I'm Learning Japanese

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Archive for March, 2010

March 1, 2010 Update

Posted by drivers99 on March 1, 2010

Completely caught up with RTK

For at least the last 3 weeks I’ve been caught up with RTK. I have a calculation I’ve been doing once a week where I determine how far away I am from “perfection” in RTK, which is having all of the cards in pile 8 on RevTK. 3 weeks ago I was 4081 reviews away from perfection. Today it is 3048 away. This is out of a theoretical 14294 reviews. This doesn’t count failed cards though. In fact, I have already done more than 20000 reviews at RevTK. Keeping up with reviews has been good though, because I’ve been getting close to 100% (sometimes actually 100%) correct. Although I think a lot of that has to do with the reverse RTK deck I did, which provided a lot of review in a short period of time. I know a lot of the cards probably had the benefit of extra, early reviews, which brings me to my next topic:

Kanji to Heisig Keyword (reverse RTK) deck done, and then deleted

The Kanji to Heisig Keyword was really useful. I could review kanji at close to 500 per hour and I feel like it really solidified them in my head. I was quickly able to get used to looking at kanji and recognizing them. But then one day I opened up Anki and I had 900 reviews due on that deck. I really wanted to study actual vocabulary and felt it was going to be a waste of time to spend two hours today doing reverse RTK, so I deleted the deck.

Sentence picking

I started some sentence picking. First of all, I have AJATT’s sentence pack, which I had copied the first 75 or so cards into Anki a long time ago, but I haven’t looked at it in a long time. The copy I had that I bought is on another hard drive, which I believe has been fried so I’ll have to see if I have a backup of it. (That reminds me, I need to download my restore file from Mozy. The restore I requested earlier already expired.) So, I have those 75 sentences in my Sentences deck. But I started adding some other ones. I started pulling them from dic.yahoo.co.jp starting with any Japanese word. Then I’d find one of the example sentences which exhibits “i+1” for me (i.e. it has one new thing in it that I didn’t already know, such as a vocabulary word). Then I’d use the word I didn’t know as the new dictionary entry to look in. This was pretty fun and I gathered some sentences that way. One thing that bothered me though is that I realized I was relying on Anki and/or Rikaichan to figure out some of the readings. This could be putting mistakes in my deck.

Smart.fm’s Core2000

Another problem is that I was learning words like “Labyrinth” which are cool but probably not the most useful right away. I could also be learning words that aren’t really used that much by native Japanese. I decided to get the basics down first. At first, I took a look at Smart.fm’s version of the Kanji Odyssey 2001 (KO2001) list, but then I realized that Core2000 is probably even better because KO2001 is optimized to cover all the different commonly used Kanji, while Core2000 is oriented towards the most common vocabulary. I used Anki’s Smart.fm importer, and downloaded both words and sentences, including audio. So now for each word there is: reading the word, reading the sentences, listening to the sentence, and listening to the word. So while I’m studying Core2000 in Anki I am also practicing listening, as well as trying to pronounce things the way the audio does. It’s a lot of fun! I’ve barely started on this so we’ll see how it goes.


As usual I’ve been listening to some Japanese media. I think the thing I’ve listened to the most is Dragonball Z even though it’s really cheesy. I’ve also listened to some Ranma 1/2 and Maison Ikkoku, just DVDs I happen to have in my collection already.

Internet reading

I tend to skip over a lot of the tweets I get on twitter that are in Japanese, but I will occasionally spend a little time on each one to see what they say. Some of them I actually understand completely, if they happen to use vocab I already know.

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