Some personal learning updates to the Broaden your view: Reading VNs in Japanese post. I’ve been gradually climbing what is only the foot of the mountain that is called “the Japanese language”, but lately I notice it’s getting steeper. Besides getting more experienced in reading easy-medium Japanese VNs with the help of tools, I’ve been concentrating some more on learning the other aspects of the language as well: writing and talking. Since my first goal will remain reading, I’ve still been mainly focussing on expanding my vocabulary knowledge (including kanji).
The hardest part was finding the most effective way to learn it, since I’ve already tried taking this path before I started learning grammar, I learned how vital this can be for your motivation.
After I felt like I had a decent grasp on the essential grammar my motivation for learning got huge because I already accomplished something -> I read some VNs in Japanese. Because of this motivation boost I picked up the challenge of learning kanji again next to diving into some more advanced grammar.
What I’ve tried:
– I picked up learning kanji radicals again, got until 150/255 or so before I started doubting my way of learning (again).
– I picked the best anki deck I could find with 2136 jōyō kanji and started grinding them, noticing that I already knew the first 50 or so from reading VNs. I remember from high school that I was always pretty good in grinding vocabulary in English, German and French, however the kanji just wouldn’t stick in my head without reviewing it atleast 5 times. As I am an impatient person that needs to see progress to be able to keep going, I quickly went on to look for another way.
What I am doing:
– I set a goal for myself, which is JPLT N5-N4, picking up an anki deck with firstly all N5 vocabulary and I started my grind with 10-15 words a day. I am still doing this every morning before I go to work and (on average) faithfully finish my deck every day.
– While learning vocabulary, I noticed that I recognized some kanji in the words. Some meaning of kanji were actually the reason I could easily remember the vocabulary (obviously because they make sense). This reminded me of another learning method and I decided to try that. So from now on I won’t ever be grinding any 2136 kanji, but I will be writing down every new kanji I encounter in the vocabulary I learn, and look them up. This way I can relate a kanji to multiple words and the other way around, also making it easier to recognize the words.
I am very happy that this method is really working out for me so far and I have to admit that the former kanji grinds weren’t for nothing either: I developed a pretty good feeling of how most kanji are written (order of strokes), so I don’t have to look that up as often as before!
As I’ve been studying more than reading lately, I didn’t check out most of the VNs I wanted to check out. In the next update more about reading difficulties for multiple VNs.
Since last time I added 3 more I’d like to test soon:
– Phantom of Inferno (remake)
– Subarashiki Hibi ~Furenzoku Sonzai~