This is a typical new year’s post, typically late.
I was thinking of this issue a few days ago in an attempt to provide a little guidance to my efforts. Wandering is perfectly fine mind you; constant contact, as Khatzumoto says, is more important than regimented progress. Too much of that though and I end up just watching anime and calling it study!
So with Japanese, unlike most languages where your two fields of study are essentially the grammar and vocabulary, you have an additional field in the kanji. Truth be told, I find it almost a little puzzling how for some people the kanji are a dreaded obstacle more than anything else. In fact I suspect if it weren’t for the kanji I’d probably have picked a different language. I find them utterly fascinating.
At the same time, they are just as much of a challenge as you’d think. In essence, it’s as if you were going to a school or a workplace with 2000 colleagues and had to remember each of their faces and first and last names.
1) So for this year, I intend to go through Heisig with my trusty Kanji LS Touch loaded up and memorize the writings and meanings of all the general use kanji. I’d also like to get a start on the readings, but most of that will probably come from –
2) the vocabulary, in which I would like to master the 3700-odd words from what used to be the JLPT 2. I can see already that that’s going to require a fair bit of SRS work with sentences/phrases in addition to the regular use of Japanese Flip which I’ve been doing up till now. Then,
3) in terms of grammar I don’t really have a set goal as such, other than I do want to finish my Japanese For Everyone text, which ought to take me to the point that I can hold a reasonable conversation.
Looking at it laid out like that and comparing it to my achievements up till now, this does look awfully optimistic. However I am definitely much more seriously into Japanese study now since late last year than I’ve ever been before. So while this represents what I would like to accomplish, it is certainly more of a direction than a destination. The important thing is simply to stick with it every single day.
I guess you could say that about pretty much anything you’d like to achieve.
So if you’re studying Japanese as well, where do you see yourself at the end of the year?