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elleohelle
February 3rd, 2010, 11:07
How many hours a day do you study Japanese? What do you study?
Vocab drills? Review grammar? Practice Kanji? I have to be a little more structured in how I study if I want to pass JLPT 2.

UPGRAYEDD
February 3rd, 2010, 11:44
Kanji first thing in the morning. Next reviewing grammar points. Finish off with trying to read some articles at google news or tech blogs.

UPGRAYEDD
February 3rd, 2010, 11:45
At least 2 hours worth of study Monday - Friday. Depending on my work schedule.

On weekends I don't really study much. Just sit back and watch dramas or go to the capital and practice at bars.

vertigo_stick
February 3rd, 2010, 12:13
Workdays usually study at least 2 hours.

Lately I have been doing lots of Kanji study with my Kanji step book.

When I was prepping for 2-kyuu, first I went through my 2-kyuu grammar book once (どんな時どう使う), trying to do 1 lesson each day I studied it (usually finished about 4 lessons a week). Then when I was done with one run through, I went back through it again. I actually only barely finished the first run-through in time for the test.

I didn't study Kanji for 2-kyuu because I had a good handle on them, but I was studying kanji in general because I am a huge kanji nerd.

I did practice tests whenever I wanted to test my progress. For last year's December test I did one in September, then another in November, then about 3 in the week prior to the actual test (though I skipped the listening section on two of those because my listening was pretty together at that point.)

I think you have to make yourself focus on your weak points. I know that before the first time I took the JLPT (failed by about 9%) I let myself play too much in the stuff I was already decent at, and completely didn't prep for the reading section. After that failure (sub-40% score on reading/grammar) I bought, borrowed and used several books for grammar and reading prep.

How will I study for JLPT1?

-practice tests bi-monthly
-どんな時どう使う grammar book (Which covers 1 and 2 kyuu)
-watch more Japanese TV for listening prep
-Finish my 4-kyuu Kanji Kentei book, then focus fully on JLPT1-covered kanji and vocab until the test.
-Read more in general, starting with my 'A Japanese Reader' book and the comic books my friend lent me.

kawaii_candie
February 3rd, 2010, 15:07
woah, you guys are motivated... i really don't study at all besides watching dramas, eheh... i always want to but there always seems to be something better to do :p

jandek
February 3rd, 2010, 15:53
5 days a week (roughly) routine. Currently holding 2-Kyuu, trying for 1-Kyuu come the summer time. Anyone here taken the 漢字検定?

Kanji
- Go through about 25+ Kanji w/related vocabulary from the book Kanji in Context, which has all the Jouyou Kanji. When I finish the cycle, i start over from ichi and go through it again. I have never really bothered trying to learn anything beyond the Jouyou Kanji, but i feel like i have solid handle on them now after a few years of this.

Reading
- Novels are the way to go for getting real comprehension and being able to use what you are picking up. Manga is nice for learning lots of vocabulary, but that really only takes you so far, because the pictures are holding your mind back from trying as hard as it could. I would recommend anything by Murakami Haruki (currently reading スプートニクの恋人). He writes fairly in a straightforward style, but his plot elements and subject matter are consistently interesting and remind me more of Vonnegut than anything else i've found in the language.

Vocabulary
- Mostly just let it soak in from the reading, but sometimes i like to look at related lists of things, like all the school subjects, all the animals, all the weather words. It makes it nice.

Writing
- text a lot, write a lot of emails.

Translate!
- somewhere in your town there is someone who wants you to translate something into English for them for free. It helps them out and builds your portfolio. Make vocab lists for each translation project, and when you finish, organize them into coherent parts and memorize the hell out of them.

elleohelle
February 6th, 2010, 16:18
Any book suggestions for kanji for someone who just passed 3kyu? My kanji knowledge really really blows. I would prefer a workbook because those keep me motivated.

UPGRAYEDD
February 6th, 2010, 16:24
Kanji in Context with workbook vo. 1. Though it doesn't have questions per say.

Intermediate Kanji Book series

Taurus
February 6th, 2010, 17:11
Any book suggestions for kanji for someone who just passed 3kyu? My kanji knowledge really really blows. I would prefer a workbook because those keep me motivated.

I realise this is going to annoy some people, but: Heisig. If you want to learn kanji, go through Heisig. It made a MASSIVE difference to my Japanese.

enigmaneo
February 9th, 2010, 14:03
I didn't take 3-kyuu but I think I could pass it. Decided to skip it and just start studying for 2-kyuu. I started off with the Basic Kanji Book for Kanji. The 2nd vol. starts from 250-500 foundation kanji. Now I"m using the Kanzen Master Kanji book for Level 2 and trying to do 2 lessons a week. I've been using Minna no Nihongo Chuukyuu for grammar and stuff but I'm not a big fan of it. I probably study about 6-10 hours a week. I also do Anki every morning with vocab.

brad12
December 15th, 2010, 17:38
I spent daily 3 to four hour for learning japanese language. How long does it take to become fluent in Japanese? I am studying from this website.

Kerensa
December 19th, 2010, 00:55
I need to spend more time practicing my Japanese. I just have a very hard time finding a kanji book that actually works with me and then I have a hard enough time setting up my own lesson plan and sticking by it to practice those kanji.

MixedNuts
December 19th, 2010, 08:35
I need to spend more time practicing my Japanese. I just have a very hard time finding a kanji book that actually works with me and then I have a hard enough time setting up my own lesson plan and sticking by it to practice those kanji.

Me too. I think I'm just going to stick with smart.fm for kanji now.


I realise this is going to annoy some people, but: Heisig. If you want to learn kanji, go through Heisig. It made a MASSIVE difference to my Japanese.

Someone recommended that series to me and I bought the first book but I couldn't really get into the author's method of memorization. I'm actually on my way to donate that book at a library that has an English section.

Kuro2Flo
January 4th, 2011, 16:21
I try to talk to friends in Japan as often as possible on Skype, and more often than not they will launch into super in dept discussions about topics I know nothing about. For instance, a friend was telling me about how her American boyfriend cheated on her, broke up with her, found a new Japanese girlfriend, and then went back to visit Japan with the new girl and never paid the original girlfriend back for a plane ticket. I had only a vague idea of what she was talking about, so after the convo I copied it and went through picking out different grammar points and kanji that I hadn't recognized during our discussion.

Shankerbelle
January 4th, 2011, 22:05
I used to have one, it was on commute to and from work, and then when i was at work when no one was looking, so about hour 2-3 hours a day. But not anymore. Really want to get back into it though. I do have two 1 hour language exchange sessions every week though, but its mostly helping them with their English so cant really include that either.

wicket
January 4th, 2011, 22:43
I'm down to 30 minutes on livemocha.com a day, plus kakitori kun [on DS] when i have time [so maybe a couple of hours a week]. and emails to and from japanese friends for reading/writing practice.

ushanka
January 8th, 2011, 11:37
I would recommend anything by Murakami Haruki (currently reading スプートニクの恋人). He writes fairly in a straightforward style, but his plot elements and subject matter are consistently interesting and remind me more of Vonnegut than anything else i've found in the language.

- text a lot, write a lot of emails.


Because I'm taking Japanese classes right now, I pretty much just rely on those classes for a guide to my Japanese study, but I really agree with the two points made above by jandek: Murakami is your friend. His books use a lot of katakana and simplified grammar, as well as very contemporary language. I've noticed since I began trying to get through Murakami books in Japanese my reading ability has gotten a lot better. And the kanji in his books are pretty everyday. Not crazy compounds or something archaic you'd find in older novels (I tried reading Tanizaki once... bad idea...)

Also, if you have Japanese friends, like jandek said, text or even better, IM with them! The quick back-and-forth that IM's necessitate are really good for practicing language. I took French about 4 years ago and the only practice I get with it is via facebook chat, and it's amazing how much language you're able to summon up in a rapid-fire situation like that. Because IM'ing is informal, too, you'll be able to pound out a lot of vocab/conversation practice with minimum pressure or criticism.

One last tip that's helped me--

When it comes to studying kanji, try and do some memorization in the morning (I practice just by writing lines of a certain kanji or compound), casually just flip through flashcards of said kanji throughout the day (while on the bus, waiting in line, chilling, etc.) and then test yourself that night.

This method is what I do every time I have a new batch of kanji to learn, and the combination of passive learning (casual review) and focused writing practice (line drills) has helped me improve my kanji retention a lot.

Hope that helps!

jandek
January 9th, 2011, 23:09
katie p, i know exactly what you mean about those turn of the 20th century authors. Recently I've been trying to read a lot more Natsume Soseki, and the kanji he uses for a lot of everyday phrases haven't been used in over 50 years. Unless you're bulking up to read the 万葉集, there's really no point in spending your time with anything written less than 30 years ago, especially if you're just looking to get in a little practice with the written language.

IM is a good point. Also, one thing with texting I have noticed, sometimes you get the urge to wait until you're feeling in a "japanese" mood to respond, but it's best for everybody to just ignore that and go ahead with the messaging. builds character.

Easy_money
January 12th, 2011, 16:59
My study routine consists of going to random snack bars and striking up conversations with oyaji and the remnants of sanjikais who roll in around 2am, piss ass drunk.

Works well.

ushanka
January 13th, 2011, 15:00
If I get bored at work I use Read The Kanji | Learn how to read japanese kanji! (http://www.readthekanji.com).

How are those books anyway? Kanji (especially writing) is definitely my weak point with Japanese studies, but those books looked a little fishy.

MixedNuts
January 14th, 2011, 00:50
So the Read the Kanji site is pretty good? I am cheapskate, so I always hesitate before having to pay for stuff.

How does Anki work?

Page
October 11th, 2011, 12:06
Dudes I have totally not been studying Japanese since I've been here. I want to take N1 but I haven't studied kanji in so long I doubt I'm even at N2 level for that. I really can't muster up the motivation so I'm trying to jumpstart myself by reading stuff I care about, like cookbooks. Here's hoping it won't completely demotivate me and that, eventually, I'll be able to go back to an actual textbook without wanting to self-murder.

jwkelley
October 11th, 2011, 12:45
I go for the lazy acquisition approach. i do Iknow.jp on and off between facebook surfing. Watch kids songs and shows, trying to get into reading kids books, listen to different tapes watch dramas and then read up on grammar points when am interested.

Mostly i try to do anything that works with my mood and is just slightly difficult in some manner. Oddly this approach has worked better for me then formal language training i did in Arabic.

lilyanphino
October 11th, 2011, 16:34
Dudes I have totally not been studying Japanese since I've been here. I want to take N1 but I haven't studied kanji in so long I doubt I'm even at N2 level for that. I really can't muster up the motivation so I'm trying to jumpstart myself by reading stuff I care about, like cookbooks. Here's hoping it won't completely demotivate me and that, eventually, I'll be able to go back to an actual textbook without wanting to self-murder.

This is me, except I should be on a N3 level but am actually on a N4 level thanks to a lack of studying. I have begun to study again though, so hopefully after I get back into the grove of things, I can get back to where I use to be.

MixedNuts
October 11th, 2011, 18:41
Ditto. Should be between N1-N2ish from past studies, but wouldn't be able to pass either today. Signed up for N3 to get me to start studying again in increments. I'M LAZY.

coop52
October 12th, 2011, 09:43
I used to have a routine, working on my grammar and vocab books and reviewing my White Rabbit cards. Now, since I got the internet at work, I use speedanki when I get bored. I need to get back to studying again.

Page
October 13th, 2011, 12:53
What books do ya use?

Rage_and_Hairspray
October 13th, 2011, 19:05
First Japanese lesson at Warwick Uni last night went well, basic introductions and the like which I already know, but it was good to practice speaking. Little old J-Go sensei is more genki than a child who's hopped up on sherbert and then told they're going to Disneyland.

Interesting bunch of people in the class though, and it was funny to watch one cocksure Malaysian undergrad hit on each of the Chinese girls one by one.

MixedNuts
October 13th, 2011, 19:18
I am starting to attend a free Japanese class here in my town. I'm the only Westerner in my class.

Eudox
October 13th, 2011, 20:24
「日本語能力試験」対策日本語総まとめ series. They have books aimed at N3-N1 for 文法、語彙、漢字、読解 and then practice tests.

Cheers, I'll keep an eye out for this also. I've pretty much only been studying words that come up in everyday life... which is fine, but it wont help me pass any exams (not that it really matters, but I've paid for it and all...).

lilyanphino
October 13th, 2011, 20:27
Eudox, I'm using the same series for N4 review and I like it so far. It has also gotten good reviews from my friends who have taken the N3/N2.

Eudox
October 13th, 2011, 20:28
Sweet, thanks. I'll ask at my local heiando... at the very least, they can order it in for me.

Tea & Toast
October 17th, 2011, 07:26
Little old J-Go sensei is more genki than a child who's hopped up on sherbert and then told they're going to Disneyland.

My Sensei at SOAS is the same, bless her.

Other than 2 hours at week at SOAS, I'm using the 総まとめ N3 books currently (for Dec '11) along with Anki for vocab, kanji and other random decks like adverbs & adjectives, set phrases etc. I watch probably 2 hours a week of J-dramas for listening practice.

Intention will be to start on practice tests in the couple of weeks leading up the the December JLPT exam (along with lots of Anki-ing).

I'm not doing enough though. If only rage comics were in Japanese...

Cytrix
October 17th, 2011, 09:00
My Japanese study routine atm is pretty much nilch...I am finding it hard to find the time right at the moment...well actually I lie. I DO have the time, but I am much too lazy to do anything with that time. Instead I tend to learn the words I need to use in conversations I will be having that day, and reviewing some basics (like counters etc.). I'm finding in the last week I'm picking up on more that I'm hearing and also being able to work out how to ask things, just from listening to Japanese so much.

But yeah I need to get some proper studying started...

alutemu
October 17th, 2011, 09:10
I've recently invested in a ipod touch and bought a few apps to assist with learning Japanese on the go. Aside from mobility concerns, would you think Pimsleur + Rosetta + Anki (Heisig's RtK) a pretty effective and efficient way to quickly improve my ability?

jwkelley
October 17th, 2011, 10:13
Pimsluer is probably one of the most effective audio tape outside of michel thomas. Pimsluer is also one of the few audio tapes to use spacing like anki does. Both have their ups and downs. Rosetta stone is also effective if you can stick with it (it can get boring). Both are rather expensive though. Anki is just extremely useful.

One thing i always want to be careful about is not experiencing the culture because of a need to study or finish certain amount of flashcards. My pred. spoke really good Japanese and literally choose japanese studies over exploring the town at points. When we were leaving he seemed to wish he did some more stuff. That is not a regret i want to have when I leave jet.

alutemu
October 17th, 2011, 10:57
I concur; I'd much rather hit my Japanese studies hard from now until the flight (assuming I get hired) and be able to scale down my studies rather than having to scale up.

Aside from those, I listen to the videos on japancast.net to pick up some natural Japanese. Any other sources you'd recommend?

jwkelley
October 17th, 2011, 12:32
AJATT: All Japanese All The Time (http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/)

this has a lot of good study options.

This is something i did not do but might be interesting. Learn the Kanji first.
This would open up reading to you fast. Reading is one of the best ways to build vocab and learn a language.

Also as far as hit it hard. set a reasonable temp for yourself. Spending a half hour a day learning something over 2 weeks is far better then cramming for 10 hours straight.

erinmarie
October 18th, 2011, 11:26
are any of you taking or took private lessons while in Japan? do you mind me asking you how much they cost you and how long does it take for you to get to them?

Are they worth the investment? I'm just trying to see if I do get into JET if I should make room for them in my finances. I'm going to have to be sending home a good portion of my monthly paychecks so budgeting is going to be key for me.

hunterofpeace
October 25th, 2011, 06:48
I used to spend 5 hours 2 days a week and then 1 hour 3 days a week. But that was in undergraduate. Now that I'm in graduate school I study probably 5 hours a week, if that. And trying to apply for JET gives me even less time than usual. Reading these posts makes me feel so lazyyyyy. Does watching Detective Conan count? =)

kawaiijutsu
October 25th, 2011, 11:21
AJATT: All Japanese All The Time (http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/)

I use ajatt for inspirational purposes when I'm feeling lazy. Ive also emailed the guy asking for various advice on some Japanese culture things and help with teaching one of the classes back at university, he's a really cool guy, very helpful.

As for my studying...I've been pretty lazy since I've got here, and it mostly comprises of "talk to all the peoples". Ill actually try the JET course though I hear it's a load of bollocks. Other than that, I try to keep materials around me, including some iPad apps meant for study, and look at them during my downtime at school.

semicolon
October 27th, 2011, 14:23
are any of you taking or took private lessons while in Japan? do you mind me asking you how much they cost you and how long does it take for you to get to them?

My fiance and I have a private lesson once a week. It's 1400yen. Totally worth it for me because I am the least motivated person ever.

GOKU SSJ4
October 28th, 2011, 11:59
I use kanji in context with mnemosyne and write the sentences/vocabulary repeatedly for each card. If I hit a kanji I don't know well I also write its meaning and some common compounds to remember the readings. I really need to add some grammar study outside of the kic example sentences though so that's next.
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