Month: May 2011
Useful Tool for Reading Kanji
Found a great little tool for inserting furigana into Japanese pages, making them easier to read for those who don’t know all the kanji but have knowledge of katakana and hirigana. 平がねめがね Hiragane Megane (hiragana.jp) As an additional tip, you can do this by prepending “trans.hiragana.jp/ruby/” onto the URL of the website you wish to insert the furigana. *NEW* I’ve added a bar at the top of the site that allows you to put in the URL there as well. Enjoy! Overall, it’s pretty accurate, but you can occasionally get an inaccurate reading, so be careful.
SRS: Flashcards 2.0
Updated 7.12.2011. What is SRS? SRS stands for “Spaced Repetition System”, and works off the idea that you should stretch out the time in which you review whatever it is that you’re studying in order to keep it in long term memory. That’s the short answer, anyway. I first heard about SRS over at AJATT (All Japanese All The Time) in a number of his blogs. And I’ve got to say, it’s working damned well for me. One thing Khatz stresses is that drilling yourself repeatedly to try and remember something only utilizes your short term memory, and therefore it stays there – in short term memory. Take, for example, that kid in your class in high school or college that always aced his exams by cramming the night before. Ask him about any of it a week later: さようなら, […]
400 down, only 1600+ to go…
I’ve hit the 1/5th mark today. Retaining new kanji is beginning to get tougher now; not much, but it’s not as easy as the first couple 百。The reason for this is that I still review the ones I’ve already learned along with the new ones using Reviewing the Kanji. At the moment though, I’ve done about 1,200 reviews, with a roughly 96% retention rate (not bad in my opinion) overall. I have slacked a bit the last week though, and have only been averaging about 15 a day. I’d rather this be 25 a day (it was 28 yeasterday), so next week I’m stepping it up a bit. I’m more than comfortable with my current rate, so I don’t think 25 a day for me will be too fast. More updates soon!
How fast is fast enough?
Truthfully, the answer is this; you’re going fast enough when you actually retain the information you are studying. I know we’re all (including myself) tempted to rush things sometimes. This is especially true when you’re not seeing any immediate progress (or at least, you’re not perceiving it as such). But, when it comes down to it, what is immediate progress? Or progress for that matter? Immediate progress is one of the hardest things to see sometimes – especially when working on something for as long of a time span as picking up a new language takes. Immediate progress is the progress you make in a short amount of time. This amount of time is somewhat arbitrary – say a day, or a week. In the span of 2,000 kanji, 25 a day might not seem like much. And by itself, […]
Time Management: Time-Boxing and Sacrificing
Does time-boxing work? Like many things, there’s no clear-cut “yes” or “no” answer here. It all depends on how you apply it. It may work for some, while not for others. It works for me. First, let’s back up a few steps. What is Time-boxing? The term “time-boxing” basically is the practice of allocating a “box” of time to something, and sticking to that without fail. The idea is to stick to this as if it’s the law, and there would be serious penalties if broken (sometimes this is actually the case!). Who needs it, and why? Anyone with time management issues can possibly make use of time-boxing. It’s not just about that though. It also has to do with managing what you do with that time, and accepting the fact that sacrificing things sometimes is ultimately the answer. To […]
Well, almost. I’m actually at 299, but that’s just details. That makes me about 1/7th of the way there! At around 400 it’ll be 1/5th. to me, this seems huge, although I’m really far off from being able to read much of anything yet. This also doesn’t take into account compound kanji, but I’m okay with that. That is another step down the road. I may be slowing down a bit because I’ve come to realize something that I’ve been missing so far. Most of what I read has been telling me to memorize from keyword to kanji, not the other way around. I’m not so sure I agree with this only because when I look at Japanese text, I recognize the symbols, but will be damned if I can remember what they mean. So, I’m going to take a […]
Updated Kana Table
おはようございます！ As some have probably already found, there is a kana table provided here on the site. However, the format just wasn’t as user-friendly as I would have liked, so I’ve changed some things. I revamped and split the table into two tables: one for Hirigana and the other for Katakana. These are printer friendly for convenience. The reason I created these was simple – most of the tables out there that I found sucked. Either they were an image (which means you can’t copy the characters) or they were poorly formatted and looked terrible or worse – they were hard to follow. These include the so-called “extended” characters, not just the regular 46 “pure sounds”. There’s a link to the table at the top and left of this site. Also, here.
Use it or lose it?
Yes, I know it sounds completely cliche’, but there’s a lot of truth to that expression. I missed a day of reviewing anything Japanese this weekend (bad, I know) and it affected me far more than I ever thought possible – especially since I’ve only been at it a few weeks. It’s kindof like playing an instrument. For instance, I used to play the drums a few years back. I stopped because of time constraints with college. I was so busy trying to finish school projects, build and tweak my portfolio and search for a job in the industry that the drums did little more than collect dust. As a result, I lost most of what I had gained – I can no longer play for 3 hours straight (fast tempo rock type stuff) without batting an eye. Now I’m […]
My Method of Remembering Kanji
Not to say that I’m far enough along to be set in my ways yet, but what I’m doing thus far seems to be effective. Basically I have been doing a lesson in RTK every day, with the exception of lessons that are over about 3 kanji. I start off by writing the kanji in my sketchbook, along with it’s keyword meaning. I then take on board the author’s ‘story’ behind each kanji, and use that to come up with my own. Once I’ve done this, I head over to Reviewing the Kanji and enter all of that into a card there. Then, I review the cards, and come back to any I’ve failed a few hours later (not right away). Update: I now use Anki with the Lazy Kanji Mod for my reviews. When I go back to failed […]
So many Kanji; so little time…
I just hit my 94th Kanji today – that’s almost 百 (a hundred)! I know, it’s not that many, considering there’s about 2,100 common use kanji out there. But hey, it’s a start. Funny thing also, when I look at pages in Japanese, I’m beginning to recognize some of them. Not enough to make sense of it all yet, but I can make out a few. Even with those things in mind, my Japanese still sucks. And in the words of Katsumoto (from AJATT), I’m trying to suck a bit less every day at it. I’ve also been listening to last.fm for a bit now, and have stumbled onto some bands that I really enjoy listening to (or at least the songs I’ve heard so far). They are: Girugamesh Deathgaze D’espairs Ray High and Mighty Color exist†trace Of course, these […]