sara_tanaquil: (bad kanji)
This one was really interesting! (From the koohii forums, again. I'm not sure if I need to spend more time there, or less. So full of interesting ways to waste time.) It purports to be a test that can determine roughly how many words you know in Japanese from a fifty-word quiz. (Brought to us by the publisher of an electronic CD dictionary, apparently.)

I was hoping the test was endlessly self-generating, but actually it seems like there are only three versions (too bad, it would be a fun way to test change over time). As far as I can tell from trying the first two, the tests are progressively harder, but interestingly, although I was able to identify far fewer words on the second one, both reported that I had a similar level of vocabulary: between 15,000 and 16,000 words. (Which is elementary school level, if you want a depressing statistic. Of course native speakers recognize all sorts of random words a foreign speaker typically wouldn't. University graduates allegedly can recognize something in the range of 40-50K words. I wonder how adult native speakers do on the test.)

I have no idea how statistically accurate the test is, but 15K sounds about right to me (maybe a tad high) - I have an anki deck of about 9000 vocab words that I routinely run through, and there must be a lot of words that aren't in my deck that I recognize just from casual reading.

I'd be really curious to know what my more fluent friends would score on the test!
sara_tanaquil: (Morning already?)
I feel kind of dumb that I didn't know this existed, but I was wandering around the koohii forums (I think I was looking to see if anyone had done a Kanzen Master grammar deck for the higher levels) and stumbled across a reference to this site.

(I switched into Japanese for good discipline, but you can actually get most of the menus and instructions to display in English by clicking on the thingy in the upper right corner.)

My challenge to myself, lately, has been to really focus on listening practice and see if I can get my comprehension levels up. It's just so frustrating to listen to the news every night (TuneIn on the iPhone, ILU) and have to feel proud of myself when I recognize that they're talking about the Ukraine (because believe me, that is ALL I'm getting).

Anyway, Erin's Challenge was recommended for listening practice. It's a really clever site - you can do all sorts of things to customize how much or how little help you get from subtitles, etc. But what I think I love most is how culturally localized and specific it is, at least judging just from the first "chapter". It's like reading manga, only better. (I now know where to park the bike I don't own next time I'm traveling in Japan. Cool!)

Probably not so fun for those who have actually lived in Japan and can understand all this stuff, but highly recommended for anyone else who is studying Japanese.

Now I have something to do for practice other than listening to old One Piece episodes!
sara_tanaquil: (bad kanji)
I already did my chunk of academic writing today (dear god, I have no idea if any of this is any good), which means I get to kick back for a little while.

Blah blah blah, I like using tech tools to learn Japanese )
sara_tanaquil: (ganbare!)


*huge sigh of relief*

Can I just say how irritating the last two days have been. This is much earlier than I expected to hear the results, but a couple of days ago an email went out saying that results would be going up soon. I figured it was in preparation for announcing the results at the end of Feb, as usual, and didn't pay much attention. Then I went to my Japanese class in Boston (have I even mentioned the Japanese class in Boston?) and found out that some of my classmates had seen THEIR results, but in the meantime they'd sent out another notice saying they were taking the results down due to "technical difficulties." I was completely convinced that this was a sign from the universe that I'd failed. =P

It was giri giri as expected (passing is 280/400... note my score of 294), but I'm pretty pleased with my kanji and grammar scores (heck, they're better than the second time I took 2kyuu). That I scored over 40 on listening is frankly a miracle. (Asuka, tanonda zo!)

Under the new rules that go into effect this December, I'd have to pass all three sections at 70 or above to pass, haha. Hope my listening gets better before I try to tackle the new version of the test, hm?

In other news, life this semester is CRAZY. I have two new courses I'm teaching and am thoroughly enjoying both, but it feels like I do nothing but read New Testament commentaries and watch bad movies. (Ben Hur last night... I don't think I was supposed to be laughing at the leprosy scene.) I'd forgotten how exhausting it is to teach brand new courses. And I have two talks I'm supposed to be giving in less than six weeks, yikes.

But anyway! 合格です~!

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