It's later. Checked my answers to the adjective practice exercise from two days ago. Got all of them correct except for one. I'd forgotten that 嫌い is actually a な-adjective even though it looks like an い-adjective.
More Tae Kim's Grammar Guide. Finished reading about い-adjectives. Still didn't fully understand, but hoped jumping into the first adjective practice exercise would at least force me to get used to conjugating. Too lazy to check answers today. Will check them later.
More Tae Kim's Grammar Guide. Today I worked on the third particle practice exercise, the one that deals with は, も, and が. This activity made me realize that I still don't understand the identifier particle, because the only questions I got wrong were the ones with が.
I was starting to get frustrated, so I decided to just move on to the next page. Learned about adjectives, which also turned out to be confusing. The な-adjectives weren't too bad since they have the same conjugation as nouns, but I couldn't finish reading about い-adjectives. Too much grammar in one day.
Went back to using Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese. The eighth step in the road map is to learn how to type kanji, which refers to the same typing guide I mentioned in #61. Since I'd already read it before, it was kind of a review, but the information stuck in my head better because I knew more kanji. Decided to explore the punctuation section, which I kind of ignored on my initial read. Here are some potentially useful punctuation symbols:
|to get this:||。||、||「」||～||・||￥||ー||〇||×|
Apparently I'll need to know about 300 kanji, or be at level 10 in Wanikani, before moving on to the next section of the Tofugu road map. At level 3, I only know 87 kanji. Wait, isn't that less than the estimate of 100 they gave before I signed up? Hey... I only know 190 vocabulary words, which is way less than the estimate of 300... Well, whatever. I know WaniKani just wants me to pay for the premium plan. Actually, right now they have a lifetime plan sale going on. It's $200 instead of $300, which sounds great, but it's a lot of money to drop at once. I think I'll just do the $9 monthly plan when I'm further along in Tae Kim's Guide. That should give me incentive to keep learning grammar.
More Tae Kim's Grammar Guide. Today I worked on the second particle practice exercise, the one that deals with は and も. I love the realization that I can read Japanese sentences now, even though they're just baby sentences. For example: 今日は雨だ。昨日も雨だった。 Which just means, "It's raining today. It rained yesterday too." But still, those are two entire sentences that I fully understand. Amazing. Baby steps are good.
Learned a total of 25 vocabulary words with WaniKani during the past few days. Wow. It's over now. No more free lessons. Still hesitant to pay the $9 though, so for now I'll just focus on learning grammar. Speaking of grammar, there was a discussion in WaniKani Community about using Genki to learn grammar outside of a classroom setting. Even though I don't have a Genki textbook, there are still a lot of suggestions in the thread that I might be able to use.
Learned a total of 20 vocabulary words with WaniKani today and yesterday. I've passed enough kanji to level up, but I can't access Level 4 until I pay for premium. Very tempting... But first, I'll complete the rest of the available lessons.
More Tae Kim's Grammar Guide. Today I worked on the first particle practice exercise, the one that deals with は only. It took me a while, partly because I was practicing using Jisho at the same time. Definitely need to learn more radicals so I can look up kanji faster.
Learned a total of 2 kanji and 18 vocabulary words with WaniKani today and yesterday. One of the mnemonics was the English word "skosh" for remembering how to pronounce 少し, because that is actually where "skosh" comes from. According to a website called World Wide Words, it most likely came from U.S. soldiers based in Japan, and it first appeared in print in 1951.
Been using WaniKani consistently. Learned a total of 20 kanji and 7 vocabulary words during the past few days.
Recently learned the kanji 生 in WaniKani, but I was already familiar with it because Tae Kim's Guide uses the words 学生 and 先生 often. Decided to try looking up those words in Jisho, a dictionary recommended by Tofugu (in an article I mentioned back in #63). Practiced finding kanji using radicals and searching for words ending in a specific kanji.
Been using WaniKani consistently. Learned a total of 20 radicals, 9 kanji, and 46 vocabulary words during the past few days.
Watched Tae Kim's Youtube video on the topic particle (2.1.2) to get some review. It was a really clear video, with an example conversation that helped me understand how the topic particle works. But it only talked about は, with no mention of the other two particles mentioned in the written guide, も and が.
Reached level 3 of WaniKani and learned 10 vocabulary words. This is the last free level. I finally see what they mean by people not wanting to quit. Honestly, $9 per month isn't that bad. I could pay for just one month and... Damn, they got me. I'll finish this level first, then decide if premium will be worth it.
More Tae Kim's Grammar Guide. Watched his Youtube video on state of being and polite form (2.1.1) to get some review. The concepts covered are a bit different from the written guide though, with less info about state of being but more info about the polite form.
Moved on to the next page of the written guide, which introduces particles. The particles I read about were は (the topic particle), も (the inclusive topic particle), and が (the identifier particle). This seems like one of the big differences between Japanese and English, because I am struggling to understand most of this page.
Been using WaniKani consistently. Learned a total of 24 radicals, 37 kanji, and 21 vocabulary words during the past few days. One difficult thing about kanji reviews is getting the kun'yomi and on'yomi readings confused. But learning more vocab will probably help with that.
Learned 10 radicals and 10 vocabulary words with WaniKani.
More Tae Kim's Grammar Guide. Finished the last section of the page I was working on yesterday. Answered all 8 questions correctly, so it seems my brain understands the concept better now.
Reached WaniKani level 2 yesterday. Learned 30 vocabulary words today. It's getting pretty difficult. Making lots of mistakes now.
More Tae Kim's Grammar Guide. Today's page has actual practice exercises with state of being: declarative, negative, past, and negative past. Answered two questions incorrectly (questions 6 and 12 in the second exercise). But practicing is a much better way to learn than just reading a wall of text. Also getting used to typing in Japanese.
Stumbled across a Neocities website, Raspberry Heaven, that says Tae Kim's Grammar Guide is better than the Complete Guide. Well, I trust random people on the internet, so I switched over. Learned a bit about my first bit of grammar: how to express state of being.
Finally unlocked kanji in WaniKani. Learned 18 kanji in one sitting, then reviewed them throughout the day. Got a few of them wrong. They're a lot harder than the radicals since they have readings and meanings. It's only gonna get harder from here...
Since WaniKani uses a spaced repetition system, I gotta wait before I'll be able to unlock kanji. Decided to try learning some grammar.
First day of using Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese. Wasn't sure what the difference was between the Complete Guide and the Grammar Guide, so I chose the former since it sounded, well, complete. Spent a couple hours getting to know the website and the Youtube channel. The beginning content is hiragana and katakana — stuff I already knew — but it felt good to review. I did learn my first word though: 元気 (pronounced げんき). It means healthy/vitality/spirit, and can be used as a casual greeting.
Here's a funny comment under one of Tae Kim's Youtube videos:
First day of using WaniKani. After learning 26 radicals in one go, it told me to come back in an hour or so to review them. I did exactly that, and then it told me to review them again later in the day. Had a good experience using the website. Easy to use, and it looks clean and simple.
Started the fifth step in Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese. Spent an hour reading about how to learn kanji with radicals and mnemonics. The importance of radicals makes a lot of sense. Radicals are building blocks of kanji kinda like how letters are building blocks of words. And I already know how helpful mnemonics are from studying kana.
Tofugu recommends its own app for learning kanji, WaniKani. Seemed like it had a lot of features, so I signed up for it. Levels 1 to 3, which contain 100+ kanji and 300+ vocab words, are available for free. After level 3 I'll just switch to something else.
Side note: Tofugu links to Kanjidamage's explanation of why it's good to use radicals. It's a helpful explanation, but damn, that website's tone is annoying as fuck. I don't mind Tofugu's casual tone, but Kanjidamage sounds like it's trying way too hard to seem cool. Maybe I'm just not the target audience.
Still using Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese. The fourth step in the road map is to understand the concept of kanji and the difference between on'yomi and kun'yomi. Did not know a single character could have multiple readings. So that's why everybody says learning kanji is difficult.
The fifth step is to begin learning kanji, which I'll do tomorrow. The sixth and seventh steps are to learn how to read and type katakana. Done.
Still using Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese. The third step in the road map is to install a Japanese keyboard and learn how to type in Japanese. The typing guide wasn't a difficult read, but the keyboard itself will take some getting used to. I remember struggling with the international keyboard when I first installed it for typing Spanish characters, but now I'm completely comfortable with it, so I hope the same will happen with the Japanese keyboard.
A fun surprise at the end of the typing guide is that the Japanese keyboard has kaomoji built in. Just type かおもじ and a drop-down list will show up with lots of options.
Practiced all 142 hiragana and katakana with RealKana. Love how there are different font options. Wish the combination kana were included though.
Having memorized all of the kana, I wasn't sure what to do next. Decided to check out Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese. Turns out it's exactly what I needed: a road map for getting from zero knowledge to intermediate level.
The first step on the guide is to learn hiragana. Done. The second step is to learn Japanese pronunciation. So I read Tofugu's pronunciation guide. Had to spend over an hour reading it since it's pretty detailed. Some stuff was hard to understand, so I'll have to review it later, but I think I got most of it. It taught me that the sound represented by the hu/fu hiragana isn't the same sound as "hu" or "fu" in English, but rather a unique Japanese sound. This kind of stuff makes me wanna get into linguistics.
In the pronunciation guide there's a section on syllables and spelling. It's a short section, but it includes a link to an article about haiku, for people curious about learning more. I'm curious people, so I clicked the link. The article talks more deeply about syllables in Japanese. Apparently Japanese doesn't really use the concept of a syllable, instead using something that linguists call a "mora". Sometimes morae and syllables match up, but sometimes they don't. So the famous 5-7-5 syllable rule for haiku is actually a 5-7-5 mora rule. Fascinating stuff. (I didn't read the whole article, just the section about morae. Need to come back to that article when my level is more advanced.)
Fourth and final day of using Tofugu's katakana guide. Completed the ra-ri-ru-re-ro and wa-wo-n groups, took a long break, then completed the rest: dakuten, combinations, and long vowels. The last worksheet is fun because the sentences are all in English, just written in katakana. Took me a long time to figure out "thirsty".
Third day of using Tofugu's katakana guide. Completed the na-ni-nu-ne-no and ha-hi-fu-he-ho groups, took a long break, then completed the ma-mi-mu-me-mo and ya-yu-yo groups.
Second day of using Tofugu's katakana guide. Completed the sa-shi-su-se-so and ta-chi-tsu-te-to groups. A few of the characters look very similar to each other, so that's confusing.
Started using Tofugu's katakana guide. It's the exact same format as the previous guide. Completed the a-i-u-e-o and ka-ki-ku-ke-ko groups. Not too hard so far. It helps that a few of the characters look like their hiragana counterparts, like... Actually, I don't know how to type Japanese on my keyboard. Gotta figure that out eventually.
Practiced all 107 hiragana with Tofugu's hiragana quiz. Didn't study anything new, just reinforced what I already know. Will do this every day for as long as I need to.
Fifth and final day of using Tofugu's hiragana guide. Completed the combination hiragana and learned about small tsu.
Fourth day of using Tofugu's hiragana guide. Completed the ra-ri-ru-re-ro and wa-wo-n groups, took a long break, then completed the dakuten and handakuten groups. Now that there are so many characters to keep track of, I'm starting to make mistakes on the quizzes. But only a few. Still pretty confident.
Third day of using Tofugu's hiragana guide. Completed the na-ni-nu-ne-no and ha-hi-fu-he-ho groups, took a long break, then completed the ma-mi-mu-me-mo and ya-yu-yo groups.
Second day of practicing Japanese. Still using Tofugu's hiragana guide. Completed the sa-shi-su-se-so and ta-chi-tsu-te-to groups. Feels good to be making progress, even if it's slow. Also, the simple yet expressive illustrations are art goals.
First day of practicing Japanese. Started using Tofugu's hiragana guide. The mnemonics, illustrations, quizzes, and worksheets really help with memorizing the characters. Completed the a-i-u-e-o and ka-ki-ku-ke-ko columns.