Many Japanese vocabulary textbooks still utilize the red film over the Japanese answers to aid memorization. I know well because my High school students still use this method. But this classic method can be greatly enhanced with the most powerful tool mankind has ever held:
In this case the flashcard application.
At this point in human history, if we are not making accelerated progress in our studies, we are the only ones to blame.
Below is the first of a series of blogs of the methods and tips to get the most out of your flashcard application.
1: The Traditional Method: Single word/ Phrase flashcard
Look up words or phrases you want to know and add the Japanese on the front and English on the back (or visa versa).
The benefits of using this method on an application:
1. You’ll always have access to the words and phrases (as long as you have your mobile device on you. Which is…always)
2. There are built in text to speak functions (so you can hear a native sounding pronunciation)
3. There is the SRS (Spaced-Repetition-System) capability, which helps your learning become as efficient as possible.
Because this method is so well known I will talk about an aspect many have trouble with:
What to memorize.
Research tip: Instead of diving into a dictionary to memorize random words, stick with looking up relevant words to your goal. Think quality over quantity, trust me. For example if you’re a traveller, look up relevant words/ phrases in the foreign language associated with travel.
|For example: Flight, train fare, delay, Uber, coupon, deal, half-price, popular location, emergency… etc.|
With business, if you’re a businessman. Spending time memorizing less relevant things like magenta or mongoose, and learn words like ‘revenue, deficit, reasonable, possible, extended contract, supply demand’…etc.
Even if sentences are difficult for you, these key words in your field of interest can help you greatly in your English encounters, especially if you can get the pronunciation correct from the text to speech function.
Note: Also be careful with assuming that ‘Waseigo’ words are understood by every English speaker.
Whenever someone tells me I have ‘High tension’ I feel uncomfortable. Because in English, ‘High tension’ means your body is tense and you may have a mental breakdown.
Did you know that? If not, you may want to start looking up some common ‘Waseigo’ words and confirm the actual meaning in English.
Now if you have no clue where to start, find a beginner vocabulary book that is highly recommended or that looks good to you in a bookstore. There are many excellent English Japanese vocabulary books, especially in recent years. I recommend you take your time when searching, the last thing you want to do is buy a book not suitable for you.
|Let’s be careful even when we are motivated.|
To end; a practice tip:
|First practice whichever style is easiest for you first (e.g. English to Japanese or Japanese to English). Then you may want to make an entirely new flashcard deck testing from the opposite language you chose at first. Make sure you don’t re-enter every word one by one into the application. Most applications have a function where you can make another reverse deck. If this is not the case, you can usually download the deck in an excel format and copy and paste the new side to new sheet. After that you can usually upload it again.|
Below are some applications I and my students have used for years. You can try some for free and purchase them if they suit you. Our application isn’t out yet, but it’s coming soon so look out for it. For now, have a look at these:
|Please take a look at some of our other previous articles on flashcards if you want further tips.|
Happy 2020 and Happy Coming of Age to all the 20-year- olds,