View topic - Learning Vocabulary
I should mention that when I learn a new word, I learn the kanji, too. So if I see 影響, for example, I'm not going to just memorize えいきょう and call it a day, I also practice out writing those kanji and understanding the readings えい and きょう (however, I don't learn かげ and ひびき at the same time, only the readings found in the kanji; typically I don't even look up the actual meaning of new kanji, though I'm not sure if this is a good or bad idea.) This is worth pointing out because people who learn lots of vocab might not spend so much time on the kanji as well.
- Instant Radical
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Takes a little while to figure out how to use the site, but pretty worth it. When you get signed up (it's free), start with the lists called "Japanese Core 2000". At first it might be too easy for you, but I bet it has quite a bit you don't already know anyway. The 2000 means how many words are in the set. It's followed up by Core 6000.
smart.fm is by far probably the best vocabulary study tool on the internet.
Anki is a good program for SRS, but requires you to find your own vocab.... HOWEVER, apparently there is a way (or will be a way?) to export smart.fm vocab lists into anki. I don't really use it so I'm not sure how it works or even if it's implemented yet.
Anyway... there's lots of cool stuff over at smart.fm.
The hiragana times even has partnered with them, and you can study their "Insight into Japan" articles there, with audio and explanations of all sentences, grammatical patterns, and vocab.
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The amount of time it takes me to memorize Japanese sentences right now is insane, really. In the time it takes me to memorize 10 Japanese sentences, I could easily memorize 100 Spanish sentences. I'm hoping it gets easier as I get more familiar with the language.
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Instant Radical wrote: typically I don't even look up the actual meaning of new kanji, though I'm not sure if this is a good or bad idea.
Looking new kanji up will probably help. For remembering 影響, (shadow)+(echo)=(influence) is easier than (bunch of lines)+(bunch of lines)=(influence).
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Yeah, finishing just the 2k will supercharge your reading ability. Don't stop there obviously, but there's a tangible benefit.
There's also a great resource called 2001.Kanji.Odyssey available at http://www.coscom.co.jp which provides vocabulary. However, the big benefit with them is the vocabulary is arranged via kanji and the kanji is arranged in a very intuitive way to aid learning. Most (actually, all who replied about using it) have had nothing but positive things to say about the arrangement of the vocabulary.
On smart.fm a group of us have entered in the vocabulary list from Kanji.Odyssey so you also have that option.
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Also, it's pretty pointless to memorize separate readings, I think it's best if you're exposed to 2 words with the same kanji and then it will come naturally, 2 birds with one stone. Putting in the extra effort to memorize the isolated reading is pretty mundane and boring IMO
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As for reading resources/other ways to practice, just look for and do things that catch your interest. Browse the web, play games, read books, chat with Japanese speakers in person or over an instant messenger, write letters and emails. Watch a J-drama and try transcribing and looking up parts of the the dialogue that give you trouble. Write a blog. Make reading, writing, hearing, and as much as you can, speaking Japanese a part of your every day life. Use it as you would English.
When you're more actively studying, enter the vocabulary you come across into a good SRS like Anki. Preferably, enter them along with an example sentence, or at least phrase, so that you remember how the words are used. If you can do this and review consistently, you should make good progress, I think.
That is what has worked well for me, at least.
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