초롱이 ★  ごきげんよう

HOW TO USE LANG-8

Posted in Japanese, language learning, writing by choronghi on February 6, 2017


Here’s my advice on how to use lang-8. You could say my views are pessimistic but I think they’re realistic and recognizing and accepting reality is necessary.

If you notice on my lang-8 my writing has improved a lot and on one of my entries this Japanese person had said you know I can’t say that your writing is wrong or right because you have your own writing style. Of course within that entry there were legitimate mistakes or parts where there was a more natural way to express something but there definitely were parts that supported what this person had said. ONE OBSERVATION that you can make is that lang-8 did not improve my writing. I did not religiously force myself to write entries into lang-8 every week or every month. there are some long stretches of blanks on lang-8 and i can tell you that i never EVER EVER EVER ANKIED anything i wrote on lang-8 whether it’s my writing or someone else’s correction of my writing.

i hate people who shit on input-based methods especially when they arrogantly criticize it based on their TINY AMOUNT OF INPUT. i phrase it this way because people don’t seem to understand A LOT OF INPUT. I AM Speaking from experience feeling frustrated being stuck at the intermediate or advanced plateau where i did spend a lot of time in japanese but I still had not passed this elusive “threshold”. also i had my personal circumstances that prevented me from spending time doing things i wanted to do including things in japanese.  it took me longer to reach this elusive threshold point. or maybe it was the mcd format that really made an impact. That was something that organically transpired from me finally coming to terms with the fact that i am wasting time on anki whether it’s making cards or doing them because the shit was not working.

Of course ultimately you have to write a lot if you want to improve at writing so you can’t just rely on input but input is still a part of outputting.

so my advice for using lang-8 to improve your Japanese is to use lang-8 for it is. You can write something and gauge how correct or natural your Japanese is. Don’t try to memorize the corrections or add the corrections to anki. Why does anyone think that sounds like a good plan? It is a site where people correct your Japanese… depending on the individual’s level it could be anywhere from fixing minor mistakes to making something unintelligible into something intelligible. PLEASE do not waste YOUR TIME and other people’s time writing unintelligible giberish or bs shit like watashi ha honyara desu. nihongo wobenkyou siteimasu. anime ga suki desu. If you write about something boring and generic no one will want to read it. IF no one ends up correcting your entry you really can’t blame them. IF you can’t understand anything don’t bother outputting. You’re just better off inputting if you’re those people writing unintelligible entries. Once you can intput decently, find something you want to write about passionately and write about it. I submit entries to lang-8 sporadically but when I do it’s usually about a topic that I want to write about. It’s nice to see my old lang-8 entries and to see how good or bad my Japanese is. Sometimes I’m surprised I used a certain word or some obscure grammar thing I was into at the time due to the influence of JIN or something else.
What I attribute to my improved writing at lang-8 is a lot of input and output (talking to myself, writing) NOT trying to memorize lang-8 corrections by heart or word for word. input a lot, output a lot

ANOTHER tip is DO NOT USE THE DICTINOARY TO LOOK UP WORDS while you write. one reason is lang-8 is kind of a record of how much you grew so if you go out of your way to look up all these fancy words that you didn’t know then and you don’t know now to make your entry seem better than what your actual skills are it kinda defeats the purpose. plus it’s really obvious when people do that or use the thesaurus for thier native language. don’t have the motivation to show0off or whatever because you’re wasting time that could be put towards input. it’s a just poor use of your time.

I can understand looking up a word or two to write in your lang-8 (if a word is really necessary or if it’s on the tip of your tongue) but do not waste your time looking up countless words because you wont’ remember them. also i consider  5 years olds to be fluent in whatever language they speak natively because they’ve spent 5 unadulterated years with their language so even if their vocab isn’t huge they know how to use what they know really well like grammar or gion when it comes to japanese/korean children. you should be practicing what you know and try to maximize the possibilities. it’s not just about the number of words you know.

I loved what steve kaufman wrote in his latest blog entry. It’s kinda related to what I wrote about the futility in trying to consciously memorize corrections.
http://blog.thelinguist.com/learning-languages-is-a-subconscious-process

Vocabulary lists

Posted in Japanese, korean, korean tv, vocabulary by choronghi on February 1, 2017

VOCABULARY LISTS
Vocab lists seem so tempting because it seems so efficient sorta like premade like anki decks. Of premade decks I’ve only used the heisig one successfully which  I had to modify heavily to suit my needs.  It’s tempting to go math crazy and do the 20 words a day x 356 days in a year = 7120 words or some other variation but I’ve learned the hard way the futility in doing that with my experience of misusing anki while learning Japanese.

I’m just posting about this topic because I just happened to come across these blogs that are an amazing fit for me to generate the anki cards in MCD format.  These bloggers are sharing what they looked up on their blogs and they’re Japanese people learning Korean so this material is quite alluring to me.

http://uprive1.rssing.com/chan-2640801/all_p15.html
http://yokorea.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-62.html
http://erirang.blogspot.com/

****
6000 intermediate
https://www.evernote.com/shard/s167/sh/5d3a9f85-afd6-4466-82e5-9286d5e8d985/bc45c355f8de111f624047f9f64317d9

6000 advanced
https://www.evernote.com/shard/s167/sh/5b206c6c-9772-4199-9d2a-7f58d816549e/11a60d02ccedd27630da31b7d8a8dc9d


So I had saved this huge ass list of the top 6,000 Korean words from a some wiki website into my evernote.  i had no intention of memorizing the list. I know how it may seem appealing for some hardworking rote-memorizing people but not to me. It just makes more sense to learn these words as you encounter them since they ARE SO GODDAMN COMMON AND USEFUL.  also you may think top 6,000 words are mad useful!! but trust me they most likely aren’t. you need to figure out what YOUR TOP 6,000 KOREAN WORDS ARE as in the top 6000 words that come up in the korean media you enjoy. Anyways I kept it to sorta gauge my growth in korean vocabulary. for example a lot  of the words  were  ha?  the(japanese ha) or like wuh?  from 2 years ago are now i know this shit. I’ll go “wow this shit is mad useful or i’ve seen it.” or i’ll be hardpresed to find words i have never seen or heard of.  never mind it was from 4 years ago! 2012!  If you still suck after 4 years you should reevaluate your methods and your goals.

Speak of the devil, here’s my worst nightmare realized

In my case by the time i reached 3000 cards in anki ( i didn’t anki for the first 3 or 6 months because i do not want to waste my time learning super common/useful words… that’s just stupid) I was  understanding talk variety shwos anywhere from 80 to 100% (depending on the show and how much I look up). it’s not about the number of cards…

BTW memorizing all the words in this 6000 word list will not enable you to watch korean dramas without subtitles ( just looking through this list and thinking of all the words that i know on this list and all the words i know that i encounter that are not on this list… by encounter I mean strictly talk/variety shows). it’s literally the tip of the iceberg (all the awesome kickass words are obviously not in this list… not to mention korea is obsessed with trends so it feels like they invent 100 news words and that of that 90% die the next year, rinse and repeat.  I’m just guessing here because I don’t keep up with that since I don’t watch korean dramas or korean shows on a consistent basis. in fact I’m chasing after random eps of shows that aired a few years ago or a fewdays ago or a few months ago… even with japanese I’ve read over 120 books and recently I looked up a few words from this new book I’m reading and I’m like woah these are some cool words why didn’t I hear about them sooner. this shit is never ending but at the same time I love how there’s so many awesome words out there that i do not know about. this applies to english as well OF COURSE). there’s so much vocab to know for korean dramas (even more for the saguk dramas) since as everyone knows the characters talk so much and they always drag out the dialogue and the scenes. literally every single character in korean dramas are chatterboxes. it’s a lot of vocab. well that level is fluency… in other words watching korean dramas without subtitles. I do know people who are Korean and fluent in Korean who watch it and understand/catch everything so that is what fluency is… for comprehension in my opinion anyway. I don’t like Korean dramas anyway so this doesn’t bother me but sometimes I like gauging my Korean by watching some clip of a korean drama to see my lack of vocabulary or my full comprehension if lightening strikes. sometimes it happens.

However as much as I find anking with mcd format to be effective for learning Korean at my Korean level (vocab, grammar, hours spent on Korean, etc) I can’t bring myself to use the material on these blogs to generate anki cards.  It is intriguing to sorta gauge my level or rather see how much I don’t know from scrolling through these blogs.

I’ve been mostly getting words and whatnot for my anki deck from Korean that come out of people’s mouths on Korean TV and sometimes words on the screen that aren’t said ( I usually only do this if  I feel really tempted because the word seems super easy to remember if it has no bacchim or I feel that  I can associate something with the sound with the bacchim whether or not it is of sino-korean origin to remember the meaning). Partly that’s due to lack of motivation because I do not want to learn useless Korean. Maybe if you’re obsessed and driven to become fluent in Korean ASAP then maybe you have the urge to look up anything and everything but looking at it in the overall scheme of things that’s not an efficient way to go on about that.

The fact that I got something from a Korean show from a Korean person’s mouth imparts that word or grammar etc so much more value versus some word list with words that people think are useful based on their experiences with the English counterpart of those words or whatever variation of this. People just express things differently on a fundamental level depending on the language.

So anyways, some of the blogs that I linked did mine real Korean from a Korean article etc etc which imparts value on the list they share. However though it raises the value of the list in my eyes I personally didn’t read that article so I have no personal connection to any of those words and therefore no conviction that those words are useful. I won’t believe it unless I actually see it being used. But also I won’t force myself to read an article just so I can easily generate anki cards. I’ll only read the article if it interests me.

This site http://uprive1.rssing.com/chan-2640801/all_p15.html reminds me of textbooks. I am tempted for a second to learn from it but then the next second I realize there’s way too much awesome kickass tv show episodes of korean talk/variety shows to be watched. When it comes down to it, no matter what textbook it is, textbooks will never be more fun then native media. The whole point of textbooks is so you can stop using it and learn from Native material ASAP. If you think textbooks are fun you’ll probably faint from the shock of how much more interesting native material is. I see no problem using textbooks in the beginning stages but some people are like hey you got recs for intermediate/advanced? I’m thinking to myself do you want to learn korean for the sake of learning korean? how embarrassing.

If I had to choose between anking too much and anking too little I would choose anking too little. I think anking too much is worse because it’s proof that you are wasting your time that could be spent living your life doing things you enjoy whether it’s language learning related or not. To put a new perspective on it, I imagine what I would be doing if I were fluent in Korean and/or raised in Korea. The answer is not me reading from a textbook to improve my Korean. The answer would be I would be watching the exact same shows I’m watching now except I wouldn’t be looking up anything because I already know all those words and their nuances and their multiple meanings and the literal / figurative meanings of all the Korean because I’m fluent in Korean. I’d probably be multitasking like washing dishes while listening to it etc etc because it’s so effortless. I’m watching the show because I enjoy it. I don’t try to force myself to like a show or pretend that I like it or pretend that I like it or enjoy it more than I do just so I can find something to do in Korean…. I’m sure some people try AJATT and kinda think they’re doing it but they’re really not if they have to lie to  themselves that they enjoy doing something or enjoy it more than they actually do.

When it comes down to it the number of anki cards I have or the percentage of mature cards is not an accurate measure of my Korean abilities. Ultimately it comes down to the amount of time I spent doing STUFF IN Korean while actively trying to figure out what I don’t understand or don’t know. Anki helps so much with making time I spent with Korean to be that much more fruitful and efficient with acquiring Korean vocab /grammar.  I don’t have time to be watching Korean TV all day because I work full-time and I have other stuff I want to do that may not be in Korean. Why should I miss out on amazing stuff like Breaking Bad? Or God Tongue? Though I’m not able to spend a lot of time on Korean on a consistent basis (daily is ideal right?) due to time restraints and my volition that wants to do other things anki allows me to maximize whatever time I spent with the Korean show etc. I’ve never felt like I’ve moved backwards in Korean or even stagnant to be honest. The reason is that sometimes even if you don’t do something in Korean for let’s say 3 months, you still have Korean running through your brain that’s being digested. It’s some kind of delayed processing. I do still do anki on a daily basis or sometimes less frequently. It’s so strange how I feel like my Korean improved in certain ways despite cutting contact for x weeks or months. I’ve experienced this with Japanese as well in the past due to unfortunate circumstances.  It was invigorating to hear other language learners talk about this EXPERIENCE on an episode on  language mastery  podcast. http://l2mastery.com/show/

you know I think the only possible way for my Korean to be stagnant or go backwards is if all I did was textbooks or cramming wordlists.  I think to realize my efforts are for nil would be so devastating and disheartening AFTER x weeks or months despite torturing myself for x hours.  One of the many reasons why I learned Korean after Japanese was that I did not want to waste my time with learning Korean. I equate stagnation and going backwards as wasting time. Learning in this order (with the foundation/scaffolding that is hanja and Japanese grammar) and using anki has ensured that I never feel like I’m going backwards with Korean. It’s just impossible. I never understood how people could motivate themselves to learn a language using methods that could possibly lead to stagnation or going backwards if they slacked or not get in contact with the language for x weeks or months.

holy crap.

Posted in Japanese, japanese learning, Uncategorized by choronghi on January 23, 2017

IMG_2790IMG_2791IMG_2792

I’m not the type of person to share stuff like sharing haul photos of Japanese books ( it’s only meaningful if you actually read the books you hauled) or my handwritten Japanese writing but I thought this was interesting to share since I’ve been going at Japanese for so long.

holy crap I still have this notebook where I use to work on remember the kanji. I’m not the type of person to keep everything like those frightening hoarders on TV. A good rule of thumb is to throw shit away if you haven’t used it or worn it etc in over a year. If anything I would love to be a danshari expert like SAKAI MASATO. He loves throwing crap away.

SO I’m surprised by the fact that i was able to fill up a whole page in such a neat manner. Writing so that the letters fit between the lines is a big deal to me because I’m lazy and I hate writing stuff by hand. It’s evidenced by the messier picture. Of course there are worse pages but 3 pics are enough for this blog post. Coincidentally I also found little entries I wrote in Japanese which is cool (entries where i just wrote something in japanese without looking up how to write x word on the computer because that’s pointless… might as well type it on the computer then) because I’m like oh I was able to do this then. I would think this notebook is from 2008 or 2009 maybe 2010. For  remember the kanji reviews I usually wrote it anywhere and everywhere and then threw the paper away. nowadays I do kakitori reviews on anki because I eventually had to convert the cards over since I can read Japanese and it’s nonsensical for me to stick with the original format of key word + whatever.

So anyways if you just look at this notebook I look like I”m super hardcore and dedicated to Japanese learning right? at least to some random person who doesn’t know Japanese. It looks intimidating lol. If you look closely you’ll notice I’m not just copying the chinese character OVER AND OVER AND OVER OVER AND OVER AGAIN which is a strategy that is very much emphasized and used in Korea probably even now for learning hanja ( those poor kids). It’s great that the emphasize working hard but stupid learning methods are stupid and wasting people’s time and energy that could be put to better use. I was doing remember the kanji where you remember the story and write the kanji. Of course I didn’t fill up the whole page in one day though it would be easily done if all you did is copy the same character over and over again which is just stupid since it’s not effective.

I think I started remember the kanji in 2008 or 2007 and I used anki and it’s 2016 and I”m still using anki and i converted most of it to kakitori and i average 10 cards a day? But the thing is writing by hand isn’t that important nowadays for any language, not just japanese, so I try to not put excessive time into my heisig deck so I don’t go out of my way to add more cards unles I come across some word that i really want to know how to write by hand. Sometimes I want to learn to write a certain word just because I want to not necessarily because it’s useful or common. I still haven’t broken down and drilled the japanese surname/first name anki deck. I don’t care!!! I’ll literally read a japanese novel and for x character they’ll put the furigana on the name the first instance and then the next time i read the book and get to the next instance of that person’s name i don’t know what that person’s name is though I recognize the kanji or the meanig of the kanji and i keep reading and if they do not repeat furigana again  i finish the book not knowing their name. if they repeat the furigana then i might remember it at that point or remember it for a little while and then forget it again. I don’t think it’s too bad because even if i don’t know the reading, I do recognize the kanji and or the meaning of it. I just don’t see the point of me putting effort into name readings. words are more important to me. most of the japanese names I can read are probably names I learned from talk/variety shows because they have so many people on the shows.

rather than writing, I think my time is put to better use reading or listening! I am just apersonthat hates writing stuff by hand whether it’s english or korean or japanese. I just hate writing… the physical movements with my hand are just so demanding for me. But I still want to know how to write Japanese so I’m glad I stuck with it!