An Old Strategy Revived


Having recovered from my procrastination at least in parts, I am back on track now, to continue to learn more seriously within the language. I already wrote about my plans with Kanji in Context, and with breaks in between every other day, I so far made it up to chapter 24 in the workbook. Not so bad for what is a work of not even 3 days so far. In hours, it must be 6 to 8, if at all. There aren’t that many sentences per chapter anyway. I do enjoy the process and it is very enlightening to me to look at the sentences while I type them up. I know the process very well, coming from a monster like Kanji Odyssey, but this time it is different.

I see the concepts behind a sentence now. And every other sentence my understanding deepens a little more. I take my time to read, and not just to type everything up as fast as I can, as I did with Kanji in Context and maybe even with the 日本語総まとめ books. Both of those were only my way of acquiring lots and lots of vocabulary in the shortest amount of time. It worked, which doesn’t mean, that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the process more if the amount of time I put into it was used up for studying the sentences more in depth. Of course there was also a reason for doing it that way versus the other. I thought that, with enough reviews, I would remember the things anyway. And I didn’t want to memorize any of it except vocabulary anyway. But it was more work than fun on any account.

What is relevant to todays story is, that while I was working with KO.2001, I developed a strategy to repeat learned vocabulary outside of Anki. During every review I kept a text file open, and into this text file I would copy a certain amount of words. After the end of each review session, I would then pick and choose some words, and paste them into google. Or if I remembered the writing I entered the word manually to see what would come up in the search results. This also lured me slowly into decoding and later on into reading whatever it was that I found that day. After some months I stopped using this method, because then I was able to read, and look up what came into my minds. In some cases I simply copied words that I marked in articles, to find out more about them.

Now I somehow got back into this habit, because I started to broaden my horizon by reading English books again, only the last few days that is. And every time I find a word in the book I would look the information up in Japanese. For instance, the current book I’m reading is called Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes and it contains many words that I haven’t encountered before. 先天性副腎過形成 is one word that is found in this book, and the English word is congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The word in Japanese broken down would read 先天性 Inherited or heriditary, 副腎 adrenal glands, 過形成 hyperblasia. Of course this broken down doesn’t get me any further to the answer of what it means. So I usually check out the first five google results, among which is this one that explains the condition, and some of its background.

Because this book is reaching out far and wide, from human medicine, to bonobos, and even Leonardo Da’Vinci, you can imagine how the search results look like and what I keep finding to read about in Japanese. In this way I can combine both. Doing something in Japanese, in this case reading, and learning about and acquiring knowledge in English as well as Japanese. That way, only in the last days I kept learning more that is of more general use for my ways around the Japanese part of the Internet, than I could have hoped for. For instance by doing a Google search for something, I found out about the possibility of signing up for several social media websites, and MMORPG with something called openID. To explain it in Japanese 一つですべてのお気に入りのウエブサイトにログインし、沢山のパスワードを覚えておく必要がなくなりません。 In short, there are websites like mixi, or a games website called ダンジョンへーロー which I signed up for and plan to play for some time.

Following both these strategies, meaning to keep looking up words for pure interest from English books, and also branching out into the social games sphere just because it is possible thanks to my google-account, I would wonder if there aren’t as many more things to be discovered that will keep me going for the time between my first real trip to Japan. And it might also take care of some of my flaws and shortcomings when it comes to certain parts in the usage of the language. I’m already planning to get my N1 prep books, yes, you didn’t misread. I will buy them now and I will start working them during the later half of next year. More learning. \(*⌒0⌒)♪ Before I forget it, here is some media that I’ve uncovered today, that might be worth watching. Something I found out about in mysterious ways, with the following search word ルポ番組, reportage programme.

I suggest you to watch 木城町立石河内小学校閉校記念ムービー on the NF-TV channel. At least I found it very touching, watching the pride of the schoolmaster, and the luck the handful remaining children must have had, to be in such a small school and only four of them. The ceremony was also most interesting, but see for yourselves. With this, I wish all of you who are planning to celebrate it, to all my fine followers, and to everyone out there in the world who happens to find my small place here メッリークリスマッスゥ!

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