What is it about these MCDs? Part 3: The Format

This entry is part of 14 in the series Best of AJATT+ Forum
This entry is part of 7 in the series MCD Revolution

The magic of MCDs comes from using super super simple cards to learn complex things.

The simplicity can’t be stressed enough.

Back in my misled ganbaru days of learning Japanese, I used to make cards for writing kanji compounds that looked like this:

FRONT:

りょうり

cooking

BACK:

料理

That doesn’t look so bad, does it? But it is. It’s a bad, bad card. Bad. This ↑ is not how to learn. Not effectively.

Never quiz yourself on two kanji at once. Unless you’re simultaneously writing with a pencil in your left hand and your right hand, you will never write two kanji at one time. No matter what you’re writing, whether it’s 元気 or 財団法人自治体国際化協会, you’re going to write it one kanji at a time.

After struggling with MCDs in the beginning, forum sempai 安藤 sees the light:

Once they finally clicked for me, it was like a new world opening up. … I honestly couldn’t see myself finally learning terms like 注意欠陥・多動性障害 or 朝鮮民主主義人民共和国 with the “traditional” sentence card format, but, as should be obvious from the fact that I totally just typed those out from memory, I can learn them super-easily now since instead of having one card with a nine kanji term I’ve gotta remember, I’ve got nine cards with one kanji to remember. 1/9th of the difficulty!

[link]

MCDs = Making hard stuff easy. Making you rock at [foreign language of choice].

Series NavigationSun Tsu and Language Learning >>
Series Navigation

  2 comments for “What is it about these MCDs? Part 3: The Format

  1. Matt
    March 10, 2012 at 00:59

    Just wanted to add.

    MCDs are great for more than just kanji compounds.  I have trouble keeping straight in my head even various hiragana only words that sound similar, so I split them into separate parts based on their dips in pronunciation.  This actually helps me 1.  learn better pronunciation by practicing enunciating each part separately and 2.  memorize non kanji words that sound similar more clearly.

     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *