Speak and Read Japanese: Fun Mnemonic Devices for Remembering Japanese Words and Their Meanings

    This new book (with a very long title) is made to teach Japanese vocabulary using mnemonics. Hey, we know a little bit about mnemonics! In fact, a lot of what's written in this book has been covered by Tofugu over the years, so you know this methodology is spot on.

    The book itself is a little over a hundred pages and focuses solely on vocabulary words and mnemonics to learn their readings and meanings. Each entry is fairly short, presenting the romaji, kanji, hiragana, and meaning. Then it gives a short (usually one sentence to a paragraph) explanation of the mnemonic.

    speak and read japanese fun mnemonic devices for remembering japanese words and their meanings

    The mnemonics are basic, and they're usually the first thing most people think of when trying to connect sounds to meanings. Some entries break down the meaning of the kanji behind the word; others go further into the radicals of those kanji as well.

    japanese mnemonic for word basho

    But not all entries get this level of attention, making a lot of them feel like unfinished thoughts. It's as if the author wanted to go into radicals and kanji first and then vocabulary with mnemonics, but was forced to limit himself—which makes sense if you're trying to put all that information into a physical book. But the book is quite short, making that line of reasoning weak, at best.

    Basically, if you're looking for a small book you can pick up to help with basic Japanese vocabulary through mnemonics, this will do that. It doesn't cover a ton of vocabulary, but it does cover some of the most common words you'll encounter through your first year or two studying Japanese. But this content, and much more, can be found for free online through sites like Memrise, so this is a limited product compared to something more approachable like a site designed around mnemonics.

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