It’s Monday, and here’s a new week.
As far as Japanese is concerned, my Cafetalk lesson is on Tuesdays, so, in a way, that’s when my Japanese week starts.
Yesterday, I talked with a language exchange partner on Skype. We spoke some in each language, because that’s the exchange part, and, after attempting to say something that involved some (to me) rather complicated Japanese grammar, my language partner said, “You’re Japanese is understandable.”
Now, that might sound like faint praise to you, but I was psyched up by it. I really had to struggle to say what I wanted to say, and to get through it and convey my meaning was very satisfying. Excellent? No, but a vitally important step on the way!
Anyway, here’s my Japanese schedule for today:
-Review previous vocabulary
-Go over vocabulary for the next chapter (14)
-Study new vocabulary
That might seem like a lot, but it isn’t. I know this because I’ve already done most of it, and it only took about 40 minutes.
A word about the Anki vocabulary deck: It is from Nihongoshark.com. You get words and sentences in Kanji. There is some overlap between that deck and みんなの日本語, which is good. I actually started the deck over awhile back because I felt like I had gotten lost in it, and starting over has been extremely helpful, especially with the sentences.
The problem I was having with the sentences was (1) lots of unknown works and (2) lots of unknown grammar. Well, now that I have advanced in my studies, I recognize the grammar, and that has made all the difference.
When the card first appears, you see the word (or sentence) and hear it pronounced by an actual human being instead of a robot voice. What I do, though, is turn the sound off and read it myself. Then I turn the sound up and play the audio to check myself. That really helps get the Kanji in my head. Then I flip the card and double check the meaning. Yes, turning the sound up and down is more work and sometimes annoyingly tedious but, well, 日本語を習いたいです。 That’s the point, right? And sometimes learning is tedious.
(And, yes, I spent 3 months learning the daily use Kanji, but it can be different in a sentence, since the Kanji may be combined with other Kanji.)
Find your method, implement your method, always look for ways to improve your method, and find and use every opportunity to speak in Japanese and to listen to Japanese, but the speaking part is crucial. You have to use it to learn it!