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If You Have Time To Worry About When You’ll Get Good…

…then you have time to focus on getting better.

Worrying about whether or not you’re getting good is simply a sign that you still suck.

So go suck less.

No, shut up.

And go suck less.

You’re not especially dumb or smart. You’re just wasting your time and mine.

Things tend to start going well once you quit worrying about whether or not things are going well.

Now leave us the crap alone and go watch some cartoons 😛 .

  15 comments for “If You Have Time To Worry About When You’ll Get Good…

  1. ahndoruuu
    February 24, 2011 at 12:11

    “Things tend to start going well once you quit worrying about whether or not things are going well.”

    Can’t even tell you how true this has been for me. I think I restarted kanji, literally, over a hundred times because i was worrying whether or not i was doing them properly. I’d get to about 120 and then restart without fail because the formatting on my cards wasn’t perfect or I didn’t think i had fully absorbed the essence of certain kanji and crap.

    Boy was I crazy. lol.

    • khatzumoto
      February 24, 2011 at 18:00

      > I’d get to about 120 and then restart without fail because the formatting on my cards wasn’t perfect or I didn’t think i had fully absorbed the essence of certain kanji and ****.
      For shizzle. Been there. Done that 😀

  2. February 24, 2011 at 22:14

    My 4 and 6 year old keep wondering when they will get good at English. Oh wait, no they don’t! Actually, they just get used to English ’cause it is all around them all the time. They don’t have a perfect learning system. It’s messy and haphazard a lot of the time, with lots of errors and wrong ideas, but English is relentless and all around them and the mistakes go away over time.

  3. 魔法少女☆かなたん
    February 24, 2011 at 23:17

    Bah, I don’t even know where “good” is supposed to be, so why should I worry about it? Is it when Vegeta reports the scouter reading of my Japanese power level as 八千以上だ! and crushes it?

    • Marc
      February 25, 2011 at 03:30

      Add an extra thousand, over 8 thousand doesn’t cut it in the eyes of Vegeta 😛

    • Colton
      March 1, 2011 at 21:21

      Lol… I’m at 1150 kanji at the moment, and know next to nothing of actual Japanese. So I read 八千以上だ! as “Eight thousand by means above te”…

      I suppose that beats being entirely illiterate though, as I at least get the eight thousand part. Sooo looking forward to when I’ve got RTK over with and can move on to comprehension. It’s pretty easy going, but I keep falling out of focus due to engaging myself with English games and such.. Need to get my act together so I can get this first step over with as soon as possible :/

  4. BilingualBrothaFromTexas
    February 24, 2011 at 23:56

    This post is so on-the-money.

    I likes to eat, so I eat around people who only speak Spanish.

    I likes to read, so I read only Spanish newspapers and books.

    I likes to listen to music, so I listen to only Spanish-language music ALL DAY.

    I likes to talk, so I made it a point to talk to people who spoke ONLY Spanish, every day.

    Whatever you likes to do, you can find a way to do it in your target language. If you
    want to become a native speaker, you simply have to do what a native speaker DOES.
    Simple formula, but difficult to knock into the skulls of my fellow American (Westerners).

    No te preocupes en cuando llegarás a hablar el idioma con confianza, sino esfuértate en
    vivir tu vida entera en el idioma que quisieras ganar. Algún día, sin aviso, comenzarás
    a pensar en el idioma sin parar. No tiene explicación. No tiene razón. Sí es
    absolutamente vale la pena.


  5. アメド
    February 26, 2011 at 03:29

    I thought I’d give everyone an update on my progress, since I don’t post that much anymore on the AJATT as I did before. Things have changed a lot since I started doing AJATT,SRS(anki is my choice) and immersion. Here are my results so far in the 1 year and 5 month progress

    1. How many facts (production and recognition are only 1 fact) do you have in your SRS?
    Sentence deck= 18306 (This is purely recognition cards, going from kanji to kana and then short translation if necessary.
    Vocabulary deck= 24650 (all the cards in my deck so far, I’ve done 22650 so far, obviously collected over the year) (This is recondition as well, same format as my sentence deck expect this contains compounds,idioms,I rarely put 1 kanji words in it, due to too much readings, so it’s always 2+kanji and more)
    Production Deck=3460(in total, I’ve done 3256 so far (This deck contains RTK keywords,kana to kanji production cards and grammar cloze deletion. I plan to add more formats into this, as this is my experiment deck to have fun with.I.e. writing/production that sort of thing.

    2. What sentences have you and are you putting into your SRS?
    Some from shared decks, when I was in the beginning phase I added a lot via shared decks but as I kept getting farther and farther I noticed, cards that you add yourself are better then pre-made ones(if some pre-made decks help you, then add as many as you want.) Thanks to rikaichan, I can easily import vocab into my vocab deck. I put info from things I like, games,anime,news,songs,websites,descriptions,novels, etc. I’m now getting into keigo which it’s pretty fun and more learning is to be done.

    3. Do you do production (audio/hiragana to kanji) and/or recognition (kanji to meaning) or something else? Is there an order (eg production and then recognition)?
    Yes I do this for my production deck. Although I don’t go from audio to kana then to kanji. Just takes too much time. I’m started to transcribe things on the side that helps this skill develop(i.e. recognizing sounds more clearer/formulating the right kanji from context)
    4. Do you use any kind of special techniques when you review an item with your SRS? eg. dictation, role playing etc.

    No special techniques, just a lot of reading,following audio+transcripts (via rpg,news,songs,movies,etc). Try to shadow, why? You can eventually gain how to speak pretty clearly/correctly just from doing this a lot.

    5. How many cards on average do you add to you deck per day? Or if life is getting in the way of this, once things settle down how many do you intend to add per day?

    If you must know, I go at this pace: 60 new vocab cards per day, 30 new production cards per day, 10 new sentence cards per day. That equals a 100 new cards per day(with all my decks combined). It feels easy when you spread it throughout the your decks. I work with 3 decks and 3 decks only no more and no less.

    6. How much exposure (immersion) to Japanese do get (or intend to get) on average each day or week? In what form?

    Media via games,movies,shows,news,animes,songs,reading books,manga,jp stes,etc. I pretty much listen for the good majority of the day(80%). Unless I’m busy with school/work.

    7. Describe your level including any strengths and weaknesses.
    Strengths>strong kanji knowledge via recognition.

    I can read a lot of kanji via context/understanding there meaning instantly . Anime, I have no trouble understanding this and if they use a word I don’t know, I can understand it thanks to context. Plus thanks to my vocab deck my understanding via listening has excelled so much. Movies/dramas have gotten to the point of: “How the heck did I get this far?”. I can honestly say for media such as games,dramas,movies and most media is around(95%+ understanding, the 5% is for some words I may not know+specialized vocab, but eventually this go to 99^%. Sometimes I feel it’s already there). But when it comes to news I still have some trouble. Not because I can’t understand the kanji, it’s because they still use a lot of new words. I find this is pretty normal as there will always be words I need to keep learning. Anyhow, all I need to do is keep learning, keep srsing/following transcripts to boost my understanding of news. I’m confident if I did that for a few months, I’ll have little to no trouble understanding news, thanks to the power of the srs/immersion.(Small update, thanks to kanji/listening, it’s ,pretty easy to follow, just keep listening/srsing!)
    So my strengths are my recognition skills, listening,reading. So what about speaking/writing? Yea they are my weakness, but not in a bad way. In terms of speaking, I’m doing a lot of shadowing. I didn’t think this would help me that much, but it has. You gain that ability to speak at the same level as a native. I believe doing this,srsing,listening to japanese a lot,immersion,transcripts,shadowing a lot. You can improve your speaking on your own.
    Writing, now this isn’t really a weakness. I can write it fine(kanji) and the same applies to kana. But my goal is to be able to write all the common kanji from memory. That’s why I created my production deck. To gain this ability. I want to branch off into other stuff, like basic note taking,journals,letters,etc.
    I believe even in our native language we don’t write that much compared to how much we listen,read and speak. Heck in English I don’t write as much at all. It’s computer typing nowadays.
    A lot of people around me say, if you gained the ability to listen and recolonize kanji/read. Then there isn’t a reason why you can’t gain the ability to speak a language and write a language fluently.

    8. Are you satisfied with your progress and the techniques you are using?

    Quite happy, sometimes it’s hard to believe. Strange part is, not a lot of people know this around me (even my family). I don’t say much about it anyways, I think once I get a job out of it, or get certification (JLPT level 1 anyone? Translation maybe?). They will be surprised.

    9. Are you satisfied with your level?

    I’d say I’m already functional in Japanese, maybe even passively fluent. But no where near actually fluent(not yet, or maybe I’m just too hard on myself. A lot of people say I set high expectations). I believe if I keep going, I’ll reach fluency/native level,all that stuff in no time.

    10. How far do you want to go with Japanese?

    Would like native like ability in reading, listening and obviously writing, speaking,

    11. How confident are you of getting there?

    100%, no ones stopping me!

    12. From when you started adding items to your SRS, aside from your process evolving bit by bit, are there any major things you would do again differently if you could?
    Not too much, maybe just work on production in the beginning a bit more(speaking,writing). But I’m thinking about daily activities now and not what I could have done in the past.

    13. How long have you been studying?
    1 year and 5 months, if you count RTK 1+3 volume. It’s 1 year and 8 months. Don’t count it as I wasn’t really learning “real” Japanese.

    • Chagami
      February 26, 2011 at 05:39

      What a great post! 😀

      It brought up some interesting thoughts for me. You see, I’ve only placed myself in an immersion environment for about a month, and even at that, this has been a month of building up steam. I’m quite the definition of a beginner.

      So when I read about how much you’re SRSing, I think, “You’re doing huge things like that, and I don’t even do any compounds!” or “How am I suppose to sentence mine when I can only recognize 300 odd Kanji!”

      But then I realized, it’s not as if I suck; I just have a sucky job to do.

      It’s sort of like building a house. You’re painting the front door, putting on shutters, and installing the siding. What you’re doing looks drastic and impressive. But all I’m doing is making my foundation by pouring concrete ontop of dirt. It’s not glamourous and my house doesn’t even look like anything at this point.

      And I think this is an issue for beginners. We lose track of the fact that you’re able to do such great things *because* at one point, you were just pouring concrete on dirt as well.

      It almost sounds silly to me when I use the house metaphor, but I think it’s true that beginners like myself assume that you just randomly decided to put sentences into your decks and were able to digest your media in a way that made you learn better than us.

      Anyway, thank you for your post – it was really inspiring! ..I just wish that there was more hope for us beginners…

      • アメド
        February 26, 2011 at 08:35

        Remember, I was a beginning too at one point. All I kept doing was the same thing. I obviously experimented and kept going with my srs and immersion, even when I felt I wasn’t improving. I made it fun by changing the way I srs (fun fonts,audio,cool looking kanji,etc). Thanks to downloading traditional japanese fonts to anki, I review my vocab deck+sentence deck in calligraphy form. It’s fun (for me at least).

        I srsed really small sentences in the beginning,grammar,etc. I’m still srsing grammar now. But the difference now is I understand how it works due to getting used to Japanese.

        Banish boredom? Add visuals,audio,etc. My RTK keywords are less 20 less reviews each day now. But that’s because I’ve been doing them for more than 1 year.
        Everyone learns differently/enjoys different things. You can definitely find ways of enjoying it (I think you’d enjoy it a lot once you start seeing the benefits)

    • Rout
      February 26, 2011 at 05:57

      I wonder if you have any advice on to banishing boredom from doing RTK. Well, “boredom” isn’t the right word maybe… I don’t find it boring, I kinda like writing out the kanji and thinking up stories, but it’s not the most exciting activity out there, and I find myself struggling to learn 15 new kanji every day. I try to do it 5 kanji at a time but I often fail to reach the 15 mark anyway (it’s JUST 15 too, it takes maybe half an hour total to think up the stories, put them into Anki, etc. D:).

    • Gabriel
      February 27, 2011 at 11:55

      Out of curiosity, about how many cards are you reviewing a day, apart from the 100 new ones?

  6. アメド
    February 27, 2011 at 14:55

    average around 700-1200 daily+100 new a day(spread throughout my decks). Takes 1hr and 30mins. If I’m going in a smooth pace, it usual takes 1hr and even less at times.

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