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Language Learning

learnchineseeveryday

The concept of a daily vocabulary word is not new. There are a plethora of websites that share a Chinese or Japanese character daily. However, Learn Chinese Everyday is one of the few I actually visit fairly regularly.

It has a consistent layout with the character at the top, with 2-3 words that contain the character below the character, and then 2-3 sentences that contain the vocabulary word.

I don’t normally listen to the vocabulary words, but it’s nice that the option to listen to the sentences are there. I like that the sentences have the pinyin on top of the characters, and the other vocabulary is on the side.

AND it’s totally free .

There are also some bloggers on wordpress that have this theme that I also like to look at:
Thinking Thru Languages does one with traditional Chinese characters. He uses bopomofo instead of pinyin, and he also does some words that contain the featured character.

That Japan Addict has a frequent sentence of the day blog. They are good sentences, and useful vocabulary.
 

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I am just way too busy this semester to participate, but I’m planning on participating in the one in *August. I have unread Japanese Harry Potter books just laying around my house that are begging to be read!

Good luck every one that IS participating this round!

*I originally said September, but it turns out that the next one is in August.

Read More or Die

The contest is now fully underway globally (ok, I may be close to a day late). I just want to wish all you the participants good luck achieving your reading goals for this month!

P.S.: I’m working on some small changes so if the sever goes down, thats whats going on. I’ll let you guys know what they were when I finish 🙂

P.P.S: I don’t want to have to erase any zeroes this round so everybody read!

P.P.P.S : everyone is invited to join us in our irc channel #ajatt on irc.rizon.net

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I JUST discovered this amazing magazine! Apparently It’s been around since the 90s.

Here are the first 30 volumes for free:

http://www.thespectrum.net/features/mangajin/

They show a page of manga (japanese cartoons for those who aren’t familiar with the term.)  Then they spend a page translating the manga page that was shown. There are also cultural tips interspersed throughout the magazine.  I think, in the near future, I’m going to have to track down the entire collection and buy it!

I discovered this magazine series through a tangent that took me to: http://japanese.about.com/ .

Which, today was the first time I have ever been on that website, but it also looks like a great resource for learning Japanese.

Then I tried to go to chinese.about.com, but apparently it doesn’t exist! I was redirected to the http://www.chineseculture.about.com. I didn’t notice that I was redirected, so I was a bit angry that the Japanese.about page gets cool language learning resources, and the Chinese page just gets some lame culture links. (OK, they MIGHT not be totally lame, I didn’t exactly click on anything) I think it’s not right that about has a Japanese language page and not a Chinese language page!  It just occurred to me to check, and there is a french.about.com and a german.about.com.

I’ve always thought that manga is a great way to learn Japanese. When I went to Japan I found a store called ‘Book Off.’ It sells used books for fifty cents to a dollar. I broke three out of four of my suitcases trying to get all of the books I bought back from Japan.

When I was in China, I would sometimes buy Chinese comic books and work my way through them. I think I will have to try to find some online Chinese comics to share on this blog.

So, what do you think of using comics to learn a language? Have you been able to find any online resources?

 

 

 

Slime forest is a free game, although you can pay for additional functionality, which can be found at  www.lrnj.com .

I first discovered this game about ten years ago, when I was first trying to learn Japanese. I was still at the phase of learning Hiragana and Katakana. I was using flashcards and getting frustrated because I couldn’t seem to remember all of them, and the ones I did remember would be forgotten within a few days.

Then someone at the Japanese club (yes, my friends and I founded a Japanese club at my high school) said, “Oh yeah, try lrnj it’s fun!”

I mainly played just to learn the Japanese characters, but you could play this just like a regular rpg game. It was very addicting! I learned the characters very quickly, it was easy to motivate myself to type faster and not get killed by a stupid slime! Ten years ago, I was convinced that this was the future of language learning. There would soon be other rpgs that were basically this, but a different theme. Perhaps in other languages as well.

I only stopped playing this, after I learned hiragana and katakana because the slime forest game only tested on the English meaning of kanji characters. I thought it would be better to learn Kanji with pronunciation AND meaning than just one or the other.

In case you are wondering what the premise of the game is: You are a potato farmer that has to kill slimes with a hoe. You then are given a quest by the king to save his daughter. You have to raise money to buy a boat to go where she was taken, and you do that by killing slimes. Each slime has a character on its body, and you have to type its pronunciation. If you get it wrong, it jumps up and down and gives you the correct answer, but then it takes more tries to ‘kill’ it and get the reward.

Every once in a while, I’ll download this game again on different computers. It’s still fun even though I don’t really need it any more.