Using Memrise to learn Japanese

Using Memrise to learn Japanese

I recently came across an interesting new online learning tool called Memrise. You can use it to study a variety of languages, but I have been using it to practice Japanese. Below is a short introduction and preview to Memrise, that I created to show how I use it to study Japanese.

View on YouTube.

So far, I've created a couple lessons of my own, which I will feature here on Wired in Japan. My lessons are focused on learning how to read Japanese in context, where Memrise helps to review vocabulary items and create visual connections between form and meaning.

You can find me on Memrise, here. I have a few lessons available, so sign up and give Memrise a try.

Plant those seeds!


Lend a Hand to Japan

Everyone I know in Japan is alright, but there still is great damage to Japan and many people have lost their lives. Even though buildings were made to withstand an earthquake the flooding from the resulting tsunami is very bad, especially in the area near Sendai (close to the epicenter).

I donated to the Red Cross to help those in trouble. If you can help, please donate by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. Or by visiting this link: http://is.gd/fGUWVE

Last night I made the above poster to help with the situation in Japan. Because I am so far away, I feel like there is not much I can do to help. Hopefully many people will see this poster and they will help by donating as well.

You can view the poster here: http://is.gd/ro3Yjc . Please share it with your friends.


Wired Kana: Lesson 1

Wired Kana is a series of lessons that will cover the basic Japanese alphabets, Hiragana and Katakana. Wired Kana: Lesson 1 starts with the 5 basic Japanese vowels; あ, い, う, え, お. These characters are the foundation for every other character in the series and vital for learning how to pronounce Japanese words.

To begin learning the Japanese characters, start by watching this instructional video.

Below is an example of each character, audio of its pronunciation, and a helpful way to remember it. Additionally, there's a chart showing each characters stroke order; showing how it looks when written.

How to remember:
The hiragana character あ looks like an apple.
The katakana character ア looks like an ice cream cone.

How to remember:
The hiragana character い looks like two eels.
The katakana character イ looks like an easel.

How to remember:
The hiragana character う looks like a sideways 'U'.
The katakana character ウ looks like the wick of a candle.

How to remember:
The hiragana character え looks like a person exercising.
The katakana character エ looks like an egg stand.

How to remember:
The hiragana character お looks like a surprised face.
The hiragana character オ looks like an old man with a long beard.

Listen to all the characters you learned in lesson 1.

Example audio and handwriting provided by Yuka Nishino.