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Dec 7, 2010

Beginner's Sentence Format

Vocabulary/Sentence review cards are a very big part of building your Japanese knowledge, so I want to come back to the topic and share some more ideas to make cards more effective. As my example in the first article about sentences showed, I use monolingual cards that feature only the words and definitions I am learning. In the beginning, however, I used a different kind of card format. Let's take a look.

As you can see in this card, the question is still just a sentence of Japanese taken from a dictionary, but the "back" of the card is quite different. The top line is a pronunciation guide (all kana) for the entire sentence, followed by each specific word I am trying to learn with its definition, and finally there is an English translation of the sentence at the bottom. A card formatted somewhat like this would be quite good for beginning.

As I mentioned in the overview post, there is very little focus on grammar with this learning method. In these earliest cards, using the English translation to see how the various words interact will begin building up your understanding of how the various particles work.

Anyways, try using this kind of card format in the beginning to create a foothold of Japanese knowledge before you try monolingual cards.

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