Sentence Mining

I have read quite a bit about sentence mining, but never came around actually trying this out myself. Today i decided to start doing it, and i was quite surprised, how much fun it can be! Not to mention how valuable it is, in terms of acquiring new vocabulary, readings, and additional information about certain words, while i was digging for sentences. So, today I opened up one of my Anki Vocabulary decks, and started to copy and paste out words to Yahoo Japan 辞書, and sentences back into it.

My priority for now will be to add at least one sentence for each vocab piece, in my three vocabulary decks, which contain around 1370 words right now. I will then copy out all the new vocabulary pieces from the example sentences, to add them to their own vocabulary cards, to which i then add new example sentences. By doing this, i should be able to acquire not only a large amount of vocabulary, but also new knowledge by looking up the definitions for a word with the help of the dictionary. And the best thing is, that it doesn’t take away much time to hunt for sentences, because it is just a matter of copying and pasting from the website into Anki and vice versa. This study method should really help my reading comprehension, as well as my understanding of the language as a whole.

Now i will try to explain, why i choose to do this method with vocab cards, as opposed to an extra deck for sentences. It is because when i review a word, and having the sentence on the back, the review process is easy and fast. My review process is English word, Japanese translation, having 平仮名 and 漢字 on the back of the card. With the example sentence on the back, i have something to read, and to reinforce not only the already familiar words, but also the new words, contained in that sentence. When I review the new words when they are coming up, i will have an additional set of new vocab pieces, in a new example sentence, to familiarize myself with.

This turns the whole process of reviewing into a no-brainer. The initial learning process starts, once i choose a sentence, and analyze it for grammar and vocab. While i’m doing the reviews in Anki, i only have to remember the translation of the word. Once i turn the card over, to check for the correct answer, the sentence is there for me to read, to reinforce the vocab, and my understanding of the sentence. The vocab is in context of a sentence, which in turn reinforces new vocab in random order, upon reviewing.

If i keep on doing this, starting out with my 1370 vocab cards in my existing decks, and with 2 or 3 new words in every example sentence, i would have and estimated amount of 4110 new words, and sentences. 4110 * 3 would be 12330 words and new sentences, with each new card building on information already there, containing some bits of new information, to be reinforced upon reviewing. How much easier can it get, i ask you?

The only downside to this i can see is, that by building up a large amount of information, i would end up in an enormous amount of reviews, in a short amount of time. Considering that a normal review takes only 5 up to 12 seconds, until i flip the cards over to check for the correct answer, this will be not so bad at all. The reading portion might take some time, but this will also be not so bad, it is always the same sentence per card. And if it really turns out to be too much, i can suspend or delete old cards, when they are mature enough, to be of no further use.

I will see how this will turn out, and write a follow up article about my experiences with this method, once i have done it for some time. Until then, i encourage you to try it out yourself, dear reader. Let me know how it goes.

2 responses to “Sentence Mining

  1. How well did your method work over time? What did you modify?

  2. Welcome!

    My way of learning the language changed numerous times. And every step made, what followed, a little bit easier. But none of them was really necessary looking back at it. Take the sentence method I was writing about here. I think it did help to ease the way into mass vocabulary learning, which I tried doing with Kanji in Context. This was too difficult, because my grammar was not at the level for it, so I started analyzing and writing down sentences by hand. This helped to become more familiar with sentence structures. It all helped, in its own way.

    The main change was when I got into Kanji Odyssey. Right from the start I choose random words, copied them into a text file, and started to use Google which got me into reading. So, in a way, it was the sentence method just in the other direction, and without SRS involved. Meaning that I haven’t copied or created a special deck for the sentences and words learned by reading.

    Other than that, I often changed my reading methods, and also my learning material. The method is not so important as is to know how you can learn best. Another important factor is time and energy that goes into learning. I think the most important is to use anything and everything to learn from, be it for adults, or for children shouldn’t matter.

    This has brought me to a level at which I can read comfortably, and depending on the reading material, being able to understand most of it. With listening it is the same. I can listen to and understand a good deal of every day spoken conversation, Anime, and podcasts. According to the results of old mock tests, I should also be able to pass the N2.

    My writing is still mediocre, because I was working more on input than on output. My speaking ability is so~so, but better than my writing, since I’ve been shadowing almost from the beginning. I might have been able to make progress, and the ways I am learning bear fruits, there is so much more to learn in all four fields, that it will still take a very long time to be able to truthfully say, I understand everything thrown at me at random, or that I can pick up a book, read and understand without looking anything up.

    I hope that answers your questions satisfactorily. If not, feel free to ask!


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