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study troubles

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study troubles

Postby Stefan » Fri 10.15.2010 4:19 am

Of late i've been having trouble studying Japanese. i dont felt like i did before. before i could study without a care in the world but know i feel like its daunting with all the amount of grammar and vocab to learn and memorize. when i first started learning i didnt think about what made me want to learn but recently, i lack both will and confidence. どうしようかい?
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Re: study troubles

Postby Namsuke » Fri 10.15.2010 12:09 pm

Take a rest. There isn't any hurry to learn Japanese, is there? Take 2 or 3 days off from Japanese; perhaps a week even. Take as long as you need. Cause I believe that too much of anything is always bad.
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Re: study troubles

Postby Belz... » Sat 10.16.2010 9:07 pm

I have similar issues with learning all the vocabulary. Somehow I don't seem to do my studying right because I can't seem to memorize as I should. Grammar is okay, but vocabulary is another matter.

As I said in my introduction, learning English was easy because there's so much in common with French, my first language, and because we learn it at school and see it on TV. Not so with Japanese. Also, since I moved to another city, I kinda broke my routine and only just recently started studying again.

So I'd also like some advice.
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Re: study troubles

Postby The Lady Ashuko » Sun 10.17.2010 2:27 am

@belz... Maybe it would help if you started watching Japanese dramas? I can direct you to a good source for fan subbed dramas if that is not against the rules or anything.
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Re: study troubles

Postby Belz... » Sun 10.17.2010 7:30 am

@Ashuko-san: If it's allowed, yes that could be interesting. What I own in terms of DVD in Japanese are Anime and Godzilla movies, mainly. Thanks!
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Re: study troubles

Postby The Lady Ashuko » Sun 10.17.2010 4:15 pm

Belz... wrote:@Ashuko-san: If it's allowed, yes that could be interesting. What I own in terms of DVD in Japanese are Anime and Godzilla movies, mainly. Thanks!


I just checked and it seems to be against the rules, sorry. I feel kinda bad for bringing it up now :blush:
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Re: study troubles

Postby micahcowan » Mon 10.18.2010 2:07 am

Namsuke wrote:Take a rest. There isn't any hurry to learn Japanese, is there? Take 2 or 3 days off from Japanese; perhaps a week even. Take as long as you need. Cause I believe that too much of anything is always bad.


I must respectfully, but strongly, disagree here. From my own experience, a break of 2 or 3 days, especially because of a "burned out" or frustrated feeling, will become a break of months or even more than a year. It's important to keep the discipline of always doing something, even a very little bit, to keep yourself exposed to the language, and to at least keep what you've already learned, so that you don't come back a year later, cram to regain much of what you lost, and burn yourself out again.

Part of the key, at least for me, is not to get caught up in all that you have yet to learn, but to remember what you already know and can be proud of, and then pick out the next thing you want to work on. Learning Japanese should never feel too much like "work", or you'll very quickly become overwhelmed. Try to find fun things to do (to read or to watch), or fun ways to perform otherwise "unfun" tasks. Remind yourself of all the hard work you've already put into it, and ask whether you're willing to let it all go to waste, because you couldn't work a little more to get yourself to a point where you can actually use your language skills for something.

For vocabulary, don't beat your head against it: just practice using it in a few different sentences and, especially, review it (using an SRS system such as Anki works best for this).

For grammar, don't beat yourself up trying to learn the technicalities: just get some sentences that use the same grammatical structure, and understand what those individual sentences mean. Then try to use the same patterns to attempt forming a couple sentences of your own. You can drop the original sentences wholesale into an SRS system for review, and eventually you'll understand it more easily. This technique is promoted at the website AllJapaneseAllTheTime.com - that site may have some wacky ideas, but it also has several very good ones, and is filled to the brim with plenty of language-learning motivational rhetoric, which might serve you well if you're struggling with motivation right now.

Good luck!
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Re: study troubles

Postby caladwenaeariel » Wed 04.20.2011 3:54 am

Japanese is scary? This is a pretty old post, so I dunno if anyone will read this:)

But seriously! If you're having trouble with studying, and it feels like a lot (a lot) to do, you probably just need to go back and remember why you wanted to start learning Japanese in the first place. If it seems like too much now, it's because you forgot that. Either that, or it isn't worth it now that you realize what you have ahead of you.

But it depends on your personality, I suppose! Good luck:)
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Re: study troubles

Postby Conan » Sun 04.24.2011 11:22 am

Don't overmemorize. I have done that too many times to count, and each time I stop learning Japanese for about a year and forget too much. Instead of memorizing words and grammar, you need to balance yourself with reading and watching Japanese. Just watch Japanese shows for a few days then get back in the groove. Never overwork yourself. It's always better to learn a little bit each day than doing an extensive study for a bit and then take a break anyways.
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Re: study troubles

Postby TheEnglishKnitter » Sun 04.24.2011 3:03 pm

This is probably too late for the OP but might be useful for future readers.
In my opinion it depends on the purpose of the study; business or pleasure.
If you are studying japanese for business/ work/ school, I agree what is required is a change not a rest. Stopping feeds the procrastination and you'll never pick it back up again, and if you do stop the break will be so long you will have forgotten too much to be useful. Do something japanese but fun for a rest/ change of scenery, celebrate a japanese festival or watch a movie/ read manga in the sunny park/ coffeehouse for 1-day, then hit the books tomorrow (not too hard, just with renewed vigor, don't burn out as Conan says). Sometimes just changing the mode of study can be enough to boost you, e.g. download a new flashcard app, learn how to use mind maps etc.
If you are studying for fun (like me), taking a break can be a good idea. I have knitted for the last 30-years, it is a hobby but sometimes I get a bit knitted out and don't fancy reading about yarn or new design techniques instead of actual knitting so I take a break for a week or 2, occasionally admiring knitted garments from afar, then inspiration grabs me again and I'm back into it. So taking a break, following your interest, enjoying the sun can reinvigor your inspiration and get you back into the study. If you push on, you might find you give up altogether because there is no fundamental reason for continuing, e.g. a degree/ job etc, I have lost many knitters from my local group this way :(
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