Japanese Kanji a Day Practice Pad Volume 1

kanji

4.0 out of 5 stars Every little bit helps

I once heard studying kanji as being like a thin wall with all the kanji you know lined up along the edge. When you study a new kanji, it takes its place at the back of the line and bumps one over the edge, lost forever.

It may not be that bleak, but it is true that without constant repetition and reinforcement you will find all of those hard-won kanji fading from your memory, and symbols that once were filled with meaning now look like just so many chicken scratches.

I can’t lie to you and say that this “Japanese Kanji a Day Practice Pad” is all that you will ever need to keep those kanji tucked safely away in your brain, but it is a pretty nifty way to get some stress-free daily kanji practice in. Basically, you just keep the pad next to you on your desk, and when you got a few spare minutes you do the kanji exercise for the day, then tear off the sheet.

The kanji start at the super-basic level (ichi), then slowly get more complex. The focus is on basic vocabulary words that you learn in a Beginning Japanese course so you do get into a few kanji that are somewhat complicated to write but have a basic meaning (like “ochiru” or “fall”). Obviously, since this is a “kanji-a-day” calendar there are 365 kanji in total.

Each page lists the kanji with all possible readings, then about two words using that kanji in a combination. Going around the edges are boxes for writing practice. There are three boxes to trace the kanji, then you are on your own for the remaining twenty-five boxes. Roughly once a month there is then a blank page for you to practice all the kanji you have learned so far.

Clearly, no one is going to master any kanji through this method. This is purely for reinforcement and repetition. For that though, it is a really handy tool that I like having on my desk.

More Japanese for Kids Flash Cards Kit

more flash

 
5.0 out of 5 stars More of a good thing

Having used and enjoyed the Tuttle Japanese for Kids Flash Cards Kit (Tuttle Flash Cards), it was a no-brainer to pick up the next set in the series.

Like the previous set, there are sixty-four cards here in different categories. The categories are Going Outside (8 cards), Nature (8 cards), Things in My House (10 cards), Things I Want to Do (10 cards), Opposites (12 cards), Weather (6 cards) and Actions (10 cards). The vocabulary is all very basic words and perfect for a beginner’s level. On the front of each card is a cartoon picture of the subject, as well as the Japanese word written above the picture. The Japanese words are written in kanji, hiragana or katakana as they would naturally appear in written Japanese. On the reverse side there are two to three sentences using the vocabulary in context, written in standard Japanese (including kanji), romaji and English.

Whereas the previous set was mostly nouns, the “More Japanese Flash Cards for Kids” features a wider variety of words including adverbs, adjectives and verbs. The categories also have variety, such as the Going Outside category which has vehicle names as well as the words for “park,” “shop” and “school.”

In the same way as the previous collection, the general card arrangement is very easy to use, and the cards are a nice size (about the size of two standard playing cards laid together) and laminated so they can be used again and again. The sentences on the back use not only the vocabulary of the card itself, but also other words in the set to reinforce retention.

Along with the flash cards, there is a poster containing all of the words in the set, with the same pictures, and an audio CD that can be used for pronunciation practice. On the CD, as well as the pronunciation for the words and sentences included with the flash cards, there are bonus vocabulary including basic greeting words and a few Japanese children’s songs. Unfortunately, these are the exact same bonus words as on the previous CD, so it is a duplication if you already own the previous set. The songs are new, however, and are very popular and traditional Japanese children’s songs.

Although Tuttle calls this set “Flash Cards for Kids,” I have found them useful for adult learners as well. In fact, I have also been using them in reverse, for Japanese people studying English. Once the basic vocabulary has been mastered, they can be used in games such as spreading them out “Go Fish” style and having the learner draw two cards, then make a sentence out of the two vocabulary words. This game is greatly improved by the addition of verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and you can even split the piles so that you need to draw one adjective/adverb, one noun and one verb to make a sentence.

Japanese for Kids Flash Cards Kit

flash

 
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tool for vocabulary retention

A good set of flash cards is a valuable tool in language study. They are never going to teach you the lesson in and of themselves, but will help reinforce lessons learned and get your brain used to operating in the target language at normal speeds instead of having to search for the word in questions.

This set of “Japanese Flash Cards for Kids” is a great set, and one that I have gotten a lot of use from. There are sixty-four cards in all, separated into categories like animals (8 cards), body parts (8 cards), food (8 cards), family (8 cards), numbers (10 cards), daily activities (8 cards), clothing (6 cards) and colors (8 cards). The vocabulary is all very basic words and perfect for a beginner’s level. On the front of each card is a cartoon picture of the subject, as well as the Japanese word written above the picture. The Japanese words are written in kanji, hiragana or katakana as they would naturally appear in written Japanese. On the reverse side there are two to three sentences using the vocabulary in context, written in standard Japanese (including kanji), romaji and English.

The general card arrangement is very easy to use, and the cards are a nice size (about the size of two standard playing cards laid together) and laminated so they can be used again and again. The sentences on the back use not only the vocabulary of the card itself, but also other words in the set to reinforce retention.

Along with the flash cards, there is a poster containing all of the words in the set, with the same pictures, and an audio CD that can be used for pronunciation practice. On the CD, as well as the pronunciation for the words and sentences included with the flash cards, there are bonus vocabulary including basic greeting words and a few Japanese children’s songs.

Although Tuttle calls this set “Flash Cards for Kids,” I have found them useful for adult learners as well. In fact, I have also been using them in reverse, for Japanese people studying English. Once the basic vocabulary has been mastered, they can be used in games such as spreading them out “Go Fish” style and having the learner draw two cards, then make a sentence out of the two vocabulary words.

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