All posts tagged: vocabulary

Daily study: let’s remember Japanese names!

This week’s good resolution is to stop procrastinating and finally start learning Japanese names! In fact, this is something I should have done much earlier. Last week, when I studied an article about ice hockey, I was both pleasantly surprised to see that I could understand it well and frustrated to not be able to read out loud the several names that were in it: 久保英恵、大澤ちほ、小野粧子、小池詩織、浮田留衣、山中武司 😵 To be honest, I have always tried to avoid remembering names. Even when I read a novel, I sometimes satisfy myself with being able to associate 2 or more kanji with a character, even if I have forgotten how they are pronounced. I think that I have a good visual memory of kanji, if you tell me at the beginning of a book that “正木藤次郎” is this character, I will remember it until the end. But it will be arduous to me to remember the pronunciation (まさき・とうじろう) of these kanji, and I will have to go back several times to their first occurrence (the only time they appear with furigana) before …

Daily Study: adding patterns to Anki

As I am not studying JLPT materials or any other textbook, I have to find the new words I want to learn, by myself. My goal for 2018 was to reach 10,000 words by the end of the year, a plan that can be achieved only by learning 10 new words every day. I started adding new words to my Anki deck that I found in novels or any other thing I read in Japanese. However, several reflections on the importance of collecting patterns and collocations made me realise that I should add more expressions and phrases to my Anki. How it works When I look up a word in my electronic dictionary, I sometimes decide to add it to Anki because I consider it worth memorising. My Casio allows me to mark the word and stock it in a collection for further reference, as most apps and online dictionaries do, too. This is how I collect words that I will learn later. At least twice or three times a week, I check the words …

Motivation: studying Anki

If you are learning a foreign language, you are certainly using a spaced repetition system (SRS) to memorise vocabulary. I personally use Anki and created my deck from scratch when I started learning Japanese. Today, it contains more than 7000 words and expressions and I can say that, contrary to any other material, this Anki deck has been with me all the way long from the very first day and is still the most solid pillar of my learning Japanese journey. It has witnessed all the phases of my studying process and contains some irrelevant words that make it very personal. Without Anki, I could not have remembered so many words. Still, more than often, I sigh before opening my deck and what motivates me is not as much the perspective of learning new words as the fear to procrastinate and find myself with double work the next day. I think that the main source of demotivation concerning Anki (or any other SRS) is the feeling that we are studying our deck for the sake …

Collecting collocations: how to take notes to improve one’s writing skills

I am concerned about how to improve my writing skills and I have tried a method that seems to work well. The idea is to thoroughly study an article in order to collect collocations and expressions that we can use for writing. Until now, I have entirely relied on Anki to learn new words. This method works like magic to me, but I realised recently that Anki only helps me recognise the words and mainly allows me to improve my reading skills. Which is fine by the way. But the problem is that I don’t always know how to use the words I learn. I don’t want to enter too much information when I create a new card in Anki. First, it would take a lot of time to do so and second, I don’t want to spend too much time studying Anki and I am sure that I would not even bother reading the complementary information when studying my deck. That is why there are a lot of words that I don’t know how …