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Building vocabulary

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Building vocabulary

Postby Tsikura » Thu 08.12.2010 8:22 pm

Not sure if this is the right section but I'm posting here since it sorta is a translation question.
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So right now I only know kana and like 10 kanji (lol) at the moment as I am just practicing grammar and picking up the pace on reading kana. Now, I can read things here and there and understand what it is saying.

Like I go along a story and see words for example ねこ which means neko (cat), something I've heard many times and it just stuck. Now if I go along and see many strange new words like ぎゅうにゅう which means gyuunyuu (cows milk), I would end up having to rush to a dictionary which really slow down the pace.

What would be the best way to start building up basic vocabulary to memorize? How did you begin learning what something meant? Just practice practice practice using the dictionary or having people around you speak the language?
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Re: Building vocabulary

Postby ZetaFox » Thu 08.12.2010 9:31 pm

I picked up quite a bit of simple vocab from watching dramas, movies and such. It kind of just comes, and you say 'Hey! I know this word!' while not knowing when you learned it. Learned many nouns this way.

I learned many compounds when I started my kanji study. I find it hard to pick up on compounds when people speak unless someone puts it in obvious context such as standing in the middle of a library and saying ここは図書館です。
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Re: Building vocabulary

Postby Snowflake » Thu 08.12.2010 10:07 pm

Aside from exploring TJP here (lots of great learning opportunities!), have you tried smart.fm yet? Even with its faults, I think it's a good learning source. Coscom.com.jp is another nice site. There are also great number of IPod apps you can explore (many of them are free or free-trials). You could also try Readthekanji.com although that may be a difficult (but not impossible) start until you get a few more kanji under your belt.

Those are some of the things I've been using to get vocabulary exposure.
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Re: Building vocabulary

Postby seanvol » Fri 08.13.2010 4:38 am

I try to read Japanese news articles on the internet. Of course I'll need a dictionary, but don't worry about it slowing down your pace or anything. There isn't much of an alternative; that's what it's for.

The goal is to not have to use a dictionary eventually, sure, but I don't think any person on Earth trying to learn a language has ever not had to refer to a dictionary at some point. The idea is to be persistent and make the language a part of your life; don't worry about the means by which you do so if they're completely normal like reading a dictionary. :D

As for my personal methods, as an independent learner, I find whatever I can. Books, videos, whatever, I'll find something written or spoken in Japanese and try my best to understand it. The internet is like, my main source. There's nowhere else where I can go where Japanese is everywhere, from a primary source. One thing that's really a challenge for me is reading or hearing something in Japanese, and trying to sort of discipline myself to think of only what it represents mentally, not how it's represented in English, thus hopefully making myself more proficient in the language. It's hard.
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Re: Building vocabulary

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 08.13.2010 1:00 pm

have you tried reading childrens books in Japanese? they have lots of basic vocabulary and pictures to help with identification.
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Re: Building vocabulary

Postby ZetaFox » Fri 08.13.2010 1:54 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:have you tried reading childrens books in Japanese? they have lots of basic vocabulary and pictures to help with identification.


I've been actively looking for those, but can't seem to get my hands on any without ordering off amazon somewhere. If there is an alternative, I'm all ears.
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Re: Building vocabulary

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 08.20.2010 2:41 pm

have you looked at the http://www.thejapanshop.com/ ?

it's our (japanese page.com's) own store, run by the same people who run this site.


http://www.thejapanshop.com/s/178-72741 ... ion=submit
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