Today was a very unproductive day (well, boring) at work so I was able to play around with the RealKana a bit and practice while I was there. I messed up a bit at first but once I got going I was able to type out which kana was which pretty quickly. It is nice being able to do a little practice where ever I am at throughout the day. I’ve also been listening to the Japanese news a bit. Not because I can understand what they are saying, but because I want to continue to engrain the accent and pronunciation into my brain. I have gotten a lot better at my R’s so it has definitely been worth it. I think I’m start to sound less like a white boy who knows nothing about what he’s doing to a white boy who is kind of getting it.
Today I finished up the “main” 46 kana! Now, that being said, I don’t have it down 100% but at least for now I am able to separate the kana in my head and on paper. I’m ready to finish off learning all of Hiragana soon. It is not that I have become bored with this stuff but it is actually that I am just excited to move into learning words and everything. TextFugu has definitely been a very motivational tool for me, and I am extremely glad that I came upon it.
This is the furthest I have ever really gotten into learning a new language and I am pretty proud of myself for keeping up with the blog as well. So many times have I started a blog and then just gotten bored and deleted it because it became barren. With this though I am starting to really get these kana down and wow it is motivating. Actually being able to notice a difference from when I have started to now is great! Yeah memorizing these might not be super exciting, but just knowing that what I am learning now will make a big difference in my future lessons is really exciting!
Where I excelled:
Everyone, I really have improved a lot. I was able to go through the RealKana site and knock out 400 prompts with relative ease! These last 16 weren’t too bad in general as learning the previous 30 actually set me up pretty well to differentiate them all from the rest. I guess that makes a lot of sense. Since I was able to nail down the other ones pretty well over the last few days the brand new ones, although completely foreign, were not to hard to quickly memorize as well. The Anki flash cards lended a helping hand in this as well. Just being able to cycle through the new kana with some of the previous ones I struggled with peppered in helped me not monotonously just hit next over and over but actually take the time to look at each kana individually.
Another thing that was great was the addition of a drag and drop kana game which kept time of how long it took me to move all the jumbled kana into their corresponding spots.
I did it a bunch and my fastest three times were 2:11, 2:06, and my fastest was 1:50! I felt really good with that sub 2 minute run. I will probably keep doing this now throughout the day at work when I can to continue getting more practice in.
Where I struggled:
Handwriting Status: Still Atrocious
But hey, at least I can tell the difference between the things I write, right? Seriously though I struggle a bit on separating a few of these new kana today and there was one previously that just would not stop stumping me for whatever reason.
The ones I mixed up were わ(wa), れ(re), and ね(ne). I think it’s pretty understandable to mix these up. They’re pretty close to the same right? After cycling through those flash cards a bunch I was able to get my problems with them in RealKana fleshed out. I foresee having issues with these in the future though so I need to stay on top of this set of cards and really drill them.
The single kana that just wouldn’t quit giving me problems was な(na). Why this was giving me problems? I don’t know. Every time I came to it however my mind was totally blank. It took forever before I started getting that one right in the online programs. Thankfully my time kept going down on the drag and drop game and if I came upon that one I was able to figure it out because the number of remaining options was fewer. I think this has helped me memorize that one quite a bit better.
One more thing, and this isn’t really a big deal, but on the RealKana site you can set the fonts to be random and man did that trip me up on a few occasions. Sometimes those fonts are so wild and crazy they look like completely different shapes. I started to be able to pick the main parts of the kana up as I went on but it definitely took a while.