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How should I review monolingual word cards?

January 17, 2023 — Tatsumoto

A word card has just one word on the front. It's different from a sentence card which has a sentence on the front.

If the word you're testing yourself on is a concrete noun, recall how it looks or what it is. Usually concrete nouns represent objects that you can see, like 鼯鼠 or 翡翠. Your task is to recall how to read the word and kind of imagine how it looks like. If the word is not written in kanji, then just recall how it looks. It's a good idea to have a picture of it on the back of the card to test yourself.

Because this is a monolingual card, you are supposed to have a monolingual definition on the back of the card. The definition is there for you to understand what the word means. As I've said many times, don't recall the whole definition verbatim. That's way too much work, takes too long and uses too much brain power. Your goal isn't to memorize the definition, it's to memorize the meaning of the word. The definition is just one way of writing that meaning.

If the word is not a concrete noun, you're better off making a TSC instead.

Tags: faq