Monday, May 20, 2013

Fun Ways of Memorizing Japanese

That Steven Spielberg, he's really good at making movies -- you could even say he's "Jaws." In Japanese, the word for being skillful at something is 上手 joh-zu, which happens to be how the English movie title Jaws is pronounced, hence making a fun (?) little pun. Making word connections like this is one of the ways I helped myself learn the language -- I still remember doodling a little shark coming out of the water in my textbook next to this word -- and it's one way to help "trick" your brain into remembering new information. There are many other ways to learn with these mnemonic games. For example, you might memorize the word りんご ringo (apple) by picturing famous Beatle Ringo Starr eating an apple, and to learn the word 死ぬ shinu (to die), just memorize the sentence "She knew he was going to die." Having trouble remembering the word 揺らす yurasu (to shake)? Well, get out on the dance floor and shake yurasu! You can use these mind games to memorize kanji too, since 肉 niku ("meat") actually looks like a pair or ribs, and the kanji 古 furui ("old") looks like a little gravestone. You can even learn hiragana and katakana using these kinds of mind tricks.

Some unique ways of memorizing Japanese.