Archive for June, 2008


A few months ago, I wrote about a learning program called Mnemosyne that I found and I am now ready to write a little review about it.

Since I am always on the computer working or procrastinating anyway, I found this program quite useful because it makes reviewing new kanji and vocabulary very easy.

Although there are some places where you can download word lists for various languages (I will tell you where later), the strength of the program really shows when you make your own flash card deck. Making a “deck” is time consuming, but later on it really pays off.

After creating a card, the program asks you to give each one a rank from 0 to 5. A rank 0 card means that it is something you have never seen before while a rank 5 means that you more or less know the information cold. Items that are ranked as 5 will show up every now and then while lower ranked cards will pop up either daily,  a few times a week, or once a week. The goal is to have the information you want to keep show up just when you are on the verge of forgetting it, so applying the proper rank is important.

As I mentioned before, I found this program really helpful for learning vocabulary and kanji. I made a grammar deck, but it didn’t work out because many grammar items depend on context so much, writing the “meaning” wasn’t especially useful. Many times, translating those items ito English was useless because although two points may have the same meaning on the surface, the usage was sometimes way different. English tended to oversimplify things and gloss over the nuances I need to be able to delineate on the test or when reading something.

My final verdict is that I am going to continue using the program because it makes things so easy for me. If anyone else out there is using the program and would like to trade data lists, please tell me.

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Blogs on Kanji

Well, after teasing me about my wife “helping” me with my homework a few weeks ago (hey, I was busy and we needed to know the answers right away, right?) Our friend Angeline has provided us with a list of other blogs that share our interest in kanji study. I will add them to the blog roll or whatever, but in the meantime, check the out for yourself:

Today, I searched for some blogs that wrote about Kanji study in wordpress and I found some very nice blogs about Kanji. I’ll list them all down here:

1) http://goddesscarlie.wordpress.com/2007/05/19/kanji-websites/

2) http://nihongonobenkyou.wordpress.com/kanji/kanji-notes/kanji-breakdown/

3) http://dshock.wordpress.com/2006/08/18/japanese-kanji/

4) http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/about

5) http://www.saiga-jp.com/kanji_dictionary.html?

6) http://atylmojapanese.wordpress.com/

7) http://www.thejapanesepage.com/

8) http://www.1nichi1kai.com/

9) http://dejima.wordpress.com/learn-japanese/

10) http://pavsjlpt.wordpress.com/

So far, these sites looks good to me …the rest is….. unknown….

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