I am close to the end of Kanji Odyssey Level 2. It is time to reflect about the things that I can and can’t do now as opposed to before.
2.9 months ago, I could hardly read anything that was beyond the scope of textbooks. What I could barely read were some easy texts I found at random on the Internet. For most texts I found I needed Rikaisama, and even with that I was hardly able to understand the overall meaning.
Some days have gone by, and nothing happened. Today some changes have taken place. It must have been two or three weeks ago, when I decided to set the session limit for my reviews to 2 minutes. When I started with it, I could review 8 or 9 sentence cards, and about 7 vocabulary cards. In the meantime, my speed has increased considerably, so that I became able to review up to 25 to 30 vocabulary and sentence cards. I do recognition cards only, reading the sentences or words out loud, and check for the correctness of my answer.
Since 2.3 months I am working with KO.2001 and today I reached frame 700 so only 400 more to go *やった* By learning with RTK, and since I am learning with KO.2001, I really start to realize what I am capable of. But while learning with Genki, RTK, and other books, I have not once asked myself one essential question. What was it that makes my learning effective? I was pointing out factors that were influencing my learning experience in a positive way. The settings in Anki for example, the set-up of my deck, and other things. What I haven’t done so far is to think of ways to improve my learning. When I start learning something new, I always like to discover and experience everything in a playful way first, and then narrow and focus on particular things that I need to know. 1 year and 6 months after starting to learn Japanese, the time has come to start thinking about it, and work out a way to reach my first real big goal.
One of numerous ways to overcome the problem of forgetting words is to write them out. You can do this while you are learning a word to remember it later on. Or you can write a whole sentence out as a punishment during your reviews. I did the following to try not to forget words.
Copying the words into a browser window, and hover over it with Rikaisama set to Japanese.
Messing the desktop with notes containing the words and the English translation.
Write out the words during reviews.
Write the word numerous times in Kanji and Kana.
Write the whole sentence.
After having had a rather bad day yesterady, and still feeling tired today, I decided to maintain, read a little bit, and relax. When I got up, I had 280 cards due for review, which was dealt with pretty quickly. I took my time for it, so it took almost an hour minutes. Lately I get most of my cards out the way when I get up, in less than an hour and 20 minutes, which equals 435 cards. I do this in 2 minute sessions, some consecutive when adding new cards, to get most cards out of the way to have some time until another bunch of cards become due. Sometimes I spread out the sessions over the course of a day, but no session is longer than 2 minutes.
Dear Reader, today was really not my day. I got up between midnight and 1:00 o’clock, did my reviews as usual, but I was really not in the mood for anything. I went back to bed, trying to sleep some more, but couldn’t. I stood up, drank an espresso, and turned on my PC. I thought that adding cards while watching Anime would make me feel better. Adding cards was very slow, or felt that way, not that it really was. 140 sentence and vocabulary were all I could get done, and doing reviews that were due, in 2 hours and 35 minutes.
Reading is my life, i love it, and I couldn’t live a single day without reading something. This can be a book, a forum, articles on websites, other blogs, some learning resources and other things. Today I will introduce you to material that I am reading in Japanese.
English Japanese The Student Dictionary of European Modern History
This book is full of short articles about European history. This is great! You can open up any page, look at the headline, and start to read whatever you find interesting. Here is a sample article from the book.
Ypres, Battle of(1914, 1915, 1917) イーペルの戦い
第1次世界大戦 （World War I） 中、ベルギーの都市イーペルにおけるドイツ軍とフランス軍との会戦。1915年4月～5月の会戦では毒ガスが使用された。イーペルはドイツと連合軍とのたび重なる激戦地となった。17年の第3次会戦はパッセンダーリの戦い（Passchendaele, Battle of）と呼ばれる。
Ypres, Battle of(1914, 1915, 1917) Battle of Ypres
During World War I, the German armed forces and the French military engaged in a battle in a Belgian city called Ypres. Between April and May 1915 poisonous gas was used in the battle. Ypres became a repeated site of bloody battles between the Allied Forces and Germany. The third battle in 1917 was called Battle of Passchendaele.