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update on learning japanese and memorization

It’s been ages since I blogged about learning Japanese, so I figured I’d give y’all an update. I finished the textbook I was using last November, which raised the question of what to do next. I have some manga around and even a couple of collections of essays/stories, but I wasn’t sure I’d be up […]

two-thirds of the way through the textbook

I’m now two-thirds of the way through my Japanese textbook, and the second third went much more smoothly than the first third did. All but one of the chapters took two weeks each; that one took three weeks and, if you throw in the two vacation weeks, it only took me 23 weeks to go […]

go tournament as 1 dan; japantown

I spent the day at this month’s Bay Area Go Players Association tournament. It was my first tournament in recent memory playing as a 1 dan; I had a record of 1 win and 3 losses and got the impression that 1 dan is a more accurate rating for me than 1 kyu, but that […]

caught up on japanesepod101

Wow, I haven’t been blogging much recently, have I? Sorry about that; I do most of my blogging on weekends, and the last few weekends have been pretty busy. (And much of my weekday free time in the evenings has been spent watching Twelve Kingdoms.) Fortunately, I have not been slacking off on all of […]

over a hump

I’ve been going through some changes recently in my Japanese study. I finished the Manga-based grammar I’d been reading sporadically, and finished going through the characters in Read Japanese Today. Which I recommend (both of them, but I’m thinking particularly of the latter here): in my experience, you need as many methods as possible to […]

a third of a way through the textbook

Sorry I’ve been so quiet recently; I spent most of my evenings for about three weeks playing Mass Effect. (Which I quite recommend, incidentally.) But I’m done now, so I finally have a bit of time to get back to blogging. (And to catch up with reading the things.) I’m a third of a way […]

low energy for japanese

I’m going through a low energy point in learning Japanese right now: I’m on the ninth chapter (out of thirty) in the textbook, I’m going at a rate that makes it pretty clear that I have at least a year to go before I’ll be done with the book (a year and a half looks […]

throw everything at the language and see what sticks

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but learning Japanese continues to increase my sympathy towards kids who are learning to read and misread words in ways which seem inconceivable to me. My brain is pretty much incapable of looking at a word in English and not reading it immediately; the same is far from true […]

learning japanese: a month and a half in

I’m on the fourth chapter of my Japanese textbook now, enough for a new set of difficulties to surface. All of which ring vague bells from a decade ago; I’m trying to do things right this time, which means that I need better strategies for facing these difficulties than I had last time. One problem: […]

learning japanese: initial hiccups

I pulled out my Japanese textbook over the weekend and read the first chapter. All stuff I knew, so it went really fast – no big surprise. So I pulled out my box of blank vocabulary cards, and started writing down words. At which point I felt like I was stuck in molasses. Basically, my […]


Now that I’ve finished my book queue, my next major queue to work through is my backlog of JapanesePod101 episodes. I first subscribed to that podcast just a few months after it started, but it took me several months after that to start really paying attention to it; by the time I got hooked, I […]