Language Goals December 2018

In November my focus was again on Japanese to prepare for the JLPT N4, which I took at the beginning of December. These were my November goals:

Language Goals November 2018 – Results

Japanese

  • Review N4 grammar (book+notes)
  • Review N4 vocab (Memrise)
  • Review N4 kanji (Memrise, Kanji Study App)
  • Quizzes N4 grammar/kanji/vocab (JPDrills, old JLPT practice tests)
  • Listening practice (N4/N5 material)
  • Reading practice (N4 material)
  • 72 Kanji (Heisig + Kanji Study App)
  • N3 vocabulary (Memrise, 350 new cards)

I achieved all the goals related to the N4. I studied a lot every day, balancing between reviewing and practicing. Especially my listening comprehension became better compared to 1-2 months ago.

I thought I could do the few kanji that were left but I only did 20 and then decided to focus on N4 material instead. That’s why I also only did around 220 N3 vocab cards on Memrise.

Overall I studied for almost 79 hours this month, that’s 2.6 hours per day on average.

jpstudytime-2018-11

Spanish

  • Spanish novel (A2 level)
  • Watch Youtube videos
  • Duolingo reviews
  • Duolingo stories (Set 2)

Not a good month for Spanish again. I didn’t read the novel at all. I read 3-4 Duolingo stories but not the complete set. I did watch some Youtube videos though to improve my listening comprehension and also did some reviews on Duolingo.

French

  • Listen to songs
  • Duolingo reviews

I achieved all goals for French. I listened to French songs almost every day and tested out of a few Duolingo skills every day.

Language Goals December 2018

Honestly, I don’t really know how to continue at the moment. Now that the JLPT is over I would have a bit more time to do Spanish or French. But I’m somehow in “Japanese” mood and would like to continue here. So I guess my priority will still be Japanese for a while.

Japanese

  • Take the JLPT N4
  • 52 Kanji (Heisig + Kanji Study App)
  • N3 vocabulary (Memrise, 600 new cards)
  • Reading practice (Watanoc N4 articles)
  • Listening practice

My biggest goal for December, taking the JLPT N4, is already achieved. I will now mostly focus on N3 preparation, starting with adding a lot more vocabulary. My plan is to add 600 new cards, which is about 20 per day. (Current number of cards: 467)

Since my reading and listening skills lacked so much in the N4 test, I need to do a lot more for both. During December I will continue with N4 level stuff, to get more confidence and just to read a lot more (it would also be a waste not to read the remaining Watanoc articles…).

And of course I want to do the final kanji in the Heisig book!! Only 52 left!!

Spanish

  • Spanish novel (A2 level)
  • Watch Youtube videos
  • Duolingo reviews
  • Duolingo stories (Set 2)

Same goals as before for Spanish 🙂

French

  • Listen to songs
  • Duolingo reviews

And also the same goals as before in French.

 

Advertisements

Language Goals November 2018

October was a really good month for my language studies, or at least for Japanese. These were my October goals:

Language Goals October 2018 – Results

Japanese

  • Review N4 grammar (book+notes)
  • Review N4 vocab (Memrise)
  • Review N4 kanji (Memrise, Kanji Study App)
  • Quizzes N4 grammar/kanji/vocab (JPDrills, old JLPT practice tests)
  • Listening practice (N4/N5 material)
  • Reading practice (N4 material)
  • 90 Kanji (Heisig + Kanji Study App)

The preparation for the JLPT N4 went really well in October. I reviewed grammar and collected similar grammar points which I need to have a look at. And I reviewed vocab in Memrise and also collected more words which I don’t know yet but might appear in the test.

I did a very thourough kanji review with the Kanji Study app – my goal was to be able to write all the kanji. While the JLPT doesn’t test you on writing kanji yourself, it really helps differentiating between similar kanji or fake kanji, and just remembering the kanji in general.

I did more listening practice: previous JLPT tests, Japanese podcasts, and when I watched anime I tried to catch as much as I could while reading the subtitles. Overall this was about 1/4 of my study time, so not bad.

I also totally fell in love with reading easy Japanese articles and read a lot during the month (almost 21 hours!). I definitely want to keep this up and read a lot more in the future.

And of course I did old JLPT practice tests and used JPdrills.com to get more practice. These two things really help to actually use the grammar, vocab and kanji in context, and see where I still have problems.

The only goal I didn’t achieve was the Heisig kanji goal, but I came very close. My goal was to learn 90 new kanji. I learned 70 new kanji and I’m now at 1970.

Additionally I started studying N3 vocab and learned 254 cards on Memrise.

Overall I studied for over 89 hours!! That’s 40 hours more than last month, wow! Overall that’s 2.9 hours per day on average and I’m very happy with it.

jpstudytime-2018-10

Spanish

  • Spanish novel (A2 level)
  • Watch Youtube videos
  • Listening practice (podcasts etc.)

I’m still not done with the novel. For some reason I feel like I need to really sit down to read it, so it never happens because when I sit down to study something, it’s Japanese. I did some other reading in Spanish though, so at least there was some reading.

I watched several youtube videos, so I would say I reached my goal here. I watched those videos without subtitles, so I would say it also counts as listening practice, but I didn’t do any additional listening practice like I had planned to.

French

  • Watch Youtube videos
  • Listen to songs

I watched a few videos but not enough to say I achieved the goal here… But I overachieved the song goal. I’m listening to French songs basically everywhere because I really love them at the moment. Additionally I also started doing lessons on Duolingo again (just reviewing old stuff for now).

Irish

I didn’t do anything for Irish in October and around mid-October I decided to drop it. I just can’t invest into dabbling at the moment, even if it’s very light dabbling. I need the time for my other languages and if I only look at it a bit, the words and grammar just don’t stick so it’s a waste of time.

Tagalog

This month I participated in the Language Jam, a short challenge where you study a new language for just one weekend. My target language was Tagalog! It was a fun weekend and I wrote a blog post about my experience with it.

Language Goals November 2018

I will focus on my 3 main languages only (no dabbling). Japanese will be my main focus (at least 80%), Spanish and French my secondary focus.

Japanese

  • Review N4 grammar (book+notes)
  • Review N4 vocab (Memrise)
  • Review N4 kanji (Memrise, Kanji Study App)
  • Quizzes N4 grammar/kanji/vocab (JPDrills, old JLPT practice tests)
  • Listening practice (N4/N5 material)
  • Reading practice (N4 material)
  • 72 Kanji (Heisig + Kanji Study App)
  • N3 vocabulary (Memrise, 350 new cards)

These are amost the same goals as in October. There is only 1 month left to study for the JLPT, so my main focus will be reviewing/practicing N4 stuff.

Additionally I will learn 72 new kanji with Heisig. Then I will actually be done with the book! There are later editions with some additional kanji but I looked at them and they seem to be a bit random to me, so I will not learn them immediately.

I will also continue learning N3 vocabulary. My goal will be 350 cards on Memrise, that’s about 10 per day, which should be fine.

Spanish

  • Spanish novel (A2 level)
  • Watch Youtube videos
  • Duolingo reviews
  • Duolingo stories (Set 2)

I want to start doing a bit more for Spanish in November. I want to finally finish the novel I’m reading and supplement it a bit with some Duolingo stories. I already did Set 1 of the stories a long time ago so I’m starting with Set 2 now. These are 10 short stories, which should be fine.

I’m removing the listening goal for now because I probably won’t have time for it and I will get a lot of listening by watching youtube videos.

French

  • Listen to songs
  • Duolingo reviews

This month I want to start going back to French a bit. For this I will do some Duolingo reviews. I found out they published yet another new skill tree so there are now tons of new beginner lessons. I will review them by testing out of all of them. They are so easy for me I rarely get something wrong, but it’s still a good practice for now. Additionally I will continue listening to French songs.

Focusing on what’s most important

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my language learning. My main problem is that I don’t have a lot of time for language learning – and yet I want to learn so many languages.

I’ve tried different strategies – focusing on just one language, doing 2-3 languages at the same time, dabbling in other languages inbetween. I don’t think I’ve found the perfect solution for me yet, but I do think it’s important to try different things to figure out what’s best for one personally.

Trying many different approaches also means failing a lot but I think that’s important too. It helps learn what works and what doesn’t, and especially it helps learn what’s really important for you.

I’m currently at a point where I believe it’s best to focus on what’s most important. I want to learn a lot of languages, but I clearly can’t do it all at once so I need to prioritize.

One thing that I’ve learned in the past is that having a good reason is the key to learning languages. If I don’t have a good enough reason to learn a specific language I lose motivation quickly. And while it’s fun to dabble in other languages, it doesn’t help me with my main languages.

I have a lot of languages on my list which I’d like to explore more, but I realized that at the moment I don’t have a good enough reason to learn them. So picking them up won’t do me any good. This is also why I’m dropping Irish now.

I’ve decided to stick with my 3 main languages (Japanese, Spanish, French) and bring them to an advanced level before I start any other language projects. I can already see myself changing my opinion in a few weeks or months and starting another language…

The reason is that these 3 languages are the most important to me. I love them all a lot and I really have a lot of reasons for why I want to be able to speak them.

I’m still thinking about how to divide my attention so that I don’t neglect any of these 3 languages too much. My primary focus will definitely stay on Japanese because I still plan on taking all the JLPT levels. But I need to make some room to also do more Spanish and French. So I might come up with some goals for them for the next month and just see how it goes. Failing is allowed and encouraged to find the best way for me to learn them all.

Language Goals October 2018

Before I start with the goals for the new month, here are the results from September:

Language Goals September 2018 – Results

Japanese

  • Review N4 grammar (book+notes)
  • Review N4 vocab (Memrise)
  • Review N4 kanji (Memrise)
  • Quizzes N4 grammar/kanji/vocab (JPDrills)
  • Listening practice (N4/N5 material)
  • Reading practice (N4 material)
  • 90 Kanji (Heisig + Kanji Study App)

In September I focused mostly on Japanese and I did really well! I reviewed a lot of stuff and did a ton of quizzes. Listening and reading could have been a bit more, but it was still much more than during the months before. I also went to a JLPT N4 preparation course and it was a great help!

The only thing I didn’t do were the 90 new kanji meanings. I decided that other things were just more important at the moment to prepare for the course.

Overall I put 49 hours into my Japanese studies, with 2-3 hours on average per day in the last 2 weeks. I’m trying to do 2 hours on average in next weeks too.

jpstudytime-2018-9

Spanish

  • Spanish novel (A2 level)
  • Watch Youtube videos
  • Listening practice (podcasts etc.)

I read about 1/3 of the novel. Not as much as I wanted, but at least a bit. I also noticed that it’s getting easier after a while, so that’s encouraging. I also watched some youtube videos in Spanish (without subtitles). I didn’t listen to other stuff but I searched for Spanish podcasts and made a list so I have enough stuff for the future.

French

  • Watch Youtube videos
  • Listen to songs

Yes to both. I watched some smaller videos as well as the first episode of extr@ in French (without subtitles!). I also listened to French songs a lot.

Irish

I worked through the material from week 1 but that’s about it. I noticed very quickly how hard Irish is (very different sentence structure, not so easy pronunciation, I can’t connect the words to anything I know at all etc.). The linguist in me is happy about it, but I just don’t have enough time to properly learn it (and retain any information).

Language Goals October 2018

Japanese

  • Review N4 grammar (book+notes)
  • Review N4 vocab (Memrise)
  • Review N4 kanji (Memrise, Kanji Study App)
  • Quizzes N4 grammar/kanji/vocab (JPDrills, old JLPT practice tests)
  • Listening practice (N4/N5 material)
  • Reading practice (N4 material)
  • 90 Kanji (Heisig + Kanji Study App)

I will continue with the same goals as in September. I will be focusing mostly on preparation for the JLPT N4, so that means lots of review and doing quizzes and old practice tests. This time I want to try to do more listening and reading as well. And maybe I will finally do the Heisig kanji goal…

Spanish

  • Spanish novel (A2 level)
  • Watch Youtube video
  • Listening practice (podcasts etc.)

Same goals as before. I want to finish the Spanish novel and listen to youtube videos, podcasts etc. for listening practice.

French

  • Watch Youtube videos
  • Listen to songs

Same goals here too, just some light listening practice so I don’t completely forget about the language.

Irish

I’m still not sure if I should drop it immediately. I think I will look over the rest of the material a bit and then decide a bit later.

???

This month I will be participating in the Language Jam, a short challenge where you study a new language for just one weekend. I don’t know my language yet but I’m very excited!

 

My novels for language learners

This is a list of all the novels for language learners that I have. I added German titles for books that (might) have one, so I don’t accidentally buy the same book again.

Spanish

A2

  • Requiem por un torero / Requiem für einen Torero
  • Heiße Spur auf Ibiza

B1

  • Die Spur des schwarzen Reiters
  • Die Jagd nach dem Phantom
  • Escándalo en el Prado
  • La oveja negra (+ audio)
  • Los ricos también mueren (+ audio)
  • Tic, Tac … muerte!
  • El rostro de la sombra
  • Hello Goodbye
  • Casting

B2

  • Tödlicher Flamenco
  • El monje misterioso / Der unheimliche Mönch

French

A1

  • L’île de la mort

A2

  • Mord im Moulin Rouge
  • Rendez-vous mortel
  • Voyage mortel

B1

  • Der Schatz des Sonnenkönigs
  • Der Wein des Verderbens
  • Danse de la nuit

B2

  • Schüsse in Versailles
  • Schatten über Montparnasse
  • Échancrure

And here is a picture of some of them (I have more now):

DjxCSFEWwAEWdIt.jpg large