All posts filed under: motivation / daily study

New Anki deck, old goals

I have started a new Anki deck… and I am not using anymore the one I started on the very first day of my learning Japanese. I have realised that my Anki deck was not fitting my goals anymore. When I created my deck, I had in mind a strategy to learn vocabulary as thoroughly as possible. As a result, each note was attached to three types of cards which were supposed to reflect all the way you handle vocabulary in real life: (in Anki, a note is where you enter the information you want to learn, a card is how you want Anki to test you using this information) Either you want to use this word yourself: Show English, Answer Japanese Or you read this word: Show Japanese, Answer pronunciation and English Or you hear this word: Play audio through the plugin “Awesome TTS”, answer English. I thought that this was the best way to learn vocabulary through Anki. In any case, it is a very thorough way, and I don’t regret having used …

My listening exercise for the second half of 2018

In my checkpoint about how good I was doing in 2018, I had to admit that I hadn’t work much on listening. I regularly come up with a renewed motivation to listen to more Japanese, but as long as it does not find a concrete plan and schedule, it often remains at the stage of “I would like to…” or “it would be great if…”. This is why I have designed, if I may say so, a listening exercise that I have been doing every day since last Monday and, hopefully, will be doing on a daily basis until the end of the year. My exercise is very simple, I use the audiobook and the book version of the same novel. I first listen to the audiobook and transcribe what I hear. After that, I check myself with the book version and look up words I didn’t know. Finally, I write lines of kanji that I forgot or couldn’t write. It may sound boring, but I actually enjoy doing this exercise very much. The exercise …

Half-way through 2018! Time to check our yearly challenges.

We are halfway through 2018, it is time to check our New Year’s resolutions! How are your challenges doing? It is now the perfect time to adjust them if it didn’t work or even drop it all and make a new start with mid-year goals. As for me, I had a lot of ideas and things I wanted to do for 2018. As I passed the JLPT in December last year, I felt free from learning vocabulary and grammar and thought I could just enjoy myself, so ideas were flowing. The problem is that all these great ideas never made it to the organisational phase. I cannot even say that I have given them up, it is just that I never made concrete plan, goals and schedule for them (for example: listening to more Japanese, watching more Japanese films or drama, even cooking Japanese dishes…). I guess that the formula “I want to do more…, watch more…, read more…” is not concrete enough. I should have made a list of the 10 films I want …

Monthly Review: June

We are entering the last week of June and almost reached the half of the year! 😮 If I had to sum up the month of June, I would call it: “going back into my comfort zone.” Though I am still drawing and journaling with as much enthusiasm as last month, the focus of this month is reading, so let’s talk about books! I have been reading several books at the same time this month, but I was not convinced or as enthusiastic as I thought I would be by most of them. Though I have been quite diligent during the first half of June, I finally gave up the battle and returned to the safety of my comfort zone by reading easier and more familiar authors. Japanese books: disappointment and frustration I will post about all these books on my Wednesday section, but this is an overview: 「君たちはどう生きるか」by 吉野源三郎: I finally finished it and will post my review the day after tomorrow, but I can already say that I did not enjoy reading this …

Writing in Japanese every day: how I built a new habit with ãƒžã‚¤ãƒ–ック

I am not doing much to actively study Japanese lately, but there is something that I do every day since February: writing a page in Japanese in マイブック. マイブック is a sort of agenda that looks exactly like a book. It is published by 新潮文庫 every year. It uses the same format, paper and characteristics than any other book by this publisher. But of course, the inside is blank. The only things you get on each page is the date. The book is also divided into 12 “chapters,” from January to December. Before I bought マイブック (a minor investment of 370 Yen), I was struggling to get into the habit of writing in Japanese every day and kept failing in my attempts. But when I got マイブック, I started writing at least a sentence or two every day and ended up filling the whole page every single day after a month or two. So what changed? I have tried to sum up how I got into the habit of writing every day: Get an agenda …

My new daily reading exercise

I have been much into stationery lately, and while I was looking for information to sustain my newly born passion, I discovered a most interesting site: ほぼ日刊イトイ新聞, or ほぼ日 for short. This online magazine was created by Shigesato ITOI on June 6th, 1998, and celebrated its 20th anniversary some days ago. As they say on the website, although the magazine is described as an “almost daily” publication, the site has been updated with new content every single day since its creation. The whole site is free to access without any ads (except for their own products of course). In 2002, they published their first ほぼ日手帳 which is now very famous in Japan and is also well known among stationery lovers outside Japan. But to come back to the online magazine, Shigesato ITOI writes every day the column called 今日のダーリン, and this has become my new daily reading exercise! The column is described as “糸井重里が毎日書くエッセイのようなもの” and though, it can cover a wide range of topics, I feel, from what I have read so far, that it …

Reading Progress: Making my way through difficult books

I am currently reading two challenging books that are not fiction 「在日」by 姜尚中 (カン・サンジュン) and 「朝鮮の開国と日清戦争」by 渡辺装機 (わたなべそうき). While reading these difficult books, I visualised myself trying to hold on to some kind of imaginary comprehension line. To me, this comprehension line is the point where you go from darkness to light. It is also the point from which I can go on reading the book because I understand enough to keep going. When I find myself completely under the line, this means that I picked a book too difficult for me and reading it is more painful than anything. On the contrary, when I feel like I am high above the line, I am reading an easy book and can fully enjoy what I read. This is the point when the thought “I am reading this author” becomes stronger than the thought “I am reading in Japanese”, if it makes sense. I feel that every book comes with a starting cursor that corresponds to the degree of comprehension I have of it without making …

Monthly Review: May

May has been without a doubt a month of drawing and journaling. These two activities have found their place in my daily schedule by replacing what used to be an ineffective “Japanese study.” For months now, I have been thinking about how to continue learning Japanese without taking classes nor preparing for the JLPT. I haven’t found many concrete things to do or materials to study, and I was often left with a guilty feeling because I was no longer “studying Japanese.” As a consequence, I clung to all sorts of resources I had, because it gave me the impression that I was still on tracks. And then, the post “Keeping it simple: tips for simplifying your language study routine” by Kotobites helped me to understand that, sometimes, less is more. Simplifying my study routine is exactly what I have done this month. I am now accepting the idea that reading novels and the news is the core of my “study” and that I don’t need to feel bad about the things that I am not …