This is not a guide for everyone
What went wrong
Things that were hard
- Stamina – things that shouldn’t have been hard were harder since I wasn’t used to going that hard for that long at once. I’ll need to train up so 3 or 4 hours IN JAPANESE the ENTIRE TIME isn’t too bad.
- Listening – You get one go at hearing and understanding the dialog. I need to practice this more directly, with some kind of listening practice or practice questions. I was missing things because I was trying to translate them and getting behind.
- Similar-looking Kanji, or incorrectly written Kanji – I’ll need to study writing the Kanji much more. I got complacent on that.
- Kanji I “don’t need to know yet” – Knowing all the Kanji for all the vocab would be ideal. Though the more the better.
Mistakes I made in studying for the N5:
- Not consistent enough across the year.
- Too much time spent on general study, not enough on test prep like specific vocab. I knew a lot I didn’t need to at the cost of things I did need to know.
- I didn’t put much effort at all into listening practice.
- I didn’t train my translation speed enough.
February – June
- Finish Genki I
- I’m 7 chapters in (4 remain), and I should pretty easily finish Genki I. I probably should have finished it last year, but oh well.
- Each chapter takes me about 6 – 10 hours to dig through as completely as possible, a chapter could take two weeks along with other study methods.
- Genki II
- The goal there was to get another 5 chapters in, but we’ll see. It really depends on how long things take.
- Other Workbooks
- I have Japanese in Mangaland and Kanji in Mangaland. They’re not the best resources in the world, but repetition is the key to mastery, so I might as well.
- I’m already on volume 2 of Japanese in Mangaland. I don’t have a particularly detailed plan for going through this yet, but I’ll sort stuff out. I’m thinking 1 – 2 lessons a week, depending on how intense the study is that week. This would be in addition to Genki I, which will be the focus.
- [email protected] times
- I’ve been getting these for a while. The plan right now is to translate every story, then compare with their translation.
- I have no idea how long this will take, since there will be a LOT of words and such I don’t know
- I’ll also plan on pulling out notecards of words, phrases, and so on that seem like I should know or are otherwise interesting.
- This comes after all the study resources.
- Imported Manga
- If I have time and energy, import some relatively simple manga and do my own scanslations (but don’t distribute it, since that’s illegal).
- If it’s something with an official English translation, I could compare
- [email protected] times
May – November
N4 Kanji Study
- Anki and Memrise seem to be the best way for me to learn. I had pretty good success with memrise, so I might even start there this time.
- The goal is to have the entire deck memorized backwards and forwards by some time in October.
- Should be able to draw and recognize every Kanji
- Review the entire deck every week from mid-October until the test.
July – November
October – November
- Find unofficial online tests to take, and evaluate positions once a month, starting in July.
- Should be hitting 80 – 90% consistently by October
- After NaNo, take the official practice N4 exam
- Do it again every week, to get the habit down