Monthly Archives: July 2012

JLPT Hauntings

Tonight I had another one of those weird dreams. It was a day or two before the actual JLPT started. My city, in which the dream JLPT should be held, is only 5 km. away. I made my preparations for the big day, but forgot one thing, and that was the 2HB pencils, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener. No problem, because I knew there was a store on the way and I have my driver stop by to let me off there. The actual day of the JLPT came, and I was waiting outside my house, for my driver to arrive. There was also another Lady, probably in her 60s. I didn’t know her but she, too, was planning to take this test. As did some others who sat in the car. Incidentally, two of the other passengers also forgot to buy their writing utensils, and when we arrived at the store we got off together. The place the JLPT was held was within walking distance, so the driver could park the car in the garage and we would meet in the building.

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[Day 5] Kanzen Master

The fifth day of working with 新完全マスター2級文法 is over, and I really come to like this book, it is great. The results of the short tests after every lessons on the other hand are not particularly good. For most of the lessons I got more than half of the answers right, but I hate to have the other ones wrong for two reasons. The first is that I look at the 4 possible answers, take into consideration what I just learned, and choose the wrong one. In most cases the reason for this is because one of two possible answers appears to be correct, the differences are very small, but only one is correct. After checking the answers in the back of the book, and after re-reading the sentences I got wrong, it is clear why my choice was wrong.

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I Quit

About 20 days ago I decided to start with the Core10K deck. This deck consists of nearly 9800 cards, of which I reviewed around 2870 cards so far. Reviewing at a pace of a hundred cards per day, and not reviewing daily but when cards are due, caused some 300 extra reviews per day. I don’t like to give up something that I started already, and even though it takes 30 to 40 minutes extra per day only for these additional reviews, with the so-called time-boxing sessions I prefer to use, it just got too much. Reviewing basics is all good and fine, having a deck with audio is also great, and the folks that did all the hard work deserve to be thanked for it, but I quit reviewing it.

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The Kanzen Master

Yesterday was a rather slow start with the 新完全マスター2級文法 book. All I got done was the introduction and half of the how to use part. This alone has taken 2 hours, for which my headaches are to blame. Today I got around to work on the first couple of grammar points and answering around 25 to 30 test questions. It was all very easy to understand, and the explanations are to the point. One or two lines describing how the grammar is used, in which situation, what precedes and follows it, and some details about when and where it shouldn’t be used. This is only just the beginning, but so far I like working with the book. I am still glad that before this book I read through all of どんなときどう使う500 N5-1, the Dictionaries of Basic, Intermediate, and more than half of the Advanced Japanese books. I think that doing it made the beginning just that much easier. I hope this will stay this way until the end of the book, but I think it will, since this book has a very good reputation. And as far as I can say it seems to be well deserved.

Aiming Higher

My method of learning Japanese up to now can be described with three words “Above and Below”. That is, if you are willing to call it a method, which is anything but to be honest. What it means is, that I am working with material way above my own level, and with material that was and is way below it. My passive knowledge has grown quite a bit, the active abilities are way behind, which is still considered to be normal. From the first day I started working on the Kanji Odyssey project, I started reading, or to be more precise deciphering the content of the book I was trying to read. My grammar knowledge was way below, my vocabulary knowledge was little, and on the whole it was a pain to read.

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A Little Something

I just have to share this video with all of you. You will be moved to tears from watching it, so be prepared, and keep your hankies ready because I guarantee for nothing! I would never have found it, if I wouldn’t have learned the word 余興 (よきょう) today. To tell you the truth, I had to cheat, and look at the YouTube website to remember what word it was, before I could write this exhaustively long comment. But don’t tell anyone, promise?

Anki Status

The reviews per day are increasing rapidly. Today, of all days in the short 1 year history since I started using Anki, was the one with the highest review number. 1115 cards. The good thing is, that I am nearly done with the JLPT N1 vocabulary part of the CorePlus deck. It looks like that it will take another 15 days from today, before I have this part down, which marks the end of my adding cards from this deck. What would be left, that might, or might not be interesting to keep adding, are maybe the Homophone and the Suru parts. The Suru part is down to 1169 of 2029 cards, and the Homophone part is down to 3078 right now. I don’t really feel like finishing these parts anytime soon, because I will lower the number of new cards to 20 per day, if at all. The deck is down to 17224 cards from 25705, which I started to review exactly 7 months ago. A long way if you ask me.

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