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Yojijukugo (四字熟語) learning tips?

#1
I've been studying to take kanken 3-kyu this summer and yojijukugo is by far my weakest area. The examples I've seen are much more obscure than those used on 5-kyu (which I took and passed earlier this year).  
Unlike kanji and vocab, I don't encounter many of these yojijukugo in my usual studies, nor can I find example sentences using them. While I know it's a small portion of the test, I'd still like to get a decent score. 

Any tips on learning yojijukugo short of rote memorization?
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#2
Try cloze deletion
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#3
Have tried http://yourei.jp/ for example sentences? I think the 3-kyu test is a really high level test for a foreigner to attempt. Are you beyond the N1? When it comes to preparing for tests, I don't think there's any getting away from rote memorization. At least not for me. I haven't specifically tried studying 四字熟語 myself but I've noticed that most 漢語 consist of 2 character words. And the 3 or 4 character words are just taking the 2 kanji words as a base and adding onto them it seems, like compound words. Even the word 四字熟語 is basically a compound word: 四字 and 熟語. So while rote memorizing, maybe break down the longer words into smaller words.

But from Googling that test, it seems like it's a level up from me so what do I know. Good luck.
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#4
Sure, a lot of 四字熟語 are simply compound words, but a lot of them are also 故事成語. While, for example, you could argue that 四面楚歌 is a compound of 四面 and 楚歌, that alone doesn't really do much to help you understand the meaning. In these cases it's a better idea to learn the story behind compound.
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#5
http://home.earthlink.net/~4jword4/index3c.htm

Approximately 3,300 Japanese Four-Character Idiomatic Compounds (四字熟語・よじ じゅくご・yojijukugo)

audio in
http://nihongo.monash.edu/cgi-bin/wwwjdic?1C
or
forvo.com

OK, uploaded the stuff here
http://users.bestweb.net/~siom/martian_mountain/4ji.rar
Edited: 2017-06-06, 10:44 am
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#6
That's a fantastic resource. It also makes my head hurt thinking about memorizing 3,300 四字熟語. Of course, any adult native speaker probably knows all of them. Just when I was patting myself on the back for my progress, this happens. Haha.
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#7
(2017-06-06, 11:17 am)kraemder Wrote: That's a fantastic resource.  It also makes my head hurt thinking about memorizing 3,300 四字熟語.  Of course, any adult native speaker probably knows all of them.  Just when I was patting myself on the back for my progress, this happens.  Haha.

You have probably already seen this, but if you haven't I would recommend Katsuo's Yojijukugo sheet  (which is maybe based on the above list of yojijukugo).

It's in the second post in this thread:
https://forum.koohii.com/thread-2624.html

It includes kanji kentei levels and a frequency rating as well.
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#8
(2017-06-06, 6:06 am)kraemder Wrote: Have tried http://yourei.jp/ for example sentences?  I think the 3-kyu test is a really high level test for a foreigner to attempt.  Are you beyond the N1?  When it comes to preparing for tests, I don't think there's any getting away from rote memorization.  At least not for me.  I haven't specifically tried studying 四字熟語 myself but I've noticed that most 漢語 consist of 2 character words.  And the 3 or 4 character words are just taking the 2 kanji words as a base and adding onto them it seems, like compound words.  Even the word 四字熟語 is basically a compound word: 四字 and 熟語.  So while rote memorizing, maybe break down the longer words into smaller words.  

But from Googling that test, it seems like it's a level up from me so what do I know.  Good luck.

Never heard of that site, thanks! I passed the N1 a couple years ago. While there are certainly some impractical parts to the test, studying for kanken has improved my literacy significantly. Everything up to level 2 is what a high school/college educated Japanese person is expected to know, so it's a great way to evaluate your progress. 
I think you may be right. Especially for tests, you can never completely avoid rote memorization. I just don't want to do any more than necessary.

Appreciate the advice
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#9
(2017-06-06, 12:09 pm)harahachibu Wrote:
(2017-06-06, 11:17 am)kraemder Wrote: That's a fantastic resource.  It also makes my head hurt thinking about memorizing 3,300 四字熟語.  Of course, any adult native speaker probably knows all of them.  Just when I was patting myself on the back for my progress, this happens.  Haha.

You have probably already seen this, but if you haven't I would recommend Katsuo's Yojijukugo sheet  (which is maybe based on the above list of yojijukugo).

It's in the second post in this thread:
https://forum.koohii.com/thread-2624.html

It includes kanji kentei levels and a frequency rating as well.
Damn this is awesome. The frequency rating is a big help. 


On a side note, I'd be surprised if most native speakers knew every yojijukugo judging by how infrequently the rarer ones appear in everyday texts.
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#10
I've just updated the spreadsheet mentioned above to reflect the new joyo kanji list. The main changes are in level 2.

Some ways to learn Yoji Jukugo:

1. Listen to the audio over and over (so that reading or hearing part of it will prompt the missing bit).
2. Read definitions in Japanese (because that's what comes up in the KanKen test). A good source for these is prep books and old test papers.
3. Find & compile sentences with the expressions in context.
4. If there is a story behind the expression then read it (e.g. 四面楚歌、呉越同舟).
5. Learn the meanings in English as well.
6. If you know Heisig's (or other) English keywords for individual kanji then make them into short English phrases with the kanji in order. E.g.
暗雲低迷 dark clouds, low and astray
安心立命 relax your heart and stand up to fate
夏炉冬扇 summer hearth and winter fan
疑心暗鬼 a doubting heart in the darkness sees oni
驚天動地 a wonder of heaven that moves the ground

7. Same as in number six except use Japanese, i.e. add a few simple words and turn the expression into a phrase. In some cases these will be similar to the definitions in number 2. ON-readings will often be replaced by kun.
8. There are various games & puzzles available for yoji jukugo. Find some you enjoy and use often.

Regarding prep books, many of them include a list of around two hundred yoji jukugo with definitions for the level targeted. These would usually cover about 80% of those found on the actual test.
Edited: 2017-06-08, 12:45 am
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