2013 resolutions

Since this past year’s worked out so well, might as well do this again :).

  • Finish Kanzen Master N2+N1.
  • Graduate!
  • Make sentences for every item in renshuu’s library.
  • Reach 15k words in CorePlus.
  • Finish the Tanuki sentences deck.
  • Finish my sentence deck(9000 sentences to go!).
  • Read all Dictionaries of Grammar cover to cover (sentences already included in the sentence deck).
  • Read at least 5 novels in Japanese.
  • Manage to understand at least one full anime episode without subs.
  • Manage to understand a full movie without subs.
  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • Spend at least 50 hours studying per month.
  • Practice keigo and business Japanese.
  • Aim for the N1!

Resolutions result

Might as well do this.

From https://goblinjapanese.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/2012-resolutions/

  • JLPT N2! Done.
  • RTK 1 (maybe RTK2?). Uber fail. Dropped somewhere half-way. After heisig stopped giving me nice comments I just flopped when it came to making (and remembering) my stories. Not sure if I want to go through it again since though it helped me figure out how to write Kanjis and gave me a good starting point I felt it be kind of underwhelming at my level.
  • core 6000k by May. Hopefully Iknow comes to its senses and makes core 10k, in which case core 10k by December. Done. No core 10k on iKnow’s part though (boo!).
  • Finally learn how to use Anki. Core 10k! Done. Not really core 10k but pretty close. Different decks, but I got around the vocab mark I was hoping for and beyond. Focusing on sentences these days. Going well!
  • Sou-matome N3 by summer. Haha. Fail. Did all the sentences in my anki deck though.
  • Sou-matome N2, and not “finish it in the train on my way to JLPT”. Haha. Fail. But no big. I still did the N2 sentences in my anki deck though, so maybe done?
  • Get to read(and understand) a novel in Japanese without parallel translation and without me knowing the book beforehand. Sort of done. Watched the anime before reading Kino no Tabi, but pretty win. Wish I would’ve had the time and money to get more of these done, but still. OK.
  • Get to watch(and understand) a movie in Japanese without subtitles. Does RoboGeisha count?
  • please no more month-long-breaks from studying. Done :D. The true win of this  year.

All in all, a pretty good year. And, as a bonus:

kb1 kb2 kb3 kb4 kb5

Note: Due to some issues with the Kanjibox system vocab&reading terms can only turn light green when encountered in the highly randomized quiz section. For some reason the remaining 5% terms also rarely if never pop-up in the drill section. I kind of hate the reading section now since at higher levels there are often 2 or more correct answers given and it randomly detects only one as *correct*.renshuu1

This one represents the sentences I made for various grammar points. I love renshuu <3.


anki graph stats. I think the data got a bit corrupted when switching to anki 2, though. It also only counts decks that I had when switching to anki 2.0, so no core 2k decks and other finished decks which I deleted and/or melded into one big review deck. Aside from this there’s several hours of pure sentence/grammar reviews on ankidroid. Current decks include the CorePlus deck, a sentence deck with sentences gathered from the Grammar dictionaries + all about particles+ other pre-made sources, some sub2srs decks, JLPT1 vocab deck, textbooks from school pre-made decks, and a few other minor decks (人名用、四字熟語、Tanuki, RTK). I think I should start mining vocab&sentences, but they are sooo annoying and slow to make.

+core 6k finished on iKnow and various other sources which don’t have handy graphs. My study plan is kind of failed due to me having really high expectations, but I think it’s pretty ok (about 70-90 hours of study, including 30 hours of exposure, per month). Need more work on textbooks.


So I got home after the JLPT a few days ago. Haven’t really studied since the N2 and decided this month will be mining month. A bit more explanation on that in a later post, maybe.

  • Organization

The event was more poorly organized than in previous years and the supervisors were kinda bitchy. Only 30 people were taking the N2, as opposed to the dozens at the lower levels. Maybe we were expected to have taken the test before so they were not willing to be more ok with mistakes? Dunno. Either way, they left a poor impression and a few people were taking the JLPT for the first time so it must’ve been that much harder on them. The audio was low quality and it kept vibrating badly at every syllable from the さしすせそ line, which didn’t help. I really hate how whenever I go to the JLPT people make us feel like criminals; they even went though my napkins to make sure I didn’t have any notes on them, and someone lost their sim card with the whole “remove your battery” affair…

  • 語彙

Ugh. I made at least a few  mistakes. One was out of sheer exam anxiety (I’ve seen 収穫 so many times, how could I forget the kanji?) one was a word I had encountered enough to sound familiar but I’d completely forgotten its use (as much as I love onomatopoeia it’s always hard to tell them apart. ). A few questions made me scratch my head as I was sure that more than a few results would’ve worked(especially on the “choose the sentence that is most fitting with this word” part, but that might be my lack of training with with subtle differences. For the most part, ok, either way. Exam anxiety was my worst enemy with this one (and the fact that I had to do everything quickly).

  • 文法

Surprisingly OK. I’m still not sure why. Grammar is one of my weaker points (not grammar per se; I can understand the grammar points, but having to choose between them based on a theoretical analysis gets to me. ). Aside from the scrambled sentences. God I hate the scrambled sentences. I’ll never get the hang of those. Maybe if I work more on my production?

  • 読解

I have mixed feelings. Reading the texts was surprisingly easy and quick. I had little issue grasping the main points and with a few exceptions I didn’t have issues with any individual sentences either. It was a pleasant surprise. My reading speed was also really good and I ended up finishing 15-20 minutes early. Unfortunately, I don’t think it went so well with answering the questions, and with at least 2-3 I couldn’t even make an educated guess; they all felt wrong, or too many answers felt acceptable. All in all, waaay better than i would’ve thought. Unfortunately since I tend to doubt myself too much I didn’t go through my answers, as I tend to erase the correct answer due to doubt and replace it with the wrong one. Kind of a bummer since the moment I left the room a few correct answers hit me…

  • 聴解

Ugh. I knew this was my greatest weakness but I didn’t expect it to be this bad. Everything with 社長 in it was an instant fail I think. I actually took notes for all the questions, but when the answer came on I’d realize I took notes of the wrong things. Due to the bad audio quality I couldn’t focus on individual sounds too well so I didn’t understand what they were saying. Aside from audio quality, often the speech was simply to quick and abrupt for me. As in previous years it was hard to concentrate and had a few moments of spacing out, but it wasn’t as bad as the N4, where I spaced out for 15 minutes at least. I did like the fact that they mentioned which point number it was before every sentence (e.g. part 2, question 7), which I don’t recall happening in previous years (definitely didn’t happen at the N5 where I accidentally skipped a question on the answer sheet which messed up the entire section). I definitely need more work with this.

  • Overall

Most failures came from my own exam anxiety + rush + not practicing enough JLPT type questions. It really showed that I focused more on learning than on practicing. I think I need to hit the workbooks, as boring as that is. I’ve spent very little time with textbooks, and what time I did spend with a textbook was mostly reading it. Maybe I should go to school every now and then and do boring workbook exercises. I never feel as if they do much for me, but it’s clear that I need to work on this aspect.

I need more listening practice, cleaaarly. And more concentration practice (笑), but I already knew that. Jpod 101 lessons just aren’t cutting it. I really have no idea where to begin on this one… I worked on sub2srs and jpod 101, I tend to space out during all podcasts, especially all-Japanese ones, I dunno. I’ll have to think about this.

I also need to find a way to figure out the scrambled words part. Production might help? I have no idea how to go about it.

What I did like: I knew almost all the words on the written test. Aside from that one problematic one in the vocab section, and things when it came to nuance&context, I didn’t stop once throughout the whole exam to wonder what a word might mean. Not once. I consider that an uber-win. Same goes for the listening part, at least where I managed to understand what they were saying.

I did breeze through the reading section. Last year I couldn’t focus on individual lines, couldn’t grasp the meanings from seeing the words, etc. Sure, the questions got to me but the texts themselves were fairly easy. I rarely even had to double-read a sentence to get it. I did lose concentration towards the end, but it wasn’t the Japanese so much as my low attention span (笑). Great ego boost here as well.

I didn’t expect the grammar section to be so easy (scrambled words aside), especially since I consider grammar my weakest point aside from listening.

So yeah, all in all though I’m not sure if I pass I feel pretty good about myself.

  • The Future

I really should hit the workbooks and more school-like tests. Must find some way to get motivated enough to do that (no matter how much I say I’ll hit the textbooks I have a really hard time getting to that for some reason…). I think I should also find a way to figure out the nuances for words, but I’m not sure how to do that yet. When I encounter them in native material or in SRS sentences it’s hard to remember that feel, and though I get it when I read it, it’s hard to point it out in a crowd, and probably even harder in production.

I really should get to working on production.

I should read more. If reading a single book in its entirety has helped me this much with the reading, I really should motivate myself to go through a few more. And maybe aim higher than graphic novels.

Either way, N2 was a personal success for me, though it might turn out to be a fail on paper. I think I’m going to aim for the N1 now. But for now, it’s mining time. I recently started reading Haruki Murakami’s Underground 2, and I encounter lots of unknown words on the very first page. Unfortunately I’ve yet to manage to find a dictionary that has those words =/. So maybe finding a better dictionary should also be on my list.

Either way. This was an ok year.

Edit: Got my hand on some answer sheets. As far as I can remeber I think I did mostly ok, but with some rather expected mistakes. Can’t remember most of it though. I haaaaate the wait till the results come in >.<