Friday, February 13, 2009


Like something of an old, run down pickup truck, I may not be making a whole lot of ground right now, but I'm making the most of it and what time I do have.

I must say, I'm a bit skeptical of whether all that passive listening of 我輩は猫である did me any real good. By my estimates, I've probably listened to a cumulative 30+ hours of this audio book so far, and I haven't really felt much benefit in doing so - in fact, the narrator began seriously grating on me a few days ago, which is probably a good sign that it's time to listen to something else. Make no mistake, I'd love to read/listen to more Natsume Souseki works, but moments after switching to KeyHoleTV I'd find myself reacting to words, phrases, even whole sentences on a very frequent basis, even through passive listening. Gee, maybe TV really has rotted out my brain after all.

Regardless, passive listening certain't can't hurt, and I'm going to keep up my listening of both Souseki and other material - variety is key, this much I can say for certain. Between classic literature (admittedly a relatively high level for what I am now), television (I tend to watch news a lot, as well as dramas), manga (aforementioned よつばと!ジョジョの奇妙な冒険Berserk - respectively very easy, easy and difficult levels), anime (空の境界カイバ), movies (I adore old Japanese movies) and various websites (,, blogs and so forth), I'm covering a pretty damn wide variety of material and subjects, all using dramatically different types of language. (Oh, and music as well, of course, but I really don't get a whole lot out of music language-wise - again, a topic for another day)

I'm keeping up the dictation sentences. Again, it's rough, slow going... but what I get out of it makes it so incredibly worthwhile. I haven't yet noticed that I pick up or retain vocabulary any easier, but the benefit to my kanji knowledge (which, again, is a little rusty) alone has made this method worthwhile. It's still fun, too!
I am beginning to streamline it a bit to make the process faster, though. If I know a word and its kanji really well, there's little need to jot those down, obviously (though I'll make an exception if it has radically different okurigana from what I'm used to); instead, I'll focus on each word I can't reproduce with kanji... which tends to be quite a few. Once I seriously start adding more cards again, I'll try and focus on just one key word per sentence instead.

Oh, and I finally saw Mind Game the other day at the recommendation of several RevTK folks. I was a big fan of Kemonozume back in 2006 (also directed by Masaaki Yuasa), a highly bizarre and experimental anime series on WOWOW, so I had some idea of what I was getting into with Mind Game, but I wasn't expecting it to be that good. Highly recommended. Incredibly artsy, experimental, sometimes even psychedelic without crossing the border into pretentiousness, all the while forming a cohesive, entertaining story that leaves plenty up to the viewer's imagination, with a simple, yet powerful underlying message of making the most of one's life and the many possibilities we may encounter.
Unable to sate my appetite with just Mind Game, I've begun watching Kaiba, another Masaaki Yuasa directed series which looks pretty wild so far, in a good way.

Aaaand back to Anki.


Alyks said...

Passive listening is something you have to do for months on end before you realize you're better off with it than without.

Burritolingus said...

I figured as much, but I think I sorta overdid it on the monotonous listening of mainly one source over the last week, which was again an experiment of sorts. An experiment that nearly broke me.