View Full Version : Best way to memorize words

March 25th, 2009, 10:20
I feel like I'm learning Japanese far too slowly and I also feel like I'm trying to do too much at once.

I can't keep up with the number of words I'm supposed to be memorizing in this book.

Right now i have a bunch of flashcards broken up into groups:
New, Hard, Medium, Easy, Reverse

I have like a hundred new cards though. I'm having trouble coming up with some sort of method to learn these faster.

My current method is to try and memorize like 10 or 15 words a day and then put them into the hard pile (which is also too big) But I feel like I should be learning twice as many.

Any suggestions? Better methods? Encouragement? Insults?

March 25th, 2009, 10:23
How do you define a medium easy or hard word? And waht the hell is reverse words?

I find, th eonly way to memorize other than repeating them and such is to just use them. Whther in writing or speach.

March 25th, 2009, 10:26
Newly memorized words go into the hard pile. If I remember them easily they shift down one step. If I barely or don't at all remember them they shift up.

Reverse is E->J-go

And use is a good idea except that my Japanese sucks so I can't really communicate with people.
edit: also I would need to know the word to begin with to use it unless I'm going to walk around talking to people with a pile of flash cards.

March 25th, 2009, 10:33

March 25th, 2009, 10:35
YOu can buy special bread, press the book onto the breads where the information from the book will be transferred to the bread. Then you consume the bread and the information is automaically infused into your system. Just becareful not to party too much with the extra time you have, because you may get sick and contract diarrhea, in which case the magical workings of the bread will be lost in your fecal evacutions.

Or so Doraemon leads me to believe...

March 25th, 2009, 10:38

March 25th, 2009, 10:41
Spaced learning systems suck balls (for me)

I have Anki already. The timing is almost always totally wrong.

March 25th, 2009, 11:22
What level are you operating at?

March 25th, 2009, 11:48
Mindflux, how about trying to associate words with pictures rather than English words?

Obviously, this won't work for some things, but it's worth a try.

March 25th, 2009, 14:25
What level are you operating at?

I knew no Japanese when I got here in August. I'm about 1/3 of the way through 皆の日本語2. I can have simple conversations with people if they're not totally useless with English. If they know no English I have to get lucky. This is why I'm trying to learn a lot of words, I only have the vocabulary for a limited number of topics.

edit: I seem to learn grammar structures fairly quickly and not being able to memorize the word sets in each chapter is slowing my progress through the book a lot. Which is another reason I'm trying to get a more effective system for word memorization.

Mindflux, how about trying to associate words with pictures rather than English words?

Obviously, this won't work for some things, but it's worth a try.
*cough* kanji? *cough*
Bizarrely, even though I don't actively study Kanji right now, some words I memorize the Kanji before the word and then associate the kanji and the sound.....which is baffling really especially since I just write the kanji's on the cards and then put no direct effort into learning them.

I know what you mean though but I'm not sure my brain works like that. It's an idea though, I'll keep it in mind.

March 25th, 2009, 19:30
Reading is the pretty much the best way to acquire vocabulary. It's contextual, generally at your own pace, can be leveled, and if chosen correctly, can provide the kind of repetition at the level you need.

Do you read every day? I mean actual Japanese written for Japanese people? This means any Japanese people, so things for children count too. These are largely hiragana so not knowing kanji is ok for the kids stuff. Find a series of books that you can manage (I like the Ultraman picture books) and read them. If you like non-fiction there's plenty of children's non-fiction. Non-fiction is in some ways better since there's usually a higher amount of repetition of vocabulary making acquisition happen faster. You can try written things for Japanese adults, but mostly being in kanji, you might have trouble if you don't know them yet. That's why some people opt to do Heisig first. That's the way I went and it's worked well for me. I can now read most anything that I would come into contact in a normal day. Just this afternoon I managed to work through an auction site and locate what I wanted and sign up and register and try to bid only to find out that they need a credit card for 5000 yen and above. So I entered that only to find out that mine isn't accepted by the site. Anyway, if you've got the time and interest, try Heisig. Not because you need to join a bandwagon, but because it allows you to access literature faster. And reading is the most powerful language learning tool.

March 26th, 2009, 08:00
I second reading.

Another way is to produce your own example sentences for the words. Well, using someone else's could work too, but putting the effort to write out a sentence in Japanese will sometimes cement it for you.

I use the website smart.fm and I've picked up some of the words that aren't even the target words just because they've repeated in the example sentences multiple times.

You could always make vocabulary tests for yourself! Beat yourself up about it if you fail, ya know.

March 30th, 2009, 11:24
Reading is good. You might try some simple comics too, like Doraemon, but picture books are probably the best at this point.

Also, if you do it right, watching Japanese shows and movies subbed in English can help. It's not the best way, but I find it's good if I am really paying attention to the Japanese and not just reading the subtitles I will notice words and phrases that I've been studying. Just don't use anime.