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Is mnemonics the best way to learn Kana?

JoelKun

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I have a copy of Kana Pict-o-Graphix: Mnemonics for Japanese Hiragana and Katakana that I just bought from Ebay, is his method more efficient than others?
 

Mike Cash

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Excuse an impertinent question, but wouldn't before buying it have been a more useful time to ask?

There aren't so many kana that learning them is an insuperable burden regardless of what method one uses. Simple brute repetition works just as well as anything. When you get ready to start learning kanji it would be a good idea to ask around for opinions on various materials and methods, as there is an incredibly larger amount of characters to slog through.
 

JoelKun

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No, it wouldn't have been any better to ask before hand. This question is to get opinions, not just for me but for others.
 

nice gaijin

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You'll have to tell us after you've used the materials. Kana are pretty reasonable in terms of memorization.

I just studied a set or two or three at a time each night right before I went to bed to help ensure it was encoded as long-term memory. Woke up and drilled a little just to make sure I'd remembered, and once I'd covered everything, I just practiced reading and writing as much as possible. Now there's no extralingual filter, I read Japanese as if it were my first language (granted once I acquired a certain level of mastery I stopped studying and pushing myself, so I'm not as close to native level as I would like).

Kanji can be tackled in a similar way but there are so many, it's much more important to build up the relationships between characters in your head. Language learning sites like Learning Languages Online : Learn French Online : Learn Japanese Online : Linguist Institute, Inc. focus on this approach. I can't attest to its efficacy, as I signed up and have yet to make use of their service... a testament to my appalling lack of ambition, but not living in Japan, reading novels and doing translations online feels like enough for now.
 

JoelKun

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I have been using a similar technique to you, @nice gaijin gaijin . Each night I practice 10/15 new hiragana for 2 hours, and review all the ones I have previously learnt. It is a good technique and because I keep going over them and not just doing it once, it is really sticking in my head. I took a Hiragana test online using only the first line, Kagio and Sagio. I got them all right.
 

eeky

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I personally would not (and did not) bother with any type of mnemonic aid for the kana.

(I have personally avoided mnemonic kanji methods too, but I think this question is more moot. Learning kanji is a whole different order of magnitude of difficulty.)
 

Mike Cash

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I took a Hiragana test online using only the first line, Kagio and Sagio. I got them all right.

Not to be too nitpicky, but it is "kagyou" and "sagyou". Not being overly careful about seemingly little things like that can lead to lots of aggravating experiences when you try to speak Japanese to someone and find yourself being misunderstood.
 
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JoelKun

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Not to be too nitpicky, but it is "kagyou" and "sagyou". Not being overly careful about seemingly little things like that can lead to lots of aggravating experiences when you try to speak Japanese to someone and find yourself being misunderstood.

Sorry to burst your bubble but I don't think not knowing 2 words in Romaji will do much harm. I know you are somewhat perfect with Japanese language but I don't wish to use Romaji at all. The only reason I used it here was because the rest of my post was in English. I wouldn't like my comment to come across as disrespectful but I disagree with your statement that this would make a difference at all - or at least a noticeable one.
 

Mike Cash

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I don't see how you managed to miss the point, but if it will make you happy I will oblige by saying it is かぎょう and さぎょう, not かぎお and さぎお.

The point I was trying to make was about the importance of paying careful attention to what are meaning-changing confusion-inducing distinctions to speakers of Japanese but which sound sufficiently similar to the ears of English speakers that we are apt to consider the difference trivial. The difference is NOT trivial. No, I'm not "perfect"; I've just had one hell of a lot of real life experience with this stuff and am trying to do you the kindness of helping you avoid a common pitfall....not rag on you about romaji. My remarks specifically addressed speaking and as far as I am aware, no one speaks in romaji.
 

nice gaijin

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かぎょう = か行, the "ka" line
さぎょう = さ行, the "sa" line

かぎお and さぎお are not words. They may sound similar but if you write it in IME and hit space, you'll just see a few nonsense suggestions like "鍵お" and "詐欺尾"

So saying it aloud there may not be a noticeable difference, you'll probably get away with it for just having a pronounced accent. It's easy to mistake the romaji transliteration, but as you move into kana the difference is much more apparent; it's a minor mistake that may make a word hard to recognize. When you start studying kanji, you'll type what you think is one word and something completely different will come out, and you may find yourself wondering why you're trying to type this word but the right character won't appear. The mistake will be harder to correct for you, and the people you're trying to communicate with will likely be unable to figure out what your intended message was.

The trickle-down theory of learning habits.
 

Mike Cash

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Spoken, they would sound like 鍵を and 詐欺を.

I once heard about a very nervous young Japanese man on a high pressure job interview who in response to 「かぎょうをいってください」 replied 「かきくけこ」which resulted first in puzzled looks and then gales of laughter from the panel interviewing him.

Difference of か行 and 家業, you see.

Come to think of it, さぎょう is a word I use a lot, but it is 作業 and not さ行.
 
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Subculture

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It seems we live in the same location, If you would like to learn quicker and most efficiently you should take a course. Where we live there are a lot of courses you can take to learn Japanese around the Pavilion at reasonable prices(10 ponds an hour).
 

Orochimaru

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Spoken, they would sound like 鍵を and 詐欺を.

I once heard about a very nervous young Japanese man on a high pressure job interview who in response to 「かぎょうをいってください」 replied 「かきくけこ」which resulted first in puzzled looks and then gales of laughter from the panel interviewing him.

Difference of か行 and 家業, you see.

Come to think of it, さぎょう is a word I use a lot, but it is 作業 and not さ行.

Dats lolz.
 
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