May 12, 2017

The Journey So Far


ハロー!It’s been a while since my last post. So, I’ll be summarising my progress so far.

Firstly, I must admit that following a strict schedule like I mentioned in my first post is certainly not viable. As I progress through my learning, I discover many new resources and I end up working with them on the go instead of sticking with the ones that I initially intended to. I don’t think this is a bad thing though, since I’m at absolute beginner phase for now, It’s probably a good idea to get acquainted to many of the popular resources recommended by people with similar goals of learning 日本語.

That being said, I haven’t been reading TextFugu for a while now. Not that I wanted to but just that I’ve been spending more time on googling than TextFugu-ing while I’m on my PC. I might keep it as something to read when I’m bored or something like that I suppose. The first season is free after all. And I think a bit of motivation from Koichi-san could be useful once in a while XD.

Other than that, it seems that I’m nearly done with the Human Japanese Lite app. There’s only more free chapter after Chapter 7 that I wrote about previously. There were lots of vocabs but I’ve been meaning to compile it in a different post dedicated for that.

Katakana course on Memrise is not completed per se but with my exercises using Kana Mind, I think I’ve got it in memory anyways. Just going to finish them at leisure, considering it a review rather than study. As for the other course, Japanese 1, I felt like doing it while familiarising myself with Kanji at the same time.

This is where WaniKani came in. I Googled n Googled for kanji-learning resources on reddit and came up with WaniKani by Tofugu and Remembering the Kanji (RTK) by James Heisig. There was pretty much a holy war on WaniKani vs RTK on /r/LearnJapanese from what I’ve been reading 😂. Nonetheless, I had to start with one. I finally ended up with WaniKani. Mostly because I could use it on my phone in a similar fashion as Memrise (sorry RTK).

This went on for around a week I think but I was beginning to doubt if WaniKani was right for me. Firstly, if I were to continue using WaniKani, at some point I would have to purchase the service and it was definitely not cheap (USD to MYR rate is very bad these days). Furthermore, I was beginning to dislike the naming convention for WaniKani radicals. I felt that they were becoming more and more ‘weird’ in the sense that I couldn’t imagine the name matching the shape of the radical…

And thus began the second Googling quest. I began read more on /r/LearnJapanese to find an alternative to WaniKani. Naturally, RTK came to mine but apparently, Heisig’s mnemonics are deemed outdated by some and most people nowadays either come up with their own or use those shared by rtk community at (The site also has an awesome forum thread for Japanese Learning resources BTW). That’s about when I read Tae Kim’s view on RTK. I sort of agreed with him and decided to find a different source but I couldn’t find any except Kanji Damage at the time. It looked and sounded nice but the introduction page heavy self-advertising roused suspicion.. Therefore, I was keeping on hold and continuing WaniKani whilst reading reviews.

And then, two days ago, I discovered Kodansha’s Kanji Learner’s Course! Upon researching it felt like KKLC has overcomed the flaws? highlighted by Tae Kim by providing the kanji along with common readings as well as at least one vocab that uses each of the common reading. I was extremely excited by this and decided on the spot.

I got the book and setup my learning schedule loosely based on some advice on Kanji Mastery. I don’t use Anki and thus merely imported the Memrise courses for the kanji in KKLC order as well as 7200 common vocabs associated with them.

I’m learning 10 new kanji per day, every other day in a week. While reviewing them day. I couldn’t keep up the pace for the vocabs however. There seems to be around 30 vocabs per 10 kanji! Therefore, I’ve decided that I will at least learn 10 vocabs per day and only go for more if I have time. This means that eventually, my vocabs track will lag behind the kanji. But that should be a non-issue. I guess I can consider myself as SRS-ing my kanji review in that way. Hahaha.

That’s not all! I also decided to find some podcasts to listen to when I’m not in mood to read. Eh? But you have a daily schedule!!. Well of course I do. But I know that I won’t be able to follow it all the time. I’m naturally lazy after all XD. At least by having a backup plan, I can ensure that there is some Japanese in my life everyday. 乾杯!


Penned at 10.36 p.m. 12/05/2017


I’m typing Japanese mostly based on words I’ve heard from anime. While I did run them through Google Translate for spell-checking, my grammar knowledge is not very good (wait, ai forgot to mention, I started reading Tae Kim’s too!). Therefore, please take them with a grain of salt. サンキュー!

p.s.s Starting from this post onwards, I will attempt to write as much in Japanese as possible, to implement my knowledge.