Qubyte Codes

My 2022 Japanese language study habits


This time last year I put together some custom scripts to send a record of each study session to my personal site using the micropub endpoint. You can see them here. Each entry says what I did, how long I did it for, and when I started doing it. On their own these aren't particularly interesting or useful. They mostly serve to hold me accountable. However, now that I have a full year of data, it seems like a good time to see if there are any trends!

I also took lessons during 2022, but I'm not including those here. Study sessions as I define them here are solo study time, but that does include homework. While I have categorized each session, the vast majority of time was spent on WaniKani and Bunpro, both of which I categorize as flashcards.

  • The most time I spent studying on a single day was 88 minutes.
  • The least time I spent studying on a single day was (unsurprisingly) 0 minutes.
  • I averaged about 17 minutes a day.
  • The most time I spent studying in a calendar week was 5 hours and 47 minutes.
  • The least time I spent studying in a calendar week was (regrettably, but we'll get to that) 0 hours.
  • I studied the least on Saturdays (averaging about 11 minutes), and the most on Sundays (averaging about 24 minutes).

There were days and weeks in which I apparently did no study at all. Missing days may not be surprising (family, holidays, illness, etc.), but whole weeks surely are. The study minutes for each calendar week plot below helps to explain what happened.

A plot of total minutes studied for each calendar week week minutes Week 2, 150 minutes Week 3, 103 minutes Week 4, 76 minutes Week 5, 142 minutes Week 6, 103 minutes Week 7, 58 minutes Week 8, 50 minutes Week 9, 55 minutes Week 10, 21 minutes Week 11, 20 minutes Week 21, 15 minutes Week 22, 25 minutes Week 23, 145 minutes Week 24, 130 minutes Week 25, 135 minutes Week 26, 45 minutes Week 27, 163 minutes Week 28, 100 minutes Week 29, 140 minutes Week 30, 192 minutes Week 31, 181 minutes Week 32, 196 minutes Week 33, 165 minutes Week 34, 230 minutes Week 35, 172 minutes Week 36, 303 minutes Week 37, 297 minutes Week 38, 268 minutes Week 39, 293 minutes Week 40, 347 minutes Week 41, 242 minutes Week 42, 239 minutes Week 43, 180 minutes Week 44, 156 minutes Week 45, 170 minutes Week 46, 141 minutes Week 47, 99 minutes Week 48, 115 minutes Week 49, 184 minutes Week 50, 132 minutes Week 51, 92 minutes Week 52, 146 minutes Week 53, 127 minutes

Week 1 aside (January 1st 2022 was a Saturday) you can see that I started out with good intentions[1]. At the time I didn't have much structure to my study, and the tools I used were not working well for me. I was using flash card applications like Memrise and Busuu which are general purpose. Japanese (and probably many or most other languages) is a unique beast, and these general purpose flash card apps didn't do a great job in my case.

At the end of May I resolved to build a study habit. That's where you can see my study minutes really take off. A mixture of finding interesting reading material within my comprehension and a couple of learning applications (I mentioned WaniKani and Bunpro above) helped a lot. These applications are designed specifically for Japanese, and I'm getting much better results from them. I also changed my morning routine to include waking up a little earlier, heading to a local coffee shop, and clearing my review backlog for both each weekday morning before work.

I appear to have peaked in the Autumn. At the time I was doing a lot of reading and I think I need to push in that direction a bit more rather than leaning on flashcards alone. I have plenty to read to keep me going for a while!

My resolution for this year is to regain all the ground I've lost since I passed the JLPT N4 exam a decade ago, and sit the N3 exam in December. I'm going to need to increase my study minutes (I'm still considering where to place this but a minimum of 30 minutes a day seems like a good goal) and sign up for more lessons.

  1. We know where the road those pave goes.