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REAL Vocabulary Lists

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REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby Gakusha » Fri 09.09.2005 10:26 pm

Can anyone tell me where to find some really really good vocabulary lists? I'm not talking about stuff that's grouped into colors, food, clothes, and numbers. I honestly don't think categorizing like that is the best way to learn a language. Sure I can say "The tree is green," but that's not good enough. I'd like to know enough vocabulary to read a book, and colors, food, and numbers aren't much of a help. Someone has suggested kahome.com or something like that, and these lists are put together nicely, except for the fact that they are very limited in kanji. I definitely have the capability of learning kanji now so I might as well go ahead with it.
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby colind » Fri 09.09.2005 10:52 pm

Someone else suggested this program a little while ago...
I really use it alot now, everyday if I can.
You can download a few good vocab lists from the website and also create your own. Then from these lists you the program can automatically create a learning list for you. All you do is choose how many words you want, the words' learning status etc.
I often have this program open when I'm on the net. If I'm chatting with someone and they use a word I don't know, I search for it in the dictionary and if I think its worth learning, I put it in a vocab list that I have made. Same with web browsing, if you come across a word you want to learn, put it in your list... too easy!
I love this program and would highly recomend it.
Hope this helps, or someone else can help. :)
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby natemb » Fri 09.09.2005 11:25 pm

Yeah. The vocab on thejapanesepage won't get you too far, but I found it useful when I was starting out (especially because it has kanji, which many lists don't give you at a beginner level).

If you've got a good vocabulary list, but are just missing the kanji, I recommend looking up the words you want to learn in something like Jim Breen's dictionary: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/wwwjdic.html

Then you can make up your own complete vocabulary list in Excel or Word, with English, hiragana, and kanji. It shouldn't be too hard to find the words if you have both the English and the hiragana (or romaji) already, and the effort you do put in will only help you remember the word.

The good thing about excel is that you can make 3 columns, 1 for English, 1 for hiragana, and 1 for kanji. Then, to quiz yourself, just shrink down 1 column, say, the kanji column, until it disappears (by clicking and dragging at the top to adjust its width to 0) . Then, see if you can remember the kanji from the English and hiragana by writing it on paper. Repeat with each column. Once you can get them all from looking at the other two columns, you can shrink down 2 columns, leaving just 1, and see if you can remember the other 2.

Sorry for that convoluted explanation. (and for posting without actually offering a better vocab list) . Minasan gambatte!

Edit: D'oh. someone replied before me, and that looks like a better suggestion.
Last edited by natemb on Fri 09.09.2005 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 09.10.2005 12:46 am

This is just my opinion, but I think that you need the starting categories of colors, types of cars, foods, etc. Simple basic words are going to come up alot. Although you might not find the phrase "the tree is green" very useful, you will need to know both tree and green to read a book.

I met a Brazillian woman today who was a member of her son's Japanese PTA, could speak Japanese enough to have lengthy conversations, but couldn't use number counters. You need the basics to get the better.

For moving beyond the basics, what I did was just grab a book and start reading. Every word I didn't know, I looked up and put in my vocab list. It's a really haphazard way of learning, but that seems to be more what you are looking for -- words that are going to be used in your every day conversation.

As for actual lists, I would try the JPLT word lists, as they are for the defacto standardized test for gauging Japanese proficiency.
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby appleraja » Sat 09.10.2005 12:56 am

hey colind that seems like a kool program, im just wondering when i try to have it in japanese mode how come liek it only tells u the mandarin prnounciation? not japanese, also another question how do u add the dictioanry section
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby Gakusha » Sat 09.10.2005 5:58 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
This is just my opinion, but I think that you need the starting categories of colors, types of cars, foods, etc. Simple basic words are going to come up alot. Although you might not find the phrase "the tree is green" very useful, you will need to know both tree and green to read a book.

I am already learning a list of 10 colors. I think for common word lists like these in the future, I should take a few words from each category so I have more of a variety. I think I would be more likely to remember a vocab word that is unlike the others.

By the way, the Wakan lists are very nice. I was already using the dictionary, but I didn't know I could download those lists. I got the JLPT ones.
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby redfoxer » Sat 09.10.2005 6:06 pm

ok, simple vocab lists that are useful for beginners.

^ very useful expect it doesnt show kanji...if it did, it would be the best...and im not to hot on the romaji spelling for things.. (stuff like benkyoo...when i write, benkyou)

^ fairly accurate with minor differences (eg, dame does not mean no but more of a dont (do that). as stated, isnt too polite to tell someone to stop)

^ accurate and useful for starters.
Last edited by redfoxer on Sat 09.10.2005 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby sparky » Sat 09.17.2005 5:34 pm

Hi, everyone! I'm new here! :d But, whatever! On to my post!

My knowledge of Japanese is somewhat low-intermediate, so it's hard for me classify what a good vocab list would be like. Especially on-line, since you never know if what's written there on your screen is actually true or if somebody's messing with you.

But I believe http://www.e-japanese.jp/ is pretty good: it gives you downloadable vocab lists for the JLPTs (which I think is the best way to start learning vocabulary) with grammar and kanji and even includes interactive quizzes that you can take depending on your level and class of preference (ex. noun, adjective, etc.).

You can also register and make your vocab lists on your own (probably kind of like what was mentioned above by someone else).

Anyway, those are my two cents. Enjoy. ^__^
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby Budomaru » Thu 10.13.2005 12:12 pm



not amazing, and not to be trusted 100%, it needs some experience before you are able to trust it properly, but still it is very useful, somewhat good for practice as well.
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby Apollo » Thu 10.13.2005 12:42 pm

Does romajii even have a specific way of spelling? I mean on this site I found one way to spell a word, and when I was reading my book it was similar, like you could tell what they were trying to say, but it was spelled differently.

And is Japan also spelled as "Nipon" my friend told me there was two ways of spelling it, I personally like to use "Nihon".
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby skrhgh3b » Thu 10.13.2005 3:06 pm

Does romajii even have a specific way of spelling

"roomaji" is simply a scheme of transliterating the japanese sound system into our alphabet, and they are numerous, although one in particular has more or less become standard at this point. you can learn all about it by searching wikipedia.org.
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby Budomaru » Thu 10.13.2005 3:17 pm

Nihon and Nippon are two ways of writing Japan, i remember reading somewhere about which is used in which case, but i cant remember now. i prefer Nihon too - Nippon sounds a bit silly really lol :p
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RE: REAL Vocabulary Lists

Postby Mukade » Fri 10.14.2005 1:56 am

There's a book called Japanese Vocabulary for Speakers and Readers that I recommend. It has the kanji, the romaji and the English for each entry, and the words are grouped by category.

I know you said you don't like categories, but if you think about it, when you sit down and have a conversation, it usually follows a theme. If you are talking about politics, then a good knowledge of political terms is essential.

Just to give you an idea, some of the categories used in this book:


And each of these is further sub-divided into more specific categories. For example, Education is broken down into Language, Literature, Math, Science, History, Place names, etc.

All-in-all, there are 26 main categories, about 100 sub-categories and 5,850 terms included in the book.

I've found it very helpful, especially as the authors thought to put an asterisk next to high-usage words. Keep it handy. When you know you're going to be meeting with your friend who likes to talk about sports, break this book out, open to the sports section, and start studying words like "physical education," "championship," " coach," "hurdle," and "loincloth." :p
Last edited by Mukade on Fri 10.14.2005 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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