Japanese Catchup #3 aka What Have I Achieved This Year?

2022 was the year that I finally decided to sit down and start learning Japanese properly. I’d tried before, multiple times and I had things I could use because of it, but I was fed up with always giving up. I’ve been writing about my experience to encourage me to keep going and I have!

I’ve been learning Japanese for a few months now and that’s a success.

However, I’ve not been learning as fast as I’d like. When I see how much others have learned in their first few months, I am a little disappointed. I still struggle with remembering katakana, though I have been working at that and my vocab is still pretty small.

I’ve been trying so many different apps and websites and videos to try to find a quicker way to learn. And I think that might be slowing me down even more. I’ve found a few things that work for me, and I should focus on using them. Yes, my learning process is slow. But that’s fine. As long as what I’m learning sticks, I should be happy.

So what have I done since my last update?

I’ve started using Wanikani and it seems to be sticking! I’ll admit, the mnemonics they suggest don’t always work for me. I’ve had to come up with some of my own, but I am starting to learn more kanji. As someone who wants to learn Japanese mostly for reading purposes, that’s pretty helpful. I’m taking it at a pace that works for me, but I feel like it’s definitely helpful.

I also tried using Pimsleur as I kept getting ads for it and it seemed a good idea. I thought maybe doing a listening task could be a good idea whilst I was multitasking. But the only task that I could do where I was actually focusing on learning still was walking. Great when it’s nice out. not so much when it’s miserable and you don’t want to be outside too long. Especially since you have to repeat what you were learning. I did learn a few bits and pieces from this, but I don’t think it really works for me.

On a more positive note, I’ve done more manga reading. Yes, with an app, but there are more and more lines that I can translate myself. It’s still a lot of basic stuff, but it does give me hope. I’ve definitely been on a Japanese music hype too, so I’m hearing Japanese a lot too.

I also need to start thinking realistically about what goals I want to set myself for learning for next year.

Obviously, I want to keep learning Japanese. I’ll keep it at Duolingo and Wanikani. I’m thinking I want to try and get the Genki textbooks, but they are pretty expensive. If not, I need to start using the textbook I’ve got already again. I want to start listening to more Japanese podcasts and Youtube videos too. Get myself more used to listening to Japanese outside of music and anime too.

I’ll probably talk more about that next year though. For now, I’ll just keep trudging along.

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