(2017-04-20, 2:20 am)weab00 Wrote:(2017-04-20, 12:30 am)SomeCallMeChris Wrote: You've hit the nail on the head. Images work just fine, but there's no good automated tools for them and they take a ton of time to build good decks.
I've considered searching out images for certain terms in a mixed deck, mostly for terms where the English translation doesn't give me a precise image. (Ie, 紫陽花 = Hydrangea... but what's a hydrangea? It's one or another of the flowering bushes in my grandmother's garden... I think... unless those were all azaleas?)
But, meh, I've gotten this far reading in English just knowing it's a flowering bush. The same in Japanese should be fine.
For other more common terms (cat, dog, mouse, rose, daisy, oak, pine, etc, etc.) I do have a perfectly good image in my head if I read the English translation, and for more abstract terms and pretty much anything that isn't a noun finding images gets even rougher.
As far as Japanese definitions go, I've passed JLPT1, I read novels and watch raw anime all the time for pleasure, and I still don't use them much. Of course I can read a J-J dictionary and I use Japanese definitions when there's no J-E entry, but I've never seen much point in J-J cards. By the time you can easily read them, you should also be able to fluidly code-switch between Japanese and English on the fly so the 'staying in Japanese' benefit is lost, and if you can't easily read them then it's going to put a serious crimp in your reps.
Plus I'm a big believer in the idea that SRS reps should always be a minority of your studies. Close to half as a beginner, sure, but supplemented with a ton of textbook reading or graded readers, and steadily giving way to time with native materials and become less and less of your regimen over time. Native language definitions will be much quicker to read and let you get to 'other studies' faster pretty much forever, at least until the point that SRS is an insignificant portion of your studies.
I guess if you study for a long time with just or mostly learning materials and SRS, it could be helpful to be more 'pure Japanese' in your SRS time, but I don't think that's a great idea.
When you were a relative beginner (maybe a bit past N5), what did you do for listening practice? That's the area that I'm struggling with the most in my studies.
I would recommend getting enrolled in some sort of Japanese language class where there is NO English. I learned lots of grammar at my local community college courses from a Japanese teacher but he just switched to English whenever people didn't understand or he thought they wouldn't understand. And his teaching method involved tons of Japanese to English translation. Basically, my listening skill an were crap although my grammar was about an N3 level (really pretty good grammar - I liked the class)
Then I took some online classes at JOI. I took N3 level classes and learned a little grammar but mostly got good review and learned how to listen to and understand a class conducted in Japanese. They do copy and paste English definitions and explanations into the chat unfortunately but they only spoke japanese. It was invaluable. Also stressful. Being pressured to understand because you need to give a correct response is the fastest way to increase listening comprehension in my experience.