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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Last time I spoke about Memrise and how much I like it, so I figured this time I’d mention it since that is what I’m using for a lot of my Japanese.

I’ve used Memrise to learn Hiragana and some Katakana, but I didn’t really like the fact that all the courses I could find taught Katakana with English. I already knew Hiragana, so there wasn’t any reason for me to look at the English for the Katakana was well. This is where the nice part about Memrise comes in, anyone can make their own course and make it public. So I went and made a course that quizzes you on Katakana using the Hiragana. I find this better because now I can practice both my Hiragana and Katakana at the exactly same time, other than that it really doesn’t change how the course was before.

What I mean is that Hiragana is associating a symbol with a sound, and Katakana happens to share those same sounds but with different symbols. You can still use all the imagery one would use from English to Katakana, because it’s just a noise. The only difference is that sometimes it is more challenging because the English isn’t there, but I think that’s a good thing.

You can check it out here!

I’ve been thinking about making the same course in reverse, but I don’t really think it would be that hard to use the course as in to learn Hiragana if you already know Katakana.

I’ve also had thoughts about making a large course in Japanese that would teach Hiragana, then Katakana using Hiragana, then some very basic grammar and words.

What do you guys think? Has anyone else made courses on Memrise? Share them in the comments!!

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Wow, so its been a while, huh? A couple of weeks turned into a couple of months. I don’t really have a good excuse about why I haven’t been updating the blog. My winter break ended, and it wasn’t a very plentiful one for language learning, nor was this busy January.

My 3 months of Esperanto is up! Even thought I didn’t spend as much time as I wanted on Esperanto, I’ll blame school for this, I still know a lot more Esperanto than when I started, and I’ve learned a lot on what I find the most enjoyable when it comes to language learning. I’ve also found more things to try. So let’s make this my 3 month post-mortem of Esperanto (I’m not sure if post-mortem is used outside of Ludum Dare, but here we go!).

The Good
The physical book to learn from (Teach Yourself Esperanto) was a definite plus for me, I just carried it around in my bag and read it when I was sitting somewhere waiting for someone or something. The paragraphs of Esperanto I was able to read really made me happy and I could see myself progress because I was able to understand more and more.

Memrise was a blessing from the heavens. The only thing I’d like to check is to have Memrise use a SRS like Anki. I like it better than Anki mostly because theirs a variety of mems to choose from, already made by other users.

Anki itself was okay, but I found myself using Memrise more because it was more enjoyable to use.

The Bad

Any sort of online learning site that functioned like a teach yourself book (for example:  Lernu) just didn’t work for me. The probability of me getting on a computer and going right to Lernu is very slim, and it is much more likely for me to end up looking at pictures of cats, so that is why I switched to the physical book.

I had a lot of trouble ‘finding time’ and upon reflection I realize there was a lot of different ways I could have made more, and I’m going to do my best in the future to use my time more wisely. Randomly browsing the internet is one of my weakest points and is certainly something I have to work on more.

More Learning?

One thing I learned is that the music in the language I’m trying to learn is important too me, and this is one of the reasons I wont be continuing with Esperanto for now. I had a terrible time finding any music that I enjoyed. Japanese music is much easier to come by, and is something I indulged in a lot during my 3 months in Esperanto.

I would say that it is the same for visual media in Esperanto. Which is unfortunate, and makes it really hard to learn the language if there no material that I enjoy to watch or read. I found like two movies in Esperanto but they were not about things I care about.

Which is unfortunate, because not having enjoyable and easy to find material makes it very difficult to learn the language. I’m of course not saying I didn’t find Esperanto content, because I did, I’m saying I didn’t find anything that I cared for, or that piqued my interest.

In Japanese I’ve got a large variety of j-dramas and anime to pick from, news, podcasts and music. I’m sure in some corner of the internet there are these things for Esperanto but I can’t find them, so again it makes it hard to learn the language.

Japanese on the other hand, as I mentioned before with the music, also has a large variety of television shows, media and podcasts. I found it a lot easier to find content I enjoy in Japanese then in Esperanto, and for these reasons a long with some others, I’ll be jumping back on the Japanese train and I am hopefully going to stay for a while.

I’m going to go back to one post a week, see you then!