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About Nihongo Notes

July 2022

I've dabbled in learning Japanese in the past, but never got very far and never really took it seriously. I'm now very serious about learning Japanese.

In the past, the following has been a factor in me burning out and taking extended breaks:

  • Anki
    • This is a great tool, but when trying to learn hundreds or thousands of items in a decent amount of time the reviews get overwhelming quickly and I drop it. I've started and quit the Remembering the Kanji deck probably 5 or more times now. I find Anki boring and it sucks all the joy out of learning. So I've decided it's just not working for me as a primary tool for learning Japanese.
  • Grammar
    • I've spent very little time on textbooks and am aware I have lots of holes in my current grammar knowledge. Knowing I've never completed even the Genki books affects my confidence with the language. I'm a bit of a completionist and I won't be able to settle until I can confidently say I've completed them.
  • Knowing where I'm going
    • Without knowing what my next step is it's easy for me to burn out. If there's nothing to aim for other than the very distant goal of becoming fluent it feels like a mountain I can't possibly climb.
  • Knowing how far I've come
    • I find it's hard to tell whether I'm improving. Without this it's very easy to burn out, lose focus and give up.

Here's how I plan to fix these problems:

  • Anki
    • I'm only going to use Anki to learn the important things I keep forgetting during immersion. My natural SRS will be using the site search to compare and make connections between words and phrases from all the resources I've taken notes on.
  • Grammar
    • I'm going to gradually work my way through the Genki and Quartet books, and probably a few other books I've bought and never looked at! I'll summarise them on this site and I can then finally consider them finished and move on.
    • I'll also go through the Cure Dolly Organic Japanese youtube series which has high praise amongst the Japanese language learning community.
  • Knowing where I'm going
    • I'm going to plan out the things I want to achieve in Japanese so I always have something to aim for. It'll be a mix of learning materials and immersion to keep it structured and fun.
  • Knowing how far I've come
    • This website is the main solution to this problem. I'll keep my notes on immersion here, and as the site grows I can be reasonably confident that my language ability is also growing.
    • I've also had success in the past with using points of reference, such as TV shows or books. So I'll continue to do this and return to these after a few months to see how much more I can understand. I may keep a log of each time I've visited each of them.

I'm sharing these notes publicly as they may help others taking the same journey, and it gives me some feeling of responsibilty or accountability for that extra motivational nudge to keep going.

This site started on 1st July 2022.