scattered thoughts

Which is kind of what it’s been like lately.  Sorting out what works and what doesn’t is half the challenge of this game, of which more anon.

I’ve finally given up completely on the long-form incremental reading; while effective, it’s just too easy to make excuses for.  The most common are “don’t feel like reading this story again” and “don’t have thirty consecutive minutes right now” which is of course kind of lame because everyone does have that amount of time if the desire is there to use it.  But if the desire isn’t there sometimes it isn’t even worth questioning why not.  Just move on to something you do want to do.

The shorter variety though, is going superbly.  I’m mixing it with audio now to improve listening comprehension, with very good results.  Right now I’m just working through Miki’s blog from, reading the blog first and then listening (have the audio on the cards).  If anyone wants this Anki deck let me know and I’ll give you an address to download it.

After a very rocky upgrade, is working pretty well again, and I’m well into the JLPT1 list.  It’s odd how much you get good at what you just focus on doing regularly.  Kanji readings are going from a weak point to a strong point (well, relatively!), so much so that I quite often can easily read a word without having any clue what it means.  That’s OK though; that’s for tadoku to sort out.

And speaking of which that starts in a couple of days, doesn’t it.  This round I’m going to worry about my score even less than last time, and especially am not going to drop everything else the way I did.  I’m basically done digging out from under my vocabulary deck after adding all 800+ words at once that I collected the last tadoku month, and I have no intentions of going through that again.  So new words will be added immediately, readthekanji will continue, incremental reading and listening, etc.  I want to reread quite a bit of what I read last round, expecting the 50% score to be roughly balanced out by faster reading, and more importantly solidifying what I learned.  Also, I want to finally finish Alice in Wonderland, probably read through Death Note and Durarara!!, and, well, play it by ear pretty much.

You know, if you’re exploring an unknown sea, it hardly even matters which way you’re going.  There’s so much unknown territory, you can hoist sails and go whichever way the wind blows and you’ll discover things everywhere.  And at some point, the parts you’ve seen before often enough become familiar, and once enough of the sea is familiar, then maybe it’s more worth your trouble to seek out specific areas, but until then 風任せ 🙂

6 responses to “scattered thoughts

  1. Sure, I’d love a link to that deck! It sounds like a really neat idea I’d like to try out.

    RTK sounds nice, too, is it paid or free? I actually don’t know much about it, though it may help out quite a bit with my Japanese reading class.

    • I’ll DM you a link to it later once I get back home. I just have it on my webhost cos it’s kinda big (350MB or so).

      I’m a massive fan of readtk. It’s paid (with a free trial that lets you study just JLPT4 list), but the paid version at $20 a year is cheap enough it almost counts as free. It’s completely stress-free SRS – never have anything due, nothing falls behind, no set number of new cards in a day. The algorithm is considerably better than Anki, I find, at least for this specific purpose. Also the way it introduces new words grouped by kanji mean you get a lot of exposure to any given kanji in a session (that’s a setting you can change, though). Reviewing feels more like a game than “studying”.

      That said, they went through a back-end upgrade a few weeks ago and had a lot of glitches, and it’s still not quite 100% right, but aside from the quiz hanging occasionally and some slowness from time to time it seems to be working correctly now. Give it a shot with a free trial account, can’t hurt. I was going to post a full review of it soon, but I’m waiting for a bit to make sure they have all the bugs squished first.

  2. Hi,
    I would be interested in you anki deck too.

    I register to ReadTheKanji after reading one of your previous article
    on that subject, the concept work pretty well Ithink.
    I am surprise how much you use it reading your stats file,
    you learn lots of new words quickly.
    How much time per day do you use RTK ?

    • I use ReadTK on average about an hour a day, more or less. If the site is working well and I’m able to focus properly, an hour will yield about 400 reviews. A lot depends on how well the site is working. It’s been very unstable since the upgrade a couple of weeks ago, and at this point I’d advise people to wait till they have their server issues sorted out. I sure hope they do soon, because ReadTK is the best thing I’ve found, by far, at its stated task, and pretty good at learning vocabulary too.

      I sent you a mail with the deck link, hope it’s helpful!

  3. I would be interested in the Miki’s blog deck too. Maybe you could stick it on megaupload or something and post a link?