Monthly Archives: April 2012

どんなときどう使う日本語表現文型辞典 N1-N5

I’ve been working with this book for 2 1/2 months, and today I got finished with all the grammar points! Although I study for the N2, I also studied all the N1 grammar points in this book. What’s done is done, right? From this point onward I will only read about grammar points when I discover them. With the Dictionary of Basic and some parts of the Intermediate Dictionary there is not much need for any more of it at this point. I’m just glad that I finished it, that I understood most of the examples and grammar points. Because I wasn’t working with online dictionaries, doing all my look-ups of some of the unknown words with my Kanji dictionary, I also became quite fast at that. It was also both a good reading practice and a good way of acquiring some more knowledge of grammar. This book overall is a great resource!

Continue reading

A Weird Dream

Yesterday I had a weird dream. It all started with a spontaneous idea. Why don’t you take a Japanese class, and wouldn’t it be a great idea to move to Japan for it? The next thing I remember is sitting over my books in a classroom somewhere in Japan. I was studying dilligently for the JLPT2, book after book, conversation after conversation, I came closer to my goal. Then the day has come, and my teacher was handing out the envelopes containing the test-results. Not so in my case, she just put a small slip of paper in front of me, and it read FAILED.

Continue reading

The Third Dimension

I love everything 3D, movies, animations, modeling, you name it. 3D modeling is an on and off hobby in my life. The very first time I came in touch with 3D in general, was at the age of 9 or 10, while I was visiting my local bookstore. I can still see the scene in front of my minds eye. I was standing in front of the large bookshelfs, leaving through some of the computer related books, without anyone paying any attention to me. Except the one other customer, who, as soon as he noticed that I was about to take a CG / CAD related book to the cashier, told me the following. “Do you really want to buy this book? This is way too complicated for a person of your age, it would be better if you take another. This is surely nothing for you.”

Continue reading

The Number of the Beast

Today I made a full backup of my Wired Marker .SQL database. It contains all the words, and some parts of sentences, marked during my reading sessions. The very first entry was created on 08.08.2011, and the last one from this database from three days ago, and guess how many entries are in this bugger? 400? Because I was so lazy and didn’t read much? Maybe 2000? Since you might at least give me the credit of a doubt that I actually read and marked some words? Or maybe 7000, as true reader this is still nothing, but at least something to start with? Either is wrong. Hold your breaths everyone! Between the first and the last entry I collected 24349 words. Most of them unique according to an .sql query, and since I was also marking larger parts of sentences, those parts also contain some additional words, which I would guess would add a significant number of additional entries. But let’s not count beans here, 24349 in 7 months is incredible, at least I think it is. It means that I have actually done much more when it comes to reading than I ever expected.

Continue reading


Recently I started debating with myself whether or not it is worth to learn 四字熟語 [よじじゅくご] 4 character idomatic compounds and [ことわざ] proverbs in isolation. I am just not sure if its worth the effort to memorize them, meaning to add them to Anki, or simply start to read without the intention to memorize any at all. On the one hand I find both very interesting, on the other hand there are other aspects of the language that I have yet to learn, which are more important. It would also make for a good group project to kick off, to add them to flashcards, and then review them. What’s your opinion? Should I learn them now, or at least read them all, or should I better leave them for later?

Let’s Listen

Hello, Dear reader! Do you remember the last soccer world cup? Vuvuzelas all over the place, which made it impossible to listen to the commentators for even a short amount of time, without risking a major headache. Luckily the TV stations started to filter the noise which allowed the audience in front of the screen to actually enjoy the spectacle. Videos taken in front of a life audience, with noise in the background, a talking crowd of people, and on top of it all shouting children. Does this sound familiar to you? Of course! Because this is real life right there for you. And as we all know there are no noise filters, no sound improvement techniques, just unfiltered noise our brain has to deal with. This makes the task of listening to a speaker and trying to understand very difficult, too. Take the following video as an example.

Continue reading

[Release] 完全マスター3級文法 Spreadsheet

The last four or five days I’ve been working through the book mainly to work on my weak grammar. The outcome is a spreadsheet you can obtain by clicking on the following link for the .xlsx version I also wanted to create a tab-seperated version of it but that didn’t work, so you would have to convert it yourself, if you know any good tool that does it. I find that by working with spreadsheets, instead of decks, there is a better chance of retaining the information and it is easier to look up things. To work with spreadsheets is an idea from some other blogger who was passing the JLPT 1 without problems, offering detailed explanations how to most effectively use excel for learning Japanese grammar and vocabulary. Sadly I can’t find the bookmark to the website on my notebook, which means it must be on stored on the PC, and the PC is on repair right now, so I can’t give you the link for it. I eventually found that persons blog by typing in something along those lines of “failed JLPT,” or “failed JLPT 1,” so you might find it via google search with one of the keywords.

Continue reading