Japanese Language/study tips

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Question
Hello, Michael DePaula

as the subject suggest I'd like some useful tips on how
to learn a foreign language efficiently.

I am learning Korean and can read it pretty well, but how
can I improve on my vocabulary? should I just memorize a list
of random words (I tried this but got quickly bored)

I'd like to increase my vocabulary but dont know how to do it
in a fun and effective way.

Thanks

Regards

Jake K

Answer
Hi Jake,

If I can turn the question back on you, since you can read Korean pretty well already, what did you find worked for you to increase your vocabulary in that language? Everyone differs in the particular methods that make it easy for them to acquire new abilities, but common ways include immersion in the culture, rote memorization, role playing, flash cards, visual representation, and/or a combination of reading, writing, and hearing new words as they encounter them. Do what works for you.

I found that grouping words into relatable lists helps, but only insofar as you have a need to remember that word. When putting together a list for items to stock in your kitchen, for example, what would you leave out? What would you include? And do you even spend any time in the kitchen to make it worth your while to make memorizing such words a priority?

For anyone interested in becoming proficient in Japanese, recognizing the kanji for a word (if it exists) is also a key part of mastering the language, whereas someone just interested in being proficient in aural/spoken Japanese would not have to concern themselves with this. If you are keen on the visual aspect of a language, you may find it easier to include the written portion in your studies from the outset, killing two birds with one stone, as it were.

Japanese Language

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Michael DePaula

Expertise

Anything pertaining to daily conversation, music, historical/modern forms of Japanese-character writing, computer/IT-related vocabulary, and aquatic sciences.

Experience

14 years of Japanese study with about 10 of those years in Japan.

Organizations
Global Underwater Explorers, Okinawa Underwater Explorers, Okinawa Freethought Society

Education/Credentials
Degree in Music Performance, University of Southern California. 10+ years working the IT/computer programming world. 8 years of amateur translation assistance. 8 years in marine conservation/technical dive exploration in Japan.

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