You guys might remember a recent post from Angel Armstead, our resident Japanese language and video game buff! Today, Angel is sharing a bit more about how she uses flashcards to get back into the action.
Something as simple as flashcards have helped me get back on my way into language learning. I still have a very busy schedule. I'm working on creating my own coffee business. I want to complete a novel and I've decided to create my own video game. That doesn't even add in the miscellaneous stuff I do such as piano practice or other emergencies that steal time from me.
So How Did It Help?
For the most obvious reasons is that they can be taken anywhere. I can take a break from writing and look at my few vocab words or Kanji characters. It's the convenience behind using flashcards anytime and anywhere that made it easy for me to continue to learn Kanji characters and new vocab. When I had stopped language learning altogether because of lack of time I could have used them then. It wasn't until I decided to stop procrastinating that I realized I could do some language learning in a simpler way.
The big thing about flashcards is that they really help me with is the Kanji characters. It's good for vocab too. But all through college I didn't feel like I could learn the Japanese writing system. With the flashcards I feel like I have really memorized certain characters. When I see them in other written works I still remember what the character stands for and other ways to use the same character.
Why Point Out Something That Most People Already Know?
A lot of people I know don't think something simple as flashcards can help much with anything. But in my experience, flashcards are such a great fall guy! Even when you're too busy to listen to a lesson or meet with a teacher, you still have a minute or two to spare for a few words that day. That's all it takes to keep going, after all. A lot of people don't realize how something so simple can help out so much.
Recommended places for Kanji Cards
If you're interested in grabbing your own Kanji card sets, here are my own recommendations: I went to two separate places for kanji cards. One was Amazon.com, but the cards I typically use the most are the ones I got from http://www.whiterabbitpress.com/. Their cards do make it obvious which meaning is Japanese and which is the original Chinese meaning. The Japanese meaning will be in hiragana and the Chinese in katakana. They also have kana flashcards. Typically learners of Japanese learn the kana first. It's even more important if you're going the flashcard route. The meanings on kanji flashcards will be in kana.