漢字 — 2100+

100 kanji, 733 words, 1020 days1; Anki stats, kanji so far.
1) Since the last time I wrote one of these.

@100+there will — hopefully — be a total of 21 of these in the end
 ✔ done
@2000+I'm really not sure I'll ever get to 2100
 only took close to 3 years ^_^'

As a comparison to the 1020 days this time, I took me 1301 days from 0 to 2000. Given I stopped to actively search for new kanji to learn just for the sake of it at 1800, extrapolation shenanigans (code) put reaching 2200 somewhere between September 16, 2023 and August 10, 2024.

Largest contributors to the 100 new kanji that seemed worth remembering were 漢検 preparation and books. Depending on how my reading habits and 漢検 aspirations develop I wouldn't be surprised to end up writing a 2200+ entry at some point. Another possibility I see, is that at some point I deviate from my current procedure of learning to read and write every kanji and create a separate recognition only deck. Maybe for names that would make sense? I don't know yet. Natural exposure might be enough for that. Time will tell.

2019-09-28

大阪短期滞在

Spent 6.5 weeks in Ōsaka. Having had many things to do in mind and being aware of the limited amount of time, things felt a bit rushed at times. Nevertheless pleased with how the stay went in general and what I got done. :)

  • Book hunt
    After finishing 『九州は横浜のどこですか?』 on my Kindle last year, I struggled to really get into another book. Only my physical copy of 『日本語雑記帳』 found its way into my hands from time to time. I therefore went on somewhat of a book hunt this time and spent many hours in BOOKOFFs and a considerable amount of my short Tokyo trip in 神保町. What I ended up bringing home with me is:
    • 『世界の文字』 (done reading)
    • 『日本語びいき』 (almost done reading)
    • 『活版印刷三日月堂』 (half way through the first of the 4 books)
    • 『ユニコード戦記』
    • 『「舞姫」の主人公をバンカラとアフリカ人がボコボコにする最高の小説の世界が
       明治に存在したので20万字くらいかけて紹介する本』
    • 『文系と理系はなぜ分かれたのか』
    • 『字幕屋に「、」はない』
    • 『辞書編集、三十七年』
    • 『印刷に恋して』
    • 『教室内カースト』
    • 『同時通訳はやめられない』
    • 『鳩居堂の日本のしきたり豆知識』
    • 『タイポさんぽ』
    • 『ようこそ保健室へ』
    • 『パッタを倒しにアフリカへ』
  • 親指シフト
    I made a conscious decision to switch from QUERTY to フリック入力 on my phone years ago in order to internalize thinking of the words I input as being made up of かな and not Latin alphabet characters. While in Ōsaka I found out about 親指シフト and ended up getting a cheap keyboard labelled accordingly for testing. Got it to work on my Ubuntu 18.04 system using oyainput. Time will tell whether or not I'll have the frustration tolerance and endurance to make the switch. Will also have to test if a Votex CORE (the keyboard I'm using most of the time currently) can be programmed accordingly.
  • 漢字検定
    Took the 漢検 5級 as well as 4級 and passed both. :)
    • arrived early and saw a parade of ちびっ子 streaming out of the building :3
    • question sheets were basically huge (257×379 mm) 圧着ハガキ, resulting in quite the sound when a room full of people simultaneously opened them
    • sitting next to me taking 4級 was a 9 year old D:
  • Can recommend 大阪府立中之島図書館 to everyone in Ōsaka looking for a quiet space with air conditioning, power sockets and free wifi (registration required, was a bit buggy on PC but ended up working)
  • Entered a Carcassonne tournament (カルカソンヌ日本選手権). Won 2 games and then was destroyed twice by more serious (nevertheless super nice) contestants.
  • Visited people at 京大 and met again with colleagues at NII
  • Attended 活版WEST
  • Stayed at a 旅館
  • Finally got to the end of うぶんちゅ! chapter 12 after translating the first few pages some time last year.
  • Visited 遊舎工房 and got some keycaps
  • Was able to eat at 丸香 and MENSHO again while in Tokyo
  • Went to see 下赤阪の棚田, which ended up being a ride a train, then ride a bus, be the last person left in the bus, walk a bit, talk to the ground keeper of a school and be let through a few gates you're not supposed to go through as an outsider, arrive and be the only person around type of trip—i.e. a diametric opposite to the sad state of over commercialized tourist destinations—i.e. awesome :)
  • Saw a person poking out of a ticket machine for the first time. :'D

Location wise Ōsaka was nice to explore the Kansai region a bit, but didn't quite click with me the way Tōkyō did. Guess with a bunch of disparate, rather niche interests, Tōkyō is hard to beat just because of its sheer size.

2019-07-15

Monolingual Japanese offline dictionaries for Android

Several times within the last year, maybe two, I ventured into the depths of the interwebs in search of a monolingual Japanese dictionary app that could be used offline. What I found was JE-EJ dictionaries, 広辞苑第七版 for €89.99 and people in forums suggesting apps that wouldn't work offline. On my most recent desperate search I even came across a geoblocked dictionary app—to top it all off by a company deriving their name from the words "big" and "globe". m(

At this point I thought about just solving the problem myself. Looking at some dictionary websites, I found one where the entries were nicely enumerated from 1 to 297,199, so I wrote a small crawling script. In the meantime I used scholarly search engines to see if there happened to be some open data sets that could be used. I would've just thrown terms and definitions in an SQLite DB and installed some SQLite viewer on my phone.

In the end I found a better solution. One that's accessible and doesn't require technical skill—which is why I'm writing this. Watching this video (by this guy) I learned about EPWING, a JIS standardized format for digital dictionaries. Now, looking at aforementioned video you might get your hands on some such dictionaries. All you then need is an app to interface with them: I quickly found DroidWing, which I happily link here because the author also distributes a paid version where the only difference is the icon color. <3

So yeah, not bound to any service provider, platform independent, offline ... 国語辞典 case solved for good. :3

(This is just to feed the Google, in case someone else also looks for a solution to this: アンドロイド アプリ 国語辞典 国語 辞典 辞書 オフライン 無料.)

tags: japanese

2019-03-24

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