ＨＥＬＬＯ！ Ｉ ＡＭ ＱＵＩＺＢＯ™！And, welcome to January’s Japanese Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online’s Japanese Word of the Weekday! But, it does not have to be the beginning of a new year or even a new day to begin making the changes in your life for the better. But, of course, rest is also important, so we have assigned only every weekday of the month to present to you a Japanese vocabulary word or phrase. It is the hope that you can use this as a challenge to get into the habit of revising/studying. See what methods work best for you to make you
If you are following the original pattern of this month-long challenge, then you would be approaching the second to last day of the second week! That is quite impressive to take time out for two weeks in order to bring yourself further on your Japanese language learning journey. But, do not worry if you missed a day or two, as you can return at any time, or you can use any of the weekends between. However, we have also left weekends open for very dedicated students and visitors so that you can extend your learning sessions with the many Japanese language learning resources that we will continue to create at our gracious host website ieindigoeast.com.
This challenge would be a great opportunity to begin learning how to write in Japanese, as well. We have many resources to assist you in beginning with reading and writing 平仮名, (ひらがな・hiragana). It takes time, but learning one character is one more character than you knew before. And, the more you learn, the more you will be able to learn. So, do not hesitate to start your learning momentum!
Speaking of which, let us get that momentum started right now, and let us NihonGO!!
Word(s) of the Weekday:
Noun (名詞)、suru verb (「名詞＋する」の動詞)、Transitive Verb（他動詞）
- Rote learning
JLPT N3 |common word (常用語)
There are a few ways to express the idea of rote learning or rote memorisation, however not everyone may know the definition of rote learning or memorisation. So, today, we have a special quick explanation from Kiki and Koko with their Helpful Hints.
We will be right back with “Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko” after these messages.
Thank you for your patience! We are back with “Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko”!
Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko:
We’re Kiki+Koko, your guides to Japanese language and culture, helping you on your Japanese language learning journey every step of the way! And, today, we’re going to give you less of an instructional as it is an editorial, our two pence, as it were on the concept of rote learning.
Most people define rote memorisation as learning by repetition. Not everyone is a fan of rote memorisation, but as we mentioned in our last Helpful Hints corner, the best way to learn is to use multiple methods. And, whilst the idea of repeating multiplication tables may bring horror to some, many others can now quickly recall these and build on that knowledge.
Rote memorisation may have a bad reputation, but we think there’s an important place for it. Anything that requires deep understanding, context, or other adjacent skills may not be the best fit for rote learning, but something quick and straightforward that stands on its own without context is a great candidate for rote memorisation.
Learning the stroke order for Japanese or Chinese characters or their pronunciations technically stands as good candidates for simply repeating them over and over. However, that will only get you so far, as it’s important to connect any concept with other ideas in order to strengthen them in your memory.
Rote memorisation can leave things in your short term memory, only letting you remember them for the next test or quiz. But, if you pair rote memorisation with other activities that engage your senses such as creating your own sentences or speaking them aloud, listening to them in context, et cetera, then you can really get a lot out of the bit of droning you have to do with rote memorisation.
However, to be fair, sort of self-referential concepts like counting or ordinal concepts like spelling or alphabets like the order of 伊呂波,(いろは・iroha), or poems, or lines to a script, instructions on how to fold 折り紙, (おりがみ・origami) or a recipe–These are things that kind of fall into the category of being memorised by rote. But, again, you still get the best results when you engage your mind, thinking critically about why whatever it is happens to be in that order, or what that order is doing, or why it’s doing it.
So, like it or not, there are times you’ll simply have to memorise concepts or items by rote. There are concepts where the explanation as to why they are the way that they are won’t make any mental connections for you or won’t make it make any more sense. And, that’s when you just have to sit down and memorise it.
But, there is something very zen about it, but not like colloquially zen, like actually zen–sort of meditating on the concept, the concentration, the motion of writing something over and over. It can be colloquially zen if you look at it the right way, quite relaxing. It’s all in the attitude and the environment. Sitting in a hot classroom in the middle of summer repeating phrases over and over may not be very relaxing, but if you’re sitting at home at your desk, rhythmically scratching at your sheets of paper, it’s like an oasis where you’re getting one step closer to your goals.
Be sure to always recognise your goals, but don’t forget to be present in the journey towards them.
We hope that helps!! Until the next lesson!
Thank you, Kiki and Koko, for your perspective on rote memorisation. As a computer robot, I cannot feel the negativity towards repetition, as I quite enjoy it. There is a certainty to mechanisms continuing to produce the same result. Some may call this insanity, but I call it:
１０ ＰＲＩＮＴ ”ＩＮＦＩＮＩＴＥ ＬＯＯＰ”
２０ ＧＯＴＯ １０
But, nothing in this realm is infinite, including the length of this special corner, so let us continue onto the example sentences!
わたしは ひらがなの かきかたと よみかたを やっと ならい はじめました。
watashi wa hiragana no kakikata to yomikata wo yatto narai hajimemashita.
I finally started learning how to read and write hiragana.
きおくを たすける くふうで おぼえてみましたが、けっきょくのところ、 ただに あんきしてしまいました。
kioku wo tsukeru kufuu de oboete mimashita ga, kekkyoku no tokoro, tada ni anki shiteshimaimashita.
I tried to memorise it with a mnemonic device, but in the end, I just ended up memorising by rote.
がくしゅうするため、なぜ どうしを こう かつようさせるか わかるのが ゆうようだが、
gakushuu suru tame, naze doushi wo kou katsuyou saseru ka wakaru no ga yuuyou daga,
It’s useful to understand why verbs are conjugated in this way in order to learn, but
tsukaukoto wo shizenteki ni suru tame, tada ni anki shinakereba naranai wa.
In order to make them natural to use, you just have to memorise it by rote.
Hopefully, these sentences helped you understand a little bit more about how today’s vocabulary word is used. That is all of the time we have for today’s instalment of Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online’s Japanese Word of the Weekday! It is the hope that you will continue to join us for more of this special corner as well as more of our Japanese language and culture resources. Just because the activity of today is complete does not mean that your daily learning journey has to stop here. You can have a look at previous Word of the Week articles for even more Japanese vocabulary. You can be sure that you are caught up with the latest by visiting ieindigoeast.com, and clicking the sidebar link labelled 今週の単語 | Word of the Week, or go to ieindigoeast.com/kikiandkokoletsnihongo and scroll down until you see a smiling blue face on the Word of the Week banner, and you can access the archives. (That is the face of me!)
Be sure to subscribe to our Electronic Mailing List of Tomorrow, today, using the form at the bottom of the web page so you can be the first to see the latest from Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!!, Indigo East, and SpeRaToBo. And, remember to return back to previous articles and lessons to review/revise. Also consider following our new page on Twitter and Instagram to support the spread of this site in a friendly domination of Earth that will help more people. Or, if you are enjoying the content that we are creating, or want to spread this content to more people to be able to access it for free, you can join our patreon, patreon.com/ieindigoeast or you can leave a TIP in the TIP♡JAR to keep it going with no strings attached. If you cannot support in this way, then we are just super happy that you are here anyway! It supports the content when you participate, and it is appreciated!
Thank you so much for learning with us!