I am feeling the pressure to get more into my studies as my daughters first day of Japanese kindergarten is quickly approaching. I feel like I would like to be really at a decent place with my Japanese by the time she finishes kindy so that I can understand what her teachers are saying to them at the kindy promotion event. I put in several hours of listening while parenting and 15 minutes of reps. At the park with the kids I made sure to sit near some Japanese women who were chatting a lot so I could listen to more Japanese and even more natural than my podcasts. I wanted to talk to them, but I don't really know many nouns or verbs or advers or adjectives so just spouting off hello and really? seemed like a weird thing to do. I should have done some shadowing or copycating to see how those work, but I didn't. I also need to buy some more dramas. The hubby started Pimsleur last night and I am hoping to be able to keep up with him too. It is stressful because he is learning the meanings of the things he is saying so he is closer to being conversational than I am. I have been spending time on Fluent in three months while nursing to hear his ideas on speaking quickly. A lot of it makes sense and I may try it for another language since it is too late to consider anything in Japanese soon. He makes me jealous with all of his traveling though. I want to go places too.
Well I have been looking at this blog Tanoshimini by Matt. He has been posting about the things he is doing with AJATT SilverSpoon which I am so jealous that he is participating in. He has been posting about two specific techniques - Copycat and Shadowing which he did in the very beginning while setting up his Japanese environment as well as starting kanji. I have been going a little crazy thinking what to do while I get enough kanji to start reading to be able to sentence mine. Now I have an idea. I am still trying to get caught up with my reviews, but with my new 5 minute session limit on Anki I am able to stay motivated to do some everyday. I don't know when I am going to get caught up, but I will eventually.
So I just wanted to mention that I recently discovered extensive reading. Through an AJATT tweet I found Liana's Extensive Reading Blog which lead me to Culture Quirk's Video. I am only just starting to find out about it, but it seems like just what I need to be doing. I just need some super easy level one books. Luckily in the area are some lovely japanese bookstores and libraries!
So I have made a little change to the way that I study my kanji in Anki that has made a huge difference in the level of boredom. I have been playing with timeboxing. I know that I read all bout it on AJATT long ago but I ignored it. I thought 30 minutes is a really short amount of time to review hundreds of kanji. It appears that it was too long. Khatzumoto was right. Smaller chunks are better. I have changed my session limit from 30 minutes to 5 minutes. Now I am finding that I am running out of time long before I am bored with the process and then I am just irritated enough that I didn't get to finish that I want to go back and study more. I have gone from 0 reviews a day to at least 15. I feel really good about that even though it is just a baby step. I am entertaining the idea of an even shorter time like 2 or 3 minutes, but maybe I'll wait until I feel bored with everything again. I am not studying new kanji yet and am holding steady at 395, but my number or reviews due is getting smaller bit by bit. Yay! I just need to spend some time reading somehow so that I am seeing the kanji more frequently so they stay in my brain.
I rented a Kids World disk from HQ Video for Miss S who will be attending a Japanese immersion school this fall along with たまごっち she really enjoyed them both even though she doesn't understand a single word of what they are saying aside from はい. I have to confess that I felt really pissed off that I couldn't understand these shows that are made for little kids. However it is great to have Japanese playing that is appropriate for little eyes and ears and maybe I'll be able to learn from it too.
Well the kids over at Kanji & Tea are posting which always reminds me that I need to post. . . and study kanji. Watching Dramas over and over again isn't all that helpful. Though I may just have a decent fake Japanese accent. Plus my deadline is approaching pretty quickly. My daughter was accepted into a Japanese school so she will be learning Japanese starting this fall. I would love to be able to stay a little bit ahead of her at least through kindergarten. The key will be getting past the 300 kanji I have done so far. In order to do that I have to unbury my RTK from beneath my sewing.
Ok, so thanks to Heisig "災" is one of the few kanji I recognize easily. Unfortunately Japan has had a huge 災. There is fire and water just like the kanji. I am seeing it over and over again on the blogs and many tweets on twitter. I have been watching NHK on Ustream http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nhk-gtv. I am lucky and grateful that I was able to hear from my "little sis" Yuki in Tokyo and know that she and her family and her husbands family are all safe. Also there are 4 of Miss S's classmates at preschool who have family in Japan and all are safe. I have 4 "siblings" in Japan I haven't heard from. They are probably fine since they live in Tokyo, but I wish I I knew for sure. I have so few of my Japanese posts to read these past 2 days I hope that all of the bloggers and their families are safe as well. Positive vibes for Japan.
Well I have a friend who is also trying to learn Japanese and we had a great day on Saturday. We spent the whole day shopping in Japanese stores and hearing いらっしゃいませ over and over again. There is something comforting about hearing that phrase. I really like it. I like it almost as much as おかえり. Anyway we started the day at Mitsuwa and HQ Video. I bought ホタルノヒカリ２。I rented ホタルノヒカリ Disk 1. I love my HQ Video Card. 2 hours of immersion fun for $1. It was fun but sort of awful because there were so many movies and I only had a little money and I had to save some money for lunch. At the grocery store I bought a grape juice drink and it was yummy. We had lunch at Shojin. I ordered a delicious spicy ramen. Then we went to Bookoff and I bought a back issue of Sakura magazine for $3.
ok. So being a mom and doing kanji are not that great of a match. I am not having any trouble doing my reps, I can do those while the baby is napping and while the older one is playing at the park. I am having trouble with the finding 5 minutes to sit down, get out my RTK and learning any new Kanji. That book is just too big to carry around everywhere I go. My diaper bag already weighs a ton. Anyway I did 100 cards on Anki today and I am still a bit behind, but I am sure I will get caught up again by tomorrow.
I was using smart.fm to work on my kana and it was working really well for me I think, but now the tool is going to pay only. Since I have only been using it for kana I cannot really justify paying for the new service. I just have to decide if I should put them into Anki or not. I know that it is sort of silly to only find this out now, but it just came time to do my reviews.
I am so excited/happy/goofy about my day yesterday. I Found the best place on earth. Okay maybe it is not the best place on earth but it is pretty great. I went to Mitsuwa. I have ben meaning to visit and check it out for a while, but this was my first time. Inside Mitsuwa was the the best thing. HQ Video! Seriously the place is amazing! They have every drama available for rent and quite a few available for sale. They also have Japanese movies and Japanese versions of English movies. I was able to get a previously viewed うぬぼれ刑事 with bonus commercials for $24. I thought it was serendipity because I was going to write a post about my favorite actors and Nagase Tomoya / 長瀬智也 is at the top of my list. He is gorgeous and hilarious. I wanted to buy more, but I had forgotten my wallet at home and The Hubby only had $25 on him. I will be back though. Mitsuwa was especially awesome because walking through the store for an hour I recognized quite a few of the songs. As I was leaving they played イチブトゼンブ which almost made me play air guitar in public like I do when I hear it in my car. The cafe also had some cute magazines and sewing books. I liked it because it was not nearly as intimidating as being in stores in Little Tokyo. Definitely motivates me to get going faster on my Kanji. Not be able to read things really pisses me off.
I am totally sick. I managed to get my reviews done and add the last of the kanji in Part I. I am starting Part II tomorrow, Also watched some random Arashi variety shows and surfed around some Japanese blogs which I tried to actually pick out the characters that I know and not just look at the pictures. Mostly I was just sick though.
I have some kanji to review and some to study. I visited a mandarin school though for my Miss S who will be starting kindergarten next fall so I did get to "read" some kanji on signs and posters and such today. I have been keeping up with my reviews and am on frame 270. I have not added in the supplement yet. I am really hopin to be finished with RTK I by my birthday, or the end of March at the latest. That means that I need to do more new frames then the 10 I have been managing to do so far.
I am also getting really excited about the idea of cooking some Japanese food. Making vegan versions of things is kind of tricky though. I really want oumrice though. Also my friend made her son a super cute bento lunch today and I was jealous that I don't have sweet bento skills like that.
I managed to get my Anki reps down to 0. I had to bribe myself to do it with an episode of Tokyo Dogs. I watched a lot of keyhole T.V. and learned about the shooting yesterday through Japanese news. I love Japanese commercials by the way. time for more input.
I was looking over all my Japanese blogs in google reader and clicked on someone's twitter link. I think I should get a Japanese twitter account. The tweets are just long enough to give me bite sized amounts of kanji with kana practice as well. Then I got thinking about having a Japanese name to tweet with. In school I always had a foreign name to match my foreign language study. Momo and Eiji have Japanese names. Since both of my daughters really have Japanese names I feel like could have one too. I am choosing between few different names. I know it is highly unlikely that anyone in real life will use it but I want one just the same. コスモ is just not doing it for me. I will settle for hearing おかあさん or ママ. In high school french we also did a whole project creating a French persona and life. I may do that too.
I did manage to get all caught up on my smart.fm reps and still have only 2 katakana left to complete. Yay! Katakana are sort of hard because there are several that look alike, some look like hiragana, and many look like kanji.
I thought I got caught up on my RTK reps, but I was fooled because I forgot to sync my app. Today is my deadline for getting caught up though so I had better get back to it so I can start unsuspending cards again tomorrow. I downloaded the supplement to RTK with the new Kanji so I am going to go back and add any that fit in among the 1st 250 that I have done already.
I also watched a bit of Tokyo Dogs and listened to a bit of a podcast.
Minimal Kanji reviewing while waiting for Miss S to finish preschool. Watched some Tokyo Dogs subbed, some Real Clothes Raw, and an episode of Nihonjin no shiranai Nihongo. Listened to the daughters Japanese Disney mix in the car on the way to and from preschool. I got sucked into tumblr collecting and posted about 1000 Images. That is hyperbole. I am about to do some smart.fm right now.
I am currently a Dorama addict. I am surprised that I can say that. The first one I tried to watch was painful to me. I couldn't get past the first 15 minutes. That Dorama was Gokusen. After that I was watching Keyhole TV and caught a rerun of Proposal Daisakusen in the fall of 2009. I was in love! Even with no subs I could kinda know what was going on and that was so great. I have watched it again twice through once with English subs and once raw. I have to admit that I do cheat. I watch every dorama through the first time with English subs on and then if I like it I watch it without.
Here is my list of doramas to date. Some are still in progress listed most recently to oldest:
At Home Dad: アットホーム・ダッド / Attohômu daddo
Tokyo DOGS: 東京DOGS / 最悪で最高のパートナー / The Worst and Best Partners / Saiaku de Saiko no Partner
My Boss My Hero: マイ★ボス マイ★ヒーロー / 我的大佬我的英雄
Shiroi Haru: 白い春 / White Spring
Dare Yori mo Mama wo Aisu: 誰よりもママを愛す / I Love Mama More Than Anyone
Tumbling: タンブリング / 新体操が、オレ達をオトコにした / Shintaiso ga, oretachi o otoko ni shita
Juui Dolittle: 獣医ドリトル / 獸醫杜立德
Reinoryokusha Odagiri Kyoko no Uso: 霊能力者 小田霧響子の嘘 / 靈能力者 小田霧響子的謊言
Ogon no Buta: 黄金の豚 / 私たちが払った税金を追え！/ Watashitachi ga Haratta Zeikin wo Oue!
Hana Kimi (Complete): Also known as Hanazakarino Kimitachie / 花ざかりの君たちへ / For You in Full Blossom / Ikemen paradaisu
Q10: Also known as キュート / Kyuto
Binbo Danshi: 貧乏男子 / ボンビーメン / Bomb bee men
Gokusen: as ごくせん
Freeter, Ie o Kau.: Also known as フリーター、家を買う / 家族、やりなおし / Kazoku, yarinaoshi
Tiger & Dragon: Also known as タイガー＆ドラゴン / Tiger & Dragon
Moyashimon: Also known as もやしもん / Tales of Agriculture
Ninkyo Helper: 任侠ヘルパー / Care Worker Gang / The Chivalrous Helper
Unubore Deka: うぬぼれ刑事 / Conceited Detective / I sentence you to marry me. / Detective Lovesick / 自恋刑警
HAMMER SESSION!: Also known as ハンマーセッション！ / 叩き直されたい、生徒（ヤツ）はどいつだ! / Tataki Naosaretai, Seito (Yatsu) wa doitsuda! / 震撼鮮師!
Gakeppuchi no Eri: 崖っぷちのエリー / Kono Yo de Ichiban Daiji na 'Kane' no Hanashi / この世でいちばん大事な“カネ”の話
Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku: 夏の恋は虹色に輝く / Summer Romance shines in rainbow color / Summer Love Shines in Rainbow Color
Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo: 日本人の知らない日本語 / 日本人不知道的日語I
Give My First Love to You: Also known as 僕の初恋をキミに捧ぐ / Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu / 属于你的我的初恋
Tsuki no Koibito: Moon Lovers / 月の恋人 / 月之恋人
Around 40: 注文の多いオンナたち / Chumon no Oi Onna-tachi / Demanding Women
Hotaru no Hikari 2: Hotaru's Light / It Is the Only Little Light in My Life / Light of the Firefly / ホタルノヒカリ 2 / 螢之光 2Naka nai to Kimeta Hi: 泣かないと決めた日
Sunao ni Narenakute: 素直になれなくて / Hard to say I love you
Hana Yori Dango Final: Fainaru / Boys Over Flowers: Final / 花より男子～ファイナル～ / 花より男子ファイナル
Hana Yori Dango Season 2: Boys Before Flowers 2 / Boys Over Flowers 2 / 花より男子 2
Hana Yori Dango: 花より男子 / Boys Before Flowers / Boys Over Flowers
Love Shuffle: ラブシャッフル
My Girl (TV Asahi): マイガール
Ohitorisama: おひとりさま / Party of One
Real Clothes: リアル・クローズ
Oh! My Girl: オー！マイ・ガール！！
Atashinchi no Danshi: アタシんちの男子 / My Boys / More Than Family But Less Than Lovers / 家族以上、恋人未満 / Kazoku Ijo, Koibito Mimanl?
Attention Please: アテンションプリーズ
Buzzer Beat: ブザー・ビート / 崖っぷちのヒーロー / Gakeppuchi no Hero
Nodame Cantabile: のだめカンタービレ
1 Litre of Tears: １リットルの涙 / Ichi Rittoru no Namida / One Litre of Tears / A Diary with TearsAbsolute Boyfriend:
Zettai Kareshi / 絶対彼氏 / Kanzen Muketsu no Koibito Robot / The Completely Perfect Boyfriend Robot
Hotaru no Hikari: ホタルノヒカリ / Glow of Fireflies / It's Only Little Light In My Life
Proposal Daisakusen: Operation Love / プロポーズ大作戦
None of these have been terrible. I left those off this list. I just think they are so much fun though they do have the drawback of making me crave onigiri and sushi because I feel like I become Japanese when I am watching them. I should calculate how many hours of listening this makes. Anyway I will probably over time write up reviews of these.
I have been continuing on with my lameness for too long. The newest member of our family is now 5 months old. I am running out of excuses. Also the eldest is going to be starting kindy next year hopefully in the Japanese program. She would then be in class with Japanese kids with Japanese mom's for me to hang around with. However having Japanese friends will be more likely if I can speak at least some Japanese. My goal is to get caught up on my RTK reviews and get back to adding new Kanji and catch up on my smart.fm reviews. Gotta do it. I also need to do a write up of all the Doramas I have watched. I am curious how many hours I have logged of listening and watching doing that. I have watched a ton and my tastes have really changed. I also want to post about the podcasts and blogs that I follow even though I don't understand them beyond random Kanji, katakana and single word phrases. Oh I also started a Tumblr inspired by Kanji & Tea.