Tag Archives: retention
Google Images: The Best Japanese Dictionary Available?
Everyone has used Google-Sensei’s fantastic Image Search feature to find things online. Sometimes it gives you whacked results, but most of the time it’s pretty spot-on. That being said, most people probably don’t think about it being used as a dictionary. Think about it for a moment and it will make sense. If you type in “banana”, Google-Sensei will return a wide array of photos featuring bananas. If you enter “car”, you’ll get a variety of content featuring cars. Why not apply this to language learning? Why not apply this to Japanese? For example, in the article image I entered “バナナ” (banana). Behold, photos of bananas! The next time you are stuck on a word, type it into Google-Sensei’s image search. The image feedback has the added bonus of helping it stick in your brain. That is all.
Woo-hoo! I’ve finally gotten through RTK (Remembering the Kanji)! So, what does Graduating RTK mean, exactly? In this case, it means I’ve gotten through it. I don’t have all of them readily available from memory (though a good portion of them seem to be, amazingly), but I’ve been through all 2,042 kanji in it. This doesn’t mean I’m forever done with kanji, but I can just focus on reviews going forward (for now). I expect that the real benefit of this will show itself as I enter the next phase, Sentences. I’m going to write a whole series on sentences, and how I plan to tackle them. So, for now I’ll table that discussion. As I may have mentioned before, I actually mixed in learning the kana (ひらがな and カタカナ) in with the Kanji. You may choose to do this, or […]
Writing is Remembering
Ever noticed how you remember something better when you write it down? On the flip side, did you ever notice that not writing something down is pretty much like asking to forget it? I can’t stress how much learning Japanese requires this. Right from the start, you need to be writing down what you learn as you learn it, or consider it gone. A great way to force yourself into this starts at the Kanji phase. Heisig even recommends in his book (RTK) that you write out the Kanji, but I’d like to take that one step further. Writing it once will help, for sure. It’s certainly better than never writing it at all. However, what I started doing is writing the kanji every time I do my reps. This is a major part of engraving something in your memory. […]
Pace Yourself – What’s the Rush?
I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve wanted to jump the gun in the process of learning Japanese. It’s tempting and hard to resist. Plowing through the Kanji isn’t the most entertaining part – especially in the beginning – but without it readings will never come to fruition. And why bother learning at all if you’re going to be illiterate? Why is it so tempting to want to rush through to the next part? Picture a television series you just discovered in your on-demand that’s got you hooked. You don’t just watch the pilot, or the first two episodes. You want to keep watching to see what comes next. Same with a good book. What’s one more chapter, right? Human nature is to want problems to be solved as soon as possible. It’s the desire to create […]
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, […]