Taking the world less travelled

Posts Tagged "vocabulary"

Learning Japanese Through Hana Kimi

Posted by on Mar 10, 2009 in Reviews | 6 comments

Hana Kimi manga cover At the moment I’m tackling Hanazakari no Kimitachi e – the manga.

While I was in Japan I bought home.. *ahem* 75 manga. Yes, it was heavy. You can check out a crappy phone photo here. All this manga goodness was thanks to the wonders and delights that is Book Off. It may just be the most wonderful place in the whole world. It sells second hand books at an awesome price. Just don’t go there on Lady’s day and expect to come out empty handed…

Never the less, looking at my wall of manga, I thought I better get started on it properly or else I all the exercise I got carrying the things around Japan would have been for nothing. I have flicked through a few, “read” a few as well, but apart from some frustration, little has been gained. I really need to sit down and “study” these books without trying to make it into too much of a chore.

So I’ve decided to tackle Hana Kimi first.

The Good

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New Season “Summer” 2008! Yay!

Posted by on Jul 5, 2008 in Life | 0 comments

Hi Everyone. I’ve been sick. In fact, I still feel sick, I can’t shake it! Dammit! But, today I’m feeling a lot better – mainly because this week the new Japanese drama season has begun! I’ve spent most of tonight watching lots of promotional stuff of Maou, Ikuta Toma and Ohno Satoshi’s new drama that aired last night. OMG, I’m so excited. I love tarot, and I love Ikuta. ;)

Even though I didn’t do as well as I usually do at university last semester, plus I was suffering from serious burnout, I got better marks than I was expecting, which is fantastic. In regards to my quest to Remember the Kanji, I’m still at the 600 kanji mark, however I’ve been practising a lot trying to get back up to where I was before. Over the next six months I hope to keep reviewing these as well as slowly increasing the amount of kanji I know.

I haven’t been reading manga, however I’ve been going through my copies of the Japanese Graded Readers, level two. For me, the only problem I really face with them is vocab. I can understand the stories except for a word here or there. Some I can get from context, but others I read the whole story and still can’t guess the word. I want to go through them again with a dictionary.

That’s the news, you’re up to date.

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Carlie’s Japanese Progress – May 2008

Posted by on Jun 2, 2008 in Life | 0 comments

May 2008 has been Major Burn Out Month. I discovered my problem, however – it wasn’t burnout from Japanese, rather it was a burnout from University. I will definitely be making a post on the pros and cons of learning a language in the class room.

That being said, I tried to maintain my Japanese study, even if I didn’t want to touch a lot of what I had to do with a ten foot pole. Some of my activities included the following:

  • Manga Reading.

I’ve been reading manga for the first time in Japanese, and I enjoyed it a lot. It was a huge motivation booster, being able to read it, even if I couldn’t understand all of the words, I could understand the story as a whole. My next step will be to go back through it and look up the words that I didn’t understand.

  • Anki

Last month I had 619 cards in my Anki deck. Now I have 441. I totally changed my focus in Anki from sentences to mainly Heisig with some vocab thrown in.

However, again, I have barely touched Anki in May. I plan on deleting all the vocab words from Anki and then just using it for Heisig for the time being.

  • Drama Watching

In April I watched about 26 hours of Japanese tv. This month it was down, mainly due to it being the end of the university semester. I watched a total of 15 hours and 37 mins.

In May I really focused on listening and understanding. I tried to repeat out loud sentences. I am finding that I can understand more and more, with, again, vocabulary seeming to be the biggest problem I am having.

  • Vocabulary

I am experimenting with many vocabulary acquiring methods at the moment. I’ll talk more about this as I explore more about this :)

Overall, not the best month, but not the worst month. For June, I’d love to focus a lot of Heisig and vocabulary building, as well as keeping up watching lots of TV for enjoyment and to practise my listening/speaking skills.

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Reading Manga For Japanese Language Learning

Posted by on Jun 2, 2008 in Language | 6 comments

One goal for many learning Japanese is to be able to enjoy manga in it’s original language. It is one of my goals as well. I have quite a few manga in Japanese, collected from many places, such as YesAsia.com, I have mostly used these as motivation tools – “look at these manga, I will read them!!”

After about one year of studying Japanese, I tried. And surprised myself – I could do it!

Two Reasons Why Reading Manga Is Easy

  • The Sentences are very short, to fit in the little dialogue bubble. So for the most part, someone with even a small amount of grammar knowledge will be able to read the sentences.
  • There are pictures to help with meaning. Even you go through a page without understanding a word, often you can guess what was going on. Or you will later.

    For instance, in Sugar x Life, there was a page where she was watching TV and I thought she was thinking back on the two guys she just met. Well, she was, but it wasn’t til she ran into the boys again that I realised the boys had been on the TV at the time she was thinking about them, and they were singers/idols.

Two Reasons Why It Is Hard To Read Manga (For Me)

Others might not have these problems, but here is what was hard for me when reading manga for the first time.

  • Kanji. While knowing kanji isn’t necessary because – at least in the manga I’m reading so far – they have furigana. So I know how to pronounce words, and sometimes I even learn a new kanji from knowing the word before. But often I think “If only I knew just a basic meaning about the kanji – even just an English key word from Heisig – then I would have an idea of the word’s meaning. Building slowly on my previous knowledge I’d be able to get more of an idea of meaning plus I’d probably be more likely to remember the word/kanji next time I encounter it.
  • Vocab. I simply don’t know enough words. At the moment I am working on vocab building exercises. The more words I know the easier it will be to infer meaning of unknown words, especially with the aid of pictures.
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    So get reading some manga now! You may be surprised in how much you understand. It’s a huge confidence booster. And if you give it a go and find you can’t understand, do not worry. Just put the book down, and then try again in a month. You’ll have something fun to aim for!

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How Should You Structure Your Flash Card Deck?

Posted by on May 18, 2008 in Language | 6 comments

In my post Divide and Conquer – a Vocab Post, Atreya asked the question:

I am quite confused about the method by which I should structure my Anki Deck. By method I mean, how does one create the cards in Anki?

Now, the short answer is, of course: Any way you want.

But that doesn’t help those who may be a little lost in how to structure flash cards in their deck. The best way to structure your deck is a individual thing, and with trial and error you will find the best way that works for you. In this post I’ll show you the best way that works for me.

My program of choice is Anki, and so many examples are taken from Anki, however, I’m sure most, if not all, can be structured into any flash card system.

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