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I’ve been slowly plodding forward in my Japanese the last couple of months, toward the goal of taking the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Level 2 in December 2009. Unfortunately I still have hundreds and hundreds of kanji (Chinese characters) and thousands and thousands of vocab to learn.

At the same time I feel I should at least make a token effort to learn Korean, for a few reasons.

These posts will document the best advice I can give for learning languages, based on my own experiences so far. It certainly won’t turn into one of those geeky obsessive study sites of which there are so so many on the internet.

Today’s Tip Of…The Day (1) – Use An SRS Programme

SRS is Spaced-Repetition Software, and is basically a programme for reviewing materials on or offline. Its similar to using flashcards, except its all electronic and “spaces” the cards depending on how easy or difficult it is remembering them. This is by far the best thing I’ve ever used for learning Japanese, and I’m aiming to learn 300 phrases in Korean in just over two weeks- using only free time I have at school (the odd hour).  I’m very confident it’ll work too, such is the inate power of an SRS Programme when combined with a sharp and agile mind such as mine.

The best programme I can recommend is Anki (google it), and there’s another one I know called Mnemosyne. You can create your own “decks” of cards or use pre-programmed ones; the latter is fine for begnner study (aka my Korean) but for intermediate and advanced stuff you need to create your own. I’ve learnt around 250 Japanese phrases since arriving in Korea, which isn’t fast enough really (actually its very slow, but these are complex phrases and I don’t actually wanna spend that much time studying).

Anyway that’s it for today- use an SRS Programme! Check back in a week or two to see if my 300 Korean phrases challenge was successful, and for another tip!


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