Tag Archives: excel

2018 Resolution

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One of the resolutions I made during 2018 was to make language learning more efficient and streamlined. I was racking my brain on what repetitive tasks I do that I can eliminate. My pondering led me to autohotkey, gaming mouse with many buttons (I’ve been looking into other time-saving scripts since I posted that HG format post), sharex (I use the sound recording feature and capture region feature. I will probably not open paint for a long time! ), anki plugins, clipboard managers like ditto, and strategically thinking about how I spend my time with anki.

AYBRG5.md.pngSometime this year I decided to stop editing and fixing up anki cards. It dawned on me that there’s no way to make it efficient (a lot them are basic cards that I want changed to cloze cards and of course I only had 2 fields back then and pasted crap whereever and selected any note type), it sucks up a lot of time, and I have too many cards I want to fix or edit or generate cards from. I do my reviews on an ereader so I can only edit cards on the computer. That would mean I’d be editing cards instead of making new cards or reading/listening/watching korean/japanese stuff. I noticed one time I edited and AYBklT.md.pngfixed up 10 cards and 20 minutes passed and I had 900 cards MARKED from ankidroid. Fixing cards take longer than making cards because I have to figure out why I marked it. I don’t feel a sense of accomplishment from fixing cards especially compared to making new cards or doing them or doing something fun in my languages. I’ve gotten better at letting stuff go ever since I read Marie Kondo’s book katazuke no mahou 1 & 2 in Japanese ( the joy of tidying up). By the way, that book is really easy to read. Now I tell myself, if it’s that important then I’m sure it’ll show up again in some memorable context.

I’ve also moved ancient cards (stuff from 2012) and leeches into a new deck so that my decks are more lean. I don’t look at the leech deck or the ancient cards deck but it’s there in case I search for something in anki. I did it after I heard mattvsjapan’s youtube video about deleting a card after 1 year. I can’t get myself to delete cards unless they are truly terrible.

Spending excessive time editing cards is the anki trap that everyone should avoid. I am learning Japanese and Korean to enjoy the media and broaden my horizons and be more enlightened, not to make amazing anki decks. Making perfect anki decks is not the end goal unless you’re selling it? (is it even that profitable?) I thought I could put a reasonable amount of time and energy towards improving/editing my anki cards but I due to time-constraints it’s actually impossible. More importantly, editing/fixing up anki cards does not improve my Korean/Japanese like reading or listening does. People fall into this rabbit hole of spending too much time editing cards or making cards. Anki is a tool to help me reach my goals faster and more efficiently. I can truly say without any doubt that if I watched Korean TV from 2012 looking up every word without using anki I would be nowhere near where I am today in terms of passive vocabulary. Space repetition is effective and helpful especially when you cannot or do not want to immerse full time. If you use anki, don’t just think about how much time you spend doing reviews. Realize that the time spent editing and making cards is time that you could’ve spent reading or doing AYBEkz.md.pngsome other productive activity in your target language.

READLANG + EXCEL for generating cloze cards

I took an excel class in High School and never thought I’d use it since I wasn’t planning to go into business school or finance. It turns out excel is useful for manipulating text.

I figured out how to automate the generation of cloze deletion cards using excel and readlang.com. Of course I’ve been a long time fan of control +h (find and replace text) so I’m not completely clueless about efficiency.

For Korean I use readlang.com’s chrome addon to collect the words I come across in internet articles and although the site generates cloze deletions when you export the text, I would never cloze delete a whole word for Korean. It is way too difficult. I like to make 2 clozes for a syllable of the korean word and another cloze for the meaning or I make cloze for the meaning as the same cloze number as the syllable that is easier to remember. My choice is either to make clozes manually in anki or figure out excel and automate that stuff. I obsessively thought about it one day and then figured out how to do it in excel I ended up using a combination of concatenate, replace, and substitute. In addition to clozing the text I also concatenated html and asterisk so that the word stands out. I put in html to make the font size big and underline the text. It feels satisfying to drag my mouse to cloze and format the words exactly the way I want. Also I use naver translate and so-net so generate korean-japanese and korean-english translations so it saves me manual look-ups when I go through the sentences in excel before importing to anki. Readlang.com’s chrome addon uses google translate by default so it is a hit or miss regardless of what language you’re translating. It doesn’t even work well for Spanish.

FoAYB1LC.md.pngr Japanese I use rikaisama to generate the import.txt and I paste that into excel to manipulate the text into my liking before my importing. I set up excel scripts so that the word is wrapped in asterisks and underlined, and the first or second syllable of the word in hirgana in the the sentence is clozed. Just 2 years ago I used to manually cloze stuff out using ___ before importing because I completely forgot about excel.

For Spanish I’ve using workaudiobook (using audio and srt sub files from youtube), lingoes pop-up dictionary, and readlang.com to learn it sporadically. I run the sentences through deepl and reverso contexto before I import into anki. I paste everything into excel to set up everything before importing. I use substitution or replace (can’t remember) to make the word be bold, underlined, wrapped by asterisks, and be a huge font size. I am nonchalant when it comes to Spanish so if the deepl or reverso contexto both fail me I suspend the card and move on. Most of the time they pull through since they both kick google translate’s ass. I’ve been thinking that I do not want to learn Spanish and French at the same time since it’s inefficient and I don’t have time or desire tAYBri2.md.pngo commit to such an undertaking. I have no aspirations of becoming fluent in Spanish or French because I know how long it takes and I have a lot of stuff to read and watch in English, Korean, and Japanese. I hope to implement this method for French sometime in 2019 when I feel like I made decent progress in understanding conversational Spanish. I was also thinking that learning Spanish and French is a good strategy since they complement each other. Instead of looking at it from the point of view that Spanish will help me learn French, I think of it as it’ll make forgetting French harder. I think the former is too optimistic and unrealistic. That is the same approach I took with Korean. I said to myself there’s no way I will forget Korean and go backwards if I am well-versed in Kanji. There’s just no damn way. I proved myself correct 🙂 In fact, mass-reading Korean novels etc without knowing about Kanji seems mad inefficient to me.  Yes you benefit from reading a lot but you benefit so much more when you know Kanji/Japanese. This year I read this book and I looked up 0 words when I read it  (I underlined anywhere from 0 to 10 words per page. most of the pages had 3-5 unknown words. Of course there was a handful sentences where I didn’t understand the sentence despite re-reading it.) but I definitely improved by the end because I know Kanji and Japanese. It was just a matter of me figuring out the word/hanja that is hiding behind hangeul. Of course there were non-hanja based words that I didn’t know that I couldn’t do anything about except try to figure them out from context. I plan on flip-flopping between the 2 languages every x months because me doing a 20minute session in Spanish one day and then a 20 minute session in French the next day or the same day is pointless. The inefficiency bothers me.

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How I EFFICIENTLY learn Korean from reading

EDIT: 11/2018 – not sure when exactly it happened but I found a much more efficient way to go about this of course. It involves readlang.com and I will post it about it in the future if I feel like it. Also my 2016 post on learning korean with anki is also really inefficient compared to what I do now 🙂

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1) I don’t like staring at the computer

2) I’ve been at learning Japanese for like 8 years so I’ve been obsessed with efficiency as of late and have let go of stuff that just sucks up time but doesn’t make a big impact. In other words I’m optimizing my use of anki as much as possible.

3) my anki usage for Korean works because of my current level in Korean. I could not do this with Spanish fo sho.
I hate reading Korean sometimes. I only say this because I’m super used to reading Japanese and them Chinese characters. while for Korean words I know are hiding behind a mask until I look it up and go goddamnit that’s such a simple, obvious word. of course the upside to Korean is that it’s easier to type and look up stuff but then again sometimes trying to figure out the meaning that matches the word can be more of a pain in the ass compared to looking up a Japanese word with the Chinese characters in the word but that’s what chiebukuro and lang-8 are for when my analytical and critical thinking skills are lacking or when I don’t want to use them lol. that isn’t to say that my Korean reading is weak. I read fast because it’s inevitable with alphabets to get faster at reading them but alphabets don’t give me that effortless feel that I get when I read Japanese with the Chinese characters. the reading is automatic and effortless because the Chinese characters are so distinct looking.

4) I only read about topics that interest me. the generic advice of read news articles everyday is BULLSHIT. I’m sorry no one gives a shit about the news at least not as much as you unless you don’t even follow the advice you are saying. by the way the most important thing you need to notice is that the person who is spouting this nonsense is not even fluent in their target language. what is up with these assholes that are not even fluent giving advice that are shit.

5) I learn Korean using Japanese. once in a while I use Korean to learn Korean because I just got taken a site with Korean definitions instead of Japanese definitions when I clicked on a link in Google and I didn’t want to waste anymore time in Google since the definition made sense to me. ALSO I don’t have intentions of going monolingual dictionary at all. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel that way. for the most part I prefer to read Japanese because it’s more efficient because they use Chinese characters while Korean they don’t so you gotta really use your brain every f’in time and figure out which word they’re using based off the context at times (which is perfectly, fine, acceptable and effortless to Korean native speakers I’m sure. but I sure as hell am not subjecting myself to unnecessary mental somersaults)

the main reason I want to share this is for THE EFFICIENCY ASPECT. I hope to inspire people to stop being damn perfectionists because it will slow down the rate at which you learn the language. but seriously what is up with those people with the “language notebooks” it’s like their obsessed with their handwriting saying it looks ugly or pretty or improved. it’s like it’s inefficient.  IT’S SERIOUSLY ridiculously depressing how inefficient and ineffective the notebook stuff is especially if you handwrite all the definitions (even worse if you do example sentences from the dictionary or add the hanja) to the words you look up in a book or something and then NEVER Look at it again. talk about a time sink. i don’t know what possesses people to do this shit. it will not get you to fluency and it is not smart. i could never even get myself to do it because i see the futility in doing that like how will this serve me 5 years from now 10 years from now 6 months from now. these people are clearly not trying to become fluent or they refuse to see the errors in their ways in that there are better ways to go about it. clearly their goal is not fluency though they don’t seem to realize it.

First things first, I’ve been reading articles about hanja usage in Korean like mixed vs only hangeul and people’s thoughts on the advantages and disvatanges for both sides.

So I printed out a bunch of articles on my topic of interest. by a bunch I mean 180 pagesworth. I format that shit like boss on microsoft word! I went through half of it so far.

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What I do is

1) I read it and circle words/grammar/anything with a red pen.
2) Then on a later day I type in all the words/grammar whatever (not the whole sentence) in a notepad file (I don’t type whole sentences or paste the sentences/paragraphs because then I’m spending a lot of time searching for my single word that I don’t know on the right side of naver translator which makes this shit REALLY INEFFICIENT ). sometimes i do take the sentence or the clause but usually i don’t because it’s not worth it.
3) I paste that into naver translator and translate Korean to Japanese.

http://translate.naver.com/#/ko/en/

4) I read the sentence or the section of the article again with the definition in mind and finally comprehend the sentence/paragraph in its entirety. for the words where the TRANSLATOR fails me or I want a more detailed definition I just mark them to back to afterwards (put a star next it whatever **) because it’s more efficient that way. i mark that in the notepad rather than the naver because naver is finicky. also simplenote is probably better than notepad since it automatically saves but my computer has been rather stable lately so i’m not worried about stuff suddenly closing/crashing.

5) I look up the words in which the translator definition does not satisfy me on naver dictionary by searching all the words in the search bar. for example you can look up multiple words at the same time by putting spaces between them ie “겨워 대신”. You can do a lot like infinite??? but then it gets more difficult to read through so I usually do 5 words at most. I got really excited at this and I tried it on dic.yahoo.co.jp but it didn’t work 😦 but we have rikaisama for Japanese!

OR I use LINGOES dictionary WHICH HAS the korean/japanese naver dictinoary and it has the pop-up option. and i’ve configured it so that if I copy a korean word that is unknown the definition pops up in 30 pt font and I’m able to highlight the definition or multiple defintions and save them. Maybe I prefer this because there’s no internet required so there’s no lag involved.

6) for the stuff that fails naver translate I go to Google and do “word 意味は”” and then if that fails I ask on chiebukuro with a  ほにゃららってどういう意味ですか? and  the whole sentence or the whole paragraph if I need too. sometimes I go directly to chiebukuro (sometimes lang-8) after naver dic fails me because I don’t like wasting time and I have a feeling that Google will fail me. by the way I don’t have to ever do this for Japanese… it’s really rare. usually the Japanese dictionary has my back. but seriously why does the korean dictionary refuse to carry korean grammar stuff.
7) I paste the stuff I get from Google/chiebukruo/Japanese blog into notepad
8) AT THIS POINT after having reading the sentence with the definition I have deleted any words I do not want to learn for whatever reason ( useless/not interested/too easy/ too obscure/etc/etc). I delete the words on NOTEPAD and NOT naver translate because naver translate is finicky and I do not want to waste my time. so I usually repaste my modified list of words into naver translate.

ANYWAYS, I paste the stuff in the LEFT SIDE OF naver translate into EXCEL

9) I paste the stuff in the RIGHT SIDE OF naver translate into excel.
10) REPLACE OR ADD to the entries of the RIGHTSIDE of naver translate with the stuff I got from Google/chiebukuro/Japanese blog WITH if I’m adding. BY THE WAY I DO NOT OBSESS OVER getting PERFECT or complete definitions over every word because that is a waste of time. anki is a tool. it should not be your only contact with the language and you really can’t know a word until you encounter it multiple times in the wild. hence I do not stress over PERFECTING my anki cards (that is a waste of time after a certain point). I only do this stuff with Google/chiebukruo because the dictionary fails me.
11) I select column D and paste =CONCATENATE(A1,11,B1,22,A1)
12) I copy column d, paste into notepad and replace 11 with : and 22 with : using control + h … I’m gonna start doing a1,11,b1,11,a1 so I just replace 11. I used to do

instead of : for the part between the definition and the cloze deletion blank.
13) blank out the random syllable of the Korean word on the left side by using * to blank out all the parts then using control + h to replace that with ____ for my blanks
14) add tags: article on the top of the notepad file so that they’re ALL tagged with article
15) import into anki with the card specifically formatted with 3 fields for cloze deletion blank, definition, whole word or sentence (it’s not often but sometimes I do get the whole sentence or phrase). that way I can edit card type/format whatever so that I get cloze deletion blank definition on the front and whole word on the back.

I feel very content that I’m able to go about it in an efficient way. Because of this I’ve been able to add like anywhere from 20-50 words to anki per week because I work full time and I like to do stuff I enjoy and minimize my use of anki. My expectations are that I won’t really notice much of a benefit from doing this until I add a few thousand words just because I’m not at that sweet intermediate stage where everyday you feel like you improve so much. Right now I’m at a point where I know the majority of the commonly used words which enables me to notice the less commonly used words and also allows those words leave more of an impression on my mind. This is just my assessment of my current situation with Korean based on my experience with Japanese. THe UPSIDE to this upper stage compared to the intermediate is that I will notice improvement from ignoring Korean/not doing stuff in korean. By that I will go weeks without watching/doing something in Korean then watch something or read something and I feel like my korean is somehow better in that certain concepts or words or whatever just makes more sense or is more automatically processed then before. the reason is there’s a digestion/processing thing that happens while i’m not even doing shit in that language. it’s a subconscious thing.  steve kaufman touched on this specific observation in language learning but i don’t know which youtube video it was.

Just sharing because I’ve been  learning Japanese for long and though I cannot take back all the time I “wasted” by doing stuff inefficiently etc I can learn from that and figure out ways to make stuff efficient from here on what. also i try not to think about it because it’s too depressing lol. by the way for japanese i use rikai-sama, excel, capture2text, microsoft word (holy shit control +h for ^p is MIND BLOWING!and i wish i knew about it sooner ), transcripts of japanese tv i linked on the side to be more efficient about it.

if you’re confused about my anki format here is an entry

https://choronghi.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/how-i-learn-korean-with-anki/

if somehow you can think of ways to optimize this process even more let me know. as far as I know there isn’t because there’s no pop-up korean dictionaries that’ll enable me to do this and this is the most efficient way to look up words.

I will post my KOREAN 101 post when I gather up a few more words that make me go why the hell don’t I know this yet.