Phase 3 – First Full Day – Vocabulary

Do you have any idea how odd it was to look at the Kanji deck and see 0 new cards?  There were plenty of cards due for review today, though.  It was also time to really dig into the Nihongoshark.com preloaded vocabulary deck.  This wasn’t new, since I have been doing vocabulary cards for several days now, but it was time to up the number of cards.

Here’s what I discovered about that deck.  For each word, there is a sentence on a separate card.  The words are easy, many of the sentences are hard.  As you should expect with written Japanese, there are no spaces between the written words.  The audio is of native speakers talking at a normal pace, and all of that is as it should be, but it does make understanding the sentences and breaking them down pretty tough sometimes.

Today, however, something very nice started to happen.  Sentences started to appear that make use of words learned earlier in the deck.  Obviously that can’t happen for the first couple of days, but it is starting now, and that’s great.   I was hoping that, when he set the deck up, Niko would do that.  I don’t even want to think about how long it must have taken to assemble that deck – words, sentences, Kanji, readings, images, native speaker audio…whew!

At the beginning, it is actually harder than learning the Kanji.  I think it is safe to assume though, that, the more vocabulary you learn, the easier it guests to learn more, since the sentences will contain more and more words that you already know.

The other trick with the sentences is the verbs.  It is helpful if you at least know how to tell the difference between positive and negative and past and present verbs.

Make no mistake, especially early on, this vocabulary deck is quite a hefty workload.  But, and make no mistake about this either (hey, if a phrase is good once, it must be good twice, right?) it is absolutely doable.  The learning curve is a little steep right at the beginning, but it will level off as time goes by.

I am also looking through teachers at Cafetalk (remember, they gave me enough free points for a whole lesson, depending on the teacher, just for filling out a little survey, so my first lesson will be free, which is always nice) and getting ready to set up my first lesson.  Kind of nervous about that.

The Hacking Japanese Supercourse has me covered there, too, though with an appendix at the end that covers the basic stuff to at least get a conversation going and a few stock phrases to help keep the conversation going.  It’s all good.

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