JapanNewbie here, introducing you to a new Japanese study product – PlaySay.
PlaySay is a labor of love by a fellow Japan-head. To put it simply, the PlaySay team has put the vocabulary that you need to know for each of the JLPT exam levels into MP3 format, and added text and audio tricks to make it beneficial for use in self-study.
I could try to explain it in detail, but you can hear and see a demo of exactly how the mp3 files will behave when installed on your mp3 player right here. Click on the “click speaker for audio” image, and watch the graphic of the (now old school) iPod as the text scrolls by.
Pretty self explanatory huh? One speaker (no pun intended) in English, the other Japanese. The text in English and Japanese scrolls across the screen. Get it in your head and do better on the JLPT exams.
You can purchase the files online as a complete set of JLPT 1-4 files, or you can purchase just the exam sets that you need. The full JLPT 1-4 file set is a 42% discount on what it would cost to buy them individually, so hey… if you think you’ll be doing Japanese for a while…
So I’ve got the files loaded and I’m listening to them… now what?
As far as how to use PlaySay effectively, I would recommend that you focus on active listening…
It’s important not to zone out and let the Japanese-English rotation become “background noise” in your head while you’re thinking about something else. This is easier said than done… The mp3 files are just reading off vocabulary after all. Not exactly the most enthralling stuff. If you need to, write the words as you hear them (the Kanji appears on the display of your MP3 player), or repeat them yourself a few times before the next words come up. Just don’t zone out.
Also, have a dictionary handy. There are no example sentences with this product, so whenever you hear a word that you don’t know, be sure to look it up in a dictionary so you can see how it is used.
You can also try taking the English headphone out of your ear, and only listening to the Japanese side to see if you can recall the English meaning, and vice-versa.
Also, remember that though vocabulary is a huge part of the JLPT exam, there’s more to it than that. Be sure to balance your study with other study methods as well!
Anyway, enjoy. This is good stuff, and since JLPT is in December, you’ve got a good six months to prepare! I passed JLPT 1 back in 2003 (barely), but I think I’ll take it again this year to see if I can raise my score, and as incentive to keep my Japanese skills sharp!.