Timmy's Japanese Adventure Reloaded

Thought I'd add something new to the forums and log my progress in Japanese alongside any questions I have along the way. I tried to study the language before alongside my Portuguese but underestimated the difficulties. I've now gotten to a level in Portuguese where I can understand TV shows decently and read quite well so thought it was time to restart my Japanese journey. As I've previously gone through the pronunciation trainer and radical deck I'm going to go at a quicker rate through them in order to get to picture words. Was thinking about trying the hacking method but Japanese is a beast I wan't to tackle slowly. Question for this post - what do I do with radicals that can't be easily pictured?

* Originally posted by timmyturner93.

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5 comments

  • @timmy: Force them - arbitrarily - to become radicals that ARE easily pictured. If you have a radical like ⼋ (eight) - then don't learn it as "eight". Choose something that's more visual, and, if you can make it relate to the original meaning, then that's a bonus. First thing that came to mind for me was "octopus", for instance. But honestly, if you chose "Nail clippers", that'd be fine too. Just choose *something* - make the choice relatively quickly so you don't waste too much time debating it - and it'll work just fine. I've gotten into the habit of making additional radical mnemonics for every new radical I see and also every combination of 2 radicals I see, which means I'm building up hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of radicals. I'm having no problem remembering any of them, as long as they're concrete. But any radicals like 六 (6) or 十 (10) - those caused me problems for months until I replaced them with things like "burning man" or "throwing star"

    Good luck! It's an awesome language and quite the journey!
    -Gabe

    PS: I've found that the Hacking Fluent Forever thing has made Japanese *easier*, rather than more complex. It adds additional reinforcement for each word, and it brings you through the 625 at a much slower pace. I actually just finished the 625 only a month or two ago - it took me a full year to get through - but now I can have basic conversations in Japanese instead of just knowing a bunch of separate words.

    * Originally posted by Gabriel Wyner.
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  • @Gabriel thanks. That suits my needs perfectly. I've reread the Hacking Fluent Forever post and also found your interview over on lingosprout (http://lingsprout.com/experts/gabriel-wyner-making-your-own-effective-language-learning-resources) and was wandering how essential a tutor was. I obviously know the benefits of having a native speaker helping you correct and delve deeper into the sentences and the increased personal connection but on the other hand I'm still a student so both time and funds are limited even with the very inexpensive italki tutors. Could I not create my sentences to the best of my ability (may have to use a grammar book/google translate in the beginning) and post them somewhere like the italki notebook or lang-8 similar to this (https://www.italki.com/notebook/3273514/entry/712592) and using a TTS.

    Thanks in advance - Timmy

    * Originally posted by timmyturner93.
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  • Completed both the pronunciation trainer and the radical deck but have a small backlog of 50 or so cards because I didn't review all weekend alongside a Portuguese backlog of 500 cards because I haven't reviewed in about a month (GoT in Portuguese is just as interesting).

    Preparing to start the 625 list but need to decide whether I'm going to use Genki or Tae Kim for my grammar work. Also found paid premade decks on a site for Japanese learners that could be useful in the future.

    * Originally posted by timmyturner93.
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  • Spent the last few weeks maintaining reviews and catching up on Portuguese. Been in contact with a few teachers on italki so ready to start using the Hacking Fluent Forever update in the coming week.

    * Originally posted by timmyturner93.
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  • Had my first Japanese tutoring session. I now know why Gabe recommends using Hacking Fluent Forever. That lesson alone was super fun and I can't wait for my next. Out of that one session I've got tons of vocab and grammar to learn to keep me busy for the remainder of the week.

    * Originally posted by timmyturner93.
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