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flash card set up

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flash card set up

Postby jayjaej » Tue 11.05.2013 2:07 am

Would it be best to have Japanese on the front with translations on the back? I've read a couple articles that reccommend this, but with no reason behind it. Does anyone know the theory behind this sort of setup?
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Re: flash card set up

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Tue 11.05.2013 4:33 pm

First of all, no matter what you do, your passive vocabulary (words you can recognize but can't use) is always going to be larger than your active vocabulary (words that you can use in your own sentences). It simply doesn't happen to ever have words that you can use yourself but can't understand when others use them. Putting Japanese on the front side simply caters to the natural learning order of the mind - recognition first.

Secondly, it's a -lot- of work to put English on the front side. In most cases, any given English word could be translated as one of several Japanese words depending on the context, so you can't simply put a one word gloss on each side without quickly getting into trouble.
'shake' might be 振り掛ける or 揺れる or 動揺(する)... you'll need to give a very thorough definition or a sentence for context if you want to put the English on the front side.

The same is true to some extent going the other way, but having one word in Japanese on the front and a thorough definition on the back is a more comfortable quizzing pattern, and also it doesn't -matter- if you think of a synonym going the other way. If you came up with 'sprinkle' for 振り掛ける or 'tremble' for 揺れる it's fine - the goal was to come up with the correct -meaning- not the correct -word-. The meaning is only in English words because that's you're native language, not because you need to learn those specific English words.

All that said, I do put a full Japanese sentence on the front of my cards, and a full English translation on the back. I don't really study words in isolation if I can possibly avoid it. I don't do this, but many people put in a fill-in-the-blank card in cases like this. One of my cards is,
その事ことについては皆固く沈黙を守っていた
It wouldn't be hard to adjust this to,
その事ことについては皆固く( ... )を守っていた
which many people do, but of course this is a terrible sentence for straight fill-in-the-blank.

It's not any harder though to make it like this,
その事ことについては皆固く( silence; hush; reticence; inaction )を守っていた
which is less common than straight up 'cloze deletion' for some reason.
I might do this with some words that I want to be able to use and not just understand if I don't feel like my active vocabulary is growing fast enough.
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