View topic - Japanese - On and Kun
Reading Tutor is also really good http://language.tiu.ac.jp/index_e.html
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- Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
- Native language: 英語
Part of my reaction came from interactions I've had with some Japanese people I help with English. I've noticed they had a tendency to memorize words from vocabulary books in a very piecemeal fashion, so I bought them one of those "build your vocabulary" books that stress taking words apart into their roots. And it occurred to me that these roots are a LOT like kanji in terms of being units of meaning.
In any case, I agree that reading every day is extremely useful. I put in at least an hour with my novel (almost) every day -- I usually miss on Japanese lesson day and often one other day in the week. Over the months I've gone from being able to read only a couple of pages in an hour to being able to read 8 or 9. This is due mostly to passive vocabulary acquisition. Now if I only knew a way to grow my active vocabulary quickly... but then I have no way to spend an hour a day in conversation or even correspondence...
In any case I find it's best to practice contextual reading very consciously, by forcing myself to a) read to the end of a phrase or even sentence and b) make a wild guess about a new word before going to the dictionary. This strategy pays off -- but even when I guess the meaning correctly, I sometimes have to go look up the pronunciation. (bummer!)
Incidentally, for anyone who's interested in the thorny world of kanji readings, I'm putting up a translation of a section of a Japanese kanji text for adults over in the translation section. This section deals with the historical process behind the Japanese writing system and has more details (and examples) than what I've seen in English so far.
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