Tumpik
meimae · 29 days ago
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1/09/22
久しぶり! It's been a long time since I've written one of these.
I've taken quite a long break from both immersion and blogging, but I think based on my effort from August, I'm finally rested enough to start again.
So, let's dive right into it!
First off, what was I up to in the time I was away? It's honestly going to be a bit of a weird overview this time around, since I'm compiling six months worth of kinda immersing, but I feel its only right to also show my struggles with learning a language. I also pursued some things in real life such as opening a new business that I have been putting more focus on. It's a small venture, but I believe it has potential to be better, so please keep me in your prayers.
All graph images are from a Discord bot that I use to track my immersion for points in a language learning server called The Moe Way. Please feel free to join!
MARCH
February was a great month for me. I read and listened far more than I had ever before and I was and still am very proud of my effort. I think because I was about to hit my two year immersion mark, so I was pushing myself to the limit everyday.
I am quite the competitive person for things I truly desire, and so of course I wanted to beat my previous record. Unfortunately around my birthday in March, I came into a very rough patch which left me really questioning what it is I truly desired to achieve with my whole pursuit of Japanese. It didn't seem like the two whole years of dedication I've had (and the several other years I've tried to get past the beginner stage) for this language would come to fruition soon and if at all. This started my relapse into depression and my descent to, and I'm really sad to say, hopelessness.
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Now at this stage I was still immersing quite a bit, but not as much as I had hoped. I still immersed everyday, but with varying consistency levels. I was also very much struggling to stick to one reading material at a time, not because they are disinteresting, but because I was losing my motivation, albeit slowly. By the time the month ended, I didn't even feel like it was worth talking about on my blog anymore, which was not the correct response obviously, but it was my reality and I had to deal with it in some way.
Reading material: Sakura no Uta, Stardew Valley (in Japanese), Steins; Gate, Summer Pockets
Listening material: Youtube, American Life Podcast, Hiikibiiki, Anata no Ban Desu, JP News
APRIL
I didn't give up just yet. With every new month, I always saw a sliver of hope and a chance to try again. The burnout was cruel though, and all my energy tapered off halfway through the month. This still wasn't a bad effort. If anything it looked like my minimum immersion amount when I was just starting, so looking at it now, I can at least still give myself a pat on the back for trying. I also hung out a lot in Discord voice chat and joined immersion streams a lot more so I didn't feel as if I quit entirely.
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Reading Material: Fate/Stay Night, Umibe no Kafuka
Listening Material: Youtube, CardCaptor Sakura
MAY
May was my whitenoise era. I talked to my Discord friends a lot, tried every possible thing I could if I found the energy for it, but ultimately was just not in the mood for Japanese, and even if I was, I could not understand anything to save my life which felt like how it was when I was at the height of my depression for every language I knew. The disappointment I felt in myself was unreal and I'm glad I at least had some friends who understood my struggles.
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Reading Materials: Shingeki no Kyoujin, Fate/Stay Night, Umibe no Kafuka
Listening Materials: 1 Litre no Namida, CardCaptor Sakura, 100 Man no Onnatachi
JUNE
I don't even have a graph for this month. I mostly just hung around with friends whenever they streamed. I was so excited by a bunch of new reading material, but I was in whitenoise hell and couldn't even enjoy them.
Reading Materials: SpyxFamily, Hakuoki, Fate/Stay Night
Listening Materials: 461 Ko on Obentou, Youtube, Hajimete no Atsukai, Kung Fu Panda 1 & 2 dubs
JULY
Once again, don't have a graph. The worst month of my language learning journey. I swear I have given more effort to studying with textbooks than whatever happened this month. Did however try reading out loud on stream again, and just had fun laughing at my silly pronounciation mistakes with a friend.
Reading Material: Ohayou Ibarahime
Roudoku Material: Akaya Akashiya Ayakashino
AUGUST
And so we finally arrive to August. I felt so much shame and disappointment, nearing my 2.5 year mark without much to show that I tried really hard to correct it with some success! Again, of course it could be better, but with the help and encouragement of friends, at least I'm trying again.
I read 105,126 characters of Fate/Stay Night on the 10th of August and that gave me so much hope that not all was lost. I also crossed the 1M character mark on it which is a really good milestone to reach after struggling for so long. I may still have tripped this month, but it was still way better than the month previous.
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Reading Materials: Fate Stay/Night, Sakura no Uta, Shingeki no Kyoujin, Stardew Valley
Listening Material: Porco Rosso
Moral of the Story?
Burnout is real. Depression and anxiety are the worst. Take care of your mental health. Learn when to take breaks and when to distance yourself from things that make you feel bad about your progress.
Find people who you can trust and rely on. Find new hobbies! Pursue new goals! Don't quit and never stop trying.
I love this language. I may have struggled, but I am stronger for it. One day, I'll find my footing again, but for now, just knowing that I have come so far and that I can still have fun and improve this skill is more than enough.
-☆-
Thanks for reading, and I hope that you who waited for me and took the time to read are doing well. ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧
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meimae · a month ago
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Hello again fellow language learners!
It’s time to finally update this post with some more cool new Japanese language learning addons, extensions, and tools I’ve been using for the past few months.
This new set of resources are all made by my friend Kamron (@KamWithK) from TheMoeWay Discord server. If you like any of his tools, please go buy him a coffee, he truly deserves it for making everything language learning automated and therefore so much easier!
ANKI ADDON
Field Reporter reorders Anki cards based on a designated field. I use this to sort my cards by frequency order so that when I review new cards, I always get the most common words to learn first. Excellent tool for beginners who would like to have a huge advantage in reading very early on.
MOBILE MINING SETUP
Ankiconnect Android is an absolute gamechanger for mobile anki mining. Just have TTU reader and Yomichan installed with your dictionaries of choice in Kiwi Browser and turn on the app to get the Yomichan mining button. Easy peasy and no hassle mining on mobile!
BROWSER EXTENSION
exSTATic is a high quality reading progress tracking browser extension that currently supports VNs and manga thru Mokuro a yomichan-able manga reader for your browser. With exSTATic, you can now record your daily reading progress without a sweat as it starts (and stops automatically when you accidentally leave it on!) every time you hook a VN line thru Textractor or scroll thru your manga. You can also toggle the timer by double clicking.
Here's a look at my entire average reading speed progress for VNs using exSTATic.
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Being a lover of graphs, as you guys know, this extension provides some of the most drool worthy and satisfying overviews to my reading growth, and I'm positive that you'll agree when you try it out and see your gains every single day! A full and easy to follow setup tutorial is up on his GitHub page.
-☆-
Thanks for reading and I hope these new tools help you get those language learning gains you desire faster! ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧
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Hello Japanese language learning friends and media enthusiasts! It's time to dive into my favorite guides, resources, and tools to get the perfect Japanese language immersion learning setup. All for free!
It is never too early and never too late for you to start consuming native Japanese media. Whether you're a complete beginner, stuck in the intermediate plateau, or an advanced Japanese language learner looking to improve, you are bound to find something useful in this list. These are guides and tools that I have tried and tested, and I plan to add on to this list when I encounter something new and good.
ANKI: The Ultimate Spaced Repetition System
Let's just say that if I had never discovered Anki, I would still be having the worst time of my life trying to memorize vocabulary using paper flashcards, writing them repeatedly, and eventually just forgetting them anyway. With Anki, I have thousands of vocabulary and grammar flashcards from the media I've consumed - also known as sentence mining - with native audio, context sentence, and images.
Even if I complain about Anki sometimes, it has fast tracked my learning so much that I will never go back to whatever I was doing before. I would highly recommend starting Anki at twenty new cards a day (never more!), and be familiar with 600 new vocabulary in a month. That's 7,300 words a year all on one application.
If you're a complete beginner and don't know how to sentence mine yet, there are vocabulary decks (Tango N5 and N4 and Core 2.3k VN Deck) from TheMoeWay that you can use to start.
ANKI SETUP GUIDE: Animecards/Vocabulary Cards
Speaking of adding words to Anki, I recently switched to vocabulary cards or anime cards and it has been better for my recognition in the wild, and my time in Anki has been reduced to less than half the time I used to spend using sentence cards even when I have 300 reviews for the day. Check this Anki setup for animecards to start your sentence mining journey.
YOMICHAN: The Best Dictionary Browser Extension
Read anything Japanese on your browser with Yomichan as your dictionary extension and instantly add words you don't know to Anki with a few clicks. Check this guide to setup Ankiconnect and Yomichan. I also recommend setting up Yomichan on KiwiBrowser on your mobile so you can read and lookup words on your html or epub on the go with Ttu's Reader.
MONOLINGUAL DICTIONARIES: TheMoeWay's Monolingual Transition and the Best Dictionaries for Yomichan
Of course, you can't use Yomichan without a good set of dictionaries. Boost your Japanese comprehension in both vocabulary and grammar with monolingual dictionaries. All of my Anki cards have monolingual definitions on them, and my lookups while reading (save for common nouns, technical terms, etc.) are monolingual.
TheMoeWay has the best compilation of resources and dictionaries out there and it is constantly updated. My most used dictionaries are 大辞林 第三版, 新明解国語辞典 第五版, and 旺文社国語辞典 第十一版 since I found that they are the most comprehensive and easiest to understand.
ViSUAL NOVEL GUIDES: Easy Setup Guides to Reading Japanese Visual Novels
I learned how to setup Visual Novels through theMoeWay while the animecards site walks you through how to sentence mine from them for Anki, which makes use of programs like Textractor and ShareX. These guides are extensive and may seem complicated at first glance, but since it helps you read raw text and make cards that come with the target word, context sentence, image, and audio if available, they are not only high quality, but also makes reading easy and fun even for beginners!
GRAMMAR
Tae Kim's Grammar Guide - Read through this and get a decent grasp of grammar from basic to advanced
Cure Dolly - I haven't watched every video robotic voice rip but I did learn a lot from the few that I have
Dictionary of Japanese Grammar Series - Not free unless you read TheMoeWay then it totally is and comes with an Anki deck too but a very good textbook reference to most if not all grammar points that exist.
Yomichan with Monolingual Dictionaries - probably the best way to learn grammar but may be intimidating for a lot of people
DISCORD COMMUNITY
TheMoeWay has a language learning Discord that I spend too much time in that has a ton of resources shared daily, monthly reading challenges, anime and movie streams, and pretty sweet immersion leaderboards to help gamify the process of language learning.
I highly recommend reading the site thoroughly before joining the Discord especially the resources page, since it provides you with a lot of information on how to learn Japanese at all levels, and it overall offers good advice on language learning through immersion.
I go by meimae there as well. Come say hi!
-☆-
Thanks for reading, and I hope these resources make your immersion journey easier and fun as it did for me!
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meimae · 4 months ago
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2, I also want to say your update really spoke to me. I've been loosing some of the sparkle and I think you're right about taking a break. And that I get you, the discouragement and belittlement is just heartbreaking, I'm sorry. Regardless, I wish you the best!
Hello!
I'm not sure if your message cut off, but I really appreciate that you took the time to write.
I don't know, sometimes I feel like I put too much pressure on myself and still think its never enough, so when I got put down after working at it consistently, I felt really upset and took it to heart because they were important to me and I valued their opinion.
I'm not gonna lie, its taking me a while to get back up on my feet, but I'm trying my best to be kinder to myself. Anyway, I'm just taking it slow for a bit, mostly hanging out with friends who understand.
I hope you, and anybody else who feel this way, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone, and that there will be people out there who will appreciate you no matter how bad you feel about yourself and your progress.
Enjoy your break anon and I hope that you find that spark again!
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meimae · 4 months ago
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Hello Japanese language learning friends and media enthusiasts! It's time to dive into my favorite guides, resources, and tools to get the perfect Japanese language immersion learning setup. All for free!
It is never too early and never too late for you to start consuming native Japanese media. Whether you're a complete beginner, stuck in the intermediate plateau, or an advanced Japanese language learner looking to improve, you are bound to find something useful in this list. These are guides and tools that I have tried and tested, and I plan to add on to this list when I encounter something new and good.
ANKI: The Ultimate Spaced Repetition System
Let's just say that if I had never discovered Anki, I would still be having the worst time of my life trying to memorize vocabulary using paper flashcards, writing them repeatedly, and eventually just forgetting them anyway. With Anki, I have thousands of vocabulary and grammar flashcards from the media I've consumed - also known as sentence mining - with native audio, context sentence, and images.
Even if I complain about Anki sometimes, it has fast tracked my learning so much that I will never go back to whatever I was doing before. I would highly recommend starting Anki at twenty new cards a day (never more!), and be familiar with 600 new vocabulary in a month. That's 7,300 words a year all on one application.
If you're a complete beginner and don't know how to sentence mine yet, there are vocabulary decks (Tango N5 and N4 and Core 2.3k VN Deck) from TheMoeWay that you can use to start.
ANKI SETUP GUIDE: Animecards/Vocabulary Cards
Speaking of adding words to Anki, I recently switched to vocabulary cards or anime cards and it has been better for my recognition in the wild, and my time in Anki has been reduced to less than half the time I used to spend using sentence cards even when I have 300 reviews for the day. Check this Anki setup for animecards to start your sentence mining journey.
YOMICHAN: The Best Dictionary Browser Extension
Read anything Japanese on your browser with Yomichan as your dictionary extension and instantly add words you don't know to Anki with a few clicks. Check this guide to setup Ankiconnect and Yomichan. I also recommend setting up Yomichan on KiwiBrowser on your mobile so you can read and lookup words on your html or epub on the go with Ttu's Reader.
MONOLINGUAL DICTIONARIES: TheMoeWay's Monolingual Transition and the Best Dictionaries for Yomichan
Of course, you can't use Yomichan without a good set of dictionaries. Boost your Japanese comprehension in both vocabulary and grammar with monolingual dictionaries. All of my Anki cards have monolingual definitions on them, and my lookups while reading (save for common nouns, technical terms, etc.) are monolingual.
TheMoeWay has the best compilation of resources and dictionaries out there and it is constantly updated. My most used dictionaries are 大辞林 第三版, 新明解国語辞典 第五版, and 旺文社国語辞典 第十一版 since I found that they are the most comprehensive and easiest to understand.
ViSUAL NOVEL GUIDES: Easy Setup Guides to Reading Japanese Visual Novels
I learned how to setup Visual Novels through theMoeWay while the animecards site walks you through how to sentence mine from them for Anki, which makes use of programs like Textractor and ShareX. These guides are extensive and may seem complicated at first glance, but since it helps you read raw text and make cards that come with the target word, context sentence, image, and audio if available, they are not only high quality, but also makes reading easy and fun even for beginners!
GRAMMAR
Tae Kim's Grammar Guide - Read through this and get a decent grasp of grammar from basic to advanced
Cure Dolly - I haven't watched every video robotic voice rip but I did learn a lot from the few that I have
Dictionary of Japanese Grammar Series - Not free unless you read TheMoeWay then it totally is and comes with an Anki deck too but a very good textbook reference to most if not all grammar points that exist.
Yomichan with Monolingual Dictionaries - probably the best way to learn grammar but may be intimidating for a lot of people
DISCORD COMMUNITY
TheMoeWay has a language learning Discord that I spend too much time in that has a ton of resources shared daily, monthly reading challenges, anime and movie streams, and pretty sweet immersion leaderboards to help gamify the process of language learning.
I highly recommend reading the site thoroughly before joining the Discord especially the resources page, since it provides you with a lot of information on how to learn Japanese at all levels, and it overall offers good advice on language learning through immersion.
I go by meimae there as well. Come say hi!
-☆-
Thanks for reading, and I hope these resources make your immersion journey easier and fun as it did for me!
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meimae · 4 months ago
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Hello! I think you might have already answered this but I can't find the link. How do you find The Time to immerse yourself in language with a job/studies etc?
Hi!
I have not been doing this recently because I'm on a break, but I would usually wake up at 5 am and immerse for about two hours before I need to do work. This means that no matter what happens, I've already secured a decent amount of immersion time in the morning alone. Throughout the day, I would listen to compressed audio, podcasts, or YouTube videos and I would watch an episode or two of a show or do my Anki reps during lunch time. In the evening, I would usually sit down and read for a few hours more before going to bed.
Everybody's work/study/home situation is different; this routine was something that worked for me, but maybe not for others. I encourage you to assess your own schedule and find the gaps to fill with immersion. Every extra hour helps a lot in the long run.
Good luck! ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧
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meimae · 4 months ago
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Hello, you should check out Chimudondon...its an asadora💓
Hi, I'll add it to my watch list.
Thanks for the rec!
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meimae · 4 months ago
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What Australian bands do you listen to?
Hello, thanks for asking.
I've been listening to Silverchair, The Cat Empire, and a little bit of Jet. My friend is probably going to recommend me a few more aussie bands over time which is great since I've enjoyed everything they've recommended me so far!
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meimae · 4 months ago
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5/19/22
Hey, it's been a while. I've been getting a few messages asking where I was, and I'm so sorry for causing some concern. You are all so sweet for asking.
I'm just taking a bit of a break, because I felt that I needed some time to reassess my goals, catch up with other stuff I enjoyed and missed out on in the past two years I've been immersing nonstop, and move on to other things I've decided to pursue in my life that frankly doesn't involve Japanese.
Truthfully, I also felt really discouraged about my ability for a while and hearing unsavory comments from people I know in real life made it really hard for me to continue without a break. I know I shouldn't have let it affect me, but its something that's pretty difficult for me to swallow because Japanese has been something I've loved for years and it has meant the world to me to be able to finally pursue it regardless of how much people think its useful in my real life pursuits.
Learning this language is my therapy - its my happy medicine without having to take another antidepressant or sleeping pill - and it really bothered me that people who knew me didn't see how much it helped me get out of my head.
I'm still immersing albeit lightly (a bunch of comfy movie nights with friends, made some attempts at reading novels again, and I also started getting into both the anime and manga of 進撃の巨人), still keeping up with my Anki reviews (passed 13k mature cards!), picked up and devoured two out of six books of the fantastic sci-fi series, Dune (a god-tier recommendation from my friend, Kam), and have started obsessively listening to Australian bands and more jazz like I used to a few years ago.
I've been scared of making a post like this, but I finally felt some semblance of courage come back. Life isn't always sunshine and rainbows, and I think its only fair for the people who have kindly watched me grow in this blog to know that I've been struggling, and that I'll be alright.
I'll be back, maybe not stronger, but strong enough to start the ball rolling again. Thanks for sticking around, it means a lot.
ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧
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meimae · 6 months ago
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Hi, Mae! I wanted to do an audio deck but making it would take forever. What should I do? Is it better to just immerse in some material or is it worth investing time in that deck. Thank you ;-;
Hi!
Always, always, choose immersion over Anki, in this case, more listening material. Just pick out some anime, drama, tv shows, audiobooks, podcasts, and YouTube channels you like and listen to those. You will improve over time, I assure you.
If you want some easy listening material, I always recommend condensed audio - you can find a bunch in this site under Condensed Audio:
If you were planning on using the audio deck to practice hearing pitch better, I recommend practicing with this site instead of Anki, then continue immersing more to hear them better.
Alternatively, if you really want an audio deck (and I'm going to assume that you have the basic vocabulary card setup with Yomichan that already comes with audio), then you can just take your existing cards (or duplicate them) and convert them into audio cards by going into Cards in the Anki Browser, and instead of having the Word or Sentence in the Front Template, have the Audio field in Front instead. That's the easiest way to turn your cards into audio cards that I know of.
Hope this helps!
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meimae · 6 months ago
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Language Learning Through Immersion: 2 Years Japanese Update
11/03/22
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Two years of immersion! ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧
It’s still a bit unbelievable to me how much time and patience I’ve had with learning Japanese, but it should really come as no surprise that the days went by so fast, because the journey has been equally fun and rewarding. 
STATISTICS
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Somehow, I beat my 1.5 year immersion mark by 7.77 hours and immersed for 742.39 hours for the past six months, averaging 4.12 hours a day, placing more focus on reading to improve my listening.
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How I've divided my time in the past 6 months.
Finally added a Anki and Grammar tracker to show you that I really do put more focus on immersion rather than Anki. Arguably, I should really be spending the same amount of time with grammar, but intensive reading and looking up patterns monolingually is very much part of grammar study in itself, so I’m cutting myself a bit of slack. I promise myself to do better, don’t worry.
ANKI
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Further breakdown of grammar and word memorizing in Anki. This does not include the time I spent just reading through grammar books in the first year of immersion, and the roughly 1.5 years I spent dawdling with N5-N4 grammar points in uni and after graduation. I finally realized that I really hated doing grammar in Anki and have stuck to reading them again and again instead. Who knows though, I’m always in the mood for them when I get frustrated, so I keep them around.
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Reached a total of 12,213 vocabulary cards. Still using Auto Ease Factor and 10 480 1440 learning steps, the combination of which has allowed me to have decent retention and the ability to learn 50 new cards daily without drowning in reviews. It also significantly lowered the time I spend in Anki. 
I still enjoy mining everything useful I see - its going in my backlog if know it in my NL and English. The suspended cards here are words I can’t pass easily in the learning stage - there are words I can guess either the meaning or reading of in the first try, and only learning those words first lessens the burden of remembering two things per card. My brain only has to remember one thing at a time now and it is such a relief! When I finish my backlog eventually, I will return to all these suspended cards, which by that time would hopefully become words that I only need one thing to remember. It’s a pretty good strategy if I do say so myself.
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Still lots to learn, but its getting pretty blue now!
Reading = Massive Language Learning Gains
Never in a billion years would I have thought that I could actually sit down and read in Japanese, and I’m very proud to have now read a total of 11,592,202 characters, mostly from visual novels which has absolutely been a gamechanger for language learning.
Surprise, surprise, reading boosted my comprehension so much that I can actually listen better. If you know the words, you are able to recognize them better when listening, therefore improving listening comprehension. I was never able to follow Youtube videos or podcasts very well before, but these days, I can put something in the background and still catch meaning (depends on content). Still have so much to improve on, but I’m very pleased with my progress.
Progression of Average Reading Speed
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I also made some new graphs that covers my average reading speed from the time I started reading books in Japanese. These are so pleasing to look at and I’m glad I’ve made them, since I can easily see how far I’ve come. There are still genres I need more time with, but nothing a bit more reading and consistency can’t fix. I also still have to actually get into novels more, but I keep struggling finding something that keeps me interested for longer than an hour, which makes visual novels really 神 since I can read for 7+ hours and not feel bored.
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I’ve also started to read out loud to practice good pitch pronunciation. Like generally outputting, its still very much a work in progress, but I’m glad to have started at the very least.
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-☆-
I still stand by every resource I've ever listed on my blog, so if you ever need any specific app or tool or immersion material recommendation, I probably already have mentioned it, if not, feel free to ask and I'll be more than happy to help you get started!
Thanks so much for sticking around with me for the past year or so. Running this blog has been just as fun for me, and seeing people jump in on the immersion bandwagon because of my posts is pretty cool!
Here's to more language gains in the future! (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧
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meimae · 7 months ago
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Hello! Idk if you've made a post about this, but what are some of your favorite Japanese dramas of all time? I've been studying Japanese for years but never really got into dramas and I'd love to start. I love your blog btw, it's very motivating 💞💞
Hello thank you for stopping by!
Here is MyDramaList of all of the dramas I've watched in Japanese so far:
Special mention to the following:
朝ド�� - 15 minutes x 156 episodes, stories inspired by pioneer women in Japan slaying in their careers. You'll passively learn so much about different regions, their culture, and dialects. My favorites so far are なつぞら, あまちゃん, and あさが来た.
イタズラなKiss 1 and 2 - romantic comedy that develops from their high school years up to when they enter the workforce. You'll learn a vast range of useful words from it. I've watched it multiple times and have not gotten tired of it yet!
花より男子 1, 2, and movie - an absolute Asian drama classic and must watch
1リットルの涙 - for the best cry you will ever have
パーフェクトワールド - you won't cry maybe but heartwarming AF
僕のいた時間 - if you want to cry even more
恋はつづくよどこまでも - the cutest romcom in a hospital setting
Code Blue 1,2,3, and movie - flight doctors being metal AF (thank you medical frontliners!)
ごくせん, 3年A組 ―今から皆さんは、人質です―, 家族ゲーム - teachers being metal AF
今際の国のアリス - excellent survival drama
私たちどうかしてる - for food porn romance and the tea in your drama
僕はまだ君を愛さないことができる - the best 親友 young adult romance
逃げるは恥だが役に立つ - fluffiest marriage contract romance
好きな人がいること - even more food porn romance
着飾る恋には理由があって - the best accidentally living together young adult romance
Is it obvious I like romance? (*˘︶˘*).。.:*♡
Hope you find something you enjoy, and remember, Asian Dramas have a different feel to Western dramas, so please don't give up on them!
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meimae · 7 months ago
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4/3/22
Been a little busy, but here's my February Immersion Overview!
You'd think I'd immerse less this month given that there was only 28 days, but this is probably the best I've done especially in terms of reading, and I'm still giving myself a bit of a pat on the back for it.
Let's get into the details, shall we?
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ANIME
Me? Watch anime? Never!
Oh, wait. I watched Angel Beats! this month. I had always planned to watch it after I finished the VN (the same goes for every anime or drama that originated from some form of reading content really), and I'm glad that I finally did because the pacing felt way better. Shows like this shines in its comedic timing, and while I am getting a bit faster at reading, the pacing still felt really slow compared to just watching the anime. It also concludes the show properly; we get to see the true end pan out, something the VN didn't cover because it delves into each character's backstory more. Glad I finally get to graduate from this story as well. For now. Angel Beats! Next, Next Beat when?
DRAMA
I watched one drama again this month. An anime and only one drama? Seriously, what is going on?
やめるときも、すこやかなるときも was pretty short, and semi melodramatic, but it wasn't as bad as how its currently rated in MDL. It tried its best to showcase how two individuals dealt with their trauma and how they ended up facing it together in the end. It was sweet actually.
GAMING
To add more to my weird immersion choices, I decided to delve into and start playing the Japanese localized version of Stardew Valley after watching hundreds of Youtube videos on it. I can't say that its the best way to spend reading time, but it is a good way to relax without thinking that I'm wasting my time gaming. It's pretty comfortable to read now (although sometimes the font throws me off lol), and knowing where everything is, just in case I'm too lazy to look up words, is comforting.
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GRAMMAR
Remember when I said last month that I wanted to concentrate and study grammar more? Yeah.....no. At the beginning of the month, I spent a lot of time dawdling, thinking about how to go about it. I figured I could just continue making Anki cards for them, but realized that I keep quitting my reps for them midway anyway. So, I started reading them instead, even computing how many days it would take to read all of them without feeling like death. Then I stopped....oops. I swear I'm trying really hard, but forcing study time makes me not want to immerse too which is very counterproductive. It's not as if I hadn't read up on all of this before anyway. This is literally a refresher course to nail everything down...if I can just stay motivated enough for it.
LIGHT NOVEL
So while I was having a pretty shallow dilemma, I started reading a bit of 無職転生 again. I figured I don't like 異世界 plotlines that much, but I'm curious why people praise this as the one 異世界 you can't skip out on.
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PODCASTS
Still very much into podcasts, since I can actually follow them now. Read to listen, fellas.
I need to find more podcasts to mix it up, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment.
YOUTUBE
I rarely talk about my quest for good Youtube 実況s, and キヨ。is definitely someone I can recommend. This is probably the most chaotic let's play of Undertale I've ever seen, definitely a must watch. Again, if you have Youtube channels you use for immersion, especially female gamers, do drop a comment.
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VISUAL NOVELS
Excerpt from my post on The Moe Way Discord server: "Roughly 380 days later and after 760 hours of reading everyday, I managed to hit 10 million characters read from visual novels...I saw a significant comprehension increase in both my reading and listening skills, and overall less time spent doing anki reps due to seeing them often when I read."
So yes, the visual novels are truly the backbone of my immersion these days. Who knew that it would mean so much to me now, even though I've never read one before I used them for language learning. Don't shun it til you try it, I guess.
I also did a personal reading challenge with them early this month: read 100k characters everyday for 10 days. Took that goal, smashed it, and read 1,411,512 in 11 days and finished both White Album 2 and 君と彼女と彼女の恋。in the process. As a length comparison, that's like reading around 13 or 14 short light novels. In total, I read 1.75 million characters this month, a new personal best. ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧
I have to say that it required me to read something I really enjoyed (White Album 2, easiest 10/10 I'll ever give), and something really easy (Totono) for me to complete the challenge, which just proves that a combination of comprehensible input and genuine interest in the media is the way to huge language gains in a short period of time.
Might have given myself major White Album 2 withdrawals though, because oh boy, everything feels inferior to it now, and I kept switching VNs just to rid myself of the feeling.
That said, I think the rest of my picks have all been interesting: finally feel comfortable enough with my level to start Fate/Stay night although I will be continuing it in April instead for The Moe Way's quarterly reading challenge. Also, picked up and shuffle reading literally every monthly VN challenge in the club namely サマーポケッツ, サクラノ詩-櫻の森の上を舞う-, シュタインズ・ゲート, because they are all interesting in different ways and are quite big VN fan favorites.
The one I dropped almost immediately though was something I thought I'd like because it was the same developer as 剣が君, ブラック ウルヴス サーガ -ブラッディーナイトメア- because it freaked me out somehow faster than オメガヴァンパイア (although I did give OV more of a fighting chance at redemption before giving up and dropping the last two routes.)
I once thought that I'd be a bigger, general fan of joseimuke content, but it seems that I only like romantic and fluffy 乙女ゲーム or 女性漫画, because they likely won't include really disturbing and triggering content (...I say as I read Taishou Alice), and I read to de-stress and not to get stressed. My comfort levels are being tested and I don't like it.ヾ(。>﹏<。)ノ゙
I guess nothing still beats the impact 剣が君 had on me, the way White Album 2 does for me now in なきげ.
-☆-
That's it for this month! I'm nearing two years of immersion so stick around for my post for that. I'll probably also drop my review for White Album 2, because I already wrote and posted a good part of it in the club. Although I enjoyed a lot of what I've read the past couple of months, nothing has hit me like White Album 2 has, that it actually inspired me to write about it in the club as soon as I finished it.
Truthfully, writing in depth reviews all the time when I finish so many very quickly is quite difficult for me, and I've managed to hit quite the writers block, but I'll still try my best to get them out as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading, and I'll catch up with you all again soon! ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ
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meimae · 8 months ago
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01/02/22
Hello and welcome to my first immersion overview of 2022! ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧
If you're new here, hi, I'm Mae, and this is a list of media I listened to and read this month using the immersion or input method for Japanese language learning.
I came into the month thinking I knew exactly which books I wanted to read and dramas I wanted to see. Of course, not all my plans worked out and I had to work around some weird immersion material choices and unexpected but probably overdue gaps in my learning.
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And so we come to this, a month where I almost didn't watch any dramas - I wouldn't have even watched 消えた初恋 literally on the last day of the month if I didn't realize how short it was. It had a standard fluffy plot, so it was simple and easy to listen to in the background while I was dying in grammar hell. ヾ(。>﹏<。)ノ゙✧*。
Ah yes, grammar. The bane of my Japanese language learning journey. There's a reason I picked immersion learning as my method, and it was because I absolutely hated grinding grammar exercises in the classroom. I just wanted the language to wash over me, obviously while obsessively doing look-ups while immersing, and somehow magically be able to turn my passive knowledge from input into active output.
But alas, my anxiety has gotten the best of me, and I started to fear that the language books I did read and grind in Anki, Tae Kim and the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar, had run its course and it was finally time to sit down with another grammar resource to stitch up the loose ends.
So for the past week, I've been taking advice from people who seemed to be better at the subject than I am, and I have started to grind through the 新完全マスター 文法 N1 and N2 books, and yes, even the exercises.
Can't say I'm too happy about it, since it has so far drained my energy to read for fun, but if its going to help me somewhat based on other immersion learners' experiences, then I'm willing to give it a try. On the bright side, at least its written fully in Japanese! Never a break from immersion.
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And so while I was struggling to get back on the reading grind this last week, I started to read a few chapters of 無職転生. Admittedly, still not much of a light novel reader and its not even for a lack of content I'm interested in, just a lack of drive and motivation. It's something I'd like to work harder on this year.
On the other hand, ひいきびいき is as fun to listen to as ever, now that I have a better reading base. I can still tell there are gaps in my comprehension, but at least it does not sound like gibberish to me like it did a year ago. Progress!
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I wish I could tell you guys that I had a good time reading visual novels this month, but honestly it felt like a mess. If seven different visual novels shuffled within a month doesn't clue you in with the kind of concentration struggle I had, then I don't know what to tell you. At least I kept my 1M reading streak. (ノ∀`)
My motivation reading VNs started strong and promising, and I finished PARQUET (the beginner VN at TheMoeWay Discord) within the first few days of the month. I was also made aware of the fact that the Steam version of 剣が君 had a lot of bonus content that I missed out on because of the version I played, and so my friend Alex kindly let me read everything I missed. It was absolutely lovely, 11/10. It has been months and nothing has beat this game yet for me.
Then, with my reading high, I turned my attention to the intermediate VN from TMW, and that's where it all went south. 紙の上の魔法使い' s blurb sounded so promising, but I couldn't read past (or listen past for that matter) some stupid lines from the female characters, and so it now unfortunately sits on my stalled pile of VNs. I feel like I got baited into thinking that the characters in this game were smart because they supposedly liked reading. Who knows, maybe I'll revisit it when I'm in the mood for moe girls, but something tells me that it will take a while or never.
In my frustration with the previous game, and due to some previously hyped conversations with my friend Alex from Discord, I decided to play her favorite VN on a whim without looking at the VNDB tags (which proved to be a mistake on my part - always read the tags to filter out games with triggers). Let me introduce you to Omega Vampire, something completely far from my comfort zone, which proved to be detrimental to my reading as well later on.
Count this as the review I have for this game, apparently omegaverse is a huge thing and this game does it well, but it was not enough of a pull for me because I have no idea what the omegaverse is, and I also don't particularly enjoy vampire/werewolf stories thanks Twilight so there's that. So after a while when this VN kept on showing me disturbing sexual content without consent, I had to quit after two routes. Honestly, if I sat and read for another four days or so I could have finished it, but if I had to rinse my eyeballs everytime I tried to read then I'd rather read something else. So yeah, this goes into the stalled pile as well.
Luckily, the TMW Joseimuke Media Club pick for the month, レムレスブルーの午前2時, seemed to be wholesome, so alongside あかやあかしやあやかしの, and because I was heavily inspired by my friends in voice chat, I finally ventured into output territory and did a few hours of 朗読 with these two unvoiced VNs. I also had a brief opportunity to read in voice chat while a native Japanese speaker was watching and got 上手'd for the first time - a clue that I need to put a focus on output more.
The real star of the show this month for me though was the VN Club's quarterly pick, White Album 2. My expectations were high for this one, since its one of the admin's favorite games, and finally, finally, I was not disappointed.
The writing has been spectacular so far, and the music just adds to the mood and vibe so much that I couldn't stop reading the introductory chapter for three days within 6 hour sessions.
Gosh, so jazzy, its so good! My favorite kind of music. I love vibing to this while studying grammar - it makes it less painful to do.
I'm actually still very excited to continue reading White Album 2. It gives me so many butterflies when I think about it, so it will be my main read for February alongside the VNs I've dedicated for 朗読, and quite possibly yet another otome game from the club.
At least I learned something from this - my comfort zone is my comfort zone for a reason. It's fine to try out new things, but if it makes me frustrated or uncomfortable, its not going to be worth it regardless of how much it can improve my skill. *coughgrammarcough*
-☆-
Here's to hoping for better concentration and grammar progress in February! Still don't know how I'm going to go about studying it, but hopefully whatever it is includes better time management and just reading more than I currently have. Clearly, something I was doing was working, since I could comprehend well enough and in turn produce lengthy and detailed reviews, but output, output, is where it comes down to, and the thought of it getting stalled makes me worried. It's either the dedicated grammar study or the 朗読 that's going to push it further, and I'm going to try my best on dedicating time for both.
Thanks for reading, and I'll catch you all next time! (*˘︶˘*).。.:*♡
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meimae · 8 months ago
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Hello Japanese language learning friends and media enthusiasts! It's time to dive into my favorite guides, resources, and tools to get the perfect Japanese language immersion learning setup. All for free!
It is never too early and never too late for you to start consuming native Japanese media. Whether you're a complete beginner, stuck in the intermediate plateau, or an advanced Japanese language learner looking to improve, you are bound to find something useful in this list. These are guides and tools that I have tried and tested, and I plan to add on to this list when I encounter something new and good.
ANKI: The Ultimate Spaced Repetition System
Let's just say that if I had never discovered Anki, I would still be having the worst time of my life trying to memorize vocabulary using paper flashcards, writing them repeatedly, and eventually just forgetting them anyway. With Anki, I have thousands of vocabulary and grammar flashcards from the media I've consumed - also known as sentence mining - with native audio, context sentence, and images.
Even if I complain about Anki sometimes, it has fast tracked my learning so much that I will never go back to whatever I was doing before. I would highly recommend starting Anki at twenty new cards a day (never more!), and be familiar with 600 new vocabulary in a month. That's 7,300 words a year all on one application.
If you're a complete beginner and don't know how to sentence mine yet, there are vocabulary decks (Tango N5 and N4 and Core 2.3k VN Deck) from TheMoeWay that you can use to start.
ANKI SETUP GUIDE: Animecards/Vocabulary Cards
Speaking of adding words to Anki, I recently switched to vocabulary cards or anime cards and it has been better for my recognition in the wild, and my time in Anki has been reduced to less than half the time I used to spend using sentence cards even when I have 300 reviews for the day. Check this Anki setup for animecards to start your sentence mining journey.
YOMICHAN: The Best Dictionary Browser Extension
Read anything Japanese on your browser with Yomichan as your dictionary extension and instantly add words you don't know to Anki with a few clicks. Check this guide to setup Ankiconnect and Yomichan. I also recommend setting up Yomichan on KiwiBrowser on your mobile so you can read and lookup words on your html or epub on the go with Ttu's Reader.
MONOLINGUAL DICTIONARIES: TheMoeWay's Monolingual Transition and the Best Dictionaries for Yomichan
Of course, you can't use Yomichan without a good set of dictionaries. Boost your Japanese comprehension in both vocabulary and grammar with monolingual dictionaries. All of my Anki cards have monolingual definitions on them, and my lookups while reading (save for common nouns, technical terms, etc.) are monolingual.
TheMoeWay has the best compilation of resources and dictionaries out there and it is constantly updated. My most used dictionaries are 大辞林 第三版, 新明解国語辞典 第五版, and 旺文社国語辞典 第十一版 since I found that they are the most comprehensive and easiest to understand.
ViSUAL NOVEL GUIDES: Easy Setup Guides to Reading Japanese Visual Novels
I learned how to setup Visual Novels through theMoeWay while the animecards site walks you through how to sentence mine from them for Anki, which makes use of programs like Textractor and ShareX. These guides are extensive and may seem complicated at first glance, but since it helps you read raw text and make cards that come with the target word, context sentence, image, and audio if available, they are not only high quality, but also makes reading easy and fun even for beginners!
GRAMMAR
Tae Kim's Grammar Guide - Read through this and get a decent grasp of grammar from basic to advanced
Cure Dolly - I haven't watched every video robotic voice rip but I did learn a lot from the few that I have
Dictionary of Japanese Grammar Series - Not free unless you read TheMoeWay then it totally is and comes with an Anki deck too but a very good textbook reference to most if not all grammar points that exist.
Yomichan with Monolingual Dictionaries - probably the best way to learn grammar but may be intimidating for a lot of people
DISCORD COMMUNITY
TheMoeWay has a language learning Discord that I spend too much time in that has a ton of resources shared daily, monthly reading challenges, anime and movie streams, and pretty sweet immersion leaderboards to help gamify the process of language learning.
I highly recommend reading the site thoroughly before joining the Discord especially the resources page, since it provides you with a lot of information on how to learn Japanese at all levels, and it overall offers good advice on language learning through immersion.
I go by meimae there as well. Come say hi!
-☆-
Thanks for reading, and I hope these resources make your immersion journey easier and fun as it did for me!
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meimae · 8 months ago
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6/1/22
I am back with my December Immersion Overview, the last one for 2021! ٩(๑´v`๑)۶
Remember when I said I wanted to watch a lot of shows last month? ....Yeah, that didn't happen. For whatever reason, I expected the holidays to be less busy, but I was obviously mistaken.
What I did watch, 僕はまだ君を愛さないことができる, took me over two weeks, not because it was bad - I quite enjoyed seeing these best friends absolutely friendzone each other for 700 minutes, mind you - but I wanted to read, and oh boy did I read (1.47M characters to be precise).
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Ended up getting 100% of Angel Beats 1st Beat's records, which is absolute skip hell pain I tell you, but was worth it to be able to say I conquered such a beast of a game in terms of number of choices. Here's a preview of the guide, which by the way, doesn't even cover all potential ends and episodes.
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Also, read 穢翼のユースティア because I needed to add more variety in what I am reading and not just stick with SoL, so I really appreciated seeing more fantasy words and formal styles of speech. I will be putting reviews up for both . Who knows when that will be but releasing this post is a good start.
Since I did less watching and more baking for the holidays, I listened to so many episodes of ひいきびいき, only possible because I can actually finally follow along with minimal context. It's still difficult, missing specifics here and there especially when they go on a tangent that isn't connected to the episode topic, and usually when I was distracted with measuring flours and sweeteners, but for the most part I am definitely enjoying it more than I did when I first started listening in the very early months of 2021. What a high quality podcast, let me tell you.
-☆-
That's basically it! It feels like not a lot, but I was definitely squeezing every bit out of 2021, reading for five hours a day for a lot of days towards the end to reach my goal, and I'm quite happy with the results.
For this year 2022, I do have some Japanese learning goals in mind that I won't disclose in behalf of my sanity, but I will say that I will continue immersing the way that I have been and adjusting as I go as always.
Thanks for reading, and updates in the future as always! ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧
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meimae · 8 months ago
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4/1/2021
遅かったけど、明けましておめでとうございます!
Ended 2021 on a high note...
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...and started the year by continuing good habits.
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Didn't think I would be able to keep up this blog and language immersion learning for close to two years now, but I am glad I've made it this far. Very happy as well that there's at least 400 people out there that have been interested enough to follow me on this journey, and hopefully inspired to keep studying languages regardless of the methodology. If you're reading this: hello, let's do our best this year as well!
I also did not expect to be behind six reviews (5 VNs and a LN) and one monthly immersion update for my blog. I guess that just means I've gotten in such a nice immersion groove that stopping now is impossible. A good time to remind you that I hang out in TheMoeWay Discord a lot, which is a fun immersion learning community I discovered last year and have been actively participating in, particularly in the VN and Joseimuke Media Clubs.
For the time being and if you're interested in what I've been reading while I pull myself together enough to sit down and write all of them, here are the media tracking sites I use frequently:
Anilist - Anime and Manga
Bookmeter - Novels and Light Novels
MyDramaList - Dramas
VNDB - Visual Novels
I think that's probably a hint for myself that I should be a lot more concise in the way I write but what can I say, learning Japanese still is as exciting as the day I started!
That's it for now, and I'll catch you all next time! (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧
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meimae · 9 months ago
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Hi, Mae! What's your opinion about "is this sentence gramatically correct" type of cards? I thought seeing an incorrect sentence over and over again would only make me remember it, and would eventually use it, like a bad habit. But I've seen more people who're in favour of it.
Hello!
I don't think I'm qualified to answer this question since I don't do this myself, so I don't know if my answer will hold much validity.
Truthfully, what you are describing sounds like a test you have to study for, and it seems to me that it deviates from what the goals of language acquisition are (or at least my understanding of it). Wouldn't it be better to absorb as many grammatically correct sentences naturally from your immersion through massive amounts of reading and listening instead and possibly through Anki by using sentence cards?
I know for sure that using sentence cards for a while made me memorize entire sentences, and because they were sentences that natives say naturally (and therefore grammatically), the chances of those phrases sticking is high, so I tend to use those more often when attempting to output. They're fail-safe phrases and sentences, I guess you could say, because you are so familiar with them since you hear and read them in media and in conversation often that you know for sure that in so and so context you can pull it out and it will be an acceptable response.
Interesting concept though and could be useful for test taking.
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