Many students trying to learn Japanese or another language spend hours each week reading textbooks, performing grammatical exercises, and even watching TV shows in the language they want to learn.

However, many learners of a foreign language need to appreciate the critical role that vocabulary study plays in their progress.

Vocabulary is crucial since it is the foundation of any language. It’s the raw material we can shape into words, sentences, books, articles, conversations, and relationships.

Benefits Of Learning Japanese Daily

Feeling proud of yourself after accomplishing a difficult task and gaining valuable knowledge is natural. You’ll have a better sense of self, purpose, and worth.

It’s also crucial to devote time every day to expanding one’s knowledge of the Japanese language. The most important part of learning Japanese is from courses that teach you stuff, no matter how much time you put into studying and practising.

Learning the language’s structure is crucial. You can get by in Japanese if you learn just the bare minimum here and there.

The best way to acquire a language rapidly is to study it daily. People have a forgetting curve that causes them to quickly forget what they’ve learned if they don’t routinely repeat it.

You will retain more information and learn more quickly if you study and practise frequently (every day or at regular, tightly spaced periods).

How to Best Learn Japanese Vocabulary: Methods

1. Spaced Repetition System (SRS)

Research and educate yourself. Idle. Do It Again. The best approach to learning something is through spaced repetition. This is an excellent method to learn about the past, science, and even basic math. This is because your long-term memory is emphasised by a spaced repetition system rather than your short-term memory.

You can learn much of the Japanese language using spaced repetition software quickly. Following the example, you could pick up 480 new words in a year. The same technique could be used to memorise Kanji.

Despite its benefits, this approach may seem dull and uninteresting to some people. It’s also too involved for my liking. However, apps like Anki incorporate this type of study into the Japanese language experience.

Therefore, you can easily incorporate previously studied terms into the list of words you are currently studying. There are alternative study methods if you don’t like this one.

2. Mnemonics

Another effective strategy for learning new material by heart. Mnemonics, like SRS, are an aid to long-term recall. If you want to learn Kanji, this is the best method. It is also helpful for learning Japanese words and phrases.

This strategy is best used to learn Kanji and an extensive vocabulary. You will be confident that you have employed this strategy at some point in your life. Mnemonics is just a fancy word for remembering information through association.

自然 (しぜん/ shizen) is a word that fits this description. Its meaning, nature, is reflected in its sound, reminiscent of the term season. The term 象 (ぞう/ zou) is another option. The word zoo is a close phonetic match. Refers to the exotic animals, like elephants, found in zoos.

The sound of a Japanese word can help you remember what it means. A good case in point is 時計 (とけい/ tokei). A ticking clock comes to mind whenever you hear the word 時計. Time is passing. Time is passing.

A word’s pronunciation in Japanese only sometimes indicates its meaning. The word 建物 (たてもの/ tatemono) is a perfect illustration of this. Nothing in the word’s sound suggests a structure or its English translation. You’ll have to devise a new way to remember this.

3. Rote Memorisation

Reviewing previously learned material repeatedly is referred to as rote memorisation. It’s the standard method adopted by the vast majority of students of foreign languages. Investing many hours slumped over a desk, studying vocabulary lists from which you will likely retain only a tiny fraction. How rote memorisation is put to use determines the answer.

The practice of repetition is essential to rote memorisation. The only method to ensure long-term retention of information is to be constantly reminded of it. However, this does not imply that you should spend your days staring at Japanese vocabulary lists. You’ll likely nod off or check Instagram on your phone.

When people utilise this strategy, it’s usually because they need to memorise much material quickly (like before a test). This strategy works best for recalling manageable chunks of information. It is best used with another strategy because it requires reviewing previously learned content.

How to Get Started with the Japanese Words

1. Learn The Most Common Words

It may seem obvious that you need to learn words that are often used, but there are hundreds of Japanese vocabulary lists on the internet, and having about 5,000 words is considered fluent, so it can take a lot of work to figure out which words you need to learn.

But don’t worry too much about it. You’re on the right track if you already have a book to help you learn Japanese. There are already lists of words for you to learn in your literature. Don’t worry if you need a book to help you learn Japanese.

There are a lot of lists of famous words you can find online.

These lists might have food, clothes, verbs, and word sections. So it should be easier to learn from them. You can learn each category separately or combine them. It would help if you learned about verbs and adjectives at the same time so that you can start to practise language patterns.

Then choose the kinds of words you want to learn more about. You can learn about one group of words at a time or all at once. How you study words should stay the same as how well you understand Japanese.

2. Use Apps

We live in the age of technology, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to start learning with apps. Textbooks are excellent, but sometimes they need to be more to help us learn. Even more so, if you want to study on the go but want to avoid taking a textbook, in these cases, apps are an excellent tool to use. Apps that help you learn Japanese are great, but they are perfect for helping you remember words and even learn new ones.

3. Check Out A Dictionary

It would help to buy or download an English-Japanese dictionary as soon as possible. No matter what language you want to learn, having a book would help. With a dictionary, finding out what new words mean will be easy. You can also convert Japanese words into English. But it would help if you were careful when you use a translation from English to Japanese. Some words are synonyms, but that doesn’t mean they mean the same thing. Or, the word might be used in a way that is different from how you want to use it.

In Japanese, there are different ways to say things like “late.”

私はクラスをおそくなりました。(I was late for class.)

私はおそくをねました。(I went to sleep late.)

おそいよるはすずしです。(It is cool late at night.)

Compare how the word “late” is used in the first line to how it is used in the second and third. In the first line, being late is talked about. The second line talks about being late for something. And the word “late” is used to describe the night in the third line.

Each line also uses a different word form and places it in a different part of the sentence. Be careful because standard definitions don’t tell you how to use a word in a sentence.

4. Study Kanji.

You can only really learn Japanese if you know how to read Kanji. You can speak Japanese even if you don’t know how to write. But writing is a big part of Japanese. Kanji is used daily in Japan, and you can see it everywhere. You would only be able to read something if you went to Japan. You also couldn’t work in Japan. So it’s essential to know how to read Kanji.

By learning Kanji, you can not only learn new words, but also new terms that employ the same Kanji. Examine the kanji for ‘look’ (ongaku). You need to check the Kanji for the word if you don’t know it. You might be able to deduce the meaning of the term and the meaning of the other Kanji if you know at least one of them.

Since the word’s etymological root, (/ on), meaning “sound,” it must pertain to noises. Joy is written as (gaku). The two words together create a “pleasant sound.” People commonly refer to uplifting aural experiences as “music.” So, the answer is music.

Learning these Kanji’s on-yomi and kun-yomi interpretations can also help you pronounce them correctly. The more you study, the less of a burden it will become. You will become more proficient in studying and writing Kanji if you begin to recognise patterns among them.

5. Establish a Study Routine

It’s one of the least complicated items here, yet it can be tricky to implement. Finding the time to study is always a challenge. If you don’t offer yourself enough motivation, achieving your goals can be even more challenging.

This is why many people who set out to teach themselves a language often need help. It’s easy to make excuses for ourselves, such as, “Oh, I don’t have time to study.” Or, “This is too much, so I’ll do it tomorrow.” This is too much information to absorb at once. Perhaps someday” Later never arrives, however. Say what you can do instead of creating excuses for why you can’t.

Establish a workable strategy rather than cramming for an hour straight. Take breaks from your studying. Without any interruptions, studying for an hour can be tedious. Try to learn the Japanese language in shorter bursts more frequently throughout the day rather than devoting an entire hour to it daily.

There’s no requirement that you study the same vocabulary topic each week. Learn something new each week while occasionally reviewing previously learned concepts and terminology. Never bore yourself.

Make sure your plan is realistic and works with your time constraints. Spending an hour a day on Japanese throughout the week can be too much if you are a full-time worker or student. Try studying Japanese grammar and vocabulary twice weekly but on different days. And then spend your weekends learning Kanji. If you can’t devote time to studying during the week, use the weekend to catch up. Create a study calendar on your phone and set alerts to help you remember when and what to study so that you may organise your study time effectively and put your plans into action.

Conclusion

Words, sentences, books, articles, discussions, and even relationships may all be shaped by one’s vocabulary, making it essential to learn Japanese vocabulary. Investing time every day towards learning the Japanese language is crucial. Daily study is the most effective method for learning a new language quickly. Humans have a forgetting curve that causes them to quickly lose new information if it is not regularly reinforced. Spaced repetition systems (SRS), mnemonics, and rote memorisation are the three most effective ways to acquire Japanese vocabulary.

Mnemonics are a useful tool for long-term retention, but SRS entails doing research and educating yourself. Kanji and a large vocabulary are easier to memorise with mnemonics like (/ shizen) and (/ zou). Most students of foreign languages use rote memorisation, however it’s important to remember and practise repetition regardless of the approach you choose.

Start your Japanese word study with a list of the most frequently used words you may find everywhere on the internet. You can pick and choose the kind of words you want to study by learning them independently or together. The best method to learn new vocabulary is to treat it like learning Japanese.

If you want to learn Japanese but don’t want to lug about a textbook, an app is a great option. Word-memorization and -acquisition apps are invaluable while trying to master Japanese.

It’s not easy to establish a study regimen, yet doing so is critical for making progress towards objectives. It is essential to establish practical objectives and a study plan that fits within your available time. Effective time management for full-time jobs or students includes studying Japanese grammar and vocabulary twice a week and spending weekends learning Kanji. Make a study schedule on your phone and set reminders to help you stay on track with your study goals.

Content Summary

  • However, many learners of a foreign language need to appreciate the critical role that vocabulary study plays in their progress.
  • Vocabulary is crucial since it is the foundation of any language.
  • It’s also crucial to devote time every day to expanding one’s knowledge of the Japanese language.
  • Learning the language’s structure is crucial.
  • You can get by in Japanese if you learn just the bare minimum here and there.
  • The best way to acquire a language rapidly is to study it daily.
  • You will retain more information and learn more quickly if you study and practise frequently (every day or at regular, tightly spaced periods).
  • The best approach to learning something is through spaced repetition.
  • You can learn much of the Japanese language using spaced repetition software quickly.
  • Following the example, you could pick up 480 new words in a year.
  • The same technique could be used to memorise Kanji.
  • Another effective strategy for learning new material by heart.
  • Mnemonics, like SRS, are an aid to long-term recall.
  • If you want to learn Kanji, this is the best method.
  • It is also helpful for learning Japanese words and phrases.
  • This strategy is best used to learn Kanji and an extensive vocabulary.
  • The sound of a Japanese word can help you remember what it means.
  • The practice of repetition is essential to rote memorisation.
  • The only method to ensure long-term retention of information is to be constantly reminded of it.
  • This strategy works best for recalling manageable chunks of information.
  • It may seem obvious that you need to learn words that are often used, but there are hundreds of Japanese vocabulary lists on the internet, and having about 5,000 words is considered fluent, so it can take a lot of work to figure out which words you need to learn.
  • You’re on the right track if you already have a book to help you learn Japanese.
  • There are already lists of words for you to learn in your literature.
  • Don’t worry if you need a book to help you learn Japanese.
  • It would help if you learned about verbs and adjectives at the same time so that you can start to practise language patterns.
  • Then choose the kinds of words you want to learn more about.
  • You can learn about one group of words at a time or all at once.
  • How you study words should stay the same as how well you understand Japanese.
  • Even more so, if you want to study on the go but want to avoid taking a textbook, in these cases, apps are an excellent tool to use.
  • Apps that help you learn Japanese are great, but they are perfect for helping you remember words and even learn new ones.
  • It would help to buy or download an English-Japanese dictionary as soon as possible.
  • No matter what language you want to learn, having a book would help.
  • With a dictionary, finding out what new words mean will be easy.
  • You can also convert Japanese words into English.
  • Or, the word might be used in a way that is different from how you want to use it.
  • Compare how the word “late” is used in the first line to how it is used in the second and third.
  • And the word “late” is used to describe the night in the third line.
  • Each line also uses a different word form and places it in a different part of the sentence.
  • Be careful because standard definitions don’t tell you how to use a word in a sentence.
  • You can only really learn Japanese if you know how to read Kanji.
  • You can speak Japanese even if you don’t know how to write.
  • Learning these Kanji’s on-yomi and kun-yomi interpretations can also help you pronounce them correctly.
  • You will become more proficient in studying and writing Kanji if you begin to recognise patterns among them.
  • Finding the time to study is always a challenge.
  • Say what you can do instead of creating excuses for why you can’t.
  • Establish a workable strategy rather than cramming for an hour straight.
  • Take breaks from your studying.
  • Try to learn the Japanese language in shorter bursts more frequently throughout the day rather than devoting an entire hour to it daily.
  • Make sure your plan is realistic and works with your time constraints.
  • Spending an hour a day on Japanese throughout the week can be too much if you are a full-time worker or student.
  • Try studying Japanese grammar and vocabulary twice weekly but on different days.
  • If you can’t devote time to studying during the week, use the weekend to catch up.
  • Create a study calendar on your phone and set alerts to help you remember when and what to study so that you may organise your study time effectively and put your plans into action.

FAQs

What Japanese words should I learn first?

The first step to speaking well in a language is to learn the basics. Some of the essential basic Japanese words are:

  • こんにちは (Konnichiwa) – Hello
  • ありがとう (Arigatou) – Thank you
  • すみません (Sumimasen) – Excuse me / I am sorry
  • はい (Hai) – Yes
  • いいえ (Iie) – No
  • おはようございます (Ohayou gozaimasu) – Good morning
  • こんばんは (Konbanwa) – Good evening
  • さようなら (Sayonara) – Goodbye

How many kanji are there?

More than 10,000 characters are listed as Kanji, which can be discouraging when thinking about learning Japanese. Yet, only around 2,000 kanji are used in everyday life.

What is Kanji called in English?

“Han characters” is what the word “kanji” means in Japanese. It is written in Japanese with the same characters used in traditional Chinese. These characters are called hanzi (traditional Chinese: 漢字; simplified Chinese: 汉字; pinyin: hànzì; lit.

What Japanese Alphabet Is Most Used?

Hiragana is the usual way that most Japanese people write. It is the first type of Japanese writing that children learn. It can be used alone or with Kanji to make words.

How Many Japanese Words Do You Need To Learn?

Japanese has three writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and Kanji. There are more than 50,000 characters in Kanji, but you only need to know about 2,000 of them to be skilled. You only need to know about 5,000 words to be called fluent in Japanese.

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