JP Study Time: Mar 5-11

During this week I didn’t study a lot of Japanese. Like I said in my last post already, it’s getting harder for me to focus. The other main reason is that I started going to a 3 week French course (3 hours every day in class + homework) so I have less time in general and I was trying to immerse myself more in French. So my Japanese study time looks like this:


Not even 6 hours, so not even 1 hour per day. I mostly put the time into kanji studies – I really want to finish Heisig soon. I also reviewed some vocabulary.

The next 2 weeks will probably look similar. But I really want to focus on French because I have only 3 weeks to complete the A1 level. And that’s actually not too bad because I think I kind of need a break from Japanese.


JP Study Time: Feb 25-Mar 4

This was a bad week for my Japanese studies. Being busy was just one reason for not doing much. The other reason is that it’s getting harder and harder to focus on it. I think there are several reasons for it and I might do an extra blog post about it at one point. For now, this is what I did during the week:


Overall I studied for 10 hours, that’s 1.4 hours per day. Ok, that looks like it’s not that bad. For someone being busy and not focussed it’s quite good. But I’m still not really satisfied with it.

The main reason is that I didn’t really do different things. I know that I really need to do more listening and reading but I never really do it. I also completely neglected reviewing grammar.

The only things I could really do this week were kanji and vocab. Why? Because I use Memrise and Memrise is convenient. There’s not much effort involved. I can just sit or lie somewhere and do the cards. I don’t need to check books or look up vocab I don’t know (except for weird Heisig keywords).

I don’t think the next couple weeks will be better because I’m doing a French course but maybe I need to spend less time on Japanese to get some of my motivation back.


Duolingo Spanish – 2nd time

When I joined Duolingo in February 2017 the first course I started and also finished was Spanish. It was a nice review of what I had learned 7-9 years ago. It took me about 2-3 months to finish the tree (course) and after this I still reviewed lessons from time to time.

3 weeks ago I started the course from the beginning again. I went through absolutely every lesson without exceptions, even if the skill showed halfway through the lesson that it was strong enough.

It was a great experience. I barely had to check any of the words like the first time. I still made some mistakes here and there, but overall I was pretty good except for some of the higher skills, which contained things I didn’t learn 7-9 years ago.

There was one thing that I noticed and which I found really surprising. Usually the strength of the skills weakens quite quickly and you have to “strengthen” them by doing reviews.

This time not a single skill weakend during the 3 weeks. They all stayed golden and didn’t make me to review them. When I finished the last skill my entire tree was golden.

I’m not sure if it’s like this if you just re-use your old tree or if this was one of Duolingo’s infamous A/B tests… but it was actually quite nice. It can be pretty annoying if you have to review the same low level skills again and again instead of moving forward. Sure, I could ignore it and move forward nonetheless, but I like it when all my skills are golden.

I’m curious when the skills start to weaken. Anyway, I will only review some of the higher level skills (that I’m unsure about).

My next steps will be doing the Duolingo stories for reading comprehension and maybe the Duolingo podcasts. I also reactivated my Lingvist account where I will learn words in contexts.

Japanese Goals March 2018

Here are the goals for March:

  • 300 Kanji [Heisig + Kanji Study App]
  • Review N4 grammar
  • Review N4 vocab
  • Quizzes N4 grammar/kanji/vocab
  • Listening practice
  • Reading practice

Mostly the same as in February. And only the kanji goal has a specific number.

I will be doing an intensive French course in March (3 hours every day for 3 weeks) so I won’t have a lot of time for Japanese. I still want to try to learn 300 new kanji meanings.

Otherwise I will just try to review and practice a bit, without too much pressure!


Japanese Goals February 2018 – Results

February is the shortest month and I got a bit busy again, but overall I reached most of my goals:

  • 500 Kanji [Heisig + Kanji Study App]
  • Review N4 grammar
  • Quizzes N4 grammar
  • Quizzes N4 kanji
  • Quizzes N4 vocab
  • Listening practice
  • Reading practice

Interestingly I forgot about all my goals again except for the kanji goal. And this is the goal (well besides reading practice) that I didn’t achieve. I went from 1220 kanji to 1575 kanji, so I learned a total of 355 new kanji. Compared to how many kanji I learned in the months last year it’s a LOT, but compared to the previous month where I did 320 kanji in about 2 weeks, it’s much less.

So what happened? Probably the same thing that happened to me when I started with Heisig. At the beginning I’m extremely motivated and do about 20 new kanji per day. But after a while I just can’t keep up with this. It’s not necessarily because I become less motivated (now I really understand how much I appreciate knowing the meanings) but it’s simply too much.

Learning 20 new kanji every day is way too much. Maybe it’s possible if you’re less busy and have a lot of energy for it, but I can’t do it. And I think this is completely fine. Of course I would like to finish things faster because then I’d be able to read/understand written texts faster. But I think it’s better to take it a bit slower than to do too much and then get burned out soon.

Last month I started tracking my Japanese study time and this month was the first full month so I can post my monthly statistics:


Overall I studied 51 hours, that’s 1.8 hours per day. I hope I can increase my study time a bit in the next few months, but for a quite busy months this is fine.

As expected, about half of the time went into kanji studies. Another big chunk went into vocabulary studies (which I really neglected in the last 1-2 weeks…). Reviewing grammar, doing quizzes and listening isn’t too much, but I didn’t specify exact goals here so just doing something some hours here is fine for now. Reading practice was not even 1 hour, so I wouldn’t say I really reached this goal.