in due course

‘Learning’ in the library

It’s been a couple of days but my internet at home hasn’t been performing which, considering that this is our THIRD wifi box in about 2 months, isn’t something I’m very happy about. Plus, now I’m forced to go to the library to do my work and unfortunately I’m one of those people that finds it hard to do work in the library… so here I am, not doing work!

I’ve been in work (I work at Russell & Bromley) for the past 3 days so I haven’t had much time to learn any Japanese, all I’ve managed to do is go over my kanji flashcards but the good news is that I’m quite up to scratch with all the kanji we’ve learned this semester. I find myself making up the stupidest things to remember what the pictures mean and their readings, for example:

合格 – ごうかく(goukaku – to pass an exam)  ‘kaku’ also means to write (though the actual kanji for ‘to write’ is 書く – they are just said the same) and ‘gou’ sounds kind of like a drawn out ‘go’… therefore ‘go kaku’ (go writing!) could be like some sort of enthusiastic cheer about how one should carry on writing to pass their exam? (Yes, this really is an example of how I remember the readings of kanji!) I remember what the actual picture means through a combination of learning the compounds for each kanji (Wiki Dictionary is very good for this) and what they actually look like, e.g. 合 means both, to unite and a small chamber, I imagine it to a desk with a screen in front of it in an exam hall. 格 means style or pattern.. I can’t make any sense of this so I look at each compound: 木 means wood (pencil) 各 means individual.. so each individual has a pencil in an exam hall to pass their exam ‘goooooooooooKAKU!’

Obviously not all kanji need such a complicated explanation so that I remember them, but sometimes the kanji have little correlation to what they actually mean so this helps!

As said earlier, I really recommend Wiki Dictionary for looking up kanji, it gives you what the kanji means, the different readings, the compounds and sometimes a little bit of history of how the kanji originally looked on the oracle bone script to how it looks today. All of these things seriously help you to remember them, just like you will remember what 合格 means now!

I’m going back to Liverpool tomorrow (where I come from) for my birthday. Yes, 25 years on this Earth.. bleurgh. It also means that I’m again not going to do any work so I really should get a move on now!

Ja matane (I’m on the university computers and they can’t write in Japanese!)


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