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Having trouble learning...

Is this bad for 2.5 months time?

  • Yes

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  • No

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SWB

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Mar 10, 2015
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I'm getting a bit discouraged, I have no intention of stopping myself from learning Japanese, but I'm just not retaining enough information.

I've been studying Japanese for about 2 and a half months. So far I've managed to learn all of Kana, and have started using Anki to continue learning. Over my many years of watching anime I've picked up some words and can pick out different meanings for SOME stuff, but not very much at all.

I'm using the "Japanese Core 2000 Step 01 Listening Sentences Vocab + Images" deck and I've picked up MAYBE 50 more words in this entire time, and I have a very slight understanding of the grammar structure.

I feel like this is very slow, as I've read lots of other peoples stories about learning Japanese, it's very discouraging.

Is it as bad as I'm making this sound in my head? Also, how can I improve my methods to motivate myself and retain more of the language?

P.S. I've decided to try to keep 3 words in my head and repeat them for an hour, for 5 hours a day. Good or Bad idea?
 

SWB

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Mar 10, 2015
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I'll give it a shot, it really sucks that after the time I've put in it seems like I've gotten almost nowhere, does it get easier after you start to pick up more and more? I've heard it does?
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
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I'll give it a shot, it really sucks that after the time I've put in it seems like I've gotten almost nowhere, does it get easier after you start to pick up more and more? I've heard it does?
Have you ever pushed a car that's out of gas? It is a lot like that. It takes a lot of effort to get it started rolling but once it is going it doesn't take as much effort to keep it rolling.

It is also very difficult to recognize your own progress as you study and to constantly feel you're getting nowhere. This is a common phenomenon.
 

SWB

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Mar 10, 2015
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Thanks ^.^ I really appreciate the advice and the motivation sure helped make me feel a bit better, I've just purchased Genki I with the work book, hopefully it will help me to improve!
 
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I strongly recommend getting the companion CD if your edition doesn't include it. Learning how words actually -sound- is critical and self-studiers don't have a teacher providing examples every day. Also check out WEB版 エリンが挑戦!にほんごできます。|Global Home ... a series of video skits that makes a great supplement to any textbook course. (The first couple of 'basic' skits are actually pretty challenging for beginners while the rest of the 'basic' set is pretty simple, so don't be discouraged with the start. The 'advanced' skits are not really that difficult in vocab and grammar, but because they are at natural speed they can be hard to understand until much later in the learning process.)

After learning the grammar basics from Genki, i think you'll find studying the core deck (presumably in Anki?) a lot easier. Without a grounding in grammar, it's hard to make much sense of the example sentences. And fwiw, I have a terrible memory and ADD. I also passed the JLPT N1 this past December, and more importantly (to me) can read novels in Japanese. It took me much longer than average, but I got there because I didn't quit.
Note that months-long breaks will set you back horribly; try to practice a little something every day to keep the language fresh in your mind - a little every day is important to avoid forgetting. As long as you do that, you'll keep moving forward and get there when you get there.
 
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