Nihongo Master Verbs

What I’ve Learned 4/24 – 5/4

Here’s what I’ve done in the past week and a half!

WaniKani - Level 9 Kanji

CharacterMeaningOnyomiKunyomi
heavyじゅう, ちょうおも, かさ, え
loseま, お
thingぶつ, もつもの
newしんあたら, あら, にい
winしょう
beforehandあらかじ
tool
sendそうおく
discussだん
beauty, beautifulび, みうつく
expressひょうあらわ, おもて
worldかい
departureはつ
part, department, club
action, matter, thingこと, つか
accept, receiveじゅ
truth, realityじつ
mutualそう, しょうあい
roof, shop, storeおく
needようい, かなめ
determineてい, じょうさだ
rideじょう
使useつか
returnへんかえ
degrees, occurrenceど, たくたび
guestきゃく
prefectureけん
peace, japanese styleわ, おなご, やわ
hold
waitたい
clothes, clothingふく
swimえいおよ
begin, startはじ
sufferingくる, にが
temporaryかり

Instead of showing just my current WaniKani level Kanji, I’ll also show the vocabulary I’m working on for level 9. There are over 100 entries, so the table defaults to showing 10 entries, you can tab through them all if you like.

WaniKani Level 9 Vocabulary

CharacterKanaMeaning
ものthing
予定よていa plan, plan
泳ぐおよぐto swim
勝者しょうしゃwinner, victor
和風わふうjapanese style
待つまつto wait
乗るのるto ride
美人びじんbeautiful woman
ふくclothes, clothing
お客さんおきゃくさんguest, visitor, customer
用事ようじerrand, business
中学校ちゅうがっこうmiddle school, junior high school
待たせるまたせるto make someone wait, to keep someone waiting, to make wait, to keep waiting
〜県けんprefecture
毎度まいどeach time, frequently, every time
勝負しょうぶmatch, showdown, contest
仮にかりにtemporarily, suppose
相談そうだんconsultation, discussion, advice
本屋ほんやbookstore, book shop
食事しょくじmeal
不自由ふじゆうdiscomfort, inconvenience, disability, impairment, poverty, destitution
全部ぜんぶall, entire, whole
天使てんしangel
新年しんねんnew year
食べ物たべものfood
火事かじfire
発表はっぴょうannouncement, presentation
記事きじarticle, news story, report, account, news article
仮定かていassumption, hypothesis
通りとおりavenue, street, road, way
気を付けてきをつけてbe careful, take care
苦いにがいbitter tasting, bitter
体重たいじゅうbody weight
肉屋にくやbutcher shop, meat shop, meat store
対談たいだんconversation, dialogue, talk
決定けっていdecision, determination
〜度degrees
出発しゅっぱつdeparture
発見はっけんdiscovery
二重にじゅうdouble, dual
楽勝らくしょうeasy victory, easy win
重要じゅうようessential, important, necessary
魚屋さかなやfish shop, fish market, fish dealer, fish store, fishmonger
発売はつばいfor sale, selling, item for sale, sale
おもてfront, surface, exterior, face, outside, appearance
家具かぐfurniture
客室きゃくしつguest room
高校生こうこうせいhigh school student, high schooler
家事かじhousework, chores
何度なんどhow many times, how often, what temperature
大事だいじimportant, valuable, serious matter
和食わしょくjapanese style food, japanese food
仮名かなkana
必要ひつようnecessary, needed, essential
新しいあたらしいnew
苦しいくるしいpainful, agonizing, agonising
相手あいてpartner, companion
弱々しいよわよわしいweak looking, frail, weak seeming, seemingly weak
住民じゅうみんresidents, citizens
〜屋store, shop
必勝ひっしょうsure victory, certain victory, sure win, sure victory, certain win
泳ぎおよぎswimming, swim
茶屋ちゃやtea shop, tea store, tea house
〜部department, club, category
和室わしつjapanese style room
本物ほんものthe real thing, real deal, the real deal, real thing, genuine article, the genuine article
持つもつto hold, to bring, to carry
ことthing, matter, action
今度こんどthis time, next time
工事こうじconstruction
返事へんじreply, response
付くつくto be attached
実力じつりょくtrue strength, true ability, true power
道具どうぐtool
勝つかつto win
受けるうけるto receive, to accept, to catch
和服わふくjapanese style clothes, japanese clothing, japanese style clothing, japanese clothes
始めにはじめにin the beginning, to begin with, to start with
部屋へやroom
始まるはじまるto begin, something begins, to start, something starts
角度かくどangle
弱虫よわむしweakling, coward
始めるはじめるto begin, to start, to begin something, to start something
気持ちきもちfeeling
小学校しょうがっこうelementary school, primary school, grade school
名物めいぶつfamous product, special product, famous goods, special goods, famous item, special item
世界せかいthe world, society, the universe
見付けるみつけるto find, to find something
美しいうつくしいbeautiful
要点ようてんmain point, gist, main idea, essence
負けるまけるto lose, to be defeated
重いおもいheavy
高さたかさheight
白黒しろくろblack and white, white and black
乗せるのせるto give a ride, to give someone a ride, to place on
部室ぶしつclubroom
通すとおすto let pass, to overlook, to continue, to keep, to make way for, to persist in
欠かすかかすto miss, to fail, to fail to attend
要るいるto need
返すかえすto return, to return something
使うつかうto use
事実じじつtruth, fact, reality
じつtruth, reality
乗り物のりものvehicle
発音はつおんpronunciation
部分ぶぶんportion, section, part
教えおしえteaching, instruction, teachings, lesson, doctrine
付近ふきんneighborhood, neighbourhood, vicinity, environs, nearby, locality
部首ぶしゅradical
表すあらわすto express
ハート形ハートがた, はーとがたheart shaped
丁度ちょうどexactly, just
具合ぐあいcondition, health
生物せいぶつliving things, creatures, bio
送るおくるto send
名古屋なごやnagoya
平和へいわpeace, harmony
見物けんぶつsightseeing, sightseer, watching, watcher, viewing, viewer
金持ちかねもちrich person, rich, wealthy

 

NihongoMaster

I spent several days reviewing particle usage due to getting too many drills wrong relating to particles. I’ve increased my accuracy a lot, but still need to work on them more. I caved and made a OneNote on particle grammar (after I said I only write down notes in a notebook).  Now I have pages for each particle, complete with examples!

My OneNote notes on Particles

My OneNote notes on Japanese Particles

 

I also decided to add all the verbs I’ve learned in NihongoMaster, since I can search and sort the tables. Here is my Godan verb page.

Nihongo Master Verbs

Nihongo Master – Godan Verbs

 

I didn’t think I’d get much done with all this particle and verb review, but luckily, all the lessons covered kanji or vocab I already learned in WaniKani. But in NihongoMaster, I get to see and work with them in actual sentences!

You’ll notice a lot of my grammar lessons involve counters in both NihongoMaster and Human Japanese. Japanese have counters for everything it seems! You can’t just say two cats or two papers. There are special “counter” words for everything.

NihongoMaster Lessons

  • Combining two ideas using verb stems, particle に, and motion verbs:
    Topic は Location に {Object を Verb Stem に} 行きます
  • Kanji used in days of the week:  (moon for Monday),  (fire for Tuesday),  (water for Wednesday),  (tree for Thursday),  (gold for Friday),  (soil for Saturday) and  (for weekday)
  • Days of the month counters
  • Months and, combined with days of the month, how to describe a date
  • かぞく (family) and Extended family terms – おばさん (aunt), おじさん (uncle), おばあさん (grandmother), おじいさん (grandfather) – and using these when addressing strangers. Siblings: いもうと (younger sister) and おとうと (younger brother)
  • Kanji:  (come, next),  (now),  (year),  (week) and combining these words for vocabulary
  • People counters, ordinal numbers, “the best”
  • も particles
  • Kanji:  (company, corporation),  (see),  (high, tall),  (yen, circle),  (every) and related vocabulary

HUMAN JAPANESE

Still mostly reviewing all previous chapters, trying to “Master” all the quizzes. But most of the below is a review on what I’ve already learned with NihongoMaster or WaniKani.

  • Chapter 32: Counting Objects
    Teaches how to use numbers in sentences, which requires devices called counters, which are akin to English words like a loaf of bread, a pound of flour, and a bottle of wine.
  • Chapter 33: But…
    Examines how to create compound sentences with the negative conjunction.
  • Chapter 34: Adjectives
    Introduces adjectives in Japanese, along with the surprising fact that, like verbs, they conjugate to indicate tense.
  • Chapter 35: More Adjectives
    A vocab building lesson that adds dozens more adjectives to the student’s repertoire. Includes a dialogue.

JapanesePod101 Listening Practice

I finally settled on a learning track and finished Absolute Beginner Season 1 (25 lessons) and am a quarter of the way through Absolute Beginner Season 2. I plan to go over what I learned in more detail in another post.

What I’ve Learned (4/17 to 4/24)

With the weather turning nicer I’ve been outside a lot walking my dog, but also last week the mmo I’ve been playing for 6 years released Eternal Weapons, so I’ve been questing for that. But I have not neglected my Nihongo studies!

Something new that I’ve added is trying to get more Japanese listening opportunities in. I’ll go over this in more detail in my next post.

NihongoMaster (40% into Beginner)

  • Two “to be” verbs: いる (for animate things that move) and ある (for inanimate things)
  • Describing locations with the above verbs using particle に
  • Review on particles that can be confusing: に, で, and を
  • Learning the Japanese concept of uchi and soto (in-groups or not) and how to speak about family members to various people
  • More Kanji:  (I knew all but “language”, second kanji listed, from WaniKani)
  • Using と to list nouns, “with”, meeting people

Human Japanese

I’m at the end of a big review, so my progress has been slowed. I just want to make sure I completely understand everything before going forward. It nicely parallels NihongoMaster, in a very readable chapter format. Concepts I’ve been focusing on the past week include the “to be” verbs, と usage, particles, family member vocabulary and how to use it when talking within your own family, talking to a friend about their family, or talking about your own family to other people.

  • Chapter 29: Verbs, The Return
    Part vocabulary builder and part grammar lesson, this chapter introduces more verbs, then shows how to create sentences that join multiple verbs in a single statement.
  • Chapter 30: Interrogatives and Ga
    Tracks down the who, what, when, where, and why, which require the use of a new particle, ga.
  • Chapter 31: Cultural Notes: Prices
    Looks into the myth that Japan is an expensive country, relating a recent experience the author had staying in an apartment near Tokyo.

WaniKani – Level 8

CharacterMeaningOnyomiKunyomi
forest, woodsしんもり
versusたい
buddyくんきみ
buyばい
horseうま
sharpenけん
comfort, ease, pleasureらく, がくたの
talk, speakはな, はなし
placeしょところ
electricityでん
answer, response, replyとうこた
number in a series, turn, ordinal numberばん
medicine
interval, interval of time, time intervalかん, けんあいだ, ま
bureau, departmentきょく
somebody, someone, bodyしん
morningちょうあさ
someone, somebodyしゃもの
road, street, path, wayどうみち
helpじょたす, すけ
suit, fit, joinごう, がっあ, あい
dwelling, reside, dwellじゅう
antiはん
throwとう
service, dutyやく
decide, decisionけつ
support, branchささ
count, number, amountすうかぞ, かず
location, placeじょう
drawing, painting
researchきゅうきわ
cloudうんくも

My Kanji Wallpaper (generated today) is filling out nicely!

Kanji wallpaper

Kanji wallpaper

Looking at some of the very first kanji I’ve learned, it won’t be until four months until I review them again – and hopefully burn them!

Next Review: 

Unlocked Date: February 28, 2017

End of August… seems so far away.

What I Learned This Week (4/9 to 4/16)

Here’s what I learned this past week! Sorry it is up a bit later than I wanted, it was a busy end of the week.

WaniKani

New Kanji, level 7. The first few days of a new level keeps me pretty busy, plus I tried my best to do some KaniWani, the reverse site, I am pretty far behind.

CharacterMeaningOnyomiKunyomi
summerげ, か, がなつ
certainひつかなら.ず
house, homeか, けいえ, や, うち
fishぎょさかな
birdちょうとり
boat, shipせんふね
yellowおう
reasonゆうよし, よ.る
tall, expensive, highこうたか.い
not yetま.だ, いま.だ, ひつじ
lackけつか.ける
blackこくくろ.い
attach
weakじゃくよわ.い
areaへんあた.り, べ
group, association, teamくみ
strong, strengthきょうつよ.い
by means of, by the means of, by way of, by the way of
wind, styleふうかぜ
write down, recordしる.す
paperかみ
time, o'clock, hourとき
reasonことわり
teachきょうおし.える, おそ.わる
endまつすえ
schoolこう
family name, last name, surnameうじ
peoples, people, nationみんたみ
faultしつうしな.う
bill, label, noteさつふだ
weekしゅう
pass throughつうとお.る, かよ.う
snowせつゆき

NihongoMaster (35% into Beginner)

  • へ particle – indicating direction of motion (its only use). Pronounced as “e”.
  • New Kanji – 
  • Polite past tense
  • Negative past tense (えいごのじゅぎょうはおもしろくありませんでした。)
  • particle で  with verbs and objects: フォークピザをたべますか。
    in using locations: としょかんべんきょうをします。
  • Knowing when to use に and when to use で
  • Particle  が and describing people: ジョンさんはせがたかいですか。
  • From Here to There, using から and まで
  • Honorific Where どちら
  • And lots of new vocab and verbs relating to the above lessons

I also joined their Daily Jōyō Kanji Challenge, where I get three new kanji sent to my email everyday. What I’m doing is adding these to my NihongoMaster drills everyday. So far I know all of them, they are all having to do with numbers.

HumanJapanese App

I did a massive review, took all the chapter tests from the beginning. You get more points until you “master” each question, which I think is if you get it right 4 times in a row.

  • Chapter 24: Objects and Wo
    Opens up new grammatical vistas by introducing the particle wo, which marks the direct object in a sentence.
  • Chapter 25: Existence and Ni
    Introduces a second use for the particle ni, which is to indicate the location of existence for some verbs.
  • Chapter 26: Friends and Family
    Teaches the vocabulary needed to talk about everyone and their brother.
  • Chapter 27: Recreation and Leisure
    A vocabulary lesson packed with words related to sports, recreation, and leisure.
  • Chapter 28: Post-positional Phrases
    Puts the particle no to use in a new way by showing how to construct sentences that use what are called prepositional phrases in English, such as “on top of the refrigerator,” or “inside the car.”

Remembering the Kanji

Remembering the Kanji

Remembering the Kanji

New to my blog’s weekly updates is this book – Remembering the Kanji, by James W. Heiseg.

So many people have used this book to learn their kanji, and many new programs are heavily influenced by Remembering the Kanji (RTK for short). I figure I’ll go through some of the lessons to check out what it’s about.

日本ごをべんきょうでいそがしいです

Slowly, but surely, I’m going to try to write in more Japanese, as I learn more words and grammar. I hope the sentence below sentence means: I am busy with my Japanese studies!

日本ごをべんきょうでいそがしいです!

The day kicked off when I woke up to 120 WaniKani drills! That just could be my highest drill count yet. I had just leveled up late last night, and it took a few hours to complete all the new lessons and the first round of reviews. I’m so happy to be level 7 though, I’ve made it a goal to try to listen and read more Japanese (easy level) outside my studies once I’m level 10, so that’s one step closer.

WK Overlay Script

As I learn the new kanji, I get to play with the user scripts I installed. The one below is called WK Overlay and it displays the appropriate radical or kanji tags. Of course, they’re added after you answer the drill, otherwise that would be cheating! I find this helps reinforce the building blocks which helps me figure words out with those radicals/kanji next time.

So “Summer” was a new kanji presented to me for level seven. Most of the time the radical/kanji tags start off all in a clump, but for the kanji character page, you can move them around. Here I separated them a tiny bit, so you can see the radicals better. I chose this kanji at random.

And then I move them around all nice and neat, near what they represent, while memorizing the little mnemonic I’m given. For Kanji, they provide radical tags, with the radicals outlined in blue.

WaniKani’s mnemonic to help me remember “Summer” kanji

The eye leaf grows only in the winter. Every other leaf, however, will do the opposite, which is to grow in the summer.

Here’s another example for “school”.

You find your father with a lid on his head, up in a tree. He yells down at you. “Hey! Welcome to your first day of school!”

The stories may seem silly, if you’re not used to mnemonics. But they work!

Here is a more complex vocabulary word (in a higher level), this was a sample on the script page. This script will add black kanji tags to vocabulary words.

My Own Mnemonics

Also, as I learn new kanji/vocab, I get tested right away. If I know something is definitely not going to be memorable enough for me, I don’t hesitate to think up my own mnemonic. Below I added my own “Reading Note” to remember the kanji “Weak”, both its meaning and reading, it’s on the bottom of this image. Poor Jacku, Rose should’ve been a bit less weak…

Kanji for weak

“I’ll never let go, *Jacku*! Oh wait, I’m too WEAK, goodbye Jacku!”

KaniWani

Once I was done with so many hours of WaniKani, I went to their forums, and somebody started a thread asking how many KaniWani drills you had piled up. I don’t think I ever covered KaniWani in detail on my blog yet, I’ll do that another time, but it’s basically a fan-created site that tests WaniKani in reverse.

I hadn’t done KaniWani much, so I had 418 drills to do! I only started it right before vacation and was frustrated that it took time to get any to “Master” level. (Anybody who uses WK knows you just need patience, drills are spaced out. No matter how good you are, you won’t “Burn” your kanji in just a month of starting.)

A few MORE hours of working in KaniWani, and I got it down to 233. (I actually got it down to 140, but of course more drills came to join the fun.) And look! I started to “Master” my first words!

A lot of similar words with the same or very similar meanings always trip me up in KaniWani. And some just tripped me up anyway. For example, the kanji for “Sell” confused me, in the vocab words, it almost always had the り kana after the う. I hadn’t seen that before…

Then, lo and behold, in NihongoMaster, I learned the kanji for sell, and they showed me the polite form of うる was うり! (To be honest, I had just learned about the various forms of verbs last week, so it all makes sense now.) But I don’t think I will ever miss that change again.

Progressing in NihongoMaster

Speaking of which, I also worked very hard today to get to level 10 in NihongoMaster. Levels don’t mean as much here, as your points slide with inactivity, even after a few hours. I think it does show how hard you work with their program, all the top learners are in the level 20s. I feel like such a newb at 9. I do know you lose points steadily, and I’m not sure yet how to optimize points gain. Do the points start to drop after a certain timeframe of inactivity?I emailed their support last week to ask and they never answered. I’ll probably ask the question in their forums. I get about 100 drills a day in this program, although it’s hard to tell with timed SRS drills – I do them several times a day as they pop up.

You may think I’m crazy for using so many different programs to learn Japanese, but I very carefully choose my main ones I work with everyday. I love how new concepts are reinforced in various ways, whether it’s conjugating the verb tenses, seeing the kanji, grammar explanations and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Learned This Week

This is Week 2 of “What I Learned This Week” for the blog! Incidentally, I am considering this Month 2 of my Japanese studies, where I’m really buckling down and not planning to stop.  Before I start, I am going to be adding my progress to the right side bar, up on top. So it’s very visible and you can see where my progress is in my two main learning tools. As of week 2, I am 30% into NihongoMaster Beginner classroom and Level 6 for WaniKani.

Kanji

Let’s start with the Kanji studies.

CharacterMeaningOnyomiKunyomi
deceased, deathぼうな.く
relax, cheapあんやす.い
bothりょう
brightめいあ, あか.るい, あき.らか
shop, storeてんみせ
science
southなんみなみ
walkある.く, あゆ.む
deathし.ぬ
sheepようひつじ
front, beforeぜんまえ
long, leaderちょうなが.い
starせいほし
nextつぎ
haveゆう, うあ.る
older sister, big sister, elder sisterお.ねえ, あね, ねえ
livelyかつ
behind, after, back, rearご, こううし.ろ, あと, のち
countryこくくに
capitalきょうみやこ
eat, mealしょくた.べる, く
younger sister, little sisterまいいもうと
earth, groundち, じ
night, eveningよ, よる
state, province, countyしゅう
point, decimal, decimal pointてんつ.ける
think, thoughtおも.う
drawing, paintingが, かく
yonder, facingこうむ.き
neckしゅくび
changeば.ける, ば.かす
teaちゃ, さ
music, bendきょくま.げる, ま.がる
bloodけつ
all, wholeぜんすべ.て, まった.く
knowし.る
roomしつ
eastとうひがし
sea, oceanかいうみ
fix, directちょく, じきなお.す

 

Grammar/Vocab

NihongoMaster

In my main resource, NihongoMaster, since last week I’ve learned a dizzying assortment of new grammar! I’m now 30% into Beginner.

  • Adverbs – and how to express myself in varying degrees
  • Verbs! – I learned so many new things about verbs. This made me feel like a little school child knowing I’m just beginning to learn such basic things. I learned there is a polite and dictionary form of verbs. I learned three kinds of verbs and how to obtain the stem and polite form – Irregular, Ichidan, and Godan. And of course learned a whole slew of new vocabulary verbs.
  • More な adjectives: Like/dislike/skilled/unskilled/like very much and how to use these concepts
  • Demonstrative words (I even blogged a huge lesson on Demonstratives!)
  • Conjunctions -“but” and “and”
  • Verbs “come” and “go”
  • More about で and に particle usage

Human Japanese app

Read the following chapters this past week. I was thrilled it followed along with my NihongoMaster studies, and I plan to do my best to sync them from now on, doing NihongoMaster lesson first, and then Human Japanese app lesson.
  • 20. The Possessive and No – Introduces the particle no, used to indicate a possessive relationship between two things.
  • 21. Verbs – Explains how verbs work in Japanese, including how to use them in sentences and how to conjugate them to their various forms.
  • 22. Cultural Notes: The Countryside – Offers a glimpse of small town life in the Japanese countryside.
  • 23.  Directions and Ni – Shows how to indicate direction with the particle ni.

Genki 1

Since so many use this text, I thought I’d check it out. I read the first chapter and did the workbook.

Books

Since I can’t quite yet read books in Japanese, I’m reading books about Japanese. Both of these two books are free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited!

 

 

 

Japanese Verbs – Godan, Ichidan, Irregular – Oh my!

Up until now, I thought Japanese verbs were pretty easy. Put them at the end of the sentence. Add a “masen” or something to make it negative. But no… they aren’t just that simple!

In NihongoMaster I learned that there are “polite” verbs and dictionary verbs. No problem, I can handle that, it’s Japanese after all. Next, I learn there are three types of dictionary verbs!

  1. Godan
  2. Ichidan
  3. Irregular

Wait, those terms do look familiar! I just never knew what they meant! In my WaniKani, かわる、”to replace”, the description says it is a “Godan Verb”. (See the Part of Speech section below.) My eyes used to glaze over this information before, now it’s starting to make sense. I wondered why some I learned the verb for “to understand” was slightly different than the “understand” I’ve been using in grammar lessons.

I learned the basic rules about Dictionary Form, Stems, the ます polite form, and the meanings for various verb forms. Seemed pretty easy to absorb… I took the lesson drills and aced the 50-question quiz on them.

I’m know I have a ton more to learn about Japanese Verbs, but for now, I’ll just get really familiar with the following rules:

Irregular Verbs

Just memorize all forms.

Ichidan Verbs

These verbs all end in “いる” or “える”. To create the verb stem, subtract the る, then add ~ます.

Godan Verbs

The dictionary form ends in a “u” sound. To determine the polite form, first form the stem by keeping the first consonant sound and changing that last “u” sound to an “i”, then add ます!

Godan verbs

I’ve made it a habit to read my Human Japanese app on my tablet in bed, and I must be pretty well synched up by now, because the lesson I read last night was ALSO about the different verbs!

Everything is starting to come together!

 

Degrees of Understanding – in Japanese

I know kung fu! Well, not really, but I now know how to express my varying degrees of understanding. Well, not really either, but it’s a start!

From MemeSuper - I don't understand

ほんとうにわかりません。

More on trying to remember words I just learned, so let’s use it here! From my latest NihongoMaster lesson… I’ll use what I learned on describing the lesson itself. If you don’t know much Japanese yet, わかりません means “don’t understand”, and the blue bolded words are the new adverbs to show just how much I don’t understand.

Before the Lesson

Sight unseen.

ぜんぜんわかりません。(I) don’t understand (anything) at all.  absolutely nothing.

After Skimming Lesson

I always do this just to see how much I know or to get first exposure to new concepts.

ほとんどわかりません。(I) don’t understand hardly (anything).
very, very little.

After slowly reading lesson

My first true attempt at absorbing.

ほんとうにわかりません。(I) really don’t understand.
not much.

After Lesson Drills

A few times with the lesson in drills, I can narrow in on the lesson and clarify.

そんなにわかりません。(I) don’t understand that well.
at least not THAT much.

After Taking Notes

I usually take notes after some drill experience with the new concepts, so I can highlight what I need to clarify for myself.

あまりわかりません。(I) don’t understand very well.
but still some.

After Lots of Practice!

わかりますよ。

And after all that, it looks like I’ll never learn Japanese at this slow pace of understanding! Most lessons I understand fairly quickly, it’s just a case of remembering new vocab and gaining experience with new, strange concepts. That’s the key, seeing it, hearing it, using it, trying it out. Explaining it in this blog is just one tool to pull it all together.

TLDR

To recap, adverbs of degrees, red being only negative, blue being either positive or negative:

  1. ぜんぜん zenzen = not at all
  2. ほとんどhotondo = mostly, hardly (may be tempting to use in positive sentences, but don’t do it)
  3. ほんとうにhontouni = really, truly
  4. そんなにsonnani = not so much
  5. あまりamari = not very, not much
  6. たくさん takusan = a lot

I won’t be writing words in romaji very much, to be honest, they look more foreign to me than the kana/kanji. All my educational resources I’m using don’t use romaji at all.

 

Grammar Day – Review and New

NihongoMaster Review Day

I admit I was starting to feel overwhelmed with all the new grammar concepts I recently learned, so I took the day to do a huge NihongoMaster review – basically all the grammar and vocab I’ve learned in the past month and a half. I write them in a notebook because it’s easier to review the lessons. By default, the website hides the lessons you’ve read, but you can always click the gold “Show Completed Items”, and then sift through 27 pages of lessons and quizzes to find past lessons. Haha, like I said, easier to just keep a dedicated notebook.

NihongoMaster grammar notes

There wasn’t really much order to the all the color I used in my notes, just that anything highlighted in yellow, I’ve learned very well by now. I probably would’ve tried to have neater handwriting if I knew I was going to share this notebook page!

I’m 24% through Beginner Classroom as of today, and like I mentioned the other day, I have all of Intermediate lessons and the newly added Advanced to get through yet.

NihongoMaster offers quizzes for every decent chunk of lessons and I can redo them again and again. It seems they’re always in sets of 50 questions per quiz. So I redid about 4-5 quizzes today after my huge review. After making sure I had all the past lessons down with most quizzes being 100%, I moved on to the next lesson.

Learning Adverbs

I am really starting to appreciate my grammar education I received in elementary school. We used to diagram complex sentences, and although I might be forgetting some of it, the knowledge I’ve retained does come in handy when learning foreign languages.

I learned my first adverbs through NihongoMaster  – there were a few, so the first thing I thought I’d do was write them down in this blog. Anything to make them stick! Maybe I’ll have to start up an Anki set soon. What I learned about these adverbs is that some can be used in both positive or negative sentences, but there are adverbs that can only be used in negative sentences.

WordMeaning
ほんとうにreally, truly
あまりnot very, not much
そんなにnot so much
ほとんどmostly, hardly
ぜんぜんnot at all
たくさんa lot

The sentences used in Vocabulary examples don’t give translations, so here are my translations, hope they’re right! By all means, correct me if I’m wrong. New vocab is bolded, my translations are in blue.

  1. 本とうに大じょうぶですか。Are you really ok?
  2. この本はあまりおもしろくありません。This book is not very interesting.
  3. これはそんなにわるくありませんよ。This isn’t very bad.
  4. ジョンさんはほとんどべんきょうしませんね。John hardly studies, amiright?
  5. 私はぜんぜんわかりません。I don’t understand it at all.
  6. アマンダさんはそんなにたくさんはなしませんよ。Amanda doesn’t talk very much!  Amanda doesn’t really talk THAT much
  7. たくさんあそびますか。Do you play a lot?
  8. きょう、むらかみ先生は本とうにきますか。 Did Teacher Murakami really come today?

What I’m Learning this Week

Since I’m using this as a document of my progress in learning, a weekly report on what I’m currently learning would be a great thing to add.  I’d like to settle on a specific day to do this, but since the idea just occurred to me last night, I’ll start today!

Unfortunately my dynamically-pulled Kanji data from WaniKani doesn’t work all the time in the blog, I’m just adding a static table to show the Kanji I’m working on. Oh, how I love technology! I’m working on 42 Kanji characters this week for Level 5 of WaniKani. The table below allows you to view, sort and page through the kanji.

Kanji I’m Learning This Week

From WaniKani

Total since I’ve started:

Radicals 141
Kanji 145
Vocabulary 321
Total 607

Currently starting to learn:

Kanji I'm Working On

CharacterMeaningOnyomiKunyomi
meatにくNone
西westせい, さいにし
voiceせいこえ
runそうはし.る
goldきんかね
valleyこくたに
rainあめ, あま
mixこうまじ, ま, か
forest, woodsりんはやし
times, revolveかいまわ.*
goこう, ぎょうい.く, おこな.う, ゆ.く
home village, home town, hometownさと
soundおんおと, ね
sellばい
color, colourしき, しょくいろ
selfじ, し
diagramず, とえ, はか.る
rice, americaべい, まいこめ
come, nextらいく.る
near, closeきん, こんちか.い
right, success, correctとうあ.たる
many, much, lots ofおお.い
shape, appearance, formけいかた, かたち
grass, weedそうくさ
sayげん, ごんい.う, こと
sunlight, lightこうひかり, ひか.る
feather, feathers, wing, wingsはね, は
bodyたいからだ
meetかいあ.う
makeさく, さつく.る
sameどうおな.じ
pondいけ
study, learn, learningがくまな.ぶ
think, considerこうかんが
younger brother, little brotherだい, で, ていおとうと
whatなに, なん
everyまいごと
companyしゃやしろ
skyくうそら, あ, から
angle, cornerかくかど
blueせい, しょうあお
wheatばくむぎ
Kanji I'm Working On - Level 5

I reinforce the Kanji I learn from WaniKani with a supplemental fan site called KaniWani which reverses the drills. Instead of being shown Kanji, I am shown the definition in English, and I write it in Japanese. More about that later. I also use an app called Kanji Drills on my phone a little bit each day.

Grammar (and more) I’m Learning this week

Just an aside, some of the grammar resources I’m using are still simultaneously teaching me hiragana and katakana. NihongoMaster has already taught me all the kana, and now they are slowly easing into Kanji, but most of the lessons are in kana yet.

From NihongoMaster.com

  • Verbs します (to do), しごとします (to work), べんきょうします (to study), そうじします (to clean)
  • Particles  を, の, に
  • Days of the Weeks

I can read a sentence like this:  私は十二じにごはんをたべます。(I will eat dinner at twelve o’clock.”

From YesJapan books and website

I bought almost all the YesJapan books – Japanese From Zero 1-3, still need to buy 4. I also just started Kanji From Zero 1. I’ll blog about these very soon!

From Japanese From Zero! 1 book and website

  • Possession (かのじょは にじゅうきゅうさい です。)
  • Colors and Adjectives (わたしの くるまは しろと くろと あおです。)
  • Likes and Dislikes (わたしの ともだちは さかなが だいきらいです。)

From Human Japanese App

I’m taking the descriptions of the chapters I’m reading right from their website.

  • Food – Introduces dozens of culinary vocabulary words, allaying any fears the reader might have about Japanese food.
  • Demonstratives – Teaches how to use sets of words like “this,” “that,” “that (over there),” and “which one?”, which always come in convenient four-packs.

NihongoMaster – Now adding JLPT N3 content!

My enthusiasm for my favorite Japanese learning resource is what prompted me today to do some stalking, I mean researching on my favorite website – NihongoMaster.com. NihongoMaster was founded in 2012, after its founder, Taylor Dondich, had traveled to Japan but noticed a dearth of effective Japanese learning resources, most using antiquated methods.  He created a platform to learn Japanese that is fun, engaging, social, and motivational. With the use of technology, he was able to build it with gamification techniques to help learners retain what they’ve learned, and be motivated to keep learning!

learn japanese online the fun way

The NihongoMaster community itself helps people grow and learn together in its Community Forums, and learning Teams. What can be more motivating than to hit the Top Learner charts! Maybe one day I’ll screenshot myself at the top. 🙂

My email updates

Since I joined NihongoMaster in November of 2013 (I didn’t take it seriously at that time and I regret that), I can see my history of NihongoMaster emails. At the time I joined, they definitely had a huge amount of content already. Looking back at the email subjects, they sent me something every few weeks, whether it be a New Lesson announcement, Cultural Notes, Featured Site/Member, Live Chat sessions, Blog updates, and of course, since I wasn’t active, the occasional “Where Did You Go?” or “”You could speak Japanese fluently by now but…”, haha. Don’t worry, you won’t be inundated with emails filling your mailbox, just the right amount to stay excited.

What it all tells me is that they are always working to improve their site, motivate you, and add new lessons. Since I’m a total nerd and will database weird things, I pulled some info into a spreadsheet and found that since I joined, they’ve been adding about 4 new lessons each month. I looks like in mid-2014 they completed all the lessons that would get you to JLPT N5 proficiency, and that fall, they started adding the next section of lessons.

New Advanced Classroom!

A few weeks ago, my screenshot showed this Classroom header.

When I came back from break, I noticed a little change to my Classroom header!

They added an Intermediate level. Well, they actually created the Intermediate level to hold what was Advanced before, and created a new Advanced Classroom Level. The new lessons will be covering JLPT N3 lessons, taught by the new instructor, Aki.

Here’s a view of one of the Advanced Classroom lessons. I have no clue what any of this is yet, but give me another year?

NihongoMaster advanced

Can’t wait to learn more

But here I’m still stuck on Beginner (23% complete) and still quite a ways from N5, but I’m so excited to keep learning and learning! I did level up last week, I’m now Level 9! I’ll have to keep at it to level up more and not lose my levels again. I have been going slow with my lessons lately, but I’m going to go at a steady pace once again now. The interaction with some of the more experienced members have left me wanting to go faster, so let’s see how I go from here.

I don’t want another email with the subject “Where Did You Go?”, “You could speak Japanese fluently by now but…”,  “Where have you been? Remember to keep up your Japanese studies!”.

NihongoMaster JLPT Study Lists

In my research, I did find this handy list.