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Japanese Words and Anki

Learning Japanese words is definitely the foundation to learning Japanese. I’m not saying that grammar isn’t important, but words are the basic building blocks. If you know words you can still communicate. It may not be pretty, but you can probably get them to understand. You need words to convey all the details of what you want to say. So it goes without saying that the more words you know, the better you will be able to explain your thoughts in more detail and more completely. Anki can help you learn more Japanese words.

If you are reading this article and thinking “what is Anki”, check out this pst on how to Anki to study Japanese: Anki. Simply put, it’s a program that helps you schedule when to study words at the best time. Basically, it maximizes your study time. It’s a great Japanese study tool and it’s free!

So how should you use it?

Anki is a pretty amazing program with lots and lots of features. It will really let you micromanage your Japanese words if you so choose. I recommend that you play around with the options to see what suits you best.

There are three simple recommendations that I have to get the most out of the program.

1.  Add both the word and the sentence you found it in on the front of the card. You don’t have to translate the Japanese sentence, but it will help you remember where you found it and also to read it in context. A lot of times seeing the sentence will help you remember the meaning. The more connections to this word in your brain the better.

Ex:

Front:

くるま

車が大好きです。

Back:

Car

2. Use kanji for the sentence. This will help you get used to seeing the kanji and improve your recognition. It may seem difficult at first, but it does get easier the more you see it.

3. Study everyday! This is the last tip, but it is really the most important. In order for Anki to work well you need to study when the cards come up. If you only study once a week or every couple days you are not really getting the benefit of Anki. You have to study the words when Anki tells you to.

Bonus tips: Make sure you are studying the most common Japanese words. I spent two semesters in college learning Japanese that I couldn’t use. After two semesters I could barely complete a greeting. Make sure you study common words that are actually used.

 

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Japanese Videos of Nagano

During my trip to Tokyo and Nagano I took a ton of video. My ideas was to use this video to show you some different places in Japan, teach some Japanese words, and show a bit of Japanese culture. What I didn’t think about so much, was that all the HD video I took would be almost un-editable to my 4 year old computer. The video editing program I used just couldn’t keep up and it would skip several frames at a time.

However, I still wanted to make the Japanese videos, so I ordered some memory and am now back in business. It is still slow going (rendering a 5 minute video takes about 4 hours), but it is doable.

At the moment I am rendering a really cool tunnel I found in Nagano. In the meantime, I have already put up a few videos of some very beautiful parks I visited.

You can find them here:

Japanese Video

Japanese Park

 

 

 

 

 

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Learn Japanese: Japanese Restaurant

I mentioned that I would make some learn Japanese videos and here is the first one. There was a ton of video, but I tried to edit it down to make it simple and short. Most of the Japanese words are pretty simple ones, and some are repeated several times. I have a ton more video, so there will be more on the way! Please leave comments and feedback, and please subscribe to my Youtube Channel. I have some free gifts to give out once the channel reaches a certain number of subscribers.

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Japanese Books and a Japanese Dictionary

It’s been a while since I have had a chance to post here on Japanese words. Hopefully every one’s studying is going well and you are all on your way to fluency. I have been pretty busy with putting together a wedding, having family visit, and all the chaos that goes along with that.

I have also been trying to clean up around the house and have some Japanese books I need to get rid of. I have listed them all below along with prices. If you are interested, please comment below. I will be responding in the order the comments show up so it is a first come first serve basis. I also have some special edition “Initial D” manga if anyone is interested. The books are about the series rather than part of the story and each one has a special collectors item (paper ae86, stickers, team cards, etc)

Payment can be made through paypal.

Remembering the Kana

$10 including shipping

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Kanji Power Handbook for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (practically brand new)

$15 including shipping

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Langenscheidt’s Pocket Dictionary: Japanese

$10 including shipping

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Handbook of Learning Japanese and Life in Japan

Free + $5 shipping

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The Right Study Conditions

While I was at the beach this morning I wrote a post on my personal blog about the importance of getting away from your computer and office to get work done. I figured I would write a bit here on Japanese Words about how important it is to do the same thing when you are studying.

When I was a college student, I spent a lot of my time studying near a computer or studying while I listened to music. While this is something that most of us do, it isn’t actually very effective. The problem is that it is difficult to focus and easy to get distracted. Most of us will look up when we hear an e-mail hitting the inbox. Or start singing our favorite song if it comes on.

Learning Japanese isn’t just about the amount of time you spend studying, it is also about the quality of that time. Find yourself a nice quite spot where you won’t be bothered and can really focus. You will be able to learn much quicker.

Also, remember to take small breaks. If you study for too long without breaks your concentration and ability to learn weakens. Small breaks aren’t a waste of time, but a method to keep you studying strong.

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Making Japanese Mochi

I came across this video today of the traditional “pounding” of mochi, rice which is basically pounded into a soft sticky substance. The speed at which these guys do this is pretty impressive. I wonder how many times the guy has had his hand smashed. I bet they really hate when someone quites. Brings a whole new meaning to the pain of hiring someone.

For those who don’t know, Mochi (もち) is the Japanese word meaning sticky rice cake. They are very very good!

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