Anyway to memorize Japanese?

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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Anyway to memorize Japanese?

Post by Neku » Tue 03.12.2013 5:40 pm

I've been learning basic Hirigana for a week now from the site. And I feel like I'm getting no where. I do remember some of the symbols and what they mean, but it's hard to focus and concentrate on how I can learn it and keep it memorized. Some words are easy some are hard to remember. Is there any possible way for something to help me keep them memorized so I can know each symbol and the meaning right off the bat, etc? I know you can't learn this over night, and it takes time. I want to know if there was an easy way for remembering them. Thanks in advice.

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Re: Anyway to memorize Japanese?

Post by LightSamurai » Fri 04.05.2013 1:37 am

Well there is no magic trick: you have to repeat and repeat and repeat... :wink:
Fortunately there are tools to help you, especially if you are beginning.

Check out a software called "Anki", you can download it for free: it's basically electronic flashcards, but in a smart way.
You give to Anki a set of question/answer (in your case hiragana/reading), Anki will show you the hiragana, and you grade how well you remember it. Then Anki will periodically ask you to recognize characters but it will insists on character you have difficulty remembering.

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Re: Anyway to memorize Japanese?

Post by sampaguita » Fri 04.05.2013 7:38 pm

I learned Hiragana by repeating them over and over again. I think for hiragana and katakana, the keyword is practice.

When you get more advanced, you'll encounter kanji. For me, the approach to kanji is a bit different. It is still important to repeat and repeat the kanji. For example, I do 4 new kanji a day, and repeat the past 40 kanji. That's my daily routine. For the readings though, what I do is I memorize one word (vocabulary) for every single reading. For example, the kanji 出 can be read as "de", "da", or "shutsu". So what I do is I get a word for each reading, and the meaning of each:

deru 出る- get out from, leave
dasu 出す- get something out
shutsujou 出場 - participate

Maybe you can do something similar with hiragana too? I think it will be easier since there's only one reading for hiragana.

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Re: Anyway to memorize Japanese?

Post by haganai » Mon 07.29.2013 6:19 pm

Right now im learning katakana and the ebst thing i can think of is writting the symbols out on paper over and over like when i got in trouble at school and had to write "i will not do this again" like 500 times. that way helped me learn the letters for korean and hiragana and im doing the same with katakana right now but i would like some better ways.

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Re: Anyway to memorize Japanese?

Post by baskerville » Fri 08.23.2013 12:14 pm

Have you tried using mnemonics for Hiragana and Katakana? Some people are tactile learners, meaning, they can memorize the kana (even Kanji) by writing over and over. Some people are visual learners. They can memorize something if they can associate it with a picture.
When I was starting out with hiragana, our teacher showed us a picture of a "no parking sign" that's superimposed on the hiragana NO. Some of the picture associations were pretty farfetched but they did help us memorize the kana :)
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Re: Anyway to memorize Japanese?

Post by melandar » Sat 01.04.2014 4:56 pm

How to memorize japanese? Memory retention is a study in its own right and it will depend on the particular student´s ability. When we learn our first words as a baby we simply repeated what we heard as sounds, without knowing the meaning at all. Then a little later we would rdually associate the meaning with each word we copied. Then the third development is to arrange those words in order to make sense. Also, very important we learnt all those early words in a totally random order.
I mention all these things because when learning japanese the fastest way to memorize is to follow the baby pattern mentioned, but being adult, at a faster rate of course.
It is the fastest kown way to get your learning into short term memory, which is necessary before it can be reinforced into long term memory.
To show by example, I read a passage of japanese text for the first time. I check out the words/kanji I dont know. Then copy (on my tablet) the separate sentences out and place them back in a different order to read as a list of sentences. This duplicates the random order I mention. I will re-arrange them again and often print them out to take to work to read when taking a break.
With many audio lessons, amost none apply the conditions above and so fail to mimic the natural human way of memory retention. However after trying very many courses over decades, oly one course maker comes close to using the model I describe here on all their languages, and that is the Pimsleur courses. The difference in improvement is very noticeable. Again with my audio languages, I select parts from the original and alter the order, thus have little trouble with retention. As additional backup,especially for kanji, use one one of the intelligent flashcard apps which do randomize the cards and increase frequency of the kanji you struggle with.
There are two more important things to apply, which may surprise some people, and that is, when finishing a study session, make absolutely no attempt to remember between studies. As a baby you did not do that and you leant words without any pressure, and never constantly repeat the same word over and over. This works against memory retention.
To apply these conditions will definitely improve memorization.

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Re: Anyway to memorize Japanese?

Post by Inkinsarto » Tue 04.08.2014 8:52 am

With learning Hiragana, after the vowels are memorized, the rest almost comes naturally with reading. (ALMOST!) I would recommend writing what you see.

Also, the most important technique I used to learn Japanese was to find patterns. Using this, you can easily memorize alphabets, or even hundreds of Kanji. Although, it is much better if you discover these patterns yourself. This is so the mind will recognize them the way it should, and not something taught by a teacher.

(Hope this isn't a too late post)

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