Tag Archives: learning resources

Kanji in Context – Samurai – Racism – Evil Dead


Look whose evil now! This is a line from a musical called Evil Dead the Musical. You might know the horror movies, provided you are old enough. But did you know that there was a musical version of it also? Well, I didn’t. And I was rather surprised when I found out, under the most unlikely circumstances imaginable. I was typing a chapter, looking for an appropriate picture, and all of a sudden I saw it. It seemed to be quite a success, not only in Canada, it’s country of origin, but also abroad in Japan. Without further ado, I went to look for it over at Youtube, found it, and enjoyed an hour of laughter and fun.

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Aiming Higher

My method of learning Japanese up to now can be described with three words “Above and Below”. That is, if you are willing to call it a method, which is anything but to be honest. What it means is, that I am working with material way above my own level, and with material that was and is way below it. My passive knowledge has grown quite a bit, the active abilities are way behind, which is still considered to be normal. From the first day I started working on the Kanji Odyssey project, I started reading, or to be more precise deciphering the content of the book I was trying to read. My grammar knowledge was way below, my vocabulary knowledge was little, and on the whole it was a pain to read.

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Learning Something vs. The Deep Desire to Learn Something

I want to learn how to play tennis, to draw, to write short novels, to code, 折り紙 (おりがみ) paper-folding, to play the piano! But how should I go about doing it? But of course! Lets look for the answer on the Internet. You will find that an innumerable number of search results will turn up. And now it is your first task to sift through them to find some of the more helpful results to guide you. Say you want to learn to play the piano. Type in “learn piano” in your favourite search engine and look at the results. “Learn piano with …”, “You can learn the piano …”, “Learn to read notes with …” Doesn’t look very promising, because every second website offers their content on a pay-per-view basis. Pay 59,99$ and you get access to my lessons, a community, and monthly magazines! This is not very helpful at all in case your wish is to find out whether or not piano is for you in the first place.

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Recently I started debating with myself whether or not it is worth to learn 四字熟語 [よじじゅくご] 4 character idomatic compounds and [ことわざ] proverbs in isolation. I am just not sure if its worth the effort to memorize them, meaning to add them to Anki, or simply start to read without the intention to memorize any at all. On the one hand I find both very interesting, on the other hand there are other aspects of the language that I have yet to learn, which are more important. It would also make for a good group project to kick off, to add them to flashcards, and then review them. What’s your opinion? Should I learn them now, or at least read them all, or should I better leave them for later?