Thursday, April 30, 2009

Grammars do exist!

I might have not made my position publicly clear about grammar study in language learning, but I will now.

I'm against it. I think it is, in most cases, a waste of time.

Grammars are very valuable. Study of grammar brings a deeper understanding of the language. It is just that knowing it has very little effect on your comprehension and your output. That's it.

If you already know the language well, learning grammar will boost your ability to reflect over sentences. It will give you ability to discuss the language with other people.

It will probably make your reading or listening skills better, but its effects are minor comparing to simpler things like reading for your own enjoyment.

But if you enjoy learning grammar, thought, you'll be killing 2 birds with 1 stone. If you fall in this category, for all means check this link:
http://www.geocities.jp/niwasaburoo/

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Massive unintentional grammar practice

Today my thoughts were drifting, and then something came up in my mind.
Maybe I'm doing a lot of grammar specific practice.

How? By "unconjugating".

I see conjugated verbs everywhere and I have to "unconjugate" them to check the dictionary.

So maybe, I'm a bit of an hypocrite (you know, being a forget grammar evangelist).
But maybe that's what reading and listening a lot forces you to do.

Practice grammar is probably needed after all, but you do it without noticing.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cramming trought the Joyo

I know I advocate natural language learning, and that searching for specific words is not optimal. But I was growing nervous that my Joyo % was not raising anymore and started to cover it systematically.

This is probably not the best way to learn Japanese, but I really love statistics and the kanji count that was not raising anymore was bothering me. So I'm cheating. I'm going throughout the anki unseen kanji, picking some words and adding sentences for them. Even if these sentences are not so great.

After I'm done with the Joyo, I'll continue doing sentences the right way.

The 3444 seen cards in this deck contain:
2060 total unique kanji.
Jouyou: 1817 of 1945 (93.4%).
Jinmeiyou: 48 of 287 (16.7%).
195 non-jouyou kanji.
Jouyou levels:
Grade 1: 80 of 80 (100.0%).
Grade 2: 160 of 160 (100.0%).
Grade 3: 200 of 200 (100.0%).
Grade 4: 199 of 200 (99.5%).
Grade 5: 185 of 185 (100.0%).
Grade 6: 180 of 181 (99.4%).
JuniorHS: 813 of 939 (86.6%).

Friday, April 3, 2009

Vocabulary is everything

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802182054.htm

I might be a little biased to read this article and say this, but yes, vocabulary seems to be everything.
The more words you know and the harder they are, the easier it gets to learn new words. Simple as that. And grammar comes by accident.

Memorization of vocabulary in context, with the aid of tons of audio is the key. End of story.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Anki stats update

Quick tip:
Try reducing your session times. I adjusted the review lenght of my session to 3 minutes. I do 3-5 already in the morning and voila! My reviews are done.

And the kanji stats:

The 3339 seen cards in this deck contain:
* 1983 total unique kanji.
* Jouyou: 1753 of 1945 (90.1%).
* Jinmeiyou: 46 of 287 (16.0%).
* 184 non-jouyou kanji.
Jouyou levels:
* Grade 1: 80 of 80 (100.0%).
* Grade 2: 160 of 160 (100.0%).
* Grade 3: 200 of 200 (100.0%).
* Grade 4: 199 of 200 (99.5%).
* Grade 5: 185 of 185 (100.0%).
* Grade 6: 180 of 181 (99.4%).
* JuniorHS: 749 of 939 (79.8%).