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How did you memorize Hiragana?

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

Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby furrykef » Wed 07.02.2008 4:20 pm

robrave wrote:For now, SRS is the best option to memorize symbols :)


I dunno... a SRS is specialized for long-term memory, whereas hiragana and katakana will automatically transfer from your short-term memory to your long-term memory if you keep using them, which any serious student of Japanese will. If you forget the hiragana for "nu" one year after beginning your studies and you can't remember on your own, you're doing something wrong. ;)

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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby littleboy » Sun 07.06.2008 9:39 am

becki_kanou wrote:When I was in highschool and just beginning to study Japanese, our teacher gave us print-outs that had cute mnemonics relating the shape of the kana to the sound.

E.g. い is two eels, ち is a cheerleader etc.

I found them very easy to remember, and I can still recall each mnemonic even now 12 years later.

I wish I could remember the name of the book...Perhaps someone here is familiar with it? It's similar to Kana picto-graphix, but by a different author.

And of course as everyone has recommended, just write them over and over and over again.


http://www.hiragananow.com has hiragana mnemonics.

Some examples:

Image
Image

Hope this helps.
One day at a time...
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby nukemarine » Mon 07.07.2008 6:47 am

Sadly, I went the brute force method for Hiragana. I took up Heisig's "Remembering the Kana" for Katakana and the Hiragana I was messing up on. Worked out much better, but I wore rose colored glasses.

Granted, having the knowledge to write 2000 kanji under my belt changed the way I looked at writing kana.
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby Feba » Mon 07.07.2008 10:43 am

As someone who owns Heisig's aforementioned 'Remembering the Kana', I cannot recommend against it highly enough. If the book itself weren't already full of problems, it's simply not worth paying money to learn kana. Except maybe to buy some pencils, notebooks, and possibly graph paper.

What I would recommend is http://www.languagebug.com/kana_q/index.htm -- most any phone should support it, and it's freely available. It is great for learning how to recognize kana. Of course, for learning how to write them (stroke order), you're still going to need to have some diagrams (you can find about a bajillion of these online) and a good pencil and pad of paper. But the cell phone app is a great way to review, especially when you're bored (all that dead time when you're just sitting around waiting for something to happen; commercials, bus/train, in line, etc.)
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby furrykef » Mon 07.07.2008 6:01 pm

Feba wrote:it's simply not worth paying money to learn kana.


Although I do not have Remembering the Kana, I strongly agree. I learned the kana quickly and easily the "hard way". It wasn't entirely painless, but I don't think learning kana could be. I didn't learn from a free resource, but I did learn it from a book that had a lot of other stuff in it as well.

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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby HarajukuxBoy » Mon 07.07.2008 9:59 pm

Writing them over and over again is something that you will need to do. You should also read then in context and practice changing romaji into hiragana/katakana. Flash cards work well too.
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby nukemarine » Thu 07.10.2008 4:54 am

HarajukuxBoy wrote:Writing them over and over again is something that you will need to do. You should also read then in context and practice changing romaji into hiragana/katakana. Flash cards work well too.


If you plan to go to Japan, definitely, definitely practice katakana so that it's second nature (ok, you should do the same with hiragana, but that's easier to do). It's insane the amount used here (yes, others have pointed it out, but it's worth repeating). I hear that text books are pretty thin on Katakana use compared to Hiragana.
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby HarajukuxBoy » Fri 07.11.2008 3:22 pm

nukemarine wrote:
HarajukuxBoy wrote:Writing them over and over again is something that you will need to do. You should also read then in context and practice changing romaji into hiragana/katakana. Flash cards work well too.


If you plan to go to Japan, definitely, definitely practice katakana so that it's second nature (ok, you should do the same with hiragana, but that's easier to do). It's insane the amount used here (yes, others have pointed it out, but it's worth repeating). I hear that text books are pretty thin on Katakana use compared to Hiragana.

Yeah, I know. I used Genki textbooks, and they give the same practice pages for katakana as they do hiragana. They treat them just as equal, which is excellent. Oh yeah, it is said that over 30% of the Japanese language is foreign words, and they use them quite often.
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby furrykef » Fri 07.11.2008 6:39 pm

HarajukuxBoy wrote:it is said that over 30% of the Japanese language is foreign words, and they use them quite often.


But I bet'cha they don't use all 30% quite often, and certainly not often as native and Chinese words. For example, you probably will not come across a large text where 30% or more of the words are foreign, although it's quite possible for short texts to be literally saturated with them, especially ads. Marketing people loooove English 'cause it's hip and trendy, and everybody wants their product to be hip and trendy.

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Last edited by furrykef on Mon 07.14.2008 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby Dustin » Sun 07.13.2008 10:59 pm

All I did was run through the Japanese for Busy People hiragana and katakana practice book, and then created flashcards.

I ran through the flashcards making piles of correct and incorrect over and over again, until I recalled all of them a few times in a row.
I took a notebook and started writing them straight from memory in my own hiragana chart, and in a matter of about 5 hours I had Hiragana pretty well in my head.

Of course I ran through the flashcards and wrote charts each day for a week or so, but once I had done this I was using vocabulary flashcards that I had made using hiragana and katakana only flawlessly.

This worked well for me, and it is not necessary to purchase a book, there are some good hiragana practice materials for free online.

Good Luck to anyone who needs it!

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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby HarajukuxBoy » Mon 07.14.2008 10:10 am

furrykef wrote:
HarajukuxBoy wrote:it is said that over 30% of the Japanese language is foreign words, and they use them quite often.


But I bet'cha they don't use all 30% quite often, and certainly not often as native and Chinese words. For example, you probably will not come across a large text were 30% or more of the words are foreign, although it's quite possible for short texts to be literally saturated with them, especially ads. Marketing people loooove English 'cause it's hip and trendy, and everybody wants their product to be hip and trendy.

- Kef

Ohh, okay.
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby becki_kanou » Mon 07.14.2008 11:24 am

If anyone's still interested, I was in Kinokuniya today, and I happened to find a copy of the mnemonic book I mentioned earlier. The title is "Kana can be easy" by Ogawa Kunihiko, and when I was a beginning student I found the whimsical mnemonics in this book to be very helpful and easy to remember.
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby candysushi » Mon 07.14.2008 1:21 pm

I just wrote them down A LOT in a journal I had and tested myself. It took forever though, I'm so happy I'm past that stage :|
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby furrykef » Mon 07.14.2008 3:00 pm

Both hiragana and katakana are a drop in the bucket compared to kanji...
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Re: How did you memorize Hiragana?

Postby Dustin » Mon 07.14.2008 3:27 pm

Of course they are, but to someone who knows none of the above it can seem like a steep hill at first, and it can be a little more difficult if you approach it the wrong way.

I really approach Kanji the same way I approached the Kana, with some obvious differences, but the practice with Hiragana helped me get my methods down.


BTW, as far as mnemonics go, I never paid for a book to give me some, or go online, I just looked at it and was easily able to come up with the mnemonics that I could easily remember that suited my own character, anyone should be able to do the same. If not, go online. ^^
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