Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:25 pm

I haven't added more kanji for a couple weeks, there's about ~1200 right now I've learned in Anki. I'd guess I know another ~300 or so that aren't in Anki.

I'm at the point where I can read stuff for grades 4-5ish enjoyably without a dictionary, and harder stuff with a dictionary.

For now, I'm mostly reading readers and manga from my library.
---
I'd like to be at the level of the JLPT N2 or "upper intermediate" by the end of next year for grammar/vocab. It's about ~200 new grammar points and ~3000 new pieces of vocabulary. Should be doable at my current pace.

My focus for now is to just get familiar with all the grammar, then I'll probably go back to Anki to continue learning kanji.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:12 am

Almost done grammar study for now~~~

Most 'intermediate' grammar is stuff I've seen a lot already, but I lack knowledge regarding when certain expressions allowed. Sometimes there are 4-5 similar expressions that mean the same thing, but one is allowed after nouns and adjectives, onye after adjectives, one after verbs, etc.

After I'm done this cramming it'll just be practice questions every so often over the course of the year. Should be good to go.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:36 am

Done learning new grammar for now. Best way to reinforce it is through readers. Guess I'll do that.

Gonna slowly work on my Anki backlog for new kanji while I'm on the subway. Not sure how I'll end up spending the rest of my "Japanese study time".

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:39 am

My study time:

daily on the subway: do a bit of anki, read through lessons from test prep books. 90 min a day
about once a week at the library: spend time in library reading, get books for week. 2 hours a week

as long as i'm making progress in terms of speed/difficulty level of stuff i'm reading i don't really care that i could be going faster. no burnout, no plateauing. that's all i really can ask for.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:20 am

There's definitely something to "98% comprehension lets you read things enjoyably". Reading new things has gotten much more enjoyable in the past couple months. Before I'd often have to skip sentences (and sometimes whole paragraphs) even in otherwise simple stories. That sort of thing has mostly gone away.

It turns out that 1700 kanji make up 98% of all used kanji characters. I don't quite think I'm at 1700 kanji yet, but I'm getting pretty close!

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

Postby scraggypunk » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:20 pm

i'm proud of you
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Postby Bonesy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:24 pm

all the anime tiddies are in reach

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:39 pm

December marks a year and a half of study.

I can answer N1 reading questions in the 'recommended' amount of time. Prolly gonna go for JLPT N1 certification next December.
---
N1 means:

i know ~2200 kanji, along with their most common readings.
i know the ~10000 most common words.
i can read native material like editorials in newspapers. books too.
i can understand stuff like the news on the radio.
i can answer some dumb questions about grammar that no one ever uses.
---
so here's the question:

can i get to the 10000 word mark in a year? that's about 30 words a day.

honestly, i don't really know, but i spend so much time doing memory related anki stuff on the subway that it should be doable.

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

Postby Xenesis » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:19 pm

Seriously though, you've stuck with it for a long time.

And you've made tons of progress.

It's amazing to see that you've gone from someone who was raging at squiggly things to being baseline literate.
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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:20 pm

there will always be rage at the squiggly things!!!
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i'd guess i'm on pace to do 30 words a day. i'm just learning words i'm running into while reading, we'll see if i eventually need to start being proactive about finding new words.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:50 am

to dos for the rest of the month:

keep learning elementary school readings.
keep learning to recognize government list kanji.
read a lot, keeping track of words i don't know. mostly relatively easy slice of life stuff.
---
one of the things i've been convinced of in this whole language learning thing is that you just have to keep showing up and trying. repetitive exposure to new things is fantastic. repetitive exposure to boring/old crumpets you know will burn you out. it's a fine balance.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:57 am

gonna finish up the month of just reading stuff casually. it's becoming super clear to me that vocabulary cramming is probably the best thing i can do for progress at this point. it's very rare for me to read a passage, know all the words, and not know what the passage was saying.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:14 am

I found an Anki deck of the 5000 most common words. I expect to finish it sometime between February (if I actually know more words than I think I do) to about June (if I actually know way fewer words than I think I do).
---
My general grasp of the language is good enough now that I can read mathematics without having my eyes pop out every single time a piece of jargon uses 4+ characters in a row. They take a different approach to a lot of the same types of mathematical problems asked here, so that's kind of neat to see.

There's also a different... culture to the way their mathematics is taught? I've read bits and pieces of editorials criticizing their own system, or essays giving advice on how to study for their giant exams, but I'm not good enough at the language yet to say I really understand the details.

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

Postby Xenesis » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:51 pm

Sven wrote:I found an Anki deck of the 5000 most common words. I expect to finish it sometime between February (if I actually know more words than I think I do) to about June (if I actually know way fewer words than I think I do).


Mind sharing this? I could use the vocab.
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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:52 am

https://mega.nz/#!TF81lQKJ!NvHz4ms2whcA ... TQVgHdkpnw

a lot of particles are counted as words, you can just delete those cards when they come up. front side of a card is a word, backside is the reading, meaning, and a bunch of info.

OR

i personally study by having Anki show the example sentence on the front side of a flashcard, and then the backside of the card is just the reading. let me know if you need card editting help if you're going to do so!

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:40 pm

five random japanese language learning things from the past year. maybe some of them are wrong! i'll revisit this post in the future to see just how wrong or right i was:

-finish something meaningful everytime you sit down to read

i can't just open up a book and read it all the way through. i'll lose the motivation/discipline to get through it over multiple sessions of reading. there's something really satisfying about being able to finish a chapter of a manga compared to a few pages of a book, even if there are the same amount of words in each.

-projected study times online are misleading

projected study times for N1 go up to 4500 hours. for reference, that's six years of studying for two hours EVERY SINGLE DAY. it's an absurd number of hours. i'm pretty sure that 2000 is a more reasonable number given the efficiency of looking words up online and using anki to memorize vocabulary efficiently.

-it will be a looooooooooong time before you can 'read like a native'.

being native japanese comes with 9-16+ years of schooling. the N1 certification attempts to get you to the equivalent of 9 years of japanese education. it's a good start, don't get me wrong, but you're gonna need to learn more vocabulary to do all the things you normally do in your native language.

-you don't need to have native level proficiency to enjoy the language.

basic reading materials for adult natives are accessible with JLPT N4 grammar and the ~2000 most common words. same thing with anime. you can skip things you don't understand and still enjoy whatever you're reading/watching.

-nonfiction is a lot easier to read than you'd think

technical terms usually have one direct, unambiguous translation to english. the words often draw from a very small, specialized pool of kanji based on the subject matter. once you learn those characters it becomes very easy to learn related vocabulary.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:13 pm

New year woo~

This month's big focus is gonna be on pronunciation and accent.

I've noticed that if a word has sounds that I can't pronounce 100% properly, I have more difficulties remembering it or recognizing it when spoken. There's a disconnect between what I mentally think the word sounds like and what the word actually sounds like when said by natives.

So I'll be looking into those details. Beyond that, I learned about pitch accent. Just like how English words have stress, and wrong stresses sound weird (try saying BREAKfast vs breakFAST, DINner vs dinNER), Japanese words have pitch accent. It basically tells you whether to pronounce certain parts of words with a high or low pitch.

Most sources for language learners say to ignore pitch accent because you have a million other things to worry about while learning Japanese. But I'd like to at least make an honest effort to produce an inoffensive accent for the people I talk to in Japanese.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:48 pm

Went to library, found a pronunciation resource I can work with. I've ripped the audio CD, now it's just time to get used to what they're trying to point out.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:41 pm

this is all kinda overwhelming.

1) i can mess up the actual sound of the vowel or consonant. for example, the japanese "ni" is very subtly different from how we say "knee" in english. this probably doesn't matter too much in the grand scheme of things, but it's hard to change.
2) i can mess up the timings of words. japanese distinguishes between holding a vowel for a long time or a short time, along with holding a bunch of other sounds. this *will* change the meanings of words. super important.
3) i can mess up the pitches of words, and say something that's supposed to have low pitch in a high pitch, etc. pitch is super helpful to distinguish the boundaries between individual words when someone is talking.
4) i can mess up the overall tone of my sentence. it can turn an ordinary statement into a command, or into a question, or into sarcasm, or into an arrogant declaration of fact, etc.

i'm going to focus on 1) for now.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:10 am

pronunciation is all pretty overwhelming still. i don't think using a different pronunciation guide will help me, it's more a matter of working with the resources i already have. and practice. lots of practice.
---
so gonna keep that up the rest of the month. possibly might just focus on speaking/pronunciation for the next couple months, along with anki whenever i can bother to do it.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:52 am

got anki set up for kanji readings~ we'll see how long it takes.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:32 am

i'm pretty much done individual kanji study. i don't mix them up anymore, and i can remember new kanji i run into pretty easily. there's still a lot of kanji i can't write from memory, but that's something i think i'd have to deliberately practice by writing out whole sentences and words, not individual kanji.

i'm about ~200 kanji into this new program for readings - it basically introduces 5 words per kanji to learn. this is gonna be the program i use to learn vocabulary, and i hope to be done around june.
---
it's becoming increasingly clear that progress from this point onwards is going to be much much slower than it was before. oh well.

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

Postby scraggypunk » Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:06 pm

still impressive
wisdom
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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:55 pm

midterms over next two weeks. unfortunately i only have a finite amount of tolerance for studying in a day and i'm definitely using some of it up by studying japanese in anki.

this means that for the next two weeks i'm going to do mostly review. learning new vocab will restart around the 20th or so.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:49 pm

still midterms.

sometimes japanese makes me rage.

Image

this is literally a formula book so that you can solve questions immediately without thinking/getting bogged down in computations.

here's a quick translation of the gray part:

"Can you solve these in ten seconds?"
-
get the side length of x

By formula #3

(blah)
-
find the area of triangle ABC

By formula #34

(blah)
-

oh hey it looks like they translated it already:

Image

the idea of needing a giant formula book to study for an exam boggles my mind. i can look through other books on amazon and they have a similar style

based on the time pressure involved it's honestly probably necessary though.

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

Postby monkymeet » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:53 pm

what a strange way of doing math
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Postby scraggypunk » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:01 pm

math makes no goddamn sense to me
wisdom
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Postby monkymeet » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:47 pm

oh, this took me way too long to get the first one.

but it seems a bit weird to make them just memorize the "equation 3"

basically it's just like the pythagorean theorem we use:

a^2 + b^2 = c^2
a = sqrt(c^2 - b^2)
but via difference of squares it just becomes
a = sqrt((c+b)(c-b))

but to make students memorize that form seems... counter intuitive to learning math.
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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:02 pm

Most students will figure out that they need to use the pythagorean theorem:

a^2 + b^2 = c^2

then they'll plug in

13^2 + b^2 = 22^2

some students will see the difference of squares like you did. it's something that comes with experience. a lot of new students won't, and they'll get trapped by something that is just a little bit messier to do computationally:

169 + b^2 = 484
b^2 = 484 -169
b^2 = 315
b = sqrt(315)
b = sqrt(5 * 63)
b = sqrt(5 * 9 * 7)
b = 3*sqrt(35)

every step in that sequence takes a few seconds to do, it's also really easy to make a mistake along the way when doing the squaring, or the subtraction, or refactoring 315, etc. that took me over a minute to go through. if was a way to turn it into an easier routine problem, that would be very useful, especially if you had to do this multiple times on an exam. taking ten seconds vs two minutes to do this is a huge deal. you definitely want to know there's a fast way to solve the problem.

these types of exams honestly aren't trying to test critical thinking. they're testing how dedicated you are to studying for whatever arbitrary curriculum they put out. there's no time to think. it's the biggest difference i've found between the 'western' style tests i'm used to and the japanese entrance exam style questions. they aren't any harder. there's just more questions to do in less time.

the more dedicated you are, the more little tricks you've internalized. it took me about 2-3 minutes to solve that second problem, and that's only because i already knew some of the more basic tricks for calculating these sorts of things.
--
tldr: japanese exams aren't just testing 'math'. they're trying to make tests that reward you proportionally to the amount of study you do for them. they're pretty good at it.

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

Postby Linkman » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:57 pm

Whether that's a good thing or not is debatable.
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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:46 am

Pretty much. I don't really think I could say anything more without actually living and teaching there for an extended period of time.

This week is reading week! I like to work through beginner stuff every few months, so I'll be doing that. Maybe setup some stuff so I can learn more math vocab too.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:22 am

Finished up a late beginner/early intermediate drillbook. Next time I drill this level it'll be for grammar only. I doubt I'll ever be able to answer grammar questions effortlessly like I can the vocabulary/kanji questions.
---
It's the 20th so it's VOCAB TIME... maybe.

I keep trying arbitrary wordlists and I keep getting bored and frustrated when I study from arbitrary wordlists. Sentences are wayyyy more interesting than word lists. i think i'll try to switch to sentences for my anki cards.

i've also got to accept that i just have less time/energy to devote to this stuff than i used to. it probably makes the most sense for me to commit to a specific, easily achievable amount of daily progress.
---
with that in mind:

i'm going to read for an hour a day.
add 20 words i don't know from my readings to anki each day. reviews will be done on the subway.
add 3 grammar points a day to anki. mostly by adding a bunch of example sentences.
---
i found that i could manage about 40 new cards a day by doing anki on the subway. can't do much more than that though, hence my chosen goals.

wish me luckkkkkk

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

Postby TehMutaRuzh » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:24 am

gl hf! :3
it's not too fun to wander...

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

Postby Pkdragon » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:37 am

i decided today that i was going to start learning japanese again

approximately 45 minutes later i learned i'm going to be learning how to do payroll by myself, which is a rather large expansion of my current duties and will probably require a lot of headspace.

nevertheless i'm going to see what i can get learned, because each time i do this i make a little more progress. this time i'm going to try mastering the katakana so i don't have to deal with them anymore. i've gotten to the point with hiragana where i was able to take a quiz on them and figure out most of them despite it being about half a year or more since i last looked at them. i want to get to that point with katakana.
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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:55 pm

about six months ago i was preparing for possibly taking japanese classes in september, i talked about writing stuff and posting it for corrections so that i could have a memorized essay.

somehow nothing came of it and i forgot about it completely.

UNTIL NOW.

i signed up for lang-8 tonight and posted a couple paragraphs.

frankly, it made me realize something that i really, really didn't want to have to admit:

even if i can recognize grammatical sentences there's no guarantees i can reproduce them. and even less of a guarantee that i can reproduce them quickly.

practice wooooooooo

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

Postby Pkdragon » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:41 pm

i've gotten a lot better at remembering strange foreign symbols apparently

in ~2 days of occasionally studying katakana while at work (instead of actually working :D) i've gotten them memorized better than i ever did during the weeks of studying them in school. part of it is because i've gotten better at breaking them down, figuring out the component pieces of the symbol. That was extremely important in differentiating ツ,シ, ン, ソ, for example. No wonder I could never remember them- I never quite figured out that I was trying to use the same mnemonic device -"symbol with dot(s)" - to memorize 4 different katakana. Now I'm onto them and have figured out ways to keep them straight in my memory.

it's a start. next i'm going to refresh some basic vocab and get back to learning kanji. Which should be a tad easier now that I can read the pronunciations written in katakana better.
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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:09 am

the whole "mnemonic device overloading" thing is why it helps to go through mnemonic devices other people have made.

otherwise you end up starting at

人 入
千 干
土 士
未 末

wondering what the fudge the difference is.

(99% of the time there's context so you don't need to worry about it)

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:24 pm

Lang 8 has been super cool so far. I think it would have been useful even as a beginner, just to get the basics corrected.

Typing up a couple paragraphs takes me anywhere between half an hour to an hour for now. I'd like to get that number down to about fifteen minutes, and write them without a dictionary.

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Sven

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

Postby Sven » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:59 am

I can bang out a very basic 5 paragraph 5 sentence per paragraph essay in an hour or two. I've found that I have enough vocabulary to express what I want to say, even if I'm often forced to use nonnative wordings to do so.

So that's nice, I guess. Other than that just making small vocabulary/grammar gains. Nothing will really change on that front until late April.

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Treedweller

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

Postby Treedweller » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:03 am

I don't come here much anymore, but when I do, I always check out this topic. It's been fascinating to watch your progress, Sven.


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