Japanese Tutorial 4: The Revised Japanese Model Deck

I’ve been studying Japanese over the last few months. It’s a hard language, primarily due to the challenge of learning Kanji, and so I’ve been messing around with my card models, trying to find a combination of flashcards that will let me remember Kanji without becoming boring or overwhelming. 3800 flashcards later, I feel like I’ve landed on a card model that does the job fairly well. Now I’d like to share my results with all of you, so you can use them (and modify them to suit your own needs).

First off, a warning. This flashcard model is a beast. With 23 (!) fields, it’s by far the most complex flashcard model I’ve developed, and using it is kind of convoluted. You get used to it after a few hundred cards (after a thousand or two, it becomes second nature), but at first it’s likely going to feel clunky for the computer-savvy, and may be downright uncomfortable for the not-so-computer-savvy. Perhaps later on, based upon comments and suggestions here, I can make a more streamlined model that gets the same results.

For now, I’ve tried to make this a bit easier by making a video tutorial for the deck.

highly recommend watching that if you’d like to get this thing working for you.

Before that, you’ll want to download, unzip and install the deck: Download link

Then watch the video:

Then, if you’d like a written out summary of what goes where, look through these annotated images:

Vocabulary Cards (“I’d like to teach myself the word ‘音楽家’ (musician)”)

These cards can be used for simple words you’re learning straight from pictures (dog, cat) or abstract words that fit into example sentences (The cat is in the box). Click the picture to enlarge.


Word Form Cards (“I’d like to teach myself ‘でした’, the past tense of a word I already know, ‘です’ )

Use these cards to teach yourself verb conjugations, noun declensions, etc. Basically, if you see something in a sentence that’s a new form of a word you already know, use these cards. Click the picture to enlarge.


Word Order Cards (“I want to help myself remember that でした goes at the end of a sentence.”)

Any time you encounter a sentence with a surprising word order, use these cards to help yourself remember which word goes where. Click the picture to enlarge.


That’s it! Enjoy and feel free to post comments, suggestions and questions in the comments.

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