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What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

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What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby Pkmn Trainer Abram » Fri 10.13.2006 9:16 am

Aside from using online programs, are there any specific methods you used to build vocabuary? Involving pen and paper useage ofcourse.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby richvh » Fri 10.13.2006 9:46 am

What I do is read. Find something close to your level, and that you find interesting, and read it.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby paul_b » Fri 10.13.2006 10:57 am

richvh wrote:
What I do is read. Find something close to your level, and that you find interesting, and read it.


What he said but also lookup and note new and useful words for latter revision. Electronic dictionaries that allow you to add to a word list are handy for that. Note that, especially at beginner level, you shouldn't worry too much about learning _every_ word you come across - stick to the ones that you're likely to use a lot.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby Pkmn Trainer Abram » Fri 10.13.2006 11:06 am

I was reading another thread here that got blown into a whole discussion on learning the langage which stemed from a question asked similarly to this and got me to thinking, maybe romaji COULD help ME better in learning to remember words.

See, whenever I see a word in english I can remember it when I see it spelled later in kata/hiragana. It's easier for me to do it that way then to start out with the jpn text and learn it the other way around I think.

Any advice on this method and the dangers? I don't want to get stuck romaji-ing everything I write, but this method is working better for me for the moment in memorizing words I see in text.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby Dehitay » Fri 10.13.2006 11:19 am

if you use romaji, I would suggest spelling things the right way instead of the common long o's and long e's being spelled oo and ee instead of ou and ei. That annoys the ever living hell out of me. Personally, I think it would be better to just keep it in hiragana since that will increase your reading speed when it comes to reading in Japanese.

As for remembering vocabulary, this method is old and yet powerful as hell. Flashcards! Flashcards are how I learned over 1200 kanji already. In addition to helping you learn, there's an awesome feeling when you have a stack of 1200 index cards and think to yourself, "I've learned that much kanji"
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby Schattenjedi » Fri 10.13.2006 11:47 am

Pkmn Trainer Abram wrote:
I was reading another thread here that got blown into a whole discussion on learning the langage which stemed from a question asked similarly to this and got me to thinking, maybe romaji COULD help ME better in learning to remember words.

See, whenever I see a word in english I can remember it when I see it spelled later in kata/hiragana. It's easier for me to do it that way then to start out with the jpn text and learn it the other way around I think.

Any advice on this method and the dangers? I don't want to get stuck romaji-ing everything I write, but this method is working better for me for the moment in memorizing words I see in text.


Your inability to remember words written in kana while being able to remember words written in romaji simply shows that you are still not comfortable enough with kana. This can only be helped by reading more texts composed with kana. You are shooting yourself in the foot when you use romaji...without exception.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby Pkmn Trainer Abram » Fri 10.13.2006 12:05 pm

Let me describe my thinking process.

I can remember more words in romaji than in kana, but when I see it written in kana, I know what it is. I can think out the word in my head and write it out in kana, but remembering them in kana form is a problem, one in which guess I'm simply NOT used to reading it fully just yet.

I don't use romaji too much when writing.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby Schattenjedi » Fri 10.13.2006 12:20 pm

Pkmn Trainer Abram wrote:
Let me describe my thinking process.

I can remember more words in romaji than in kana, but when I see it written in kana, I know what it is. I can think out the word in my head and write it out in kana, but remembering them in kana form is a problem, one in which guess I'm simply NOT used to reading it fully just yet.

I don't use romaji too much when writing.


So when you initially are trying to memorize a word you have trouble if it's written in kana? You need to get past this. And romaji definitely isnt the answer.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby Pkmn Trainer Abram » Fri 10.13.2006 11:23 pm

I see. I happen to be an artist so how about this method:

1)Make flashcards involving scenes/animals/whatever on the front written with the thing or action in kana on the bottom, with the meaning(no romanization of the word) on the back? Would a method like that be more helpful in your opinion?
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby Dehitay » Sat 10.14.2006 1:28 am

LMAO, romaji is pretty much inevitable for the English translation. What I do is write the kanji character on one side (it always turns out really small for some reason). On the reverse side, I write the on-yomi, kun-yomi, and English translation. Most sites use katakana for the on-yomi, hiragana for the kun-yomi, and you pretty much have to use romaji for the translation. But if you really want to do artwork instead, it's possible not to use romaji.

Also, it's too late for me but since you're starting now, here's some advice. Write a few compounds that use that kanji character on the side with the kanji and their translations on the back. In retrospect, that would have been a lot better for me. I know about 1200 kanji characters but not even half as many kanji compounds.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby Toriyama » Sun 10.15.2006 2:33 pm

I, personally, think that flashcards are definitely the way to go. I had custom flashcards made for about 800 words. It costed about $35 to have them made at kinkos, but it was worth it. I noticed an extraordinary improvement within a few days of using them. Then if you want to add more words after that you can always make them by hand using 3 x 5 index cards. B) It is also a great way to track your progress, especially if you are just starting out. After you complete all the 3 kyuu requirements, I don't think flashcards are necessary any more since you have a great base to work from. And it would be a hassle to have thousands of flashcards laying around your house. Anyway, I say go for the custom flashcards. They work the best.
Last edited by Toriyama on Thu 10.19.2006 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby BetterSense » Wed 10.18.2006 7:41 pm

Isn't there somewhere you can download, say, all the 3kyuu kanji flashcards, for free or otherwise?
I know you believe you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby LaughingMan » Thu 10.19.2006 12:09 am

Not really download, but speedanki lets you drill flashcards for each of the kyuus of the JLPT. It also lets you divide those flashcards between which are unread, read, familiar, mastered, and review, which is a really helpful way to study what you don't already know.
Last edited by LaughingMan on Thu 10.19.2006 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby BetterSense » Thu 10.19.2006 2:48 pm

speedanki does not seem to work for me. I have tried to register under two diffrent email addresses, and both times it said that my login information was incorrect, even after linking to the login page from my confirmation email and pasting the info.
I know you believe you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
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RE: What is a good method to build basic vocabuary?

Postby Toriyama » Thu 10.19.2006 8:38 pm

BetterSense wrote:
Isn't there somewhere you can download, say, all the 3kyuu kanji flashcards, for free or otherwise?


I don't remember the site that I got this from, but I uploaded it for anyone who wants it. You can get it HERE. ;) This is a set of 4 kyuu flashcards.
Last edited by Toriyama on Thu 10.19.2006 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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