May 04, 2021
9 mins read
Because I can't keep a deadline or a schedule, I haven't written anything since the begining of the year. So, I'll forfeit the idea that this is a bi-monthly thing and just write one of this post whenever I feel like it.
So here's a recap of what's being done the last 4 months.
Core Anime 2K ANKI DECK
I've been working on this project for a long long time, and even before that, it was always in the back of my mind. So after, what's probably two years in the making, the fact that I was able to share the work was a huge relief.
Even better was the overwhelming positive reactions to it. I'm delighted that people like it, but more importantly, that they find it useful. I want it to be a good alternative to the tango and multiple core2k decks, and even if it's lacking in content so far, people at least seem to like the approach.
If you don't know, it's basically a deck that teach japanese one word at a time using only example from anime. Sentences always have one unknown word only by sentence, and gramar is introduced in a grammar card before it's used in a example from a vocabulary card. It make the whole process very smooth.
So, when is the update coming ? As soon as possible.
What takes the most time is making the decks for shows that will be used as examples. However; all the groundwork for me has been done with this version already, so the "only" thing I have to do is to add content.
I stopped for two reasons: one, because I used a frequency list to cover the most important words, the deck will get you on the same level as Genki 2 when it come to understanding an anime. The second reason is that I was started to use a lot examples from what seemed to be always the same shows. I didn't want to use half of "A Silent Voice" so I need to make some more, because diversity is good.
The deck so far use 50 anime, I plan on using 50 more. In one month, I've made 10. Because I only used examples from the first episodes anyway, I added examples from popular anime for which I won't make complete decks because they're too long like Hunter X Hunter, Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball. So I'm actually at 14. Maybe 4 months to the rest of the decks ? We'll see.
When released the deck will give the same results than the Tango N5 and N4 decks that's for sure.
Patreon or no patreon ?
That's the second thing that's been done over the last months. I started to monetize my content. I don't feel so good about it, but here's a breakdown.
At first the idea was simple, I created resources for me because I was not happy with the pre existing ones. So I make the kanji deck, grammar decks, some vocabulary, pimsleur and so on. Those were made free and will stay that way. Everything I've shared for free will stay free.
With kanji, grammar I created what I felt was the best content possible, at least for how I wanted to study. The subs2srs decks and anime core deck taking care of the vocabulary, I felt like I covered what needed to be covered. Especially if you consider the readability files that allow you to study find the perfect material for you.
So my focus shifted to what to making anki decks for video games, or manga. The big issue, is the time it takes to make. Each one probably took between 25 to 50 hours to make. Simply put, it wasn't for the incentive of money, I wouldn't make more.
So my idea was to create a patreon and release a new deck every month. But after thinking about, I decided not to. For two reasons. One, it gives me the responsability to make a new deck on a monthly basis, and I can't say for sure I would be able to deliver that. The second thing is that even if it's a low 3$ a month, by the end of the year, that's 36$. That seems like way to much money for me. I'd rather sell a deck 3$ to 10 people, that having 3 people spending 10$.
So I went with a pay what you. Each decks is 3$, because that's as low as I can get with the fee paypal take. I still think it will be too much to spend 3$ on each deck, so I'll make bundles. Like grouping all pokemon games, or final fantasy or whatever. I also try to make it worth your money by adding html or pdf version of the game, organized script in a spreadsheet, and frequency lists.
The main idea for me is just to have some return on the time spent doing the decks, but the main goal is that as many as possible can enjoy the content. So, because there's not much decks for now, I decided to make avaible a one time payment for everything. So you'll get the link to the folder, and everytime I add the deck to the folder, I won't have to pay again. Like a library card. I like that idea, at least for now.
Last thing, because I started selling content, I took off all the "headers" redirecting to this website, saying that you can donate if you liked the page. No point is selling something and then asking to donate. So the spreadsheet is bit more clean for me without it.
All this lead me to create a website. One, I could set up a page with links to download the decks. Two, I could organize all the info to study japanese in a better and more visual way than with just a spreadsheet. That allowed me to create some tutorials with pictures for how to use Anki, Morphman, the readability files and all that.
I think I need to redo the guide on how to learn japanese, add more pictures, more informations... I also want to redo the home page, and I have a quick youtube video that will showcase my workfow, but simply everything that you can do with those tools, because I feel that not enough people now about them.
I'll also a guide on how to use video games to study japanese, given it's my primary reason for learning the language, and that Game2text is amazing with a lot of recent features.
With the website I also created a discord, so that people can reach me if they have any issue with some of my decks, or get notified of updates. I'm happy with it.
I also want to thank all the people who answered the polls that I published on the website. It helped figure out a lot of things about you wanted to use website, how I could improve it, what projects were worth spending some time. I took some out, because I had enough data, but if you want to pick or at least influence the next video games or manga decks, the links are here and there.
The number 1 game everyone wanted was persona 4, and it got made, so I'm happy about it. The second one is Persona 5, but it's not for a near future, since we don't have the full script yet. The last on the podium is Ni No Kuni, and it's coming, I actually started it. But because it's at my level, I'm playing it in japanese and reading everything as opposed to just take screenshots, and study later. So it's taking me more time to do it. But it's coming in the following weeks or months.
Pokemon black is also high on that least, and I would like nothing more than for it to be done. But it's nightmare to make. The japanese script and english don't align. And some japanase take two screen when the english only take one or vice-versa. So I basically have to go over it line by line and sync each sentence with the sentence, and then do it a second time to sync the english sentence. It takes a long time to make, there are thousands of sentences, and it's no fun to make at all. I can tell you I probably won't do Black 2. Black one is coming, I'm 35% done.
A weird thing was that people kept voting for persona and FF7 remake even though the decks were made. So instead of taking them off the list, I simply add ***done*** next to the game.
I also had a pole saying that some of you would be interested in collaborative effort to make an anki deck for manga. The ocr doesn't really work so it has to be a transcript by hand. I put up the page on the spreadsheet, but nobody used it, so I deleted it.
That's okay, I didn't think it would work out in the first place. Maybe making a post on Wanikani or a manga discord would be a better place to find people wanting to do this.
A few new features appeared on the spreadsheet.
A column was created for the Core Anime Deck, as you can see, the results are close to Genki 1+2 but with learning 1000 less words. Using a frequency list helps.
A new tab for an Anime Difficulty was created. As much as I'd like to give a rating to each show like 1/5 or 1/10 it simply can't be done. There are things that we can measure, but you simply can't merge that data into a single grade that would make sense. The best is simply to look at the numbers, for what they are. I explain my reasoning on this page if you're interested.
I know there are other websites that provide that single number, but I'd rather not do it myself because the maths behind it would be flawed and the results simply inaccurate. If you're looking for easy stuff, you have the feedback of previous learners and the anime are listed.
Since I used it for my core anime decks, I also share the anime frequency list. You'll find a bunch of frequecy lists, but where this one is useful for me is that it shows for each words in how many word that word is used. Learning ポケモン is probably not useful unless you're watching pokemon, even though it ends being a frequent word.
I also added the frequency for video-games.
I think I covered all the new stuff.
On top of all that, I kept updating everything like I usually do. So new anki decks for anime, which means new transcript for the readability files.
Some people took the time to send me new video games and visual novel, which I'm very happy about. I spent a lot of time cleaning each script, which will help me in the future to make video games decks.
So Yo-Kai Watch 2, Persona 4, A Link to the past were finished. I'll make a deck available on Ankiweb so you can test them out for free.
A deck for Dragon Ball is also coming, but I have to make the transcript first, so it's taking a lot of time. It might just be the very first japanese media I've enjoyed some 25 years ago, so I'd like to make this one.
I think that's it.
If you have any questions, problems, ideas, or anything, don't hesitate to contact me.