my2cents

5. November, 2006

How to learn Japanese!?

Filed under: General — frightanic @ 13:57

Since my wife is Japanese it came as a natural choice to me to learn Japanese. For a westerner like me Asian languages are far from every other language that we might be familiar with. The first and most obvious reason are the different character sets. It took me quite a while to memorize the two Kana sets Hiragana & Katakana. I’m still struggling with Katakana…
How do you practice the vocabulary of a new language? There are tons of strategies available to you…none really seemed appealing to me. C’mon, there mus be easier ways to memorize what fridge means in Japanese than to write the translation onto the backside of a small card, no? So, yesterday I started decorating our home with white labels!
I went to a stationery, bought some ten sheets of Avery-Zweckform L6023REV (stick & lift category for easy removal) labels, and sat down in front of the computer with my wife. We went through dozens of objects in our appartment and I typed their Japanese names into the prepared Word template. I then printed the labels and attached the label to the corresponding object. Nice!

As I am typing right now I’m confronted with that white label on my keyboard that says ‘キ-ボ-ド’ on it. Very easy to remember…

Here a few more examples:

‘tansu’ – the closet
tansu - the closet

‘sofaa’ – the sofa
’sofaa’ - the sofa

‘hikidashi’ – the drawer
‘hikidashi’ - the drawer

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