Japanese in a nutshell

Shove off, listening! Anyway, reaching slowly the 8300 cards mark in Anki I feel like all the people telling me it depends on the amount of vocabulary you know how much you understand lied on me in a way. I guess 8300 is already.. enough to understand at least parts, sentences, yet not everything (I know). But the point is, I just hear a massive amount of words my brain seemingly cannot process! I in fact do listen to Japanese (see podcast) while reviewing my anki cards, passively. I cannot listen actively yet without getting headaches from not understanding what they are saying; it’s as if I can’t comprehend Japanese. Long ago already I have gotten rid of the inner barrier telling me it’s an unlearnable language and so on, but it seems it comes up in my subconscious. Once a month I try listening to something I haven’t understood a month ago and I see no progress nor improvement so far: it is still the same mess/sea of words in my head.
Seemingly it also does not depend on grammar, as I’m reading “A Dictionary of Basic Japanese grammar” like a novel every now and then and revise what I’ve read and learnt sometimes. (All in all, I just want to get through it and work up the points I’ve missed so far before preceding with dealing with JLPT2 grammar more seriously and starting to read Japanese seriously, which I have never done.)
I feel like I am in a box, yeah. While doing anki, I listen to the podcast and that’s it. I have no problems producing own Japanese on lang-8 for example; I just write and get my mistakes corrected and if I do not understand why this is wrong, I simply ask and mostly understand. Most mistakes are naturally obvious, but everyone knows better after getting corrected it perfectly, right? So, writing Japanese is a lot of fun to me and I try to do so every day on Lang-8.
I find it hard not to understand what is being said, because that’s the way I brought my English to a – for me – high (enough) level. I caught up words I heard and understood from context and integrated them correctly into my own vocabulary..
I wonder what to do next. Perhaps I should really shove my anki deck and start from zero again? Putting more emphasis on listening?? I’m quite desperate at the moment and I wonder how YOU did it. Japanese sounds just so.. foreign to me. (not in its sound.. that sounds ‘natural’ to me, but the formation, use of vocab etc. that makes everything incomprehensible is foreign)

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4 Responses to Japanese in a nutshell

  1. Bokusenou says:

    Hmm, whatever you enjoy the most? XD As for listening, I might try listening to audiobooks of children’s stories (Fantajikan, and such), Drama CDs, news radio, podcasts, and/or ripped audio from shows you have already seen, and see what holds your interest..

    • Tori-senpai says:

      I guess it’s not a question of what I enjoy listening to but rather that I will not understand it anyway. I like listening to the podcast HOTCAST dealing with – obviously – food and drinks, but I can’t absorb much from it. Perhaps I just don’t realise how much I do absorb actually in realtime effectively…

      • Bokusenou says:

        Hmm, with me, reading things is how I like to learn new vocabulary, while listening to things is more like reviewing how much I know, and testing my ability to understand words from context, since it’s kind of a pain to pause and look up words when I’m right in the middle of watching something, so I usually like watching things which I can understand most of, but sometimes it’s fun to watch something about something with a lot of specialised jargon that I can’t understand, for a challenge. Passive listening is mainly useful for me because sometimes when I learn a new word, I sort of remember hearing the sound of someone saying it (or more than one instance), and It’s easier to remember the word then, though of course it’s useful for getting into “Japanese mode” after a long day of non-Japanese stuff.
        If you like listening to HOTCAST, and listen to it often, then even if you don’t understand some things now, it might expose you to words you’ll learn later. ^-^ Plus, podcasts about a certain topic tend to have a bunch of words you hear again, and again until you feel the need to look some up, so it’s kind of like an SRS. XD

  2. aphasiac says:

    Have you tried making listening cards in Anki?

    Front: Audio
    Back: Kanji, kana, english (if needed)

    Goal is to hear the audio on front and *understand* what it means. The trick is, convert sentences that you already have in your sentence deck to this model; it’ll be hard at first (you’ll have to play the audio a few times) but you should see improvements.

    You can also double them up as close-delete production cards, i.e. listen to audio, then you have to comprehend and type out the sentence in full kanji. Takes a while to review, but improves your listening and writing.

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