It’s almost October, can you believe it?
Today, I’ll be sharing another progress update with regards to my Japanese studies.
Update #1: I’m making progress in the beginner’s Human Japanese course!
I’m now on Chapter 23, which is about halfway through. (In my last update post, I had progressed through chapter 12.)
Naturally, I’m taking notes as I go through each chapter. I like to type notes rather than handwrite them, simply because handwriting takes too long, and typing allows for instant changes and easier organization. I have two Word documents going: one for chapters 1 through 18 and another for chapters 19 through 30. I learned how to use the outline view in Word, so it’s really easy (and highly satisfying!) to have headings and subheadings at different levels to organize my notes for each chapter.
Here’s what the content of my notes looks like so far:
Disclaimer: I won’t be sharing these notes with anyone, nor will I be selling them or otherwise monetarily benefiting from them. They’re just for me to study!
Update #2: I’m finally making progress in learning katakana!
I got my flashcards laminated, and being able to carry them around and actually use them has been a big help. Mnemonics helped me learn and remember all of the hiragana, and they’re helping me remember the katakana too. I’m now using the Katakana Pro app on my phone to make sure I know them cold, on sight, without the help of mnemonics.
Here’s what the app looks like:
In addition to my flashcards, I also designed two grid sheets in different sizes (5 mm and 10 mm) to help me with writing practice. I printed one of each, and also had them laminated. No more wasting paper – and they’re reusable with any dry erase marker!
Update #3: I’m using a new app called TinyCards for vocabulary.
It’s a minimalistic flashcard app by the same people who made DuoLingo that lets you make your own decks, follow other people, and favorite others’ decks. It’s only an app, so there’s no website counterpart (unlike Memrise). I’m using it only for vocabulary right now.
Here’s what it looks like:
I know a lot of people use and recommend Anki, but I’m not sure I want to spend money on the app version just yet. (And I’m pretty sure TinyCards is SRS-based too.)
Update #4: I’m using Japanese from Zero to supplement my Human Japanese notes.
I borrowed volume 1 of George Trombley’s Japanese From Zero! series from my public library after hearing great things about it online. It’s definitely geared towards beginners, and everything is laid out so well. Kana are introduced progressively, with words being a combination of romaji and kana until all of the kana are introduced. I think this is fantastic for complete beginners who don’t know kana yet or are learning them at a slow pace.
It also has an integrated “workbook” section at the end of each lesson, with practice questions and exercises that help reinforce the content from each lesson. And speaking of the lessons, they’re organized in such a way that you don’t get information overload. Volume 1 has 13 lessons in total, and each lesson is around 10-20 pages long. That sounds like a lot, but the modular organization of each lesson’s content makes it really easy to get through without feeling overwhelmed.
I’m using Japanese From Zero! to learn vocabulary, supplement my understanding of grammar points, and reinforce my current knowledge with the workbook sections. As an accompaniment to the Human Japanese course, so to speak. I look forward to borrowing volume 2, and using the rest of the series as well! I’m finding it much more approachable than Genki. If you’re interested in checking out the series, you can try out the material online for free at YesJapan.com! (All you need to do is make an account, which is also free.)
What do you guys think of these resources? How are your studies going? Let me know in the comments!
That’s all for now, thanks for reading! Stay tuned! :)