Update :)

Hey everybody 🙂 (<—–I’ve developed a ferocious habit of putting smilies like that EVERYWHERE that I write stuff, so please pardon my pathetic-ness).  It would be an understatement to say that it has been a while, but whatever.  Here goes nothing.

So, I have like 500 sentences from Tae Kim.  And I’m getting awfully tired of it.  I need to start reading, but I can’t since I don’t want start reading till I’m done with learner resources.  It’s just that…college and life are stealing time from the Japanese project, and, once I start reading, I want to focus fully on that.  I don’t really have time to split learning resources from reading right now.

To alleviate the boredom from Tae Kim, I’m only putting in one or two sentences max (if any) for each grammar point—and even then it’s only if there are kanji that I want to know.  I’m hoping to finish that soon.  Then, since I do actually own the Japanese in Mangaland books, I’ll grudgingly skim those too and see if I can grab some interesting sentences with some good Kanji.  In the end, the goal seems to be to fill in any grammatical gaps (within reason) with learner resource sentences before I head over to real Japanese.

That being said, the semester is pretty darn near over.  My goal for this summer is to learn to read manga.  However, that means learning resources are soon going to come to an end.  Like, right now, they’re on life-support and on death row at the same time.  I am seriously ready to pull the plug and slit their throats.  They have until the end of May to be over.

That means that I’ll have June, July, and August to learn to read manga.  Is that unreasonable?  The only other main project I’ll have going is working 30-ish hours per week (and I may have another English blogging project that I’ll be trying and investing 1 hour per day in…), so I’ll try and go for 3 hours of reading per day.  Mind you, that is a huge guesstimate.  Some days, like Sundays, I definitely won’t be reading 3 hours with Church in the morning and work till 8 at night.  If I’m successful, I’ll start reading light novels and drama scripts in September (maybe I’ll start monodictionaries here also?).  If I totally own that, then maybe I’ll be able to start watching the news and reading news articles next spring semester.  As always, however, no battle plan actually survives contact with the enemy (?).

This also means that I’ll need some stuff to read.  I’ll be reading quite of bit of manga on the internet, and I’m also thinking of getting a manga magazine subscription.  Which one?  I’m not sure.  If you have any recommendations, I’d gladly take them.  I’m just not into insane violence, gore, nudity, or anything really racy.  In fact, I recently came across this site for all kinds of stuff reading-related.

Hmm.  This also means I’ll be doing real sentences.  I think I said in an earlier post that I was gonna get a Nintendo DS dictionary.  Let’s scratch that idea.  The Japanese project is a huge project, and I’m serious about it, so I’m just gonna go all the way and get a Canon Wordtank.  What do you think about the V90?

Also, in the pursuit of efficiency, I’m going to find a way to “whitelist” my internet usage.  By that, I mean that I’m going to find out a way to block the entire internet except for a few websites that are productive/essential (i.e. manga websites, etc.).  Maybe this’ll free up more time for drama, anime, and other things that encourage conscious listening.

While we’re on the topic of computer/internet usage, I’ve found a way to switch the operating system language on my windows vista even though I don’t have the ultimate version, so have at ‘er.  And it’s totally free.  And it works.  And I tried it.  So do it (unless you’re going to wait a few months like I am J).

Hmmm…one last thing.  The general topic of this post seems to be reading.  I’ve been reading some stuff by that Alyks chap, and I’m definitely taking his approach to reading.  That being said, I think I read somewhere in one of his posts something where he talks about using monodictionaries.  In it, he says that at some point we should stop using dictionaries.  He also quotes some random polyglot who says that we should come to a point where know like 4 out of 5 words, so we drop the dictionary, bite the bullet, and read without looking up words for several months to watch our vocabulary snowball.

Right?  So to me, this means that when I’m going through this phase, I’m not gathering sentences.  That means several months without any new sentences.  Hmmm.  Okay.  Well, that may be a great thing.  I’ve recently been struggling with boring English-keywork—kanji reviews (don’t we all?), and I’ve been reading some stuff about Japanese keywords. While I don’t think I’ll be going through RTK1 again for Japanese keywords anytime soon, maybe that not-so-soon time could be while I’m reading and not gathering sentences?

I could totally do that next summer.  I hope to have done a ton of reading by then, and maybe I’ll be able to undertake this project.  My kanji reviews will have dwindled.  It’ll be pure ownage.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Burrito said,

    Let’s see…

    First off, use learner material for however long or briefly you feel the need to. If you get more enjoyment out of diving into authentic material as soon as possible, then by all means, go for it! Personally, I was able to pick up and enjoy some lighter reading material after step 1 and 2 of iKnow’s Core 2000 (which is packed with useful vocabulary and recommended – steps 3 and up on the other hand, uhh…), but I chose to continue digging through learner material such as Tae Kim’s grammar guide and NukeMarine and co’s 2001KO Smart.fm list all the while.
    You can most certainly ditch learner’s material and move directly to the juicy, succulent genuine goodness and learn everything you’d ever need (I’ve known plenty of European folks who have learned English from watching American and British TV!).
    Personally, I get frustrated easily if I can’t at least follow the gist of things, so I try and keep a steady stream of fresh vocabulary coming from material such as Nuke’s awesome list (which has strengthened my onyomi especially) as well as plenty of authentic goodies such as dramas, movies, manga, anime and (my favorite of all) games. This keeps my motivation and enjoyment factors high, so it works great for me. But, that’s just me. By all means, dig into some manga! See how it goes. If you feel the need for additional material to supplement, then find a comfortable balance. The middle path, so to speak. Enjoyment is paramount to learning, after all.

    As for recommended manga… よつばと! is still one of my favorite, though I know I recommend it often. <_< A light hearted slice of life manga about Yotsuba, a 5 year old girl, and her neighborhood. Same author as Azumanga Daioh, which is also highly recommended (but sans furigana and geared more toward a high school level of reading, therefore more difficult to read).

    And finally, as for dictionaries, I have 漢字そのまま for DS and I love it. I doubt you could go wrong with the V90 either, especially if you’re looking for some serious 電子辞書.

    Keep it up!

  2. 2

    igordesu said,

    sweet. thank you for the advice. I’ll also check out that Yotsuba one that you’ve been recommending. And…we’ll see about the dictionary deal. Maybe I’ll still get the DS one. I haven’t decided yet, lol…

  3. 3

    stshores24 said,

    Blacklisting Internet sites is easy in Windows. Quickest way is to edit your C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file in Notepad. Set the IP address to 0.0.0.0, insert one tab, then add the site’s domain name (e.g. facebook.com). Once you’re done with that, your computer simply can’t get to that site. Mac computers should also have a hosts file, but that location will vary.


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