Make no mistake, I am in no way critical of KameSame which is a great app that makes all the difference to my learning to produce, rather than recognize, Kanji and vocab. But at least once a day, something like this drives me crazy …
You know, I’m rather proud of my having come up, within a couple of minutes, of no less than six Japanese words that mean something from the general semantic field of “feeling”, but KameSame still wants the seventh (or maybe the eighth, or ninth, what do I know?), and I’m running out of options. Even more notorious, in my book, are the concepts of “close/neighborhood” and “soon” for which Japanese seems to have an almost infinite supply of synonyms. (Or are they?)
As I said, this is no criticism of KameSame (hence I’m also not posting in the dedicated thread for that app). The “Hint: it’s not …” feature is a great improvement. This is more about my ability to memorize not one Japanese equivalent of a simple concept, but rather a whole list. For learning to actively use a language this seems, to me, not necessarily the first step. It’s fine if I can read/understand seven ways of expressing “soon”, but for actually saying myself “I’ll come soon” I suppose I could do with one or two. Even there are slight semantic differences between the words, appreciation for those will more likely come with practice (as if I’d ever get there ) than with learning vocab.
I reckon I do wonder if the energy and time required for reproducing lists of synonyms is wisely invested or not. And I also wonder, if so, then whether people have strategies for doing this. One idea I came up with is picking a different translation for apparent synonyms. So for instance, I try to learn 情熱 as “passion” and 熱心 as “enthusiasm”. But then this doesn’t help me with the other direction, and besides, I may be picking entirely the wrong semantic differentiation.
Any better ideas?