Japanese Flashcards: Dealing With Backlogs

As many readers of Japanese Talk Online know, I LOVE using Memrise. I use it practically every day for Japanese flashcards when I’m studying for a test. But there are often times when I won’t use it for a week, a month, or several months. This creates a lot of backlog of items to review, and seeing that long list of 2000+ words I need to review can be really daunting. This post will look at how to deal with huge review backlogs you often get with flashcard programs like Memrise and Anki.   How Spaced Repetition Flashcard Programs Work SRS,… Read More…

How to Avoid Study Burnout

It can be really exciting when you get started on a study binge. You’re feeling motivated. You have the time to study for a few hours a day. You’re storming through level after level on your flashcard program. Then you get burned out. Burnout can happen after studying for several hours or several days in a row. Your brain is a muscle and it’s not good to overworked it for long periods of time. When you over work it you can get headaches, feel tired and irritable. And in worse cases get migraines! This post will look at how to… Read More…

UPDATES to Anime Japanese Vocabulary and Grammar

Just a simple announcement that Anime Japanese for Beginners and Anime Grammar for Beginners on Memrise have been updated!   Anime Japanese for Beginners One of the very first Memrise courses I made was Anime Japanese for Beginners. It was a simple short course that had some of the most common vocabulary found in anime. So it was in need of an update. I had originally made each level to focus on a different type of anime, although the vocabulary overlapped a fair amount. Here are the levels and what was changed to them: General Anime School/Slice of Life Sports/Fighting… Read More…

The Best Way to Learn Japanese Particles

Learning Japanese particles as a beginner is a MASSIVE pain in the butt! There are LOTS of guides online for how to use them, but they’re not very useful all the time. Sometimes the explanations are too complicated as they try to explain EVERY possible usage. But it’s mostly difficult because these sites offer no way to practice them. And often the best way to remember how they’re used is to use them yourself. But how do you use Japanese particles? Making up sentences is tricky as a beginner because you’re often tempted to directly translate from English… then things… Read More…

How Not to Use Memrise

Memrise is one of my favorite tools for studying Japanese. That’s well known to people who have read previous Japanese Talk articles. I’ve created many courses for others through JTalkOnline as well as lists for my own study. What is Memrise? For those that don’t know, Memrise is a free online community created flashcard program with spaced repetition software. You are rewarded for studying by gaining points, and can compare your points to others. Because the courses are created by the community there are a HUGE number of courses for Japanese (and other languages). Some are made by people like myself… Read More…

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps

Top 10 Japanese Language Apps

I’ve talked about some great apps for learning Japanese but that was years ago and technology has changed! I’ve been playing with a lot of apps recently and come across some goodies as well as re-discovered some classics. The following list isn’t in any particular order, but each of them is very different from one another. When I’ve found similar apps I’ve selected the best one out of them (i.e the best dictionary app). I’ve tried all of these apps myself and tried to give a fair pros and cons list. The following top 10 Japanese language android apps are… Read More…

How to Translate Japanese Accents

Translate Japanese Accents

Translating the Japanese directly doesn’t always work, especially when you come across a character with a Japanese accent. This post looks at how to translate Japanese accents in manga, the kind of accents you’d come across and how best to translate it into an English accent. Many people want to translate manga but there is not much information on how to start translating manga. This series looks at different aspects of translating manga for beginners, with the aim of helping you be a great manga translation and improve the overall quality of manga translation online. Translating Manga for Beginners Part… Read More…

How To Make a Memrise Course

  [I have two translation exams coming up in the next few days so I had to put my originally planned post on hold while I whipped this up super quick. Sorry about this, but hope people find it useful anyway!] It’s amazing how well a lot of the J-Talk Online Memrise courses are doing. I’m thrilled to see so many people using it to learn Japanese. Since I started creating courses in March 2014 (over a year ago!) I’ve made 20 courses with the most popular courses being the Anime Japanese for Beginners, Beginners Japanese Grammar 1, Japanese Counters… Read More…

Advanced Reading Japanese Practice 2

Advanced Reading Practice on Memrise Articles: 村上ファン集うカフェで発表待つイベント フェリー3隻 大型船でミャンマーへ Tip 1: When studying the vocabulary read it out-loud – Even if you’re just moving your lips (because you’re in public, for example) reading the vocabulary and what it means out-loud will help cement the readings and meaning in your memory. Tip 2: When reading the articles read out-loud – Your brain will have to work harder to sound out every word. This is important because when you read in your head you’re more likely to skip over words and readings, which won’t help your comprehension. Tip 3: Time yourself when you read an article – Make… Read More…

Advanced Japanese Reading Practice 1

Advanced Reading Practice on Memrise Articles: 「イスラム国」がシーア派600人を殺害か カナダ 日本人女性不明で捜索 「決闘」容疑で少年グループ書類送検 Tip 1: When studying the vocabulary read it out-loud – Even if you’re just moving your lips (because you’re in public, for example) reading the vocabulary and what it means out-loud will help cement the readings and meaning in your memory. Tip 2: When reading the articles read out-loud – Your brain will have to work harder to sound out every word. This is important because when you read in your head you’re more likely to skip over words and readings, which won’t help your comprehension. Tip 3: Time yourself when you read an article –… Read More…

Introducing Advanced Japanese Reading Practice

“I find it hard to sit down and practice reading when I don’t know half the words…” To help improve people’s vocabulary, kanji recognition and general reading comprehension J-Talk Online is releasing new posts that help you practice advanced Japanese readings, whether this if for JLPT N2, N1 or just for fun. Every couple of weeks 1-3 articles will be released on the blog (weekly on memrise) with vocabulary lists. These articles will vary in length and will be accompanied by a vocabulary list. People are free to use them as they are on the blog, for their own flashcard programs,… Read More…

New Memrise Course – Anime Grammar for Beginners!

To go along with the Anime Japanese posts I’ve been doing recently I made a memrise course for people to learn informal grammar used in anime and manga. It accompanies the Beginners Anime Japanese course which focuses on basic vocabulary. Because this is a beginners course it only tests on hiragana, but has the romaji and kanji for reference. A lot of the grammar overlaps with Beginners Grammar 1&2, but mostly has new verbs for each of the grammar points if you’ve done these courses already. Anime Grammar for Beginners Read More…

Beginners Japanese Grammar 2

Hello everyone! A little announcement as I’ve just made my Japanese Grammar 2 course on Memrise public! This is the second of a series of grammar courses for beginners, covering all the grammar points (except particles) for JLPT N4 level of Japanese. Even if you’re not taking any of the Japanese language proficiency tests you can still use this course to learn Japanese grammar. The lessons are grouped together based on how the grammar is formed and assumes that you already know how to read kana and how to make stem, plain, て form, た form, ない form etc. If… Read More…

JLPT N4 Memrise Course

I am pleased to announce that I have completed the JLPT N4 Vocabulary and Kanji courses on Memrise. JLPT N4 Vocabulary Course   JLPT N5 Kanji Course Unlike the JLPT N5 course the N4 courses are separated between vocabulary and kanji. This was because of the large number of kanji and kanji based vocabulary in comparison to the N5 one. It’s a lot easier to learn kanji through vocabulary which have been grouped together so you can see the different uses and readings, which is what I’ve tried to do. Not only that but the kanji course focuses more on… Read More…

Japanese Counters

“How do you know when to use what counter?” You may or may not have noticed that in Japanese there are no ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ words like some European languages have. You may or may not have noticed that it’s a very phonetic language which means it’s easy to pronounce words fluently once you know. But to add a spanner to the works, you may or may not have noticed how in Japanese numbers, and more specifically when you are counting different things, are a bit of a pain. For those who didn’t realise Japanese has the normal counting system… Read More…

NEW ~ JLPT N5 Memrise Course

J-Talk Online Memrise JLPT N5 It’s done! I am thrilled to announce the J-Talk Online JLPT N5 course for beginners is finished! (I spent the last 2 days putting together so very happy I have it in working order.) In the last few weeks I made some posts about JLPT N5 I mentioned how memrise has courses for JLPT N5 and N4, but the courses has a lot of advanced kanji and were pretty random. Which is GREAT if you’re a higher level wanting to take JLPT N3 or if you want to over learn not necessarily for the exams),… Read More…

Reading Novels – Breaking into Japanese Literature Review

“I want to be able to read Japanese novels”  (If you’re not yet convinced that being able to read Japanese novels is worth it check out this article). When I picked up my first Japanese novel I think I managed to get about 3 pages in before giving up. It was Kino no Tabi and I must have read the first page a billion times trying to get through my first novel. So I thought maybe I should try an easier novel. I got 7 pages into that one, and then 13 pages into my third attempt! But each time… Read More…

J-Talk Online Memrise Courses

So in the last few weeks I came across the flashcard program Memrise. I’d heard about it before but never really checked it out. It had been so long since I’d used AnkiDroid that I decided to try it out, and it is amazing! I entered in some vocabulary I was studying and managed to go over about 220 of them in a single weekend! When I hadn’t been doing much before hand this was a big confidence booster! So why is Memrise so great? Well for one thing putting vocabulary into a flashcard deck and getting other people’s is SO much… Read More…

Grouping Topics for Easy Learning – Teaching Yourself Beginners Japanese

“What should I learn next?”   When studying Japanese the amount you need to learn can be really daunting but breaking it down into topics can make it so easier. It doesn’t make much sense to cram lists of vocabulary unless you’re using that vocabulary with a mix of other things. This is how Japanese text books work, they will give you some vocab along with grammar and then reading/listening/writing practice to enforce the two together before moving onto the next section. This gives you a steady stream of Japanese without overloading your brain. I’ve put together some topics and… Read More…