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Help! Kanji/Words: How to learn them?

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Help! Kanji/Words: How to learn them?

Postby caladwenaeariel » Sun 04.24.2011 1:45 am

I am going through Heisig's Remembering the Kanji right now. I'm not very far, but I'm planning on finishing it :) so when I do, does anyone have advice on what I should do next?

(If you don't know Heisig, when I'm done with it, I will have an English "keyword" attached, in my brain, to each of the kanji I have learned to write. It's like a "database" of kanji in my imagination.)

In case this helps, I also use the DS game "My Japanese Coach" for grammar and vocabulary, a bunch of dictionaries (Old Nelson, J-E Basic Oxford and Oxford Beginner's) and a PC program "Instant Immersion Japanese" for more vocabulary and speaking. I also go through anime and manga and try to translate words I hear and find, and learn the stroke order of new kanji.

But that's where I'm not sure-- eventually, I'm going to be lacking important things without a systematic way to learn kanji/words and their pronunciation. What should I do next?

I know everybody has different ways they study, and that's really what I'm curious about. Thanks for your help! :)
caladwenaeariel
 
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Re: Help! Kanji/Words: How to learn them?

Postby Conan » Sun 04.24.2011 11:16 am

I've found that the best way to learn kanji and to learn the spoken words is to learn them separately. By that I mean by reading (kanji/vocabulary) and then watching Japanese TV (pronunciation/vocabulary). Don't worry about learning them together, that'll come naturally if you practice both reading and comprehending the language.

For grammar, I recommend Tae Kim's Grammar Guide (http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar). It is the best guide out there in my opinion.

Learning with vocabulary lists is not the way to go, because you don't learn them in context. I personally enjoy and retain more if I discover words "in the wild", e.g. reading manga/watching anime/etc. Also, when watching Japanese TV, it's best to watch it without subs, otherwise you will rely on the subs and not be forced to try to understand using your knowledge of the language. One other thing that I like to do is to only talk to myself in Japanese (I have a habit of talking to myself, yes). This is usually when I'm ranting to myself about the game I'm playing at the moment. Because I have such an urge to rant all the time, I make sure that I don't use a single English word, therefore forcing my brain to work with my current Japanese vocabulary to make something up.

The best way to learn any language is through immersion. Try to immerse yourself in Japanese as much as possible throughout the day using any means. Take class notes, write a diary, sing, and rant in Japanese so that you will get used to using it in everyday occurences.
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Re: Help! Kanji/Words: How to learn them?

Postby caladwenaeariel » Sun 04.24.2011 10:28 pm

Conan-- these are all good ideas; I especially like ranting in Japanese. I haven't actually tried that yet, and it would defintely work!! I talk to myself all the time, maybe way too much, so good idea! Thanks.

Oh, and I do like Tae Kim's guide, since you say it's good, I'll make an effort to finish it.
caladwenaeariel
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat 06.05.2010 6:38 am
Location: Red Lantern #900, SPACE Sec.9 Orbital-524 [KALOTEI]
Native language: English


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