stuff, etc.
-become comfortable typing in japanese.

The first three goals are pretty straightforward. They're mostly there to remind me to listen/read in the language when I can.

"Become comfortable typing in Japanese" is super super subjective.

I've setup the ability to type on my phone if I need to.

For typing on a computer, there are two options. The first is to use a romanization method: I type "gakusei" and i get a dropdown menu letting me select the characters i want.

the other method i wanted to try (but i've since given up for now because the cost of learning it is likely not worth the effort), is to change my method of input to kana.
that is to say, my t key follwed by my [ key maps to the japanese character for "ga", my h key maps to the japanese character for "ku", etc. once you've typed how the word is pronounced, you then pick out the characters you want.

the biggest issue is just that you hit more keys when typing, in particular, you use the whole number row, the - and + keys... it's a lot to keep track of.

big picture:
Hidden Text
Image
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literally i just need to figure out if i want to visit japan or not and then learning will be smoooooooooooth sailin'

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:34 pm

I've been putting off raising the difficulty level of what I read for a couple months now. I mostly choose to read materials where I can actually enjoy the story as a story. Regardless, nothing has changed the fact that a lot of "literary" Japanese grammar is still beyond me. It would suck to grind out all these words and then find myself hampered by the fact I'd never read anything with difficult sentence structure.

I'm going to visit the original reason I started learning this language in the first place.
i read a visual novel, found it interesting, originally started learning so that i can maybe enjoy the sequels which are untranslated. i figured i could do a couple hours a day for a couple years and i'd be good to read it in the original language.

the more japanese i read the more i realized i just liked the crumpets translation because i found it quirky. the translation used the passive voice and a lot of very specific adverbial phrases that made it stick out in my mind. turns out the rest of the series is also gonna end up translated by the same dude. so at this point i guess i'm learning just to finish what i started?
I've started reading that first sequel. it's about as difficult as i feared. :/. feels a lot like my first couple months of learning all over again. hopefully i get through it though! maybe in a couple years the question i have will be "will i enjoy reading this" instead of "is this too difficult for me?!".

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:55 am

Chugging along~
---
I did some standardized testing related stuff this week out of curiosity and was pretty surprised. I mostly checked my ability to handle N3, or 'intermediate' level material. The level is described very roughly as follows:

Can understand native materials if rewritten with simplified vocabulary and kanji. Can follow everyday conversations at natural speed.

Apparently, my listening is 'best', followed closely by my reading comprehension/vocabulary/character knowledge, followed further behind by my formal grasp of the grammar. All that really says is that the test's listening portion is relatively easy compared to the other sections of the test. Or maybe it's just because the listening section was the most natural compared to the other sections.

The grammar questions felt very artificial to me. If I had to guess, they're chosen mostly to make up for the fact that the test has no written/speaking portion. They involved things like "order these four sentence fragments to make a coherent sentence", "choose between these four similar but not identical grammatical constructs", that sort of thing. I guess it wouldn't be a Japanese test if it didn't feel unnatural in some way though.

On the whole, I don't think I would pass the intermediate level if I'd actually written the test, but I think I could fairly comfortably with a couple weeks of dedicated study.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:05 am

My learning process for the past couple months has basically been:

0) regardless of what else i'm doing, read/watch something in my comfort zone for 1-2 hours a day.
1) spend a week learning new kanji until i decide that the kanji i'm working through are too rare to be worth bothering with.
2) spend the next week learning new vocab from some sort of list until the words i'm working through are too rare to be worth bothering with.
3) spend the next week reading things I find difficult until it frustrates me that I didn't learn more vocabulary/kanji.
4) go back to 1).

if i was some sort of perfect learner i would probably do a bit of 1-3 everyday, but i'm not, so i won't really worry about it.
---
by a very, very optimistic guess, i need about 50 hours of deliberate study and ~150ish hours of reading before i'm done with elementary school level stuff. i'd like to get that done by the time school starts in september. starting then my 'studying' will mostly just be reading on the subway, so i want the range of material i can access without a dictionary to be as large as possible.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:47 pm

some stuff about english vocabulary:

http://testyourvocab.com/blog.php

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Xenesis » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:17 pm

Ouch.

So I've done my first anki in 3 months for Kanji.

My head hurts. Genuine headache as it's trying to recall all that stuff I've learnt. Did pretty well, mostly just getting ordering and synonyms wrong. It'll come back really quickly if I keep at it. Especially if I keep feeling aware as I am today.
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:05 am

Nice work! It'll take a couple days for the number of reviews the program gives you to stabilize to a reasonable level.
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Immediate Plans and Stuff:

I've gone on a pretty big Anki binge in the past week trying to finish learning to write both the elementary school and N2 level kanji. It seems to be working fairly well, the first stages of learning to write them will hopefully be done by next week. After that point, it'll just be a matter of keeping up with the flashcard reviews that Anki assigns to me.

That'll take me up to about ~1300ish kanji total, and probably will cover maybe 95% of all the kanji I will see while reading manga. I don't know how long learning the readings will take. I suspect it'll take up most of August.

The other thing I need to worry about is filling in 'grammar gaps', so to speak. It's very possible that there are a bunch of linguistic constructions in the language I just completely misunderstand because I've been interpreting them literally. I've got a collection of sentences that seem to exhaustively cover most grammar points, I'll have to figure out a way to go over them in Anki that I'm happy with.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:23 pm

If I want to, I can take a Japanese course at my university. It would take over a large part of my study time, but it might be worth it if I'm looking to learn to write. I'll have to decide in the next couple of days, and I'll have to figure out what course level I'm trying to test into to get my writing/speaking skills up to par.

End of month recap:

-Can write/recognize the elementary school/N2 kanji.
-Fumbling around native educational materials for a bit each day.
-Grammar related stuff is in Anki.
-I can read nontechnical things at an enjoyable speed, and technical things with the aid of a dictionary.
-My listening isn't perfect, but it's enough that I can watch nontechnical stuff.
---
Next steps etc:

-Readings!!! So many readings~~~
-Figure out if I want to take Japanese for university credit.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:22 am

I'm going to be aiming to get into third year Japanese for the coming semester.

Which means I've gotta learn to speak a little bit lmao uh oh. Hopefully it goes okay.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Xenesis » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:54 pm

My anki is going decently. I'm still getting through the backlog of reviews and am a bit slower than I would be if I were more mentally alert. Fatigue is making it hard to actually "finish" a set in a day, so I've just been limiting myself to 20 minutes or until my brain stops being able to comprehend language properly, whichever happens first.

Seems about the right amount of time. Still learning new Kanji too which is nice.
IST wrote:Even the worst individual needs to discover the joys of a chicken statue that is also a pregnant blonde housewife.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:47 pm

I've looked through the requirements to get into third year a bit more, particularly for the writing/speaking portions, since those are the two I'm worried about most.

The writing portion involves writing a ~500 character essay on a topic of my choice. That's basically a 500 word essay? Not sure on the exact conversion ratio. That shouldn't be too tricky, I'll have to write one up and get it fixed up by a native speaker by mid August so that I have enough time to comfortably memorize it all.

For the speaking, I have no idea what's required. I found that the listening comprehension section asks for answers to be given in English. The speaking test could be recreating dialogues from the textbook. Or it could be "let's talk about some random topic of my choice". I don't really know.

Everything else (kanji/grammar/vocabulary/reading comprehension), is fairly straightforward to study for. Not to say it's easy, but that it's the same sort of questions the standardized tests give.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:29 am

The first two years of Japanese at my school appear to follow a particular book series religiously.

I'm missing some vocabulary and grammar that the series covers. The reading/listening comprehension stuff is at a level of difficulty I can manage.

I hope to have all the vocabulary memorized and at least be acquainted with all the grammar to be covered by the 15th. If I can manage that, I'll apply for third year.
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Other than that there's not really much to say. I found out that most of the students taking Japanese are Chinese, so familiarity with the kanji is already assumed, and they're heavily de-emphasized in testing. That's good, I think. I'd like to learn to speak and write Japanese, not simplified Japanese.

wish me luck~

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:36 am

good luck, buddy
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:06 pm

I streamed on niconico douga for about four hours tonight, using mostly Japanese.

It seemed to go okay. People viewed and commented, I got way more done than I otherwise would considering how tired I was.

prolly gonna skype a bunch of people using it over the next month or so.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Xenesis » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:05 pm

Image

Slowly learning more vocab. Only ~20% done though. Jeez. So many moonrunes.
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:50 pm

Going to apply for third year later today.

I need a lot of composition and speaking practice. I've been speaking a bit with people when I stream, but I suspect the majority of my 'speaking' practice is going to be via memorizing dialogues over the next couple weeks. Likewise, my 'composition' practice is going to be translating random level appropriate English sentences into Japanese. Other than that, I still have a ~500 character essay to write. Preferably, several of them, mostly related to the writing assignments from the textbook. I'm going to be paying up to get them marked by a native speaker.

Other than that I have to submit the number of kanji I know and "how much of television can you understand" self assessment, along with how I've learned Japanese. My university takes level assignment for language classes pretty seriously.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:16 pm

I'm writing the test on September 6th~

From my own self assessment, I'd guess my knowledge roughly to be:

Reading: ready for 3rd year.
Listening: ready for 3rd year.
Kanji: ready for 3rd year. i'm responsible for about ~450 kanji total. should just be a matter of maintaining knowledge.
Vocabulary: almost ready for third year. i recognize all the words but there's maybe a hundred that i'm not sure i could actively recall for something like say, a fill in the blank question. i'm responsible for about ~1500 words total.
Grammar: probably halfway through second year. i'm aware of all the grammar but the details aren't automatic yet.
ability to actually communicate fluently: lol probably barely starting second year.

reading/grammar are the most important. there's not really much that can be done other than drill a zillion problems. beyond that i'm just getting super familiar with the fixed responses they want out of me for the communication stuff. :/.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:24 am

I checked in with the university.

Apparently the test is only a written exam with no listening portion!?! I'm also responsible for way less kanji than I'd anticipated, closer to 300 rather than 450. They have been very clear that I am responsible for the entire textbook and only the textbook.

This doesn't really change how I'm gonna study too much. I could risk not prepping an essay//learning to speak as much as I can but that could horribly blow up in my face.
---
Other than that I went to the library and got some manga to read on the subway. I can't read full blown books yet without a dictionary and that's fine. I'm pretty sure the class will push me in the direction of reading "serious" things whether I want to or not. Got another grammar drillbook too because you know, drills.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:38 pm

Home stretch. ~2 weeks to go!

The N4 grammar book had a reading comprehension section, I went through that over the weekend just to check if I could handle the questions. I could, so that was nice. I'm about halfway through the grammar drills themselves. I think they're a bit easier than the questions the exam will have, but they're a good stepping stone considering I have the time to do them. They have more breadth but less depth, if that makes any sense.
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Speaking of questions the exam will have ~

Right now, I only have access to a single example exam. I need more practice with the types of problems I will be tested on.

My school's student union has a volunteer test bank where people can submit all their past assignments/tests. Hopefully, there's a lot of material I can get access to, both for this test and for the year to come. I'll be going in later today.
---
Finally, speaking and writing:

I'm undecided on how many times I'm going to hire a tutor, either 2 or 3 before the exam. Going to book the first session later today before I forget.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:23 am

Couldn't find example materials in the exam bank. :/.
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Some good and some bad.

The good:

I think I'll be ready to write the exam in a week. Turns out that test prep materials actually prepare you for tests! Go figure.

The bad:

I can't keep up this level of work once school starts, and I would need to keep this level of work for at least a month to completely catch up.
---
If I can't take a course for university credit I don't know what I'm going to do during the year for Japanese. Not gonna think about this until after the exam.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:50 am

this is where i make my confession:

i found out around the 25th of august that there's almost no way for me to take japanese as a class in school. that's okay. i'm still going to write the exam just to see what it's like at my uni. i don't expect to be able to take the course or even pass the exam, and that's fine.

stuff i learned/confirmed while studying:

-in terms of number vocabulary/grammar I probably know enough for conversational fluency. the next step here is just more practice.

-the JLPT standardized test only sees if you can read/listen to japanese and write multiple choice tests. the multiple choice grammar section is pretty unnatural compared to the sort of testing you can do in a classroom environment.

-i can learn listening and reading skills on my own, and I won't need to do anything special to be able to pass standardized testing regarding those two skills.
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with all that in mind, i'm just gonna go back to what i was doing before i started all this specific test prep. back to anki to review the elementary school characters wooooo.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:43 pm

didn't write the exam because lol my sleep sucks and i am an irresponsible moron.

anyway.

my speaking is really bad. i didn't really want to focus on how abysmal it was when i was grammar cramming but i can't really ignore it now.

even the most ambitious estimates put business level speaking proficiency at 2000+ hours of dedicated work for english learners. i'm not even sure if that includes the ability to read and write! basically that's a stupid number of hours. i don't want to focus on that amount of work to learn to speak.

luckily, i don't have to. it turns out the problem i have is relatively common, and that for my speaking to catch up to my barely functional reading ability, it'll only take about 500 hours.

wait what.

500.

jesus christ.

guess i'll get started.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:46 pm

:/ shucks
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:15 am

keep at it bud
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:32 pm

So now that EMO TIME is over it's time to hash out the details of how to learn this stuff.

There's basically three things I'll be that I'm going to start doing:

1) Focus on translating simple English sentences to Japanese. Forming sentences with 'easy' vocabulary and grammar needs to be effortless.
2) Focus on getting the right rhythm, accent, and all that other good stuff with my speech by the boring old technique of shadowing native speaking materials.
3) Get an external benchmark to judge my progress, preferably weekly. This means tutoring.

Two things I'm going to continue doing:

1) Continue using Anki in combination with mnemonic systems. There's simply nothing better for the initial stages of acquiring knowledge into memory.
2) I'm still going to watch and read what I want in Japanese even if I don't understand it perfectly.

And one big thing that I'm going to stop doing:

Stop worrying about the amount of time this is going to take. 3000 kanji. 2000 hours to fluency. 600 grammar points, etc... I interact with the language on a daily basis, even on my worst days. There are things in the language that are now genuinely enjoyable for me to do, whereas before almost everything related to the language was a chore. Even if my Japanese never improves from this point, I've accomplished something that I can be proud of and happy with.

My new school year starts on Monday. We'll see how my time gets distributed then.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:34 pm

oh shadowing is just repeating what the native speakers say on language tapes.

jargon jargon

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:25 am

goal is to somehow make two hours a day. lol dunno if i can.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:16 am

I get ~75 minutes of Anki everyday. Mostly just continuing kanji study on the subway.
I get maybe an hour of watching/listening/reading at the end of the day. I don't really feel it's studying to be honest.

So I'm still... doing stuff. Not the important stuff I wanted to start, but still stuff nonetheless.

I did check out tutoring rates IRL, they're pretty high. I have better odds of getting a language partner if I want dedicated practice.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:37 am

slowly adding vocabulary stuff to Anki. the subway thing works really really well.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:33 am

~900/2200ish in anki. I'd guess I can read maybe 1300 characters total. We'll see if my progress slows around that point.

cool side effects of learning lots of kanji: i know what chinese signs around town are advertising for.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by monkymeet » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:04 pm

Though they'll mostly be the same, there are some kanji that mean different things in Chinese.
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Bonesy » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:09 pm

cho aniki

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:30 pm

I'm at ~1000 kanji again woo. it's so much easier to remember the foreign vocabulary words when you can write out the kanji for them. i don't know why that's the case, you'd think that having extra information to remember would be more complicated, but it's almost the opposite.

also, it's really funny how the world works. the japanese library i go to was getting rid of some books. one of them was completely in japanese, the title translates to "24 week japanese grammar tour". i took it because i figured i might as well own one physical japanese book, and it seemed the most approachable.

i thought it was for intermediate students, but it's actually for brand new japanese as a second language teachers! It gives them warnings about the stuff people mess up when learning japanese. it also gives an explanation of the very basics of japanese in japanese, so that's kind of weird to read i guess haha.

tldr: i'm halfway through the kanji deck again and my first book is some boring teacher's manual.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Narts » Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:57 am

It's probably because it's easier for the human mind to remember visual information than things like words or abstract ideas. And the latter, I guess, benefit from being attached to visual patterns.

Another very strong type of memory is spatial memory. The thing we use to map the places and environments around us. There's a memorisation technique called the method of loci that uses spatial memory. Basically you imagine the things you have to memorise inside a familiar place like a building, then picture yourself walking through it. Freaky stuff. I have no idea if it works since I never tried it, because when I learned about it I realised I had nothing to memorise. If I did, I'd probably try that.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:04 am

I've tried the method, it's pretty much exactly as advertised. There's a certain Japanese verb ending that has ~20 words total, so I just memorized them all. I have a (somewhat) familiar building and I imagine myself walking through it. There are 20 stops on the journey, and at each stop there's something that will trigger my memory for a particular word. It does work, though I'm not sure it's any better or worse than just using Anki and individual mnemonics for each word if necessary.

At some point I plan to use the method again to memorize a bunch of what are basically sound effect words. stuff like "kira kira" meaning 'sparkle', and "jiro jiro" meaning 'to stare', stuff like that.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Bonesy » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:03 pm

pomf

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:07 am

School's picked up and I sometimes use the subway for readings instead of Anki. I've stalled out around ~1150 characters.

Reading wise, I'm mostly just going back to works I'd previously given up on for being too difficult. I'm noticing a lot of the new kanji I've learned.

Prolly will flesh this out more later.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:38 am

I can't read something enjoyably if I have to lookup too many words. Here's a cool link that explores exactly what "too many" words means. There's also a link within the link that has a couple more examples.

http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives ... feels-like

Basically, at about 98% comprehension, you can read a text enjoyably at pretty much native speed. 95% is doable, but will sometimes involve having to stop and implement a deliberate strategy to guess the meaning of an entire phrase/sentence. 90% is doable without a dictionary but feels more like piecing a puzzle together than it actually does reading comfortably.

Below 90% for comprehension I personally can't read without a computer dictionary for instant lookup.
---
Basically, when I reread stuff I can notice how much faster I am and how much more enjoyable the process is. So that's cool.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:15 am

Great article. Thats exactly how it feels.
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