TIL: Influent 420 Words (That’s a wrap for now!)

Scratch one item off that perpetual to-do list! I’ve now “mastered” all of the 420 non-kanji words in Influent. Mastering really is their word, not mine. It means that I have successfully identified the words by selecting the object associated with them three consecutive times when presented with 10 different options to choose from. It doesn’t mean I have the ability to look at a given object and recall the Japanese word for it.

So I’ll probably continue to open it up now and then as a refresher to try and maintain and better cement the known vocabulary, but for the time being I get to move it off of my “to-do list”. At some point before the year is over, I’ll need to revisit it so that I can learn the kanji associated with the various words. I’d be surprised if there’s a lot given how many words used katakana. Read More >

TIL: Influent 360 Words

Now that the school term is over, I’ve graded all the assignments and it’s time to clear some items off of my to-do list once again! Number one on my to-do list is clearing out the rest of the words from Influent. I’m probably closest to that than other goals at the moment so it seems like a pretty straight forward thing to tackle. So let’s take a look at 50 more verbs and adjectives! Read More >

TIL: Influent 300 Words and Beyond!

Whilst I normally do 50 words each time I load up Influent, I ended up with a few extras this time around. I saw my way to 300 only by including verbs and adjectives. Wanting to be 100% sure that I found all nouns that are in the game, I ended up tracking down a word list for the game. Sure enough, I had missed six nouns. So after adding them to the collection I nabbed an extra four adjectives to top off at an even 60. Read More >

TIL: Influent words

It was a busy day today. I ended up working through lunch today so no gym nor Pimsleur today. It was also a teaching night for me, so I ended up spending some time in Influent reviewing words. After doing maybe 30 or 40 words, I decided to take on some new ones. So we’re now over half-way through the kana vocabulary… though once I finish learning the words in kana, I’m going to have to spend some time learning the readings in kanji. Read More >

TIL: Influent, Human Japanese Ch:18, Pimsleur 1-15

I’m so happy that Japan uses as many English loan words as it does. Memorizing vocabulary is horrible, but it’s a lot less stressful given that a lot of the words are the same between our languages. Banana, Toilet, Laptop, Neck tie ~ バナナ、トイレ、ラップトップ、ネクタイ… definitely easier than it could be. Amazingly, it also seems that I’m able to get a lot of reinforcement of vocabulary as I work my way through the three main sources I’ve been using to teach myself. So I’ll hear “lunch” one day in Pimsleur, and then read it in Human Japanese a couple of days later. Or I’ll learn “orange” in Human Japanese, and then again in Influent the next day. It feels like a great system! Read More >

TIL: Influent, Pimsleur 1-13 & Human Japanese Ch: 15

It’s been a while since playing any video games, and the urge was strong tonight. I’m currently trying to figure out if there’s a good option for me to play in Japanese. Either via PS3, or import on DS. Both of which I own and can easily play games on from other markets. I’m tempted to look into emulation options too so that I can check out the Japanese versions of some of the NES or SNES games I grew up with. In the meantime though, I was able to scratch a little of my itch by picking up Influent again. Read More >

TIL: 50 More Words in Influent

I listened to Pimsleur 1-5 again at the gym today, which means that my ability to state that I am eating something is a little better now – not to mention my ability to ask if you want to drink something. Overall I’m feeling more confident with what I’ve learned so far, and am ready to start with lesson 6 tomorrow. I’m pleased with my gym/diet/study habits that I’ve managed to form this month!

In other news, the past couple of days have been busy for me with preparing and grading course work for Van Arts. I think that at some point I might have to create some FAQ style tutorials for Houdini or something so that I can help address stuff to the broader Houdini community. I’ve got some ideas for stuff I’d like to make for video tutorials, but right now I guess learning some language is a really really nice break for me mentally. All CG all the time is no good for between my ears. Read More >

TIL: Influent, and Human Japanese Ch 6.


So, a week after buying it, I found myself with a spare moment and decided to give Influent a shot. I’m not 100% sure how in-depth the software goes, as I’ve only put an hour and a half into it so far, but it seems like a pretty good flash card system for memorizing nouns. Apparently adjectives and verbs are also part of the vocabulary. Honestly, even after just the session today it seems like 400 is an extremely small number of words…. but considering I got it for free (by selling Steam trading cards for credit on my account), I’ve already got my money’s worth.

Read More >

TIL: Pimsleur Level 1-1, Influent, and Human Japanese Ch 2

I write this with a bit of a headache at the moment. I’m a sugar addict. I eat at least 1000 calories a day of various candy. And I’ve decided to cut back. Today was day one of not buying any junk food. I’ve had to leave my debit card with my wife so that I can’t just cave to my cravings and fetch something from 7/11 during my work day. On top of that I’ve brought my weight vest to work, and am attempting to get back into the habit of using the gym at lunch.

Which brings me to Pimsleur. I decided that if I’m to force myself onto a tread mill, and thoughtlessly burn calories… perhaps it would be better to make the exercise slightly less thoughtless. Each lesson in Pimsleur is 30 minutes long, and that’s about the amount of time I get to work out at lunch, so I figured it makes sense to combine my efforts. I listened to the first lesson today, and it’s straight forward enough. I get hung up on little things. It seems preposterous that anyone would would ever have a conversation in which they don’t think the person they are speaking to understands them, so they ask if they speak English (in Japanese). Read More >