How to use Free Software to learn Japanese, and more.

Is it OK to make cards for sentences I don't fully understand?

December 20, 2022 — Tatsumoto Ren

I would make a card and save it for later instead of learning it right away. Come back to it after some time. You can also swap the sentence with a simpler one from a sentence bank or from a dictionary.

If you're using TSCs, you can learn MT sentences just fine. You're not restricted to only 1T sentences. When you learn a new TSC, you learn the target word. You're being tested on the target word. Everything else on the card serves the purpose of increasing your comprehension. So because it is not mandatory to know the context, you can pay little attention to it.

Ideally you want to stick to the 1T rule and only make TSCs for sentences you understand. A good sentence can help you understand the target word better. But if there's no other choice, you can go with a sentence that's not fully comprehensible. If you just started sentence mining, or you're a beginner learning from a premade deck, there will be MT sentences. It's okay to tolerate them.

When learning a TSC that contains an MT sentence, or just a sentence that is 1T, but its meaning is somewhat blurry, what you really need to make sure is that you fully understand the target word, even if the sentence is not 100% clear. Otherwise, there's just no point in learning a word you don't understand.

Also keep in mind that repping should be fast. Don't get caught in trying to understand a sentence in the middle of doing your reps. It's just going to stretch your review times. The SRS exists to minimize forgetting. Language acquisition should be happening during immersion.

Tags: faq