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How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

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

RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 12.03.2007 2:32 pm

It sounds like the way you're doing things is not only unfocused and slow but also counterproductive.

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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby miho-sempai » Mon 12.03.2007 3:05 pm

Mike Cash wrote:
It sounds like the way you're doing things is not only unfocused and slow but also counterproductive.

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Why's that? I don't get what you mean.
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby everdream » Mon 12.03.2007 5:27 pm

What's a good way to learn vocab?
I'm a beginner, therefore reading will only enforce reading, but won't help me much with vocab at the moment. When I learn a new word, i try using it in several sentances, in several situations, however, the word doesn't always stick. Also, I am using anki at the moment, however, I'm thinking that perhaps, after my vocabulary is in the hundreds and thousends, it will be an awfull lot to insert and use anki for.
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby Wakannai » Mon 12.03.2007 5:56 pm

You add words to your active vocabulary, in any language, by using them. Frequently.

You add words to your passive vocabulary, in any language, by hearing or seeing them frequently enough.

Frequency is key. Once a day for 10 days is better than 10 times in one day.

Once a day for a month, and you'll probably remember it for over a year.
Last edited by Wakannai on Mon 12.03.2007 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby Gundaetiapo » Mon 12.03.2007 8:13 pm

And it's coming to that: "certain place together with become" makes more sense then: "to meet someone". It's really fun.


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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby Ken Pro » Tue 12.04.2007 1:14 am

everdream wrote:
What's a good way to learn vocab?
I'm a beginner, therefore reading will only enforce reading, but won't help me much with vocab at the moment. When I learn a new word, i try using it in several sentances, in several situations, however, the word doesn't always stick. Also, I am using anki at the moment, however, I'm thinking that perhaps, after my vocabulary is in the hundreds and thousends, it will be an awfull lot to insert and use anki for.


A good way to learn vocab all by itself is to break each word down into parts and repeat it as a whole and in parts, out loud. Once your mouth gets used to saying it, your brain will remember it easier.

When first doing this, add the translation of the word out loud in your native language, each time you repeat it.

So if English is your native language, it would go like this, out loud:

"Tegami." "Letter." "Te." "Ga." "Mi." "Letter." "Tegami." "Letter." "Te. Ga. Mi." "Letter."

Do that 5-10 times for each word. You can go maybe 10-15 words with this method at a time, then you have to stop, go back to the top of the list, and test yourself. Cover the English words and then say the Japanese out loud and the English out loud. If you miss a word, which you will, start again, but from the bottom. When you miss another word, restart, this time from the top, and so on. That way you're reinforcing words in different orders. (A bad habit of learning vocab is to keep learning them in rigid sequences; after a while you can only guess them within those sequences and not in actual use.)

Then cover the Japanese words and do the opposite, saying the English out loud, then the Japanese out loud.

This is, of course, when you're going straight down a list and putting things into your short-term memory. This should immediately be followed by their usage in sentences---any textbook should be doing this.

Hearing it spoken by a Japanese person, in some sort of context, also helps. Many words that I thought I forgot, snapped back into memory after hearing it spoken in a Japanese film. That's not something you can plan; it just sort of happens if you expose yourself to spoken Japanese a lot.

And humiliation is also a good motivator. If you say something wrong and are corrected, or have to ask for a certain word, you'll remember it a lot better because you've associated it with an emotion. Learning a language should be a bit of a masochistic enterprise.
Last edited by Ken Pro on Tue 12.04.2007 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 12.04.2007 5:22 am

miho-sempai wrote:
Mike Cash wrote:
It sounds like the way you're doing things is not only unfocused and slow but also counterproductive.

チーズ


Why's that? I don't get what you mean.


Because picking some words out of the dictionary is random and unfocused. And because you say:

"certain place together with become" makes more sense then: "to meet someone".


That's scary. It means you're translating things, and doing it in an overly direct, literal, and nonsensical manner.
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby kitamichibi » Tue 12.04.2007 8:48 am

:o KenProさん, it works! Never tried it that way before now... :D
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 12.04.2007 9:47 am

My advice is to study vocab out of context as little as possible (preferably not at all).
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby miho-sempai » Tue 12.04.2007 11:47 am

Eh, things work differently for people. I also work with my textbooks and whatnot. The dictionary's mostly for vocabulary, which has always been hardest for me. It's how I learn. And even the writing (the english part) has started not making any sense. I'll get it right eventually, no matter how long it'll take me. *shrug* I'm determined to get it right, whether I do it the hard way or the easy way. I prefer learning vocab over grammar, though. Grammar is eventually easier to figure out, at least for me.

The only beginning book I have is for kanji. xD My grandfather before he died bought me the second, third, and fourth books in a practically extinct college textbook. He couldn't see very well by then, because he thought it was the first through third. So I don't understand most of what's in those because I missed a whole textbook. So I rely on my knowledge, what I've learned on the internet in the extremely limited and shielded time I do have, and what resources I can obtain.
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 12.04.2007 4:19 pm

That's like chopping off one toe with a shovel while gardening and being determined to finish up by chopping off the remaining nine as well.
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 12.04.2007 4:55 pm

I've never agreed with this idea that "people learn different ways, so my bad way of learning will work for me." There are right and wrong ways to learn a language. Learning a language is not an inevitability, that can be done any way you want. The unfortunate truth is that most people who try to learn a language fail, and this is even more true with Japanese, which is an extremely difficult language for Westerners to master.

If it actually ends up working for you that's great, but you shouldn't be too narrow and focused early in your study. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to think that because something you are doing is challenging or difficult, or because you're having to review things you already studied, that you're doing something wrong and need to find a different way to study.
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Tue 12.04.2007 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby everdream » Tue 12.04.2007 5:31 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
My advice is to study vocab out of context as little as possible (preferably not at all).

I agree with you completely, but I have a question...
As for learning a word with context, would this include learning it with an example sentance(s). (If this is a silly question, I apoligise)
We grow too soon old and too late smart. - Steve Wright

'Know thyself?' If I knew myself, I'd run away. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in fourteen days I had lost exactly two weeks.
- Joe E. Lewis
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 12.04.2007 5:43 pm

Yes, that's fine.
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RE: How do you learn Japanese? What's your tips?

Postby Ken Pro » Tue 12.04.2007 6:03 pm

everdream wrote:
Yudan Taiteki wrote:
My advice is to study vocab out of context as little as possible (preferably not at all).

I agree with you completely, but I have a question...
As for learning a word with context, would this include learning it with an example sentance(s). (If this is a silly question, I apoligise)


Ideally you'll have a book that presents sentences to you that include vocabulary you don't yet know. The first time you read the sentences, they won't make 100% sense. Then after you study the vocabulary, return to the original sentences and now they should make perfect sense. And the context reinforces the learning.

I don't agree that words should never be studied by themselves. They should be introduced in context, but the only way to memorize words is to repeat them in isolation, out loud. That way you can plug the words into more than one sentence pattern. But I'm assuming Yudan isn't saying you should only study words as sentence fragments and not as, well, *words*.
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