So, let’s describe the journey so far.
I am using ideas from the Hacking Japanese Supercourse by Niko over at Nihongo Shark, which I highly recommend.
I am currently learning the daily use Kanji using an anki deck containing 2200 flash cards that Niko has set up and made available to all comers. The goal is to learn all of these Kanji in about 100 days.
2200 cards in 100 days?!!!
Yep. That’s only introducing 22 new cards a day. I’m doing it, and so can you. In fact, today is day 46, and I have half of the cards in the learning process and half of them waiting for me to get to them. (There are details to all this. Check out the Hacking Japanese Supercourse to learn them.)
The thing is, consistency is important. It is vitally important. You have to study your language every single day if you really want to learn. It’s too easy to take a day off, which turns in to two days, then three, then a week has slipped away before you know it…
So, today is day 46 of my Kanji study, and I am happy to be here. There were some days when learning my daily Kanji was easy and some days when they just didn’t want to stick. There were days when my routine went wonderfully (I generally do my studying early in the morning) and days when I barely managed to get my studying in. One day I found myself studying at 7:00 pm instead my preferred 6:00 am. That was not a good day. There was another day when I ended up doing my studying piecemeal scattered throughout the day instead of all at the one time. Also not a good day for language learning, but I got it done and stuck to my schedule.
Consistency is vital.
There won’t always someone there to encourage you, either. You have to set up a routine and find a way to make yourself stick to it. Want some ideas on how to do that? Have I mentioned the Hacking Japanese Supercourse too many times yet?
I learned Spanish more or less on my own and with the help of friends in a more or less disorganized fashion. Japanese is a bit harder, and having an organized system in place is a lifesaver. I am sure there are various systems out there, but Niko’s system is working for me, and I want to share what is working for me.
Niko’s system may not be the best in the world…but I sure haven’t seen a way to improve on it yet, so maybe it is the best in the world after all 🙂
Seriously, the best system in the world is what works for you, but this system sure has an awful lot to recommend it. Now, if it’s so great, why don’t I just tell you all about it here? Because someone who went to all the trouble to come up with and organize a system like this deserves to be rewarded for his effort, so check it out at Niko’s site.
The site is called Nihongo Shark because Nihongo is the Japanese language and because most sharks, due to the nature of their body structure, must always be moving forward through the water in order to breathe, just as a language learner needs to keep moving forward with his language studies. Or, as Niko puts it: “Keep swimming. You are crossing an ocean.” I say that to myself when I need a little push.