What is the one useful study/learning technique you use that you're pretty sure most learners don't use?

For me, it’s Googling a new word to understand the usage and context through pictures and linked articles/videos. Of course, I have to set the regional results to Japan, if not I’ll get most of the results in Chinese.

You would think this would be more popular, and I’m sure it is among heavy Anki users. But in local study groups over the years, no one seemed to use this.


I know this isn’t the kind of answer you were looking for, but I wish more Anki users utilized the “review recent wrong cards” function a lot more. I told my friend about this awhile ago and every night before bed he does a quick review of all the cards he messed up that day. His retention rate went up quite a bit just by spending the extra 5 minutes to do a further review of the cards.


That sounds pretty useful actually. Is this option only in the desktop version because I can’t find it in the app.


i read compound works backwards, from middle to beginning, from middle to end.
you need to focus hard to do this properly which really ingrains the reading in my memory. when i have done this i can recall the word alot better.

example: 社交的 しゃこうてき

しゃ てき こう
こう てき しゃ
てき こう しゃ


In the app just long press on the deck > custom study > review forgotten cards then select 1 for just the day.

you can fail cards in this deck as many times as you want since it’s not actually part of the SRS system or affect anything else. once you’re done just long press again on the new deck it created and hit delete!


Doesn’t that get confusing with homonyms?
渋滞 じゅうたい traffic jam
体重 たいじゅう body weight


That’s kinda cool. There’s a similar technique called back-chaining which is used by Speech therapists and Pimsleur.

Back-chaining - Wikipedia.


didnt have a problem with those yet. when i do this i also focus hard on the kanji visually - the goal is to make the onyomi reading stick to the individual kanji. so there is already the distinction.
noticing the homonym is another layer of focus on the word too, one more hook to remember it well.


I sometimes like to read or watch content about English grammar in Japanese, because the explanations are essentially just reverse Japanese lessons. As an added bonus you get to enjoy peoples annoyance at having to deal with things like inconsistent pluralisation e.g. dogs and moose


I find this helpful as well. I don’t seek out that content specifically, but it comes up during podcasts I listen to.


This isn’t so much a technique as a tool/arts and craft project that I’m perhaps a lil overly proud of but I just folded a sheet of paper to make a bookmark that doubles as a vocab sheet while I’m reading manga. I find this much more convenient than keeping a separate notebook/notecard both for writing in it when I encounter a new word and for referring back to the vocab as I’m reading.


I set my phone to Japanese pretty early on, and never changed it back even when I needed to do something difficult or new or urgent. This forces me to practice reading and learn new words in context all the time, even under stress, and I think has been super effective. It also caused many websites to switch to Japanese even on desktop, and when that happens I always keep it that way.


I get song lyrics with Japanese & English translations, arrange them in a word document by column, then translate them again (usually from Jap to Eng because my English is better). This allows me to deconstruct grammar and understand what is lost or adjusted in translation. Kinda hassle though, so it’s not something I do that often.


Two things:

  • Japanese Wikipedia: Sometimes when surfing en or de Wikipedia I take a look at the Japanese entry.
  • Aty@​Lunch: Due to Corona I have to eat alone at work, so I’m using the time to either watch some news stream or my favourite otter. The text given in the videos is bilingual (English and Japanese) and watching the videos is some kind of light repetition.

Same here, I did it at a time where I knew about 1000 kanjis, which was challenging. At first I was really struggling in the menus, and couldn’t read fast enough the small messages that your phone/apps show you and disappear quickly. But after a year or so I’ve completely gotten used to it, and it’s been a huge boost to my reading ability, also it gives exposure to specific (technology) vocabulary that is useful but that you don’t see very often in books or other sources. Last but not least, it’s the best encryption against people trying to snoop into your private stuff in your phone, they will be so lost, it’s funny to watch :slight_smile:


To add onto this - if you’re on Android I would highly recommend the app Kaku which helps speed up the process of translating things you don’t know tenfold. Or even if you don’t set your phone’s default language to JPN you can still get some use out of the app imo!


This is obvious, but a surprising amount of people don’t do it.


Better than anything, write.


I love writing kanji and I’m convinced it’s helped me a lot carve them in my long term memory (you need to do it a lot for that to happen, but it does happen).
But for some reason a lot of people in the japanese learning community say that it’s useless.


Assuming you meant writing sentences, many people may not do it because they don’t have anyone willing to regularly correct their mistakes, which I think is necessary for it to actually help.


I used to print and copy on paper NHK web easy articles as they are short. These days, I copy a bit from light novels from time to time Eg Once a week, I would copy the first page or so of a volume. I find it really beneficial and it really helps with comprehension.