Learning Hiragana

Screenshot of DuoLingo Japanese, with Hiragana lessons 1 and 2 at level 5, with lesson 3 and 4 at level 3.
Opted to go deep rather than wide this time.

My tutor recommended that I read Genki to get started with learning Japanese. Very early in the book it is recommended to memorize the hiragana chart to be able to transcribe all the sounds of Japanese.

I decided to use DuoLingo (pictured above) for this, having tried to use it before, and knowing that it accommodated both casual learning as well as tryhard cramming.

My tutor told me to acquire graph paper to practice writing, less because I’ll need to be able to write, but simply to help me with memorization. The paper arrived in the middle of the week, but my pseudo-depression got the better of me and it sat in the delivery box until I had to leave for work Saturday morning.

My job is very dull. Rote memorization of anything is more stimulating than the intervals between job duties. Usually I will toil away at crafting some fictional landscape or culture, only to toss it in the recycling bin when the weekend is through.

I’m going to try to repurpose these idle hours to active learning.

Progress for a whole week? I think I have a solid 70-80% grasp of basic hiragana, and I’m starting to get a handle on hiragana with diacritical marks.

That’s where the DuoLingo and Genki overlap ceases, as far as I’m aware.

After hiragana in DuoLingo, it either moves on to teaching katakana or phrases, my memory is a little foggy on the matter and I’ve deliberately avoided even starting on those lessons.

I wanted a non-Anki option for hammering in the hiragana. I have an Anki deck also, but Anki only exposes me to one hiragana at a time, while DuoLingo puts many on the screen at once. While that’s probably easier, it also exposes me to more hiragana visually per time unit, which I like.

I think for minimal-investment reviewing, Anki is superior, and I will likely continue with it long after I’ve tapped out DuoLingo.

During the week I didn’t have any dedicated study periods, I simply found the time throughout each day. Finish an episode of my show? Do a lesson. Consider jerking off but not actually horny? Do a lesson instead. Bored of the tall infant’s obsession with her switch? Do a lesson.

It’s the opposite of at work, where I drill away until I crash into a wall of brain-simpering, crying out for anything that doesn’t involve learning or processing anything of value. Last weekend it was the Mischief Makers soundtrack.

Saturday Anki session across all decks.

After posting this I’m going to resume reading Genki. I remembered to bring my Good Pens and the graph paper seems to be lined tightly enough to be usable for me, which is a relief, because I bought a lot of it.

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