Making my grammary summary sheet is taking longer than anticipated but it seems to have been worthwhile. A few more points may have sunk in well enough to get me a few more exam points.

When I finish I’ll move onto the words which have been building up in the word bank of my denshi jisho. When I come across a new word I add it without learning it and now I’ve suddenly got 400 words which I need to learn – time to get cracking.

What’s the best way to memorise words? The old repeat, repeat, repeat? Trying to make mini-mnemonics? What works best for you? Maybe it would work well for me too.


  1. I find that the more I know the Kanji, and the meaning of the radicals, that I think of stories relating to those. For example, the Kanji for “Kotai” (to reply/answer): the one mouth (who can answer) sitting under a bamboo roof. If I know the Kanji, then the compounds are the same. The hardest words to learn are the “meaningless” collections of lines.
    As for really learning the words, I learn best by reading and using them. This coming year I’ll shift to a learning style emphasizing: reading, journalling about what I read, and using Japanese more in daily life (e.g., joining a circle or two where I’ll be using nothing but Japanese).
    Any suggestions to improve on what I’m doing would be appreciated, too.

  2. Hmm, my attempts to use the copy a grammar book approach have failed me..
    I’m currently trying to instead write one sentence per grammar form to make sure i understand it rather than type it out but not understand anything :P.
    How have things been going for you? is the method working for you?

  3. Andy, I think most people who are learning kanji use some form of visualisation like you do. Well, maybe there are people who go with brute force repetition which can work but requires time.
    Though you are talking about individual kanji I was talking more about compound kanji where the meanings of each kanji combined don’t necessarily seem to relate to the meaning of the compound. Or how about trying to learn words for which you don’t know the kanji of? It’s tricky, but it’s the same as my first Japanese course where no kanji was used.
    I agree that your future method sounds ideal. Using what you learn always reinforces it – I try to use new words in conversation and email sometimes just to get a feel for them.

  4. Tim, it’s probably a good idea that you are making your task smaller and more manageable given that you weren’t going to finish in time using your old plan.
    If things are so bad then rather than struggling to read new grammar which you won’t be able to recall during the exam how about just concentrating on learning the points you have been working on so far?