Learning Japanese words

A little while ago, I wrote about helping our elder daughter with learning her Japanese writing characters - Hiragana.  She's been going really well with it and practising a little every day. 

We've also downloaded a great little app onto my phone and her tablet called Learn Japanese Hiragana. She's been using this quite a lot to practice her hiragana recognition and in doing so has been learning Japanese words. Although the app says it's for 2 to 5 year olds - I think that must be for Japanese kids learning their own language. It's fun and nice and easy to use. The same company also has another app with the same format for learning Katakana (another form of Japanese writing used for foreign words). Our daughter will download that next when she's got the hang of the Hiragana.

For now, I've just given her some resources to help her learn all the words she's finding through her hiragana practice.  This is how I used to learn French, German and Spanish words when I was at school and university!

Basically, it's using small cards. On each card you write the

Japanese word on one side, and the English translation on the other side.  I used to keep my word cards in a big empty chocolate tin (we had a few left over from Christmas presents).

So, earlier this year, when I received a large tin of chocolates for my birthday, I saved the tin with this in mind!

Today I got out a box of card off-cuts and the tin for her, and she's been writing out the words that she has been learning onto them - English on one side, and the Japanese word - in hiragana on the other!

Now she can use her word cards to practice her Japanese vocabulary and hiragana by testing herself just reading the words and speaking them, but also writing them.

Have you ever learned a foreign language? How did you learn and practice the words? Do you have any tips and ideas to share?

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