Learning Japanese the easy way with smart.fm!

The iknow interface @ smart.fm
The iknow interface @ smart.fm

I’m planning a trip to Japan, so have been brushing up on my Japanese. It’s been nine years since I’ve been to Japan, so I’ve need to brush up on both hirigana, and katakana. I haven’t even started thinking about kanji.

smart.fm (formally iknow.co.jp) uses the concept of spaced repetition. This is a method of reminding you about about something just before you forget it. While this sounds sort of weird, it’s a proven concept in memory.

While you can learn Japanese at smart.fm, it’s actually a learning platform for any sort of lists you’d like to learn. I’m learning the countries that exist in Asia and the Pacific (such as Azerbaijan and British Indian Ocean Territories), a little bit of Norwegian, and body parts of the human body, in Japanese!

In the spirit of body parts, here are some of my hints:

  • Associate a word with something you know, preferably the more outrageous the better. For instance, the word for body is karada or 体. Karada sounds a lot like “Canada” so perhaps think about a Canada flag tattoo’d across your body. Now when you see body, you see the “Canada” flag, and think Karada.
  • Teach someone. Even someone who doesn’t care. Or is imaginary. Teaching someone is a powerful method of remembering something. Try making a youtube video!

Here’s another screenshot of the iknow interface…

The word for run, with the hirigana and kanji of the word.
The word for run, with the hirigana and kanji of the word.

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