I started officially learning Japanese in 2017 when I memorized the Japanese alphabets (hiragana and katakana) in a couple weeks over the summer. I then took about a yearlong break and returned in 2019. I’m learning Japanese because I like the language (look and sound), and am using it as a learning lab of sorts, to keep my mind agile and to see how far I can go. So far, I’ve memorized over 1,000 new vocabulary words and have been conditioning my mind to hear the language.
My goal is to finish memorizing the iKnow.com vocab list (total 6K words, 1K+ down already), to grasp basic grammar and increase my listening and reading comprehension so that by December I can understand easy spoken Japanese and read picture books without having to look up words.
I will continue using the Fibonacci/Leitner/Anki SRS systems to memorize vocabulary and simple sentences. I’ll alternate on/off months with learning 1K new vocab words every other month. The sentences will come from movies and shows from Viki.com and articles from NHK Jr. I will learn song lyrics.
How I’ll know if I reached my goal:
By December, I can buy a bilingual picture book and understand the content without having to check the English. I can also watch a Japanese YTer or non-technical/specialized movie without English subtitles and understand enough to get the gist of the story.
Stated goal/strategies for this month: Originally was supposed to go through the rest of the iKnow vocab memorization but didn’t finish. Got distracted by other duties.
Actual updates: (2/7/20) This month, I took a break from studying Japanese. There was just too much to do, especially since I started a new college-level course on content marketing/writing and have been focusing on writing and pitching jobs. However, I did take a quick Japanese vocab test to see what my hypothetical vocab size is, and I got 900 which is not too shabby, considering the long delays I’ve had since memorizing ~ 1,000 words last year.
Stated goal/strategies for this month: (2/7/20) At minimum, finish the iKnow vocab cards that I have already written, but not memorized, and review the Fibo-Leit cards (focusing on Fibo). Also, come up with a better study plan that integrates into my current lifestyle. I want to focus on listening in particular. Tofugu’s seasonal resources are super helpful.
Update Jan 25 2022…obviously I stopped updating this post, because I stopped learning Japanese yet again for the rest of this year. Eck.