I’m essentially finished with my second to last semester of College now. I have two more exams but I’m not worried about them. More importantly, I can start devoting more of my time to language learning! Woot woot!

I’m making considerable headway in my second run through RTK. Since I’m using Adshap’s modified RTK deck, I have 228 kanji inputted into my anki deck but I’m actually on Heisig no. 260. Like everyone says, it’s always easier the second time. Some of the stories that I came up with the first time around are coming back but for the most part I’m having to come up with all new stories. I’m using RevTK pretty liberally for story ideas, but that’s only if I don’t think of one first. I’m moving through at a comfortable pace, 20 kanji per day. It’s slower than the pace I went the first time, however I was focusing only on RTK at the time and now I have two more decks to worry about.

My J-J deck is coming along nicely. I added Google Text-to-Speech audio to all my cards. I’ve always wanted to have audio-based decks, but never really stuck with it. Hopefully this time I will. The TTS Japanese speech sounds pretty okay. You can definitely tell it’s a robot, but at least it gives me another way to interact with Japanese. Now I’m reading and listening for every card (minus rtk). Including more methods of interaction with the target language will give you more “hooks” during the learning process, ideally letting you learn things faster, more efficiently, etc. That’s the idea, at least. If I can stick with it for a couple of months, I’ll let you know if there is any noticeable progress with my listening comprehension.

Speaking of listening comprehension, Judith Meyer over at learnlangs.com has written a really good article describing how to convert your favorite TV show into learning material using Subs2SRS. While this isn’t a groundbreaking discovery, it is still a thorough step-by-step guide that has inspired me to finally take a legitimate stab at this whole Subs2SRS thing. I’ve tried to process a TV show in this way before, but haven’t really been able to stick with it. This time around, I picked a JDrama that I already had both Japanese and English subtitle tracks for: GTO. I have only watched the first episode, so I will be watching/processing the TV show a little differently than Judith recommends in her article. I’ll be going through the anki deck in order, basically watching the show as I learn the dialogue. The idea is loosely based off of Nukemarine’s post on the RTK forums. However, my cards will be listening-based, meaning the front of my card contains an image from the show and corresponding audio. The back of the card has the sentence in kanji/furigana and any definitions I need to understand the sentence. I’m going to try to keep the definitions mostly J-J, but when a word’s Japanese definition is just too complicated for me I’ll stick a J-E definition in there temporarily.

That’s mostly what’s going on here. Lot’s of optimism. The key is to maintain optimism by plugging away at Japanese a little each day. It’s not about the goal, but the journey to the goal!


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