Beyond Kanji Odyssey

A few days ago I finished Kanji Odyssey! Thank you CosCom, for your great product, it is really worth every cent! After a day of rest, reviews, and reading, it is time to go back to the books and work on grammar, particles, and the acquisition of more vocabulary. Yesterday I began mining An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese without putting much thought into what I really want to have in my SRS. I was typing everything in. Dialogues, sentences from the reading sections, speed reading sentences, and grammar information.

I got tired of this after Lesson 1. It was not effective, and I didn’t want to review individual sentences from dialogues, that I already know. When I want to read, I can read it in the book, so I stopped. When I was done with it, I probably had 200 something cards in my new deck. I will remove most of them. Later on I took a sheet of paper, a pen, and wrote down some ideas how to approach the material, and what I really want to have in my SRS.

+ Sentences containing unknown grammar points
+ Example sentences for grammar points from books or other sources
+ Short grammar explanations
+ Only sentences containing unknown vocabulary
+ Vocabulary from sentences on vocabulary cards
+ Definitions for vocabulary in Japanese
+ Cloze Deletion

– No translations except for new words and grammar points

I think that it will be more of a grammar and production deck than a sentence and vocabulary one. Thanks to the flexible deck structure I could have both, but my main goal is to have a working deck for grammar. Since this is my third try to create a grammar deck I want to do things right. I will not revolve my grammar learning around the SRS. This time I will enter the grammar points from the book I am working with, and add brief descriptions to my cards.

After learning the grammar points, I will search for online articles containing that grammar point, to see how it is used in the wild. But that is only one reason of course, the other is to get even more reading practice. As a bonus I will also be able to find and collect sentences, or parts of sentences, that I want to use in my own writing. I already have a small collection of such sentences and sentence parts, I only have to start using it. lang-8 is calling, and I think I will finally answer that call.

My further plans are to mine:

+ 飛躍
+ 中級から上級への日本語
+ 皆の日本語中級本冊
+ Dictionary of Japanese Particles
+ Kanji in Context both Workbooks

+ Mark sentences with unknown vocabulary
+ Do the same for grammar and vocabulary
+ Add them to my deck(s)
+ Add 5 Kanji from KO.2001 level 3 into my SRS
+ Find sentences for all the words from various sources

The first three books will probably take 2 or 3 weeks to finish, and the Kanji in Context workbooks maybe a month. By the time I will be finished with all of them, I should have gained enough knowledge, to allow me to exclusively use Japanese, and by working through 日本語能力試験2級 i will be ready for taking this test. My grammar knowledge should then also be at about the level my passive vocabulary currently is. Meantime I also . An additional thousand words can’t hurt. The only thing I wish to have is audio for that level and more example sentences. And if that is not enough, there is still more that I will do.

+ Read through the Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar
+ Work through どんなとき使う
+ The JLPT books

So much study without fun would only lead to burn-out. But I do enough to have fun in the language, playing games for one, or watching Anime and Drama, while studying. What I also have to work on.

+ Output
+ Build my self-confidence

I need to build my self-confidence in my knowledge most right now. Too often I catch myself checking words, only to see that I read it correctly, or check a sentence with an online translator just to make sure … But 90% of the time it proofs that I was correct … To give you an example, in the game Breath of Fire 2 which I currently play, I was exploring a room, and acquired a medicinal herb. In the game the word was written in Hiragana, やくそう. I knew that word, やく has to do with medicine because I know the word やくひん and そう is grass which I learned in words like 草食動物. So I deducted that it can only mean medicinal herb or plant. I checked it, and even before i hit the convert button, I saw that I got it right. This is why I have to learn to stop doing it.

From now on I have some work to do, a whole lot of work, a huge mountain even! And many new challenges are lying ahead of me. But I don’t feel overwhelmed by it, because all it takes is a working method, and time.

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