Retaining what we know

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?
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Retaining what we know

Post by crowfeather » Sat 05.27.2006 1:12 pm

I am sure many of us do not have the opportunity to speak in Japanese other than talking to ourselves, which may raise a few eyebrows.;)

Using flash cards for years would become boring.

There is an abundance of written material to use.

Can a person maintain their knowledge of Japanese just by reading and writing?
I realize their pronounciation would suffer, but it seems they would at least retain their vocabulary and understanding of grammar.

I would appreciate hearing what others think of this idea.


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RE: Retaining what we know

Post by caroline » Sat 05.27.2006 2:06 pm

Well, there are other ways than speaking to your japanese tapes, though none is as good as speaking with other people. It's true that speaking can be forgotten quite easily, since that's what I found most distressing having stopped japanese for some years.

A good way is to see as many japanese movies in japanese as you can, and with subtitles if you want, as long as you pay attention to what is said. Not only chambara and anime, but movies speaking the japanese people usually speak. It should at least allow you to keep a decent ear, and makes it easier to speak yourself.

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RE: Retaining what we know

Post by Gormur » Sat 05.27.2006 2:15 pm

Puh, even being around natives all day in residence doesn't bring fluency, esp when all they want to do is practise their English and get help with their assignments.... I'm practically the only native English-speaker in residence this time of year (besides 2 others out of 98 students), the rest are ESL, so I help out a lot with English.

Honestly I don't know the answers. I've been at Japanese for 2yrs (1 class and hanging out with Japanese everyday), and still I can hardly communicate anything other than the basics (commands, numbers, age, questions, info, etc). Writing is such a bugger that I don't even bother with it much anymore. I think memorization is the key with languages so far removed from your own, because the grammar simply has so many exceptions that it would take a lifetime to try and memorize them all just to be able to speak to people. This is why I hate Japanese courses here at university. They focus so much on grammar and writing and by the end of the year you're lucky if you're able to go to Japan and order at a restaurant or ask directions.:@
Det vert ingen kvit avdi han gjer ein annan svart.


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RE: Retaining what we know

Post by two_heads_talking » Tue 05.30.2006 11:17 am

this is a way to remember vocabulary and grammar principles..

study 20 words every other hour for a day
study 20 words every day for week
study 20 words every week for a month
study 20 words every month for a year
study 20 words every year for ......

now each day you will have more words.. and each week you will have more as well. each set of 20 moves up the list until you get to the yearly mark. they say having done this you won't forget those words.. i did this for a short time, managed to do the monthly reviews and for the 2 years i was in japan, i never did forget and still know the 2000 vocabulary i used at the time.. it was religious, so most of the words aren't used in day to day conversation but were important for me at the time.. this system takes alot of self motivation and dedication..

you can use this system with kotowaza, stories, talks etc.. anything you want to retain

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RE: Retaining what we know

Post by Reno » Tue 05.30.2006 11:54 am

Gormur wrote:
Honestly I don't know the answers. I've been at Japanese for 2yrs (1 class and hanging out with Japanese everyday), and still I can hardly communicate anything other than the basics (commands, numbers, age, questions, info, etc). Writing is such a bugger that I don't even bother with it much anymore.
This helps the motivation for all of us! :D

*joke* ofcourse its hard but theres a (oooooolld) dutch saying that says u get rewarded equally for the effort you put into it. To be honest, that saying is in every language but anyway, nothing comes for free ;)
Good luck with studying everybody and I hope one day I will be able to pick it back up.

Until then, a nice goodbye from me to you ;)

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RE: Retaining what we know

Post by karelhof » Tue 05.30.2006 12:05 pm

well, I learned English from games, movies and tv. I heard enough to have good pronunciation, so if you're 24-7 surrounded with another language, you probably learn it pretty fast, but japanese mostly just stays in japan, not in europe or USA....:|

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RE: Retaining what we know

Post by Infidel » Tue 05.30.2006 4:00 pm

I don't think anything has helped me learn new stuff and retain it better than bumbling along in the chat room and having people correct me or answer my questions. Trying to create sentences that force me to look up terms and actively use a vocabulary word in an engaging conversation with a friend from this community really is a major help :)

The second best thing is doing the workbook exercises in my textbook course. Both are essentially applications of knowledge.

All other methods are just crutches that are often helpful in the short term but to get it stuck in your head you need to use it. There seems to be a vast difference between passive use and active use as well. So best to actively use it as it seems to stick longer and you also get the benefit of being able to use it. Instead of being able to read it but not being able to write it or speak it.

If we had some kind of voice confrence room I might try it too :)

Last edited by Infidel on Tue 05.30.2006 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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