Practice 9/30

30 minutes of review today. 復習は30分をした。



I also found this page:


Old but interesting.


Practice 9/29

Forgot to study this morning, so I had to stay up late to finish. Hate to do that, but every day for 30 minutes means every day.

Studied kanji from my flashcards for 30 minutes.


Practice 9/28

Reviewed all of my notes from 9/5 until yesterday. Fixed some errors.

Reviewed kanji from here:

New Vocab/New Kanji
間に合う (まにあう) - to suit


Practice 9/27

Got 30 minutes in tonight.

Just reviewing previously done worksheets.

Still have trouble with some verbs, but it was good to get some review in.



Practice 9/26

Re-did some of the N4 practice sheets.

Listened to this story 4 times.


Bonus vocabulary:

魂胆 【こんたん】 (n,vs) (1) soul; (2) ulterior motive; secret design; plot; intrigue; scheme;


Practice 9/25

30 minutes practice today.

Review the corrections to my worksheets from yesterday, and did some reading aloud.

Listened to a Japanese new story twice:



Practice 9/24

30 minutes practice.

Finished my kanji/vocab/grammar worksheets. Not sure what I'll do from tomorrow.

Still have some issues with the difference between かまいません and 気にしない.

忠誠 【ちゅうせい】 (adj-na,n) loyalty; sincerity; allegiance; fidelity; integrity


Practice 9/23

30 minutes of practice. Kanji and particle practice mostly.

I worked on 3 different sheets, but I only have answers for one. So I'm going to have to get them checked by a native speaker.

No new vocabularly today, just lots of old stuff I should know but don't necessarily know.



昔の日記を読んで思い出した:役に立たない。やくにたたない - useless.


Practice 9/22

30 minutes of practice.

Pretty much just browsed this page for a while then spent 30 minutes on the quizzes.

JLPT Study


Practice 9/21

Another 30 minutes on my kanji sheets.

New vocab
方法 (ほうほう) - method, process, technique
さかん (さかん) - popular, にんき
ていねい - polite, courteous
たまに - occasionally、ときどき


Practice 9/20

Practiced 30 minutes, mostly my kanji sheets. 10 minutes study, then dinner, then 20 minutes study.

Pages 55-60

New vocab:

迎える (むかえる) - go and meet. 会いに行くのこと
伺う (うかがう) - to visit (humble) 先生の家に伺います。
汚れる (よごれる) - to get dirty. Didn't know the kanji on this one.

拘る (こだわる) - to be particular about something (and 拘り is a fixation, something you're picky about)
割合 (わりあい) - percentage, proportion
砂 (すな) - sand
細かい (こまかい) - small, detailed


Practice 9/19

Long day, with sporadic use of Japanese. Got in 20 minutes of practice, then dinner, then 10 more.

x 3

x 3

話し合い - はなしあい - discussion, conference. 話し合いをする

リニア中央新幹線の駅とルートを発表 (they've decided on the route for the chuo maglev - Tokyo to Nagoya in 40 minutes.

途中 【とちゅう】 (n-adv,n-t) (1) on the way; en route; (2) in the middle of; midway;
通る とおる - to go through, to pass through. From リニア中央新幹線は、86%が山の中や地下のトンネルを通ります。


Bonus Vocab 9/18

Learned this one indirectly today:

腹黒い 【はらぐろい】 (adj-i) mean; malicious; scheming; wicked; black-hearted

Practice 9/18

Slightly more than 30 minutes today.

Did pages 45-54 in my vocab sheets.

New vocab:

熱心 (ねっしん) - zeal, enthusiasm

Did a little listening, but it was pretty difficult because I had really bad net traffic so it was choppy and annoying.

Tried this one:


I will try it again later or tomorrow.


Practice 9/17

Just got in my 30 minutes, nothing extra.

Did an easy Japanese vocab/conjugation test.

I should make a quiz of all my new vocab.

Listened to this 4 times.


Practice 9/16


意味が分からないローマ字の標識を英語にする x 5

標識 (ひょうしき) - flag, sign
客 - customer (so 旅行客 is a tourist)

残る(P); 遺る 【のこる】 (v5r,vi) to remain; to be left;


Practice 9/15

Worked on my vocab/kanji worksheets, 39-44.

Generally I'm pretty good on set expressions. かまいません, おまたせしました, etc. Not that I know when to use them socially, but I know when it's fill in the blank what fits.

New vocab:
続ける - (つづける) - to continue
あく - open (大使館は日曜日はあいていません= The embassy is not open on Sunday.)
騒ぐ - (さわぐ) - make a commotion (お酒を飲んでさわぐ)-make drunken commotion


Practice 9/14

30 minutes of study planned, but before that I had to coach an ESL student and learned a lot of new kanji/vocab.

Random new vocab today, all lazy cut-and-paste from the dictionary.
適切 【てきせつ】 (adj-na,n) pertinent; appropriate; adequate; relevance
不適切 【ふてきせつ】 (adj-na,n) unsuitable; inappropriate; improper
種類 【しゅるい】 (n) (1) variety; kind; type; category; (ctr) (2) counter for different sorts of things;
帰宅 【きたく】 (n,vs) returning home;

Did my multiple choice kanji worksheets again. 38-40, but I want to review 39-40 again. Lots of new vocab today:

適当 (てきとう) - appropriate
不適当 (ふてきとう) - inappropriate (不適当と不適切は、同じかもしならい)
はっきり - plainly, clearly (はっきり見た)
なるべく - as much as possible/wherever practical
ちっとも - not at all (+ neg verb)
しっかり - tightly, or fully/completely
すっかり - completely, totally
けっして - never

I need to avoid confusing 変わりに (substitute) with お代わり (second helping at a ラーメン屋). Not the same.


Practice 9/13

30 minutes of worksheet practice today. 34-38. Still not finished.

New Vocab
盛ん (さかん) - なadj; 人気とか~prosper, popular, thriving
熱心 (ねっしん) - なーadj; enthustiastic


Practice 9/12

Nothing special today - just 30 minutes, working on vocab. Got up to page 33 in my practice sheets.

Some discussion of 予約 (よやく) versus 約束 (やくそく) helped me a lot.


Engrish in Japan (from Foreign Policy)

Just some amusing Engrish:

With the Olympics Coming to Tokyo, Will Japan Finally Brush Up on Its English?

Practice 9/11

Listened to this three times:


激しく - ? まだ良く分からない - very or extreme, when attached to an i-verb.

Kanji/Vocab practice

Reviewed page 30, worked on 31-32. Mix of stuff I know inside and out, and stuff that's new to me. Progress will likely slow down a bit.

熱 (ねつ)が下がるーfever goes down
日がくれる - gets dark/day ends/sunset
戻す (もどす) - to return/put back はこの中におもちゃを戻しなさい。

Best example sentence, for 冷える (to make/become cold)
冷えたビールがあればたまらないね。 A cold beer would hit the spot!


Practice 9/10

While doing other things I listened to this five or six times.


New vocab from that:

発表 (はっぴょう) - announcement (多くの人に広く知らせること)
売り出す (うりだす) - put out for sale, release for sale
増える (ふえる) - 多くなる

Next was kanji practice. Did pages 25-30.

塗る (ぬる) - to color 赤ペンで塗ってください。
正解 (せいかい) - 正し答え (correct answer)
飾る (かざる) - to decorate, to adorn
叱る (しかる) - to scold, 怒る
冷える (ひえる) - 寒くなる

Still working on pg. 30

Notes: I still have passive/active を/が verb selection problems. I was stuck on this for weeks with my previous tutors (all three of the ones who taught it to me). In all cases I made them move on after spending weeks working on the same thing to no avail. I have to figure out some way to make it stick in my head.


Practice 9/9

Little reading today. Instead I spent over one hour listening and re-listening to the following "Easy Japanese" news stories. Short and easy, and a bit slow, but I was able to practice reading along and really listen closely to the speech. I doubled up my usual time because this wasn't directly JLPT related or reading/kanji related. It played to my strength (picking up meaning from spoken Japanese) but I feel like it was still useful.

In reverse order, I listened to:

Dealing with Tornadoes in Saitama (!)

Longest ever pro baseball game in Japan (Softbank beak Nippon Ham in 12 innings)

Japan selected for Olympics in 2012 (Very cool, I have family in Tokyo . . . )

Wrestling is Back in 2020 Olympics - really, how it got removed is beyond me. It's one of the original Olympic sports! And I want the Pankration back in, too, by the way.

Easy Japanese News

Annoyingly slow, but at least it's audio plus written.



Studio360 in Japan

Studio 360, in Japan.

Listen Streaming

Pretty good stuff, I'll just note that I did Purikura with a Japanese woman on a date, and my female students used to give me purikura stickers all the time. So it seemed weird to think of it as intimate/uchimono. They stuck them all over everything they owned and showed them to me.

Practice 9/8

Another 30 minutes. Daily contact with the language is my goal. Reading with understanding or quizzing/drilling.

I like the sheets I'm using because they're cumulative - kanji they use earlier come up again and again in the examples, which helps me remember them. Nice.

New Words:
市民 (しみん) - townspeople
進む (すすむ) - advance (前に行く事だと思う~)
会議室 (かいぎしつ) - meeting room (教室と同じ漢字)
注射 (ちゅうしゃ) - injectionとか、点滴のことだ。
~の季節(きせつ)- ~のseason
低い (ひくい) - short, deep (as in 声は低い)

Useful phrase:
短い間でしたが、お世話になりました。 (instead of always using 色々、お世話になりました。)

Good practice today.


Practice 9/7

Got started late. Did 21-22 in my practice sheets. Got all of my kanji matches correct - started with hiragana and matched it to kanji. That I'm pretty good at.

New words:
景色(けしき) - scenery
教科書(きょうかしょ)- textbook

Not much new today.


Practice 9/6

Got 30 minutes in today, reading and practicing drills. Finished 16-20 in my practice sheets.

I have a big problem with long o sounds. Works like 学校、水道、or 食堂 get me because I can't heard the slight difference between ど and どう, for example. This means I have a hard time picking the right "spelling" off a list even though I can read the words. The reverse is no problem - I know the kanji for the vocabulary. Too bad that doesn't seem to be a big part of the test, Or the point - I should be able to do them backward and forward.

New words;

講堂 (こうどう) - auditorium
急に (きゅうに)- rapidly, swiftly
用意 (ようい) - preparation (I usually default to using 準備 (じゅんび); it's good to have a synonym)
弁当 (べんとう) - bento lunchbox (I know this, I forget the kanji a lot)
人口 (じんこう) - population (same usage as 住民 (じゅうみん), I'm not sure or not)

I need to find some Japanese to listen to in the car that's close to my vocabularly level without. being. spoken. really. slowly. because. my. listening. is. conversational. speed. not all slowed down. The example audio I've heard for N4 sounds a little slow.


Practice 9/5

Today I didn't get in my goal of 30 uninterrupted minutes, but I did get in 30 minutes of scattered practice.

That's not good enough but work intervened and that comes first. Still, I managed to review my kanji and get my homework checked.

New kanji/verbs learned today:

通う/かよう - to commute.

(遠慮/えんりょ)しない - don't restrain yourself

I need to find a good Japanese-to-Japanese dictionary online.

Why am I taking the JLPT?

I used to be pretty good at Japanese. Not great, but conversationally fluent and pretty comfortable in it day to day.

I put in a lot of effort to get there.

But, I let my Japanese get rusty, mostly because I don't need it to survive day-to-day and my schedule made it hard to have a regular tutor.

Therefore I've signed up for the JLPT in December. I will be taking N4 (the levels are N5 - the easiest - to N1 - the hardest). I am sure I can pass it, but the goal is to maximize my score. I want to use the test as a focus for my studies rather than a challenge of my abilities.

I want to make sure I know the material for my level inside and out, because the level isn't the goal, the language is the goal.

I will be using this blog to organize my thoughts, link to things I'm reading about Japan, whatever. But mostly it'll be to lot my daily practice.