**Note: I think it's better write parts of the guide throughout this thread and link to it from the first post. Keeps the first post shorter. I'll also link to useful posts from others**
Study/Review Tips Beginner Level
At this level, I recommend writing and typing during reviews. Unfortunately this increases study time, but does train an aspect that's not touched upon. In time (higher levels) this is scaled back in favor of increasing items being tested.
Beginner AJATT Tips
: At this level, there are a number of basic things you can do. Find some Japanese music you like. Watch anime/dramas at least once with English subtitles and try to watch them again with Japanese subtitles only after that. Strip audio from dramas and break them into smaller clips to play on your iPod.
You don't have to expunge English from your life. You're just finding stuff you like in Japanese. Let it naturally happen. Also, none of this counts as study time. Watching all of Samurai Champoo in one day is just 13 hours of pure fun.
: I liked the Kana approach in Remembering the Kana. This spreadsheet for Reviewing the Kana
is not complete yet, but it should be done soon. In addition I'll post an Anki deck based on it soon. Learn kana in 6 hours. Since the next step takes 50 hours, here's an idea to help retain this learning: In the book, Heisig gives sample words to write out in each portion. Add each word as it's own Anki card then write them out testing Romaji to Kana (the ONLY time you'll use romaji in this). When you complete the Kanji step next and move onto actual Grammar and Vocabulary then these Kana reviews can stop. Reason being you'll be reading and writing a lot of kana that reviewing will be a waste of time.
The first 555 kanji can take 30 to 50 hours. I recommend using Anki with the RTK deck I posted titles "RTK 1 and 3 w/ Kanji Definition and Yomi". Main reason is it has not just the keyword, but other words to help better explain the actual meaning of the kanji. This deck is set up to do both Keyword (and concept) to Kanji and also Kanji to Concept. At this level when studying new Kanji, imagine the story then write out the kanji while imagining the story. When reviewing, I recommend writing out the kanji when a Keyword to Kanji card pops up in addition to writing out missed cards from Kanji to Concept cards.
Yes, you'll be writing down these kanji alot. Don't mark wrong for proportions but don't be afraid to rewrite it to make it look better.
**Note about the RTK Anki deck
: To download, click on File->Download->"Shared Deck"; In the search bar type in "RTK 1 and 3" and click on the file I uploaded; Click OK to download.
To do Beginner Kanji RTK Lite Suspend all cards but the cards with the tag: "2001KO_1". This is done by click on the magnify glass (browse items); click on edit "select all"; click on the pause button (toggle suspend); click on tab by "filter" and select "2001KO_1"; again click on edit "select all" (make sure 1110 selected shows at the top of the window on the blue bar); again click on the pause button to unsuspend these cards**
: There are about 150 sentences being used here and could take 20 to 30 hours. Although I posted an Anki deck, I'll load up another one called "Tae Kim Clozed Delete". I'll recommend this deck as it's mainly a recognition deck but there's a small bit of production when it comes to aspects of the grammar being tested. At this beginning level, I recommend writing out sentences when you first study them. Ensure you're reading the chapters from Tae Kim's site for further explanation. When reviewing, type out the sentences as the deck is set up that way. This creates good training for the IME of your choice (don't mark cards wrong for this though).
Don't be afraid to add definitions to the cards to help out. Remember, it's mainly about grammar, not vocabulary or kanji. Not properly conjugating a clozed item or not understanding the meaning of the sentence should be a miss.
: These are 400 words/sentences and can take 30 to 40 hours. There's an Anki deck that can be downloaded if you look for "Core 2k/6k Japanese Vocabulary" in Anki's download in the file menu. The idea is use Cangy's sorting program on Core 2k's vocabulary corpus using 2001KO order. Here I think it's safe to go Dictation which is kana to kanji. When studying NEW cards, write out the word in Kanji, the word in kana, and then the entire sentence in Kanji. When reviewing, just write out only the word being tested. Mark cards wrong if you don't know what the word means or if you can't write it out. Each time your review, read out the entire sentence and try to mimic the announcer.
In addition, in the deck posted I made clozed deleted cards for the verbs. These cards you're being tested by properly conjugating the word based on the sentence context. So I cloze deleted the kana part after the kanji of the verb. It can be up to you to continue this for later verbs. The main reason for this is to train your ability to remember the passive and active forms of verbs in addition to getting conjugation practice.
NOTE: The Beginner vocabulary first 275 sentence entries uses kanji in the RTK Ultralite list (2k1 book 1). Entries up until sentence 362 uses Book 1 and 2. Finally, Book 1, 2 and 3 fill up until 396. Those last four sentences have kanji that are not in the 2001ko list.
You have a few options: 1: Suspend them for later. 2: Put the kana for the words in paranthesis beside it in the sentence and vocabulary entry. 3: Learn the kanji needed then do them. It's probably best this early to put the kana version of the word in paranthesis.
Example for Sentence 400, there kanji for knee is not taught in 2KO, so I put the kana for it in paranthesis:
: This step is variable, but can take 10 to 20 hours to "process" a 1 hour show. Here you have to decide on a show to use. It should be considered easy but fun. There's a list made by IceCream
where a show called "My Girl" fits this category.
Now, this gets tricky as I'm basing this on my experience with subs2srs last summer and the results. This is not about training kanji, vocabulary or grammar. This is about creating 1 hour of understandable audio you can listen to later ie 14 segments of 3m 30s audio playing on random. This happens by breaking the show down sentence by sentence and testing your comprehension of each sentence. That in turn allows your mind to better comprehend full dialogue happening in your listening of the segments.
As this is an early level, just do the following: Use Japanese and English subtitles. Study the sentences in order. When you're studying a new sentence, look up new words in a J-E dictionary and use the English subtitles to get a full understanding of the Japanese sentence. When reviewing, you're training your ability to understand the sentence by seeing the picture (or video if you did that), hearing the audio and reading the sentence all in Japanese. Mark a card wrong when you don't understand a word in the sentence or the meaning of the entire sentence. In addition, speak out the entire sentence twice and try to mimic the voice of the speaker.
In anki, set your "Leech" threshold very low. I put mine at 4. When a card is a leech, just leave it suspended and delete it later.
Edited: 2010-09-23, 3:25 am