Sunday, October 5, 2008

Repetition, repetition, repetition

Spent most of my 日本語 studies today plowing through a three-day backlog of flash cards in Anki -- pretty exhausting stuff. Take it from me, you really don't want to slack off and let your repetitions pile up; even one extra day's worth of cards can introduce undesirable headaches and frustration.

When I began using Anki, I was actually anxious to have it give me more cards per day, which would have been perfectly fine at the time, while the early kanji were relatively simple and made up of few strokes. I chose to have Anki introduce 50 new kanji a day, thinking I could easily handle it. And for a few days, I could!
Presently, on the other hand, with the complexity of the kanji I'm learning and at the pace I'm keeping (about 30-50 new kanji a day), it was quite apparent that I was going to need to ease up a bit -- at least temporarily. Frustration was setting in, even a mild taste of burnout (which is honestly something I'd really rather avoid), so I stepped back to 30 new kanji a day, in addition to whichever other cards were queued up for the day, which has averaged roughly 60-75 or so; certainly more managable.

Though, to be honest, I've been exhausted all day as it is, study or no study, and still managed to cut through about 150 cards, so perhaps if I were a little more energetic I'd have been able to do so with less aggrevation.

At any rate, I find that reviewing repetitions in batches of 15 minutes or 30 minutes works best, with a short break in between. Any longer than 30 minutes and I'll start to feel the frustration creeping up on me, which will often result in silly errors I'd not have made if my mind was more clear and willing to play along.
In fact, I use a similar method when I'm learning the kanji themselves, usually in spaces of 30 or 60 minutes... or whenever I start complaining verbally about how ridiculous it is to try and form a mnemonic for a word I don't even use in English like "promontory." Daily use kanji in action there, folks.

Which reminds me, I haven't had much of a chance to etch out any new kanji today, so I'll get right to that before bed; maybe I'll have another dream about studying Japanese (which I have more often than I'm comfortable to admit publically).

No comments: