At this time next week I will be finished with my remaining 日本語総まとめ２級 books. 3 months will have gone by since I started learning with those books, and I will have 4,500+ cards in my deck, which will gradually mature. And there is also the corePlus deck which I started learning with around the same time. I haven’t come very far with this deck yet. According to the statistics I have seen 1880 cards in 2.7 months. Winter has gone by, early signs of spring have become visible, and my interest in the language grew deeper. Not too far in the future the end of my second year of learning the language will be reached. Time really has gone by fast.
I am trying to read as many different things as I can. Currently it is Hesse 郷愁 (Nostalgia) (Peter Camezind), Fashion News, News in general, a website about programming, and several different blogs. To read Hesse in Japanese is pure horror, and I am not trying to make it easier, by keeping a translation open. What makes it so difficult to read is the length of the sentences, which makes it hard to not to loose track from one sentence to the next, and to figure a sentence actually means. It doesn’t help either that besides the length of the average sentence there are numerous new words in every other one. The following sentence is one of the shorter ones. 彼らの一人の新しい愚行が評判になると、ニミコンの村人たちの、しわの寄った褐色の顔に、うれしげな光が稲光のようにひらめく、そして、慰みそのものを喜ぶ気持ちに、自分ならこんな脱線や失敗などするものではないと感じながら、満足のあまりに舌を鳴らす自分の優越さを喜ぶ気持ちが、微妙なパリサイ主義的〔偽善的〕な薬味として付け加わる。 In comparison to this book 村上春樹 1Q84 is very easy to read and to understand. This is the other book I’m currently reading, and I am already into chapter 2 after 4 days of reading. I take my time with it, though at this pace, it will take long to reach the end of it. Not that I care much about the time something takes, what counts is that I can learn something from it.
Besides that there is still so much to learn for the JLPT in december. And I am afraid to say that the 日本語総まとめ books will not be enough to be prepared for it. As my only real weakness is grammar, the 新完全マスター2級 book and the reading book are next in my queue. From my experiences with the 日本語総まとめ 文法 book, and from the fact that it doesn’t help at all to create grammar cards no matter how good they are, I decided to stop adding them. It just isn’t worth the time it takes. If I wouldn’t have added grammar cards to Anki it would have easily saved me two hours per day. The actual learning process per chapter took no longer than maybe 10 to 15 minutes including answering the 8 test questions. The bottom line is that it is more important to read, listen actively and passively, add more vocabulary, and applying the knowledge.
According to my original plan I was thinking of taking a break of two months. And I am still convinced that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take such a long break. On the other hand if I continue learning now I can be absolutely sure that I will not get into any trouble timewise later on. I can’t say how long it will take to work through the 完全マスター books, and what else there is I could do in order to aim for a pass in the actual test. With that in mind 2 months more or less can make a huge difference. It might also be harder to get back on track after an extended break.
The best thing is to make the final decision by or before the end of next week, when I am finally done with the 総まとめ books. Now it is time to continue with ヘルマン・ヘッセ 郷愁 (Peter Camezind).