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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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SENTENCES = REAL JAPANESE

CAAAAAN YOU FEEEEEEL THE LOOOOOOVE TONIIIIIIIGHT?!!!!!!!!!!!  It’s the SOOUND OF JAPANEEEEEEEESSEE!

  I’m learnin’ real Japanese BE-LARCH!!!!  Yee-ah.  I have exactly 250 sentences in Anki.  That’s like, what, 1/40th of the way to fluency/10,000?  I’m exciiiiiiittted.   It took me roughly 2 weeks-ish to get that far, so that means I should be finished in…80 weeks?  Whatever.  If I keep it up I should be “finished” by the end of next year.  My pace is about 20 new sentences per day for each weekday, and I take a break on the weekend.  So, I do about 100 sentences a week.  That’s not bad.  The math really doesn’t add up somewhere in there, huh?  My inability to adhere to a schedule and randomness is probably to blame for that.  I guess that’s why I’m an English major and not a math major 😀  But I think I’m gonna need a fair amount of luck there, too…

I’m going through Tae Kim’s grammar guide, and then I’m going through the Japanese in Mangaland books.  I don’t wanna stay on learner stuff for very long, but, since I already have them, I’m going to mine them anyways.  I promised myself that I was going to start reading right away, but that’s just gonna have to wait, now, in’nit!  I tried reading some manga, but that was really difficult (duh, I don’t do it that often, that’s why it’s difficult…).  Ironically, I found Death Note easier to understand than other random high school-drama-type manga.  Although, Khatzumoto’s Dick and Jane comics were Hilarious.  But, I still think I’m going to focus on finishing Tae Kim and Mangaland for now before I really jump into manga.  And as far as RTK3 is concerned, that ain’t happenin’ any times soon.  I’ve already learned quite a few RTK3 and BEYOND Kanji while doing sentences.  Weird, eh?…

Also, I’m planning on getting a new Nintendo DS and the DS dictionary for when I start reading and mining from authentic sources.  There’s also this really cool game on training you to write Kanji with good penmanship. Cuz mah Kanjis ahe UUUUUGLY.  Yeah.  I’m pretty excited.  

Umm, okay, I think that’s it.  Oh yeah, I forgot.  I just discovered this Cellist.  A friend introduced me to her music, and she’s CRAZY/AWESOME!  Just watch the videos.  You’ll thank me later 🙂 Kanon Wakeshima:

Though I must say, I don’t listen to as much music anymore.  I found that listening to any sort of normal dialogue is almost always better.  I usually listen to ripped sound from dramas or anime or whatever.  In fact, I als0 found that when reviewing Kanji (ugh) and sentences it’s better to have the video of whatever you’re playing in a window in the upper right hand corner of the screen while working.  It’s nice because it distracts me once in a while and actually makes me feel like I’m listening to it, unlike when I have itunes on in the background for hours but don’t feel like I’ve listened to anything.

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Chinese People and Wicked ne?!

Remember those Chinese people at that Chinese take-out restaurant I told you about?  Yeah, well I’ve been eating there a lot lately.  I’ve finally reached the stage of my addiction to where I eat there once a week.  The only thing is…I feel kind of like a stalker.

Like, I know for a fact that they don’t speak English.  They can’t even say simply numbers correctly (no offense, Chinese people, you’re still awesome :D).  It’s just that, the other day, I started having suspicions.  Like, what if they think I’m a creeper.  Or what if they think I’m stalking them or something.  I mean…am  I?

Of course I’m not.  I just like their food.  But I swear, when I walked in the other day, I heard the guy tell the woman, “It’s that guy again.”  Do any of you know any Chinese that sounds remotely like that (I don’t know if it’s Mandarin or some other version)?  I’m pretty sure it’s not English.  But you never know…

Whatev.  Time to put my paranoia to rest.

***

Wicked.  Wicked.  Wicked.  I saw Wicked.  It was on tour in English, and I saw it.  Wicked.  It was in wicked.  I mean, I already had half the songs memorized before I went, but it was Wicked.  Wicked.  Wicked.  Wicked.  The most Wickedly Wickedest musical named Wicked you’ll ever Wickedly have the Wicked pleasure of Wickedly seeing.  Wicked.

I felt kind of bad for breaking out of my immersion environment.  Though, that’s a bit a weird since I break out of it all the time anyways…but, regardless, I still had this huge guilt trip.  Then I remembered that when I was in Japan I saw a bunch of posters on the train advertising Wicked. 

It turns out they released a Japanese version of the Wicked soundtrack on iTunes Japan.  I listened to the little 30 second clips and was impressed, so I watched a few of them on YouTube.  Dude.  It was awesome.  It’s a little difficult to digest at first if you’re used to the Engrish version (like me), but some of the songs are pretty good.

***

I’ve also been poking around other parts of iTunes Japan.  It turns out that the podcasts section is really a thousand times more awesome than I originally thought.  Check out the video podcast section.  There’s this one called ワールドリポート.  Flipping awesome.  5 minutes-ish, slightly educational, fun, and just plain awesome.  And the two host(esses?) are awesome.  After the end of one episode that was about some food/treat shop thingy, they commented on it.  I have never heard so many ’s in my whole life.  Seriously.  This ne?  That ne?  おいしいね! Wow, ne.  Ne, like, that was so cute, ne?!  Let’s count how many times we can say ne is a sentence, ne?  Ne, I could totally like beat you, ne.  Ne, like, I win ne, you silly ne!…

Wow.  Sorry.   But there are all kinds of different podcasts.  For me, I really wanted to watch the news for half an hour in the mornings, but, because my internet sucks, I was forced to find podcasts.

Anyways, that brings me to my next point.  Have you heard of that Steve Pavlina guy that Khatz always talks about?  Well, I read a few of his articles on waking up early.  I never thought I could do it, but I’ve been waking up at 6am ever since.  I have anki reps done w/o fail by 7:30 am.  The discipline and other benefits gained from waking up early everyday are just awesome.  I love them.  I can get all kinds of things done.  You should do it, too.  I had always generally ignored advice on getting up early to do stuff on a regular basis because “I’ve tried that and me and mornings just don’t mix.”  Ignore that feeling and just do it.  It’s pure exhilaration.

***

I’ve read that a few other people use Anki for school stuff, so I started doing that for two classes at the beginning of this semester.  It worked for a while, and I was really getting a kick out of whipping out random dates in history class to impress my classmates (that’s a big motivational boost).  But…it didn’t work out.  I’ve quit doing it.  They’re in separate decks than my kanji, and I don’t have enough motivation to keep up with it.  Every day, I’m like “hmm, looks like I have a bit of history and weather/climate to do…PSYCHE!  Let’s do Kanji!”  So I quit.  Plus, I had a lot of trouble trying to format information into questions, etc.  Whatev.  I’ll just study stuff the “normal” way and review my notes every week or something.  It was an interesting trial run.

I’ll give you an update on “the kanjiposter” later.  I’m in History class right now, so I don’t really have access to my camera or poster 😀

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Videos, videos, who’s got the videos

I’ve wanted to do a video post for a long time.  I’d like to go on and on about why I’m doing this, but I can’t because it’s saturday night and I am severely procrastinating.  So here you go.

The first is an awesome song by Namie Amuro.  I’m pretty sure I have a huge 3rd grade crush on her.  Officially, I can’t officially recommend any of her other videos since sometimes she’s a bit….indecent?  Maybe that’s too strong of a word.  She’s still awesome.

I got the idea from Khatz to look up that one song from Mulan (“I’ll make a man out of you…”) in Japanese.  I watched the Cantonese one too (by Jackie Chan?!).  They’re good.  My favorite part is near the end.where he goes “むりだ。つよくなれぬーーー!”  (I’m sorry for the romaji…)

There are other cool disney songs in Japanese, too.  You should check ’em out.  BTW, I couldn’t find the opening sequence to Disney’s Robin Hood in Japanese.  Major brownie points to anyone who can find it.

And now for the best Japanese artist on the face of the planet.  YUI.  This song was already awesome, but this video made even awesomer (<—–I retain the copyrights to the word I just invented).  And yes.  I can wholeheartedly recommend any video by YUI.  She is awesomeness incarnate.  

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Mwahaha.

Mwahaha.  Hahahaha….

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  

(starts to roll around on the ground in a fit of maniacal laughter…)

“My takeover will soon be complete!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!…”

Okay, as you probably know, I don’t have school (/college) again till the 26th.  You also probably know that I’m trying to get as much RTK done as I can before school also starts.  Therefore, you have also probably realized by now that…

“…I am going to take over the world!  Ahahaha!  Yes, that’s right!  I will soon complete RTK and my plans will soon be COMPLETE.  Bwahahahaaa….Once I finish RTK, I will join the RTK hall-of-fame with the official rank of Kanji Beast.  Oh, but I’m not stopping there.  No, I plan on conquering the entire Museum (?>_>) of Japanese!  I will exploit my fellow hall-of-famers by stealing the methods that they have used to begin their own quests for mastery! (I actually feel kind of bad about that…but, sshhhh!)  And in the end, people will only tremble in the presence of me, the Kanji Dragon (rank reached after RTK3…).  Haha!”  

(I might even learn kanji after that.  You know, to take those silly tests–what are they called?  Kanken?  You know, the ones with the poopload of kanji?  Yeah, well that’s the next stage of evolution [evolution as in Pokemon, people…] after Kanji Dragon.  I will acheive the final stage of–[drum roll]–Kanji Titan!  Mwahahahahaha!)

Anyways, I have a long ways to go before I get there.  I was going to wait until tonight once I’ve finished todays additions, but I couldn’t wait.  Here’s the latest kanji poster update:  

Psyche.  Gotcha.  You know why there’s no picture here?  Because wordpress is asinine.  And my wireless  internet connection is slower than my brain at 4 in the morning.  For some reason it wouldn’t let me upload the picture.  I guess I’ll just update this later when the entire world isn’t working against me.  Whatev.  No problem.  Just keep your cool.  It’s no big deal.  The fact that I had to retype this paragraph like 8 times is no big deal.  Deep breath.  Woo-saaa…

Edit:  Yes, I finally did it.  Here you go:

 

my kanji poster

my kanji poster

For the record, I am at 1250 as of this writing.  Though, I’ll most likely be further along later today.

Hmm, what else is new…

Oh yeah, so I’m almost finished with RahXephon.  It’s pretty amazing.  (See, I’d really like to buy some dramas, but looks like that’ll have to wait until I win the lottery…)  I’ll probably go back and rewatch the series or my favorite episodes a few times before moving on.  

Edit:  I just finished the series.  Weird, but good.  You might say, weirdly awesome.  Yeah, I have this really strong urge to go check the english subs to find out exactly what happened, but I will resist the urge.  The fact that that urge exists is probably a good sign.  Now I just have to go watch the movie…

Ah, and I also switched my Kanji progress from the RevTK site over to Anki.  It was…quite an ordeal.  The plugin doesn’t work quite as smoothly as my new Ipod, but whatev.  I got it to work after 4 HOURS of trial and error.  Yeah, that sucked.  And the best part is that my brain has to adjust to Anki’s scheduling.  But I’m getting used to it.  

I’ve been eating with chopsticks quite a bit lately.  My new favorite thing that I like to make is egg ramen.  Google it.  It’s pretty good.  Also, my family discovered this new Chinese takeout restaurant in town.  It’s flipping awesome.  The people that work there (no offense to them) don’t speak english at all.  Like, they can’t even say simple numbers correctly.  But I LOVE their food.  I’m going to start going there regularly since they’re in a random corner of town and I can tell they don’t get a lot of business.  They weren’t very nice at first (grumpy–I can sympathize with that.  Stupid americans…), but now that I’ve been going there a bit, they smile :)…I’m hoping to become their best customer.  Maybe I’ll learn some mandarin or cantonese or something in the process.   

Oh yeah, funny story related to that.  I was looking over their menu, and they have the names of the items written in hanzi.  So I was trying to recognize some of the characters.  There was this one where I was like “cow-meat-shishkebab?…Beef Teriyaki!”  Yeah.  Awesome.  Hooray for mad-RTK-skillz.

Umm…okay, I must confess.  I’ve also been planning on dumping the RevTK forums once I finish.  Ouch.  I know.  It’s gonna be tough.  It’s not you (the forums), it’s me!  It’s just that, you know, I’m not very compatible with you now that I’m on this quest for linguistic denomination.  I like learning Japanese.  You like learning about learning  Japanese (in English).  Whatev.  Remember, we’ve got our differences, but I love you.  And I always will.

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IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! SANTA’S FINALLY HERE!

It’s here!  Christmas has finally arrived!

Not quite…But my kanjiposter is finally here!  That was like the coolest surprise ever; walk in the door and–Presto!  KANJIPOSTER!  Yes!  I’m soooo excited!

 

So far undefiled...

So far undefiled...

I’ve been waiting for-like-ever (a week is a long time, silly…).  The packaging even had “Thank you” handrwritten in Japanese on it.  OMGosh.  That’s so awesome.  It makes me want to buy like twenty-eight more posters from these people.  They rox my furry pink sox…(jk, that was creepy…)

I’ve also started marking the Kanji off in dry erase marker as I go along.  I’ll take pictures periodically to update you on my progress.  The first example is below  (okay, you’re probably thinking I did those all today after I got my poster, right?  Well, I would have, but there is some limit to my excitement.  I’ve just marked my progress up until today.)  

Notice that, on the side, I have my post-it notes.  Since they were starting to clutter up the other side of my laptop, I’ve started to post them on my wall.  Yea!  Another way to log my progress.  Holy shmoot, the walls are gonna be plastered when I’m done…

 

Progress Update

Progress Update

PS.  I SUCK at photography.

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