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Trouble studying vocabulary

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Trouble studying vocabulary

Postby Eiuol » Sat 10.03.2009 11:09 pm

I do have plenty of sources that provide me with vocabulary to learn. However, I'm having trouble actively applying words I know and have learned. I can learn grammar basically the first time I look at it and kanji I remember well enough after seeing it a few times.

What I've tried doing so far is writing some short stories with vocab to learn, but that is barely enough to retain vocabulary. Does anyone have suggestions for actual methods of learning vocabulary? Generally, actual Japanese literature or movies are good methods for me. I'd prefer reading, but seeing a large amount of kanji is a daunting, time consuming task. Reading Japanese newspapers would be perfect, but again, looking up every kanji is extremely time consuming. Maybe it's something I won't be able to avoid. At the least, does someone know of good television shows to watch or easy to read books (even late elementary school level books) that can help me get started with learning vocab in context? Or methods besides those I've mentioned?
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Re: Trouble studying vocabulary

Postby Fillanzea » Sat 10.03.2009 11:21 pm

Have you seen the Japanese Graded Readers series? (http://www.thejapanshop.com/home.php?cat=344) They start out at a very low level, and you can get them with CDs, which I think is a really nice bonus. There's also the book "Read Real Japanese," which has essays by contemporary Japanese writers, and all the words have glosses provided. I think it's better not to read things where you have to spend a ton of time looking up kanji. You can also start with children's novels or manga where most or all of the kanji have furigana attached. That's kind of nice because it familiarizes you with looking at the kanji, so you won't be completely stumped when you encounter it without furigana.
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Re: Trouble studying vocabulary

Postby Eiuol » Sun 10.04.2009 11:54 am

Where would be a good place to find such novels or manga?
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Re: Trouble studying vocabulary

Postby Fillanzea » Sun 10.04.2009 12:06 pm

There are any number of web sites where you can buy Japanese books (amazon.co.jp and yesasia.com are two), but unless you have a bookstore or library in your area where you can go look at books before you buy them, I wouldn't really recommend it. Children's books and manga tend to have lots of grammar structures you won't necessarily be familiar with (ちゃう、ちゃった for example) even if the kanji are relatively simple, and that's without getting into the problems of historical or science fiction manga that have their own specialized vocabularies.

I know they're kind of pricey, but I WISH that the graded reader series I linked to above had been around when I was studying at first. It's very nice.
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Re: Trouble studying vocabulary

Postby FrozenFlame » Wed 11.25.2009 7:57 am

Eiuol wrote:Where would be a good place to find such novels or manga?


What about visual novels ?
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Re: Trouble studying vocabulary

Postby kgb4life » Thu 11.26.2009 2:28 pm

There are vocab audio files from the PLAYSAY company. You can learn vocab on the go with ur iPod. It is not free. I purchased the audio files for the JLPT 1 and 2. I am currently studying for the level 2. If any of those two audio file sets interest you, you can message me :)
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Re: Trouble studying vocabulary

Postby Infidel » Thu 11.26.2009 6:23 pm

you just have to use it, whether writing, or speaking. The more you use it, the more it sets. My suggestion is to try to make forum posts in Japanese or sit in a chat room and try to write Japanese. The brain functions on a whole different level when you are actively trying to be understood by another, rather than simply repeating something to yourself.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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