I hate SRS (spaced repetition system), even though I have used it for more than ten years for various languages. I can’t stand the sight of it anymore, yet, I know of no better alternative for a language like Japanese.
I know about 400 kanjis, which I have learned through SRS. I know about 1,000 Japanese words and the basic grammar. I have accepted that I will have to keep learning kanjis via SRS – as there is no alternative. It’s the rest of the language that I want to stop using SRS for.
I am an introvert and I don’t enjoy speaking with strangers over Skype.
I have pondered long and hard about whether I can learn just by listening and reading, but there are problems:
I can’t just pick up a book and start reading it because my vocabulary is very limited. I’d have to look up every word and it’d be excruciatingly painful.
I’d forget the readings of the words within a few seconds of seeing them, in a deluge of other words. And no matter how many times I see a word, the reading is unlikely to stick to my mind unless I invoke it actively, or I make an emotional connection to it (not sure how).
Has anyone from a non-East Asian background taught themselves Japanese only by listening and reading, and how did you do it?
Additional information: I don't like artificial "learning"-type activities, e.g. transcribing, repeating what I heard, talking to myself, and so on. I'd like to learn languages naturally, which involves consuming native media, and looking stuff up in a dictionary.