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Adventures in Miyakojima: The Pumpkin Cave

Well, we are now in the middle of June and the weather here in Miyakojima has really started to warm up. Which means it’s time for BBQs, snorkeling, diving, and all kinds of other outdoor activities. Since a lot of my friends and family don’t know what it’s like over here, I have decided to start shooting short videos on the different places and events that we go.

I have titled the series “Adventures in Miyakojima”. Since many of my family and friends don’t speak Japanese I am commentating in English, but there is also some speaking in Japanese as well. Check out the video and let me know what you think.

Win Free Japanese Kanji or Kana Flash Cards

I mentioned in the last post I wrote reviewing White Rabbit’s Japanese Flash cards, Japanese Kana cards, and the Kanji Poster that I would be holding a contest to give away some of the cards that White Rabbit Press was kind enough to donate. Shortly afterwords I had to leave to Tokyo for a friends wedding (I’ll try to get some pics up soon) and just got back a few days ago. Upon arriving back in Miyako, I had to start preparing for my wife’s parents who came to visit yesterday from Nagano. So without any more delay, here are the details for the contest:

THE PRIZES

  1. Japanese Kanji Flash Cards 1 (2 sets)
  2. Kana Flash Cards

THE CONTEST

I thought quite a bit about what the contest would be, and what I finally decided on was a short essay. The essay should be about why you started learning Japanese and your interest in Japan (assuming you have one lol). Their is no minimum length, but  please keep the maximum within one page (single spaced, 10 font).

The essays will be reviewed by myself, my wife, and one other person. The winnering essays (with the permission of the writer) will be posted on Japanese Words as inspiration for others. Writing in Japanese is highly encouraged!! The winners will also be invited to write a guest post about their Japanese studies and experience with Japanese and Japan. A total of three winners will be chosen (2 for the Kanji cards and 1 for the  kana cards). Please specify which set you are entering for. Each person may only apply for either the kana cards or the kanji cards as the essays will be evaluated separately. Winners will be required to pay for shipping.

The Rules

  • Submit one essay (send to Japanesewords(at)gmail.com) no longer than one page (single spaced, font 10), describing your interest in Japan and studying Japanese.
  • In your e-mail please include your name, how long you have been studying Japanese, and which cards you are entering for. Each person may only apply for one set of cards. (Essays for the Kana and Kanji cards will be evaluated separately).
  • **ALL essays must be submitted by 6:00pm on April 23 (Japan time)
  • Winners will be contacted via e-mail for shipping information.

I look forward to reading your essays and hearing all about your experiences with Japanese. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Japanese Words with Sound


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The open old book - the dictionary on a white ...

One of the main focus of Japanese Words has always been about learning new Japanese words. In the beginning you need to know a certain number of words to communicate in Japanese and as you get to a more advanced level you will need to more words to express more complex ideas and feelings.

Today I stumbled across a site that has a number of common Japanese words such as numbers, colors, common Japanese phrases, animals, and other Japanese vocabulary. They also have sound.

You can check out the Japanese page here. In case you are studying another language as well, you can find other languages here.

Good luck and let me know what you think!

Getting Back on Track with Japanese (and Japanese Words)


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Closeup portrait of a young woman holding a st...

Over the last month I have been pretty busy with a number of things including the holiday season, working as a volunteer diver to remove おにひとで (devil starfish) to protect the coral, and just work in general that have kept me away from my Japanese study. It has also caused me to write less on Japanese Words. Though I hate to admit it, I have barely touched Anki in over 3 weeks (at this point I am almost afraid to look).

On the good side, this is actually a good topic on Japanese study to cover.

I have mentioned before that it is best  if you can study at least a little bit every day. However, no matter how diligent I am, there are times when I tend to miss my study for one reason or another. So what should you do when you get off track?

The first step is to realize that you will get off track. Once you realize this you will be able to plan for it. Basically, create a back up plan. If you miss a day you will study an additional 10 minutes each day for a week. Or if you like, and can find the time, you could do a longer intensive session. Study an additional hour tomorrow. Just be careful not to burn yourself out.

If you are unable to study for a longer period of time, then try to substitute your regular study with something you can do. Watch movies in Japanese, read Japanese on the internet during your break, download some Japanese podcasts to play in your mp3 player or listen to them while you drive to work.

In my case, I am living in Japan and use Japanese on a daily basis. And while I prefer to study each day, I do get a lot of “Japanese time” even if I am not studying. By volunteering for the diving I have exchanged some study time for some speaking practice.

One last piece of advice is to continue to put Japanese words in Anki (or whatever you are using to learn new words) even if you don’t have the time to study. This will help make sure that you don’t forget and keep growing your list.

And of course, if you have been putting off your study, then there is no better time to start than now! I guess that goes for me too!

Let me know if you have any special methods that you use to keep yourself on track and how they work out for you.

Common Japanese Words and an Easy Way to Learn Them

learnjapanesefastbook

I have mention before that learning the the most common Japanese words first is an essential part of learning to speak Japanese quickly. You want to learn the words that you will use, not just the ones that are ordered in a book.

However, wouldn’t it also be great if there was a simple way to learn the words that didn’t require just pure repetition. A way to remember the words are pronounced and what they mean without having to look at it 20 times, finally remember it, only to forget it because you didn’t use it for a week?

The link to the program below focuses on exactly this problem. Unlike a lot of  the programs available Speak Japanese Fast doesn’t try to be a full Japanese learning suite. Instead it focuses on teaching you vocabulary quickly and remember them by using interesting stories to learn the meaning and the pronunciation. Remember the Kanji uses a very similar method in teaching Kanji and it works pretty well.

You can check out the program here.

Disclaimer: I get a percentage of all sales purchased from this link and appreciate your support. The money is used to keep Japanese Words up and running and allow me to spend more time writing and developing the site.

1000 Common Japanese Words for Anki or Mnemosyne


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a blank writing pad on a table.

The most popular post on JapaneseWords.net has been 1000+ Japanese Words List. As the title suggests, the post contains a list of over 1000 common Japanese Words and Kanji. I am proud to announce that the list has just gotten much better.

This list is available for Anki and Mnemosyne. In addition to making the list usable in Anki and Mnemosyne, it is divided into multiple lists (English to Hiragana, Hiragana to English, English to Kanji, etc). The ability to use Anki will allow you to study over 1000 common words and kanji in a very efficient manner.


I have included two files below. One is in “mem” format (Mnemosyne format) and the other in txt format. Either one can be imported into Anki.

 

Japanese Word Lists

Click Here to download Mnemosyne format

Click Here to download txt format

Japanese Study Tip

When dealing with a list of this size it can be a little bit overwhelming. Setting up a study schedule and a goal will prove to be very helpful. For instance, you might try to learn 5 or 10 new words a day. Or choose the date of completion and then figure out the number of words you will need to remember each day!


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