Tags: studyarcadepro

Nihongo

Update

I'm well into Unit 3 > Lesson 4. I'm getting just tons of vocabulary and particles and so on. I think it's going pretty well. I have been doing a couple of things outside of the program as well, and I'd like to update you on that.

First, I have been practicing the hiragana and katakana. I've printed out sheets with the aiueo-kstnhmyrwn grid and spaces for the characters and just filled them in, checking my work and finding good mnemonics when I can't remember them. I'm able to flawlessly complete the chart for both scripts now, although sometimes it does take a little while. I think this is one of the easiest things I can do outside the program, and it's really invaluable since it's all about the literacy, baby. I've also taken to writing out names and such as best I can in the katakana just to get to practice of doing them in a non-set order.

Secondly, I was listening to a podcast called The Japanese Learner about some people's experiences learning Japanese and what recommendations they had, and one of the things in Episode 5 was a reference to Anki.

Anki is a flash card program, and it is so much more. It's a spaced repetition system, so when it shows you the card, you answer and grade your response after clicking "Show Answer." Click the link and you can see an example of the answer card and the grading buttons. Depending on how you say you did, it puts a timer on how long before it shows you the card again. If you consistently get a card easily, it spaces it out farther and farther apart each time.

It also has the ability to sync to a server, so you can review it online, or with the proper iPod app (which I got for $4.99 called StudyArcadePro), take it with you!

Anki can be used for pretty much any flashcard-type thing, languages, chemistry, state capitals, etc. There are some pre-made ones, and you can share the decks. I personally am making my own based on the Rosetta Stone Lessons. I'm just going thru the Core Lessons and picking out works and sentences for the cards. Of course, RS never gives a direct translation, but I am putting down my best interpretations for each one. If I wanted, I might be able to capture the images or the audio from RS and put those on the cards. That's right, you can include audio and images as well.

The nice thing is with languages, I can have it make two cards for each entry, one with the Japanese shown and the English and kana reading as the answer, and a matching one with the English shown, and the Japanese and kana reading as the answer. So it works both ways. The cards also allow for tags, so I can filter them by Lesson number if I want. I've just finished up through the end of Unit 1 > Lesson 4, so I have reviewed a lot of old stuff in making them, which is good in itself.

Actually, there's a third thing! I almost forgot. It's an addon for Firefox that was also mentioned in The Japanese Learner podcast. It's called Rikaichan, and it is a Japanese/English (among others) dictionary, and it will give the readings for kanji that you hover over, and you can type into a search field and it will provide the entry. It's pretty nice, just for quick reference, and I'm sure that once I get to the point where I can read Japanese in the wild on the internet, it will be quite handy to help with words I don't know.