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RTK 2 methodologies

#26
laxxy Wrote:Me too, and I like this method. I'd recommend Kanji in Context as a very useful book for anyone who would follow this method:
http://www.iucjapan.org/html/text_e.html#kic
Amazon.co.jp seems to have it.
Hi laxxy, just wanted to point out that using Kanji in Context is probably not quite the same as what I'm talking about. I only learn to read words that I already know the pronunciations for (my own vocabulary). I'm guessing that some of the words in Kanji in Context are new to you, forgive me if I'm wrong. New words require more effort, so if I used this book I would be taking normal 'ol steps, rather than baby steps.
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#27
Even though I'm not quite through with RTK1, prep for the JLPT is forcing my hand somewhat. So I'm just carrying on with RTK1 review but kanji study for now is focused on reading practice.

leosmith Wrote:To me, learning to read the compounds that I already know how to pronounce seems much more efficient than learning a new list of words.
Totally agree with this. For me, using this technique in conjunction with RTK2, to provide a bit of structure, is working really well. I'm just skipping the signal primitives contained in kanji that I haven't yet learned with RTK1.
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#28
leosmith Wrote:
laxxy Wrote:Me too, and I like this method. I'd recommend Kanji in Context as a very useful book for anyone who would follow this method:
http://www.iucjapan.org/html/text_e.html#kic
Amazon.co.jp seems to have it.
Hi laxxy, just wanted to point out that using Kanji in Context is probably not quite the same as what I'm talking about. I only learn to read words that I already know the pronunciations for (my own vocabulary). I'm guessing that some of the words in Kanji in Context are new to you, forgive me if I'm wrong. New words require more effort, so if I used this book I would be taking normal 'ol steps, rather than baby steps.
Since I started Heisig early, I already know the kanji for most of the vocabulary that I have, limited that it is (at least, I recognize it). KIC helps with both expanding it and learning kanji readings, both in a highly efficient way.
Plus, I have no idea how would I go about making a list of my vocabulary.
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JapanesePod101
#29
Consider RTK I. The Kanji in this volume are remembered by chunking a new primitive and a known kanji to build a composite. This new kanji can now be used as input to yet another kanji. Essentially a recursive operation.

A huge number of onyomi are compounds made from 2 or 3 kanji. The idea is to think about each onyomi as a fantastic beast and learn the reading in a single jump.

The story, designed to attach meaning to the reading describes the beast and it's behaviour.

Here is an example:

女 ジョ woman vol II ref: 3 vol I ref: 98

女 (ジョ) is a creature that men know little of. They are varied in appearance and habit and there are many subspecies. Warning: Known to be dangerous to health and wealth!

女性的 ジョセイテキ feminine

The 女性的 (ジョセイテキ) is a particularly soft, curvy and feminine variety of 女 ( ジョ). Beware her wiles!

女子 ジョウ actress

Now a 女子 ( ジョウ) is nocturnal in habits and can only be found on the stage in her acting role. This 女 ( ジョ) is one of the most dangerous because of her many acting talents and disguises.

女中 ジョチュ maid

Sometimes 女子(ジョウ) keep a 女中 (ジョチュ) to help off stage. Many 女中 (ジョチュ) are found living beneath stairs for unknown reasons.

女生徒 ジョセイト schoolgirl

In more advanced species the young 女( ジョ) is allowed to enter school. As a 女生徒( ジョセイト ) many excel as schoolgirls.

In the Kanji Learner's Dictionary there are 16 onyomi compounds with 女 ジョ.

As an approach it is probably closer to Kanji town. I got the idea from the Dr. Seuss books 'Cat in the Hat' etc. and 'Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them' by J.K. Rowling. When I have time I also want to make a Mind Map of the readings.
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#30
Interesting method, similar in principle to following KiC (as it also groups compounds by kanji).
BTW: 女子 「じょし」 is not actress, that would be 女優 「じょゆう」, and also 女中 is pronounced 「じょちゅう」
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#31
graham6565 Wrote:女子 ジョウ actress
Now a 女子 ( ジョウ) is nocturnal in habits and can only be found on the stage in her acting role. This 女 ( ジョ) is one of the most dangerous because of her many acting talents and disguises.
seems like this should be ジョシ i have never seen it pronounced ジョウ. 子 does not have a ウ reading... also 女子 means just "girl"

EDIT: whoops, didnt see laxxy's post
Edited: 2006-11-01, 11:47 pm
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#32
Ah! I still need to get the hang of using Kana on the keyboard!
女子 ジョシ girl
女優 ジョウ actress
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#33
graham6565 Wrote:Ah! I still need to get the hang of using Kana on the keyboard!
女子 ジョシ girl
女優 ジョウ actress
女優 ジョユウ
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#34
graham6565 Wrote:Ah! I still need to get the hang of using Kana on the keyboard!
女子 ジョシ girl
女優 ジョウ actress
Are you using the kana keyboard? How do you find it?
It should in principle allow for a 2x faster typing rate if you need to type a lot in Japanese, although it seems that many Japanese themselves use the romaji conversion keyboard instead.
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#35
laxxy Wrote:
leosmith Wrote:
laxxy Wrote:Me too, and I like this method. I'd recommend Kanji in Context as a very useful book for anyone who would follow this method:
http://www.iucjapan.org/html/text_e.html#kic
Amazon.co.jp seems to have it.
Hi laxxy, just wanted to point out that using Kanji in Context is probably not quite the same as what I'm talking about. I only learn to read words that I already know the pronunciations for (my own vocabulary). I'm guessing that some of the words in Kanji in Context are new to you, forgive me if I'm wrong. New words require more effort, so if I used this book I would be taking normal 'ol steps, rather than baby steps.
Since I started Heisig early, I already know the kanji for most of the vocabulary that I have, limited that it is (at least, I recognize it). KIC helps with both expanding it and learning kanji readings, both in a highly efficient way.
Plus, I have no idea how would I go about making a list of my vocabulary.
Laxxy, If I can make a suggestion. I have been working with my old vocabulary as Leo mentioned and this is fantastic because you automatically learn the onyomi readings for many, many words. From here, I also learn new words when I come across them. One great way that I use to learn new words is to listen to Japanesepod101.com podcasts. I have all of the old pdf's for the lessons and I have been creating twinkle files based on these podcasts. As I hear the podcasts, I review the new vocabulary words from each lesson on twinkle. In this way, I learn new vocabulary, learn the kanji for them, learn new onyomi readings for characters, and reinforce readings I know when I come across an old character.

Here is a great example. I know the word 美味しい (おいしい). This contains the kanji 味 (い). I also know the word 意味 (いみ). So another reading for 味 is み. Just yesterday, I listened to some podcasts and they used the word 趣味 (しゅみ). I was thus able to reinforce one of the readings that I know for 味 since I have come across it in at least two other applications.

Using this method, one can add all new vocabulary into a flashcard software system and keep reviewing. When you come across new words it is easy to remember readings you already know.

Hope this helps
頑張って 下さい。
Edited: 2007-07-14, 8:26 pm
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#36
Ok this post is a general comment to topics covered in this thread.

As for chaining.

I now work after a new order. I have made several word docs with all the onyomis in them, split up between a-ko, sa-to, na-ha-mo, ya-ra-wa.

I then enter stories as I encounte the readings of new kanji through my practice. I try to pick the ones that Im getting familiar with, so today I am doing rei because the reading rei figured in several of my sources.

As for vocabulary. I find that chaining works well in conjunction with Japanesepod101 podcasts. Ive completed a JLPT 3/4 level japanese course and am without tuition. I do not use a textbook right now but make use of both Beginners and Intermediate lessons from JPod. I listen to a new session everyday and add new vocabulary to supermemo2004 based on the jpod lessons. Theres pdfs to download for each so its not difficult.

Of course I pick what readings to chain for by these pdfs. This way I get the opportunity to 1) gain vocab. 2) listening skills 3) make relevant chains and 4) reading excercise in the pdfs.

Its all very convoluted but I can fit it into my daily schedule.

As for making complete versus incomplete chains.

This is where I am happy that... uh.. was it leo? Someone made an excel sheet with the RTK2 kanjis and the ones with primitives are teal. So when I make my stories I try to chain the shared primitives together.

Im pretty good at lumping my stories together and I have little trouble fitting in a few extra elements down the road. The Ka story was EVIL. And I wrote it over 3 or more tries. Going back and editing and sharpening up my stories is a way I get to be extra confident in them. Id rather have a rudimentary story up and running that has a few hard to fit kanjis missing than Id sit paralyzed and never be able to start.

The way I did my KA story was to mark each KANJI keyword that I had included with red. This way I slowly wrote and enhanced my story untill all kanji/words fitted into the story.

I find this technique to be pretty solid. Chaining is very good when you do not have tuition at least.
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#37
I've noticed discussion has fallen on off on this topic and am wondering what people who have finished RTK1 are doing. I'm doing an actual physical blue box created by Heisig and always carry around ten cards in a plasticine envelope to review on elevators and boring train or bus rides. I've also been making flashcards on flashcardexchange.com using a lonely planet phrase book that includes romaji and kanji reading of important phrases. I use the IME toolbar to convert from hiragana to kanji. Right now I am learning phrases to use when dealing with the police (hopefully I won't have to use this often). It reinforces my 1 by 1 kanji learning and gives it context. I find now that I prefer kanji though I type the hiragana reading underneath it. It makes it easier to distinguish phrases especially since in Japanese typing there is usually no spacing between words. I guess I'm turning Japanese. Not really. Smile
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#38
taijuando Wrote:I've noticed discussion has fallen on off on this topic and am wondering what people who have finished RTK1 are doing. I'm doing an actual physical blue box created by Heisig and always carry around ten cards in a plasticine envelope to review on elevators and boring train or bus rides. I've also been making flashcards on flashcardexchange.com using a lonely planet phrase book that includes romaji and kanji reading of important phrases. I use the IME toolbar to convert from hiragana to kanji. Right now I am learning phrases to use when dealing with the police (hopefully I won't have to use this often). It reinforces my 1 by 1 kanji learning and gives it context. I find now that I prefer kanji though I type the hiragana reading underneath it. It makes it easier to distinguish phrases especially since in Japanese typing there is usually no spacing between words. I guess I'm turning Japanese. Not really. Smile
I'm sporadically reviewing RTK1 kanji with Twinkle on my cellphone (kinda like you), and also reading a comic and make cards with words from there. and also review words and examples from the first 5 lessons of Kanji in Context that I've added a while ago (planning to start progressing in it further but not much time for that now...)
I do not have any plans to start RTK2.
Edited: 2006-12-30, 12:28 pm
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#39
taijuando Wrote:wondering what people who have finished RTK1 are doing.
Yes, I'm also wondering what to do for post-RTK1 studies.

Do I make flashcards for the frames in RTK2, with kana and English keyword on one side, and kanji on the other, similar to how Heisig recommends in RTK2 Chapter 11? (As an aside, why did he hide that important information so late in the book?) That implies that I'm about to learn 2000 readings by brute force memorization, no stories, no mnemonic aid, no kanji chains? Without mnemonic aids, RTK2 seems difficult and prone to failure.

Do I gather up Kanji chain reference material from the web, use the onyomi area of kanji.koohii.com, and build up stories? Then I'd build flashcards with syllables on one side, and lists of kanji on the other. But I don't really understand kanji chains, and I would really learn a lot if I could see the stories other people use with this method. Without more guidance and examples, kanjichains seem difficult and prone to failure.

In neither case do I get to use kanji.koohii.com's reviewing system that served me so successfully for RTK1. That leaves me building my own flash cards in iFlash, reviewing on my own, and away from forums where I can get and offer help to fellow students. Without the forums, post-RTK1 studies seem difficult and prone to failure.
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#40
I haven't finished RTK 1 yet (I'm at 1776 right now), but could read most of the kanjis in it by at least one reading before I started going through it and initially thought I would just ignore RTK 2. Now I think that memorizing the signal primitives is useful, even if the groups themselves still appear unreliable to me. Unreliable, because they are restricted to RTK 1 (and RTK 3 if you are willing to deal with that, too) kanjis, so learning them like "this rule works for all kanjis except ..." does not inspire confidence, and if you're going to memorize them one by one, there's not much point in grouping them at all.

Signal primitives are very useful when guessing unknown readings and they make many readings easier to remember just by knowing them (the brain does this automatically), so going through the systematic collection of them in RTK 2 seems useful. I know I learned many of them without RTK 2 just by seeing them in different kanjis. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice that 工 signifies こう when 工巧控攻紅... etc all share the reading, even if the rule doesn't always work (空). Heisig says that it works if 工 assumes a prominent position, but I'm not quite sure how it's not prominent in 空. Anyway, like other such rules, it works in many cases (and even 空(くう) is pretty close), so it provides a good educated guess, and the thicker the web of associations the harder it is to forget things.

Outside the heuristic of signal primitives, what I've used to learn different readings is pure memorization from words, which Heisig uses in Chapter 8 of RTK 2. I'm not going to use any mnemonics for words, and am a bit bemused by many language learners using them for that. When I need a word, I usually want it in my mind in a split-second with no conscious effort, and I don't think you get that with mnemonics, nor have I had any particular trouble in learning words that I'd need mnemonics to overcome. The meanings of kanjis make words easier to remember already, as they usually make at least some kind of sense. To take a very simple example, "高校 = high school, read こうこう" is an easy thing to remember, and from that you get readings 高(こう) and 校(こう), which make other words with those readings even easier to remember.

Since you don't really do anything with kanji readings that you don't know any words for, I don't see the point in learning them before the words instead of going the other way around. It's not like you're ever going to learn all possible kanji readings, including name readings (which could be just about anything), unless you really want to memorize huge amounts of trivia, nor will you find a list of all those that are in use today. There's the jouyou list, but that's missing a lot of readings, and even Japanese-Japanese dictionaries are missing some (probably because the makers don't want to give some of the readings any recognition for whatever reason). For these reasons I mostly treat readings in the same way as vocabulary. I also always memorize at least one word a kanji is used in when studying them, because it's somewhat silly to know a kanji but not a single word it's used in.

Aside from readings, vocabulary and kanji outside RTK 1 (and/or RTK 3), there's one more thing to deal with: meanings of kanjis. In some cases the meanings given in Heisig are wildly off (乙 for instance), in most cases they are slightly off and in any case only one meaning is given whereas many kanjis have more meanings. Like readings, these can to some extent be derived from words they're used in, particularly if the kanji is used alone, but sometimes you have to check a kanji dictionary if you really want to know. Many times you don't really need to know: it's only the words that matter, not their parts (kanjis), and some kanjis are always used as a fixed pair. To some extent you will recognize the patterns and use them without knowing them consciously. I do look things up in a (kanji) dictionary quite often, and a lot of it sticks.

味, by the way, doesn't have the reading い. Yes, there's 美味(おい)しい, but in that the kanjis are used for their meaning, not their sound. The sounds that happen to be in their place is pure happenstance. 美 doesn't have the reading お, either. Similarly for 海豚(いるか), though how "sea pig" is meaning-wise close to "dolphin" is a bit of a mystery. Both taste good, perhaps. Note that in the case of words such as these you will have to memorize the sound (おいしい) and the kanjis (美味しい) separately, instead of learning readings for the kanjis first (impossible since they don't exist here) and then learning the word by the readings. Sometimes such non-readings come from changes in sound, so there's sometimes some predictability (e.g. 意気地(いくじ)なし comes from いきじなし; 気 does not have the reading く, it's just a sound change in this word).
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#41
Has anyone here actually successfully used RTK2, using Heisig's guide, not chains, not custom compounds, but Heisig's actual RTK2 guide?

I've finally started RTK2. And I'm... a little stumped.

I typed in some flash cards for Lesson 2, and memorized that 逮捕→たいほ. The signal primitive 甫 makes half of it easy, but I still have to brute force memorize the other half 逮, as well as "all 甫 is ホ".

That's it? That's the RTK2 method? Brute force memorization of dozens of signal primitives reinforced by hundreds of compounds, also brute force memorized?

No stories? No mnemonic aids? For 2000+ compounds?

I cannot see how this can possibly succeed. I've never heard of most of these compounds, I don't care about their meanings right now: I'm studying on-yomi, not random vocabulary. I predict high failure rates once the cards have rested for 7 or 14 days. Very high failure rates. I'm just not that smart of a student.

I'm willing to give it a try for a month or two, push through to the end of Chapter 2 at least, but I'm not filled with enthusiasm like I was after my first exposure to RTK1 way, waaay back when.
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#42
ziggr Wrote:Has anyone here actually successfully used RTK2, using Heisig's guide, not chains, not custom compounds, but Heisig's actual RTK2 guide?
Yes, to an extent. Not gone all the way through the book. But pure and semi pure groups give you so many readings for free.

I'm sure it says somewhere in the intro (can't find the quote just now though) that it's fine to choose your own words to put on your cards.

The method I went for was:

1. have a good look so I could recognise 'signal primatives' seeing how many I already know.
2. start learning vocab from my favourite source (for kanji, I use 漢字学習ステップ books).
3. when I see what I think is a signal primative, double check in RTK2.

That's it. It's mentioned somewhere (I think in this thread) but learning the kanji reading relationship for words you already know is easier than learning new words.

RTK2 does seem to get it's fair share of dissing however personally I'm a big fan.
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#43
synewave Wrote:I'm sure it says somewhere in the intro (can't find the quote just now though) that it's fine to choose your own words to put on your cards.
Found it:
James. W. Heisig Wrote:The student is encouraged to substitute familiar compounds at any time for the examples I have chosen.
—RTK2, 1st ed, page 7
Cool. I have huge vocab lists that I've accumulated from translating a book far above my reading level. Those lists contain compounds both familiar and interesting. And since they're in a big text file, searchable.

synewave Wrote:RTK2 does seem to get its fair share of dissing however personally I'm a big fan.
Yeah, that's why I asked. It seems like everyone who bothers to post in the forums, posts a slam on RTK2 or a sales brochure for chains. So I'm glad to know you found some success with it. Thanks for posting. It really helps.
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#44
Everyone seems to have slightly different methods for review so I'll just outline my flashcard styles as far as the kanji side of things is concerned.

Q: question
A1: missing kanji
A2: reading
A3: English
A4: mnemonic

Not all cards use all fields. As I'm using Twinkle I can choose what answers to display. Also I get the option to draw the "answer" between the Question and flipping the card.

Example cards;

Q: 喜_哀楽
A1: 怒
A2: きどあいらく
A3: human emotions
A4: KIck DOOR IRAQ

Q: 準_はいいですか?
A1: 備

Q: = あぶない
A: 危険

They are my main styles as far as kanji is concerned. I do have some cards that are just for reading but I prefer the styles above as I reckon it forces me to think a bit harder.
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#45
synewave Wrote:Q: 喜_哀楽
A1: 怒
A2: きどあいらく
completely unrelated, but i reviewed this word today too Smile
I got it originally from a manga that I am reading at the moment - ドラゴン桜
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#46
ziggr Wrote:I've finally started RTK2. And I'm... a little stumped.

I typed in some flash cards for Lesson 2, and memorized that 逮捕→たいほ. The signal primitive 甫 makes half of it easy, but I still have to brute force memorize the other half 逮, as well as "all 甫 is ホ".

That's it? That's the RTK2 method? Brute force memorization of dozens of signal primitives reinforced by hundreds of compounds, also brute force memorized?

No stories? No mnemonic aids? For 2000+ compounds?

I cannot see how this can possibly succeed. I've never heard of most of these compounds, I don't care about their meanings right now: I'm studying on-yomi, not random vocabulary. I predict high failure rates once the cards have rested for 7 or 14 days. Very high failure rates. I'm just not that smart of a student.
It's not totally brute memorization. And a lot of the words are pretty darn useful. You don't need tricks to learn everything, how do you plan to learn the rest of the language??

I only did about half the book(in a little over a month, I think)... I put the example compounds in Mnemosyne, and I haven't forgotten them. The grouping make it easier to remember word reading and to accurately predict/easily remember the readings of new words. I find it better than waiting weeks or months to come across a kanji compound like 原型 to remember/reinforce that 刑 has the reading けい. Why not learn them together?

It really comes together(for me anyway). 冒険 ぼうけん 帽子 ぼうし 検査 けんさ 試験 しけん etc...can you see how they tie together? The kanji usually provide mnemonics for the meaning of the word and most kanji only seem to have one on-reading.
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#47
I was flipping through the book today as it's getting close to time to decide whether I will use it or not. Based on what I'm seeing, I can see a variant.

First, I won't just go Compound to pronunciation. It will be the compound inside a contextual sentence. Now, seeing that I have Kanji in Context, Kodansha and Oxford J-E dictionaries and the internet, I guess I can create a reasonable contextual sentence for each compound.

Now a question: it "feels" like I should get a grasp of grammar prior to this. Something tells me I should get about 1000 sentences that stress grammar (adverbs, adjectives, particles, verbs) then move onto finding out that there's a method to the Kanji madness of On and Kun pronunciations.

Anyway, the next step awaits.
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#48
leosmith Wrote:
chamcham Wrote:If you're lucky enough to live in LA, they have the computer version of the exam, which you're able to take 6 days a week, all-year round.
Do you have a link to that? I'm wondering how they do the written part.
Here's a better link:
http://www.kankenusa.org/index.html
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#49
I have decided to take on this beast we call RTK2. So far I have gotten chapter 1 and half of chapter 2 into Anki, and am just doing reviews as normal. The way I'm reviewing is like this:

漢字
------
音読み                   
訓読み                       
Compound
Compound Reading
Compound Meaning

Then

Compound
-------------
漢字
音読み                      
訓読み
Compound Reading
Compound Meaning

What I've noticed up to now is, this works fairly well for remembering the 音読み for the individual kanji but takes longer to remember the compounds (obviously?). I'm not doing RTK2 for vocabulary learning so that's not a big deal for me. I just want to memorize the most common 音読み for all the kanji I know from RTK1.

However I think there's some problems with doing it this way. The kanji that use the same signal primitive are easy to mix up when forming a compound of a new word. Putting it all into Anki is extremely tedious and feels like a waste of time. I've searched to see if someone else has already done it but can't seem to find anything. I'm not using example sentences for the compounds because it's taking long enough to put it into Anki as it is now. Having to search for a good sentence using the compound in context would just make it hell.

Having said this, it still does make remembering the readings much easier than doing them randomly. I have looked at the movie method but think it would take too long for what I want. I also rarely watch movies which would make it even slower for me.

I just wanna know from people who have gone through this before me, what works best and is there any faster way I can get all this info into Anki.. Unless there's something better to use? Thanks!
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#50
When I was working on RTK2, I made the cards look like this:

Compound
--------------
Compound reading and meaning

This way there's less info to get bogged down with.
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