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May 8, 2009 3:25 PM

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 627
I thought I might start a thread like this to share some ideas I had on how one my approach different types of media to sentence-mine from.

I'll start off with the obvious one, manga. The strategy I use goes like this: I'l start reading, and anything that jumps out at me that I understand, I'll circle/highlight/etc.Just to generally mark it up for later. This way, it cuts down on the time it takes to go back through the book and find the sentences you learn, all the while, it streamlines the process so that you're not stopping every few lines to put another sentence in your SRS.

After I finish the manga, I'll go back through it and gather up all the sentences in bulk. I have my SRS set to only allow 20 new sentences per day. This way I gauge myself, and I don't do too much even when I just added 150 new sentences from the week or so of reading manga.

While reading, there are times when I see a word that I feel I may know, but I need confirmation. So with these, I'll markup, similar to marking up something I understand, and then look up the word in the dictionary for example sentences and the definition. The fun part is, when you discover the meaning of the word in question, and then the original sentence makes sense and you learn even more without much additional effort.

I actually haven't gotten much from lyrics. It seems like it'd be a perfect choice to start with and continue with since you're more likely to listen to a song many more times than the same episode of Dragonball. Plus, you're more likely to find the lyrics transcribed online. Not to mention, they're short! 3-5 minutes, but it makes a lot of difference.

My experience with this, however, has been that I'll look up the lyrics, read them, and generally, the meaning doesn't click in my head. But, this was back when I used bilingual dictionaries, so I imagine this'll be different with monolingual.

Anyways, this is how I would approach lyrics. I'd have the song on loop, while reading the lyrics along with the song. If there are any words that jump out at me as being comprehensible, then I'll look those up for example sentences. And, just like with manga, if there's a line I just understand, that gets tossed into the SRS, too. Once I've exhausted myself on that song, move to the next. Avoiding perfectionism is key here because, if you understand just part of a song, you'll feel you need to know the rest. I'd say, don't worry about it, just move on because if you listen to a lot of music, you'll experience this thing where you see the same words.. over and over and over. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the word そら 【空】, in songs.

And, as I said, songs are short, so feel free to jump from one to the next. Don't overplay it either. The goal is to just gain as much as you can so that you hear these words and phrases in songs and remember them in a context that suits them.

Plus, I imagine song lyrics to have a lot of words used in other forms of media as well.

With a movie, you're in a special situation. We'll say that, movies last on average anywhere from one and a half to two hours. I'm going with two hours for the sake of simplicity. What I'd do to sentence-mine a movie would go something like this:

At first, I'd watch the movie. And watch it again. Loop it until you really get the feel for the plot and situations. And, I'd also rip the audio on to my computer and cut them into small chunks (90 seconds a piece?). And just have these play on my iPod. And, whenever there's a spare moment, maybe try to imitate some of the dilalog on one of the chunks. And get it down. Then, move to another. Really getting a handle on the dialog.

If there are transcripts available for the movie, I'd be sure to read through those, and anything I understand immediately from reading gets tossed into the SRS for review. Likewise, I'll do this same thing for individual words that I'll look up. Since the movie is only a few hours at most, you get plenty of repetition and it's not too unwieldy (like all 500 something episodes of Dragonball (Z/GT)).

I'd probably give a month or two to learning the dialog of a movie. Again, not worrying about getting every line. Eventually those things that you don't know will just make their way into your head and you'll connect it to meaning later on with further exposure.

"What, wouldn't this just be the same as a move?" -- Not at all. Generally, an anime is going to run anywhere from 13-50 episodes with a few extreme shows like.. Dragonball Z. What I'd do here is probably just watch each episode, and imitate dialog along the way if I feel like it. Any words that stand out, I'll look up. If there's transcripts then I'm in luck.

If I can get written confirmation of what's said in anime, then I can read through, find what I understand immediate and look up interesting words for example sentences. Just go through each episode like this until I've gone through the series. Depending on the size of the show, this could be 2-3 months if you keep busy. It took me a day to work through one episode of Deathnote like this with the transcripts. So, going by this, it would take me a little over a month to go through the entire series (36 episodes?)

Parallel Texts
I suppose this would be violated the whole "monolingual" thing, but I'll go over this anyway. I would approach this similar to a combination of a movie and a manga. I'd likely read the English text while listening to the Japanese audio. After getting a feel for the story, I'd start into the Japanese text. Picking out obvious things that I understand immediately. (Please note that, when I say this, these things I pick out always include new information. Could be a Kanji reading, new way of saying something, or a completely new phrase). Also looking up ineresting words.

I'd probably keep reading the Japanese text with the Japanese audio until I could move my eyes over the words and read along with the audio. Devoting maybe two months to three months to a short story. Imitating the audio all the while.

Broadcast News
First off, I'm going to pick a New site/station that gives video, audio, and transcripts/textual versions of the news. I'd watch the short clips, listening and reading along. While doing this, be on the lookout for new things that I understand immediately given the context, etc. And, simply add those to my SRS. I'd probably employ narrow reading/watching/listening here and stick to the same story for a while until I get used to hearing the news anchor.

As usual, I'd likely imitate their speech, and try to read the text version along with the news anchor. I'd make use of the WWWJDIC for getting place names and people's names down.

Computers, Websites, etc.
This one is really fun. At least, for me it is. I changed my OS to a Japanese one, and my browser, email, and home page are in Japanese as well. With these, it's easy to learn since the computer is so interactive. Simply click on things, and be experimental with them. Usually, the logic of computer and Kanji sync up pretty well. Plus, with the extreme amount of katakana words, it's hard not to figure things out sometimes.

I'd also make good use of Wikipedia and for computer related terms. As for just general websites, like blogs, I'd likely just apply the same mechanics here as with manga, in that I'd just read, and find stuff to throw into the SRS while picking out interesting words to look up. And, being on the computer, this looking up is made pretty easy since I have a program where I just hit Alt+Space, type in a keyword, hit tab, and then enter a search query and hit enter and it opens the browser and search the dictionary instantly. This saves a ton of time. Anyone interested, that application is called Launchy.

This is kind of.. special in that there's that has drama transcripts on it. Not only the dialog, but a description of what's going on as well. So, you get lots of obvious stuff in text for for aquiring. :)

Even so, I'd just apply the same principles. Read the transcript while listening/watching and pick out things I understand immediately. And, of course, pick out interesting words to look up.

Anything I didn't cover? Feel free to share your approach. :)