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Flowerpoddess
February 21st, 2012, 11:01
Hello!

I've got a few questions and hope someone can help me out.

1. First it's about Kanji, I've been learning and most programs/cards, you decide if you know the Kanji or remember it, right? . . .

Well, this question might be really basic, but when you say you KNOW the Kanji, do you mean that you know ALL the ON/KUN readings?

Sometimes, I only know what it means in English, and other times, I only know either on OR kun, because of this, I keep putting it back into "I don't know/remember" "pile" to re-do . . .

Am I being impossible by trying to remember every and each reading, instead of a few? . . .

2. I can't seem to find -any- sample pages of Kanji in Context, does anyone know where I can find it? I'm thinking of buying this book, but I'm not sure as I'm contemplating between this and Basic Kanji Book. I've seen the contents of Basic Kanji Book, though.

3. I've read about Remembering The Kanji book and I've seen a few sample pages on Amazon, but I don't really get it. I don't get how you learn the Kanji faster . . . .

From what I read about it, it's where you learn to remember it using a "story" and you don't learn the readings, till the second book, I believe. I usually forget the Kanji readings and remember the meaning in English . . . . Isn't it kind of the same thing? . . . Knowing the meaning of something, but unable to read it . . . ?

I saw the Kanji for 4 is described as "mouth" "leg" or something . . . . how is this useful later or something? I'm confused on how it ties in the whole book together and it's also not to be used a part of other Kanji studies, since it varies a lot.

That's about all the questions, I have for now, thanks in advance!

Eudox
February 21st, 2012, 11:18
1. First it's about Kanji, I've been learning and most programs/cards, you decide if you know the Kanji or remember it, right? . . .

Well, this question might be really basic, but when you say you KNOW the Kanji, do you mean that you know ALL the ON/KUN readings?

Sometimes, I only know what it means in English, and other times, I only know either on OR kun, because of this, I keep putting it back into "I don't know/remember" "pile" to re-do . . .

Am I being impossible by trying to remember every and each reading, instead of a few? . . .


Not sure about the books you mentioned so I'll just answer this bit. I usually add things to my list when I want to learn a particular word (I'm in Japan so I come across new words that I want to learn everyday). Once I've learned that particular reading and the general meaning of the kanji, I'll put it in the 'learned' pile. A few weeks later, I'll probably come across the same kanji again and learn another reading for it, while learning a new word with that reading.

I know this isn't how most people study kanji, but I find it to be far more interesting, useful and easier to remember than trying to learn all of the readings for one kanji in one go.

Lianwen
February 21st, 2012, 14:57
I saw the Kanji for 4 is described as "mouth" "leg" or something . . . . how is this useful later or something? I'm confused on how it ties in the whole book together and it's also not to be used a part of other Kanji studies, since it varies a lot.

That's about all the questions, I have for now, thanks in advance!

This is useful because when you have to write more complex kanji or when trying to figure out what a kanji means, it`s easier to break it up by pieces.

.....I`ve never seen the kanji for 4 described as mouth? But mouth looks like 口. If you see this kanji in other, more complex kanji, then hey, maybe the idea that kanji represents has something to do with your mouth? That`s the general idea behind it when learning the basic, basic meanings of kanji first.

A better example is: 姉 (older sister) 妹 (younger sister) and 女 (female). Because of 女 , you can figure out that 妹 and 姉 have something to do with females. I always remember how to write 姉 because I think of my older sister going to town.

As for everything else. I`m with Eudox on this one. Kanji is so much easier to learn and more fun when there`s actual relevance.

coop52
February 21st, 2012, 14:58
I used the White Rabbit cards when I started learning kanji, and I had a similar pile system- the "know pretty well" pile, "know some" pile, and the "have no clue" pile. I'd move the cards around the piles as needed. I think it's probably impossible to learn all the readings for some kanji in one go. Lots of kanji have uncommon readings, and it's probably better to concentrate on the common ones first. You might also have an easier time learning full words and remembering them in context. I haven't used Kanji in Context before, so I can't say anything about it, but it sounds like a good idea.

You're right about the method for Remembering the Kanji- you make a story about the kanji and remember the meaning and how to write it first, then the reading. The author describes the different parts that make up kanji (radicals is what they're normally called, but he calls them something different) and gives them meanings. For some people, it works very well, but it never did anything for me. I did a lot better just reading as much stuff as I could- newspaper articles, kid's books/manga, signs, every single handout that landed on my desk, etc. But, a lot of people swear by it.

Also, I recommend trying a flashcard program (Anki and such). I use renshuu.org, and I like it so far. I also tend to not learn kanji in any specific order(other than generally what goes on what level of the JLPT), some of the harder ones just stick out and are easier for me to remember than some of the technically easier ones. Find what works best for you and use it.

Ini
February 21st, 2012, 14:59
remembering the kanji is good for your understanding because you can normally blast through it pretty quickly so within a month or two you should be able to work out what all the funny squiggles written everywhere mean. Its useless for actually teaching you japanese in the sense of being able to communicate.

jwkelley
February 21st, 2012, 16:18
I hate flashcards and SRS like anki its boring as hell. I bought some graded readers, and I also bought some Kanji books for kids at the local book store (suggest by someone here). I normally mix those 2 and it helps me a lot, i am at a very beginning stage though.

Plus i like to do lots of listening before i start reading or speaking. Makes it 10 times easier later. You can do this while you jog or even while you play computer games.

UPGRAYEDD
February 22nd, 2012, 12:09
1. "Knowing Kanji" - Learning every possible reading for each kanji will lead straight to burnout. Japanese kids don't even learn them that way. My advice is to learn individual words and associate kanji with them.

2. Not sure where to find example pages of Kanji in Context but I can tell you about them. You don't need any examples for the reference book. It just contains kanji, their readings, and usually around five example words for each kanji. Nothing special really.

The workbook is a bit more complicated. It contains common phrases using the kanji in question, other related and opposite words, and a bunch of example sentences. I should point out that the sentences are very advanced straight from the beginning and the workbook contains no English at all.

If you are a beginner I would avoid this book. Pick it up after you get to an intermediate level.

3. Remembering the Kanji - It's just a system to help people recognize and write the kanji. I think it's a really good system if you have trouble distinguishing kanji or just can't remember how to write them in general.

Basically the system breaks down the common components of kanji and then the learner uses those components to create a memorable story to help them arrange the kanji.

I personally don't think that easy kanji such as 四 actually require a story but the system works when you get to more complex kanji, like 融 (dissolve). If you look closely there is a component that looks similar to 四 (four). It also has 虫 (bug), 一 (one), and 口 (mouth), and a component I like to call (nail). Heisig basically says to take these components and make a good story to remember the meaning "dissolve". So possible stories include - "One mouthful of this bug's acid has enough power to dissolve four iron nails"....whatever works for you.

Later on you can learn that 融 is used in words like 融かす and 金融.

Flowerpoddess
March 1st, 2012, 00:54
Woww!! You guys are so helpful and nice!
Thanks for all the replies and information!!

Eudox -
Not sure about the books you mentioned so I'll just answer this bit. I usually add things to my list when I want to learn a particular word (I'm in Japan so I come across new words that I want to learn everyday). Once I've learned that particular reading and the general meaning of the kanji, I'll put it in the 'learned' pile. A few weeks later, I'll probably come across the same kanji again and learn another reading for it, while learning a new word with that reading.

I know this isn't how most people study kanji, but I find it to be far more interesting, useful and easier to remember than trying to learn all of the readings for one kanji in one go. That does make sense. It seems like you're learning it in context . . .that's what I've been doing but then started to wonder if what "know a kanji" mean, and if it could mean, that you know all the readings. Knowing it in context, does seem to take awhile. . .Thank you!

Lianwen -
This is useful because when you have to write more complex kanji or when trying to figure out what a kanji means, it`s easier to break it up by pieces.

.....I`ve never seen the kanji for 4 described as mouth? But mouth looks like 口. If you see this kanji in other, more complex kanji, then hey, maybe the idea that kanji represents has something to do with your mouth? That`s the general idea behind it when learning the basic, basic meanings of kanji first.

A better example is: 姉 (older sister) 妹 (younger sister) and 女 (female). Because of 女 , you can figure out that 妹 and 姉 have something to do with females. I always remember how to write 姉 because I think of my older sister going to town.4 was described as "kuchi" so that was the "mouth" I was refering to.
But, what you just described, is something I briefly learning from Basic Kanji Book, about radicals and how other words could also mean, somewhat the same thing . . .


As for everything else. I`m with Eudox on this one. Kanji is so much easier to learn and more fun when there`s actual relevance.I agree! Thank you!

coop52 -
I used the White Rabbit cards when I started learning kanji, and I had a similar pile system- the "know pretty well" pile, "know some" pile, and the "have no clue" pile. I'd move the cards around the piles as needed. I think it's probably impossible to learn all the readings for some kanji in one go. Lots of kanji have uncommon readings, and it's probably better to concentrate on the common ones first. You might also have an easier time learning full words and remembering them in context. I haven't used Kanji in Context before, so I can't say anything about it, but it sounds like a good idea. I suppose you're right.
I can't seem to browse through the books nor get them dirt cheap, since I live in Asia and shipping sometimes, costs a lot . . . . Otherwise, I would love to try out Kanji in Context . . .


You're right about the method for Remembering the Kanji- you make a story about the kanji and remember the meaning and how to write it first, then the reading. The author describes the different parts that make up kanji (radicals is what they're normally called, but he calls them something different) and gives them meanings. For some people, it works very well, but it never did anything for me. I did a lot better just reading as much stuff as I could- newspaper articles, kid's books/manga, signs, every single handout that landed on my desk, etc. But, a lot of people swear by it.Yeah, that's what I seem to be gathering. . . "make a story" "memorise" and write the kanji, and then learn the meaning . . .

Where did you find these kid's books? Amazon?
If, so could you recommend some books to me?
I was at the bookstore and they had an overwhelming collection of Japanese materials, I didn't know where to start.


Also, I recommend trying a flashcard program (Anki and such). I use renshuu.org, and I like it so far. I also tend to not learn kanji in any specific order(other than generally what goes on what level of the JLPT), some of the harder ones just stick out and are easier for me to remember than some of the technically easier ones. Find what works best for you and use it. Ah, I got Anki and Anki mobile, but then I hate spending hours at the computer . . . . Anki mobile was okay but it was rather difficult at times to sync with the online deck or something, and sometimes just plain boring lol but similar programs did help.

Yeah, I was actually aimlessly studying Kanji so I just couldn't tell how many I knew . . . . but I think just studying the JLPT way will give me a guide to follow.

Thank you!

Ini -
remembering the kanji is good for your understanding because you can normally blast through it pretty quickly so within a month or two you should be able to work out what all the funny squiggles written everywhere mean. Its useless for actually teaching you japanese in the sense of being able to communicate. So what you mean is, you'll understand what everything means in English, yes?
Sounds good, though, it's like something to have on the side . . . since you mentioned, within a month or two, all is covered.
I see "funny squiggles" everywhere since I live in Asia, but I just either know them in English, Kun or yomi lol.

Thank you!

jwkelley -
I hate flashcards and SRS like anki its boring as hell. I bought some graded readers, and I also bought some Kanji books for kids at the local book store (suggest by someone here). I normally mix those 2 and it helps me a lot, i am at a very beginning stage though.

Plus i like to do lots of listening before i start reading or speaking. Makes it 10 times easier later. You can do this while you jog or even while you play computer games. I hate them too but they've helped me but Anki IS boring . . .can't stand being at the comp for too long, I get distracted easily.

Oh yeah, those graded readers but they've got only two types right? And, about six stories or so in one, isn't that like . . . realllly little?
Kanji books for kids? What are those like? Do you mean like those Grade 1 80 Kanji kids learn in school?

I agree with the listening part. Thank you!

UPGRAYEDD -
1. "Knowing Kanji" - Learning every possible reading for each kanji will lead straight to burnout. Japanese kids don't even learn them that way. My advice is to learn individual words and associate kanji with them.

2. Not sure where to find example pages of Kanji in Context but I can tell you about them. You don't need any examples for the reference book. It just contains kanji, their readings, and usually around five example words for each kanji. Nothing special really.

The workbook is a bit more complicated. It contains common phrases using the kanji in question, other related and opposite words, and a bunch of example sentences. I should point out that the sentences are very advanced straight from the beginning and the workbook contains no English at all.

If you are a beginner I would avoid this book. Pick it up after you get to an intermediate level.

3. Remembering the Kanji - It's just a system to help people recognize and write the kanji. I think it's a really good system if you have trouble distinguishing kanji or just can't remember how to write them in general.

Basically the system breaks down the common components of kanji and then the learner uses those components to create a memorable story to help them arrange the kanji.

I personally don't think that easy kanji such as 四 actually require a story but the system works when you get to more complex kanji, like 融 (dissolve). If you look closely there is a component that looks similar to 四 (four). It also has 虫 (bug), 一 (one), and 口 (mouth), and a component I like to call (nail). Heisig basically says to take these components and make a good story to remember the meaning "dissolve". So possible stories include - "One mouthful of this bug's acid has enough power to dissolve four iron nails"....whatever works for you.

Later on you can learn that 融 is used in words like 融かす and 金融. 1. Burn out is what I was feeling and it was also pretty aimlessly since I was like, "which Kanji do I use for this word?", even though I knew all the readings. So, I just had to ask, how everyone else was learning cause I just felt lost. Thank you, I'll try that.

2. The sample page is on Genki's website I believe, I browsed through, I think . . .but I've forgotten now and the price isn't attractive either. Ohh...maybe it's as you said, nothing special, that's probably why I don't remember it, since it didn't stand out.

Not sure if I saw the workbook? . . . . Ohhh no English at all . . . hmm I can read some but if it's got complicated kanji, grammar and explanation, that's going to take forever to read . . . if that's the case then perhaps, you're right, it's best to get it later . . .

3. This is one of the best example, I've come across!! ( Of Remembering the Kanji) Thank you!

I see, does seem interesting but it can't actually be used . . . since the two words you mentioned has nothing to do with "dissolve".

I don't think 四 needs a story either.

Thank you!

coop52
March 1st, 2012, 08:03
Where are you? If you are in Japan, then Book Off is a good place to get kids' books. The 100 yen shops usually have workbooks for elementary kids that are pretty good too. Outside of Japan, I'd suggest getting stuff off of Amazon, if you can.

Flowerpoddess
March 1st, 2012, 12:50
Where are you? If you are in Japan, then Book Off is a good place to get kids' books. The 100 yen shops usually have workbooks for elementary kids that are pretty good too. Outside of Japan, I'd suggest getting stuff off of Amazon, if you can.

I'm from Singapore.
Amazon is too costly to ship to Singapore, even though the price of the book is cheap, the shipping is too much per book. Sometimes, there are good deals, including shipping, but it's rare.

Kinokuniya over here, has a wide selection but there was "too wide of a selection" that I didn't know where to begin and which book to pick and a lot of the books were sealed so I was unable to browse through. I use Amazon as a guide to look through books and their titles and images, that's why I asked.

Thanks!

jwkelley
March 1st, 2012, 13:22
yeh the stories are short in the beginning but they work extremely well with the pictures to help you remember vocab. With reading acquiring vocab you need the text to be about 90% comprehensible to get the most bang for your buck. The Kanji books are just 100 yen coloring and drawing books with pictures and some games.

Also something I have been doing recently is 3 kanji a day. Basically i use it a minimal every day. I do this really lazy though and if i miss i a day i do not try to catch up. I try to use kanji i was wondering about in the school or something.

Also that remembering the Kanji will help you even if you just casual read it along with other Japanese and Kanji studies. His stories break down better and give you something to work off of. When i tried to make my owns stories for Kanji i found myself repeating stories a lot.

agrilledfish
March 2nd, 2012, 14:40
I have learned to love Anki, although I too found it boring at first. One trick is to force yourself to answer every card in under 10 seconds. Keeping up a good rhythm helps you remember better and prevents you from spacing out while staring at your screen.
See: http://ankisrs.net/docs/TheTimerAndShortQuestions.html

Also, don't study vocabulary or kanji just on its own, study it in sentences. If you have a really short attention span just limit your Anki session to 5 or 10 minutes, go do something else and come back.

キャろ
March 7th, 2012, 10:21
I tried to use Remembering the Kanji...and just ended up remembering random parts of the stories instead (and at that point I'd been studying Japanese for 3+ years)...so I think it really depends on your learning style.

But I truly love Anki because you can multi-task with it (use it while having random gchat conversations!, use it when you have some time off at work!, use it for 10 minutes before you go to sleep so that you have really random dreams where Japanese people insist - in Japanese - that they have to practice French with you...)

I'd also recommend studying for the kanken (漢字検定), which will mean studying kanji in the very systematic way that Japanese students do it - I'd be willing to bet Kinokuniya has kanken books. (They start at 10 - for first graders - and get progressively harder)

wicket
March 9th, 2012, 16:17
Remembering the Kanji isn't for everyone and it certainly didn't work for me. I used Kakitori on my DS and Japanese novels that I had read in English translation. They were a good motivation to learn kanji. Of course, it took me months to finish one novel, but it was worth it because then I could remember the kanji in context.
Writing the kanji over and over in different words and learning them in the order Japanese school kids learn them is the most useful thing I did for remembering them.

Flowerpoddess
March 19th, 2012, 17:14
jwkelley -
yeh the stories are short in the beginning but they work extremely well with the pictures to help you remember vocab. With reading acquiring vocab you need the text to be about 90% comprehensible to get the most bang for your buck I agree. What I worry about though, is that it won't be useful and that they're extremely short, like pre-school student stories?


The Kanji books are just 100 yen coloring and drawing books with pictures and some games.Wish I could find them here, but yeah . . . don't think so . . .


Also something I have been doing recently is 3 kanji a day. Basically i use it a minimal every day. I do this really lazy though and if i miss i a day i do not try to catch up. I try to use kanji i was wondering about in the school or something. Ohh, I see. I think it's a good way to go since I was previously just torturing myself into remembering all the readings but no idea which reading to use, when I try to read something and when I did that with about a few Kanji a day, I was getting extremly lost and confused to my progress.


Also that remembering the Kanji will help you even if you just casual read it along with other Japanese and Kanji studies. His stories break down better and give you something to work off of. When i tried to make my owns stories for Kanji i found myself repeating stories a lot. I have to agree. I think it might since I've browsed through it and also agree that if I try to make a story, I might repeat things. Also, I took a look at, Kanji look and Learn, same company that published Genki and also Kanji Pic-O graphic? or something, and those visuals seems to get stuck in my head, a little at a time.

agrilledfish -
I have learned to love Anki, although I too found it boring at first. One trick is to force yourself to answer every card in under 10 seconds. Keeping up a good rhythm helps you remember better and prevents you from spacing out while staring at your screen.
See: TheTimerAndShortQuestions - Anki Wiki (http://ankisrs.net/docs/TheTimerAndShortQuestions.html)

Ohh!! That is an interesting tactic. Thanks! I might try it out.
Previously, I used preset cards? like ones done by ppl and you just reuse them?

I did make my own cards for Hiragana and uploaded pictures of things and strange references to remember it, lol. It worked but for the pyo nyu ryu, still need work.I do have a book for Hiragana, called Japanese Hiragana for Beginners but I got lazy writing it out and practicing, but I remember them although get confused here and there. Katakana, I skip quite a bit so I get tsu and shi confused and re ru etc.

Anki did help but it was a chore, and I hate sitting at the comp and my 2005 year old PC, can't handle several programs.


Also, don't study vocabulary or kanji just on its own, study it in sentences. If you have a really short attention span just limit your Anki session to 5 or 10 minutes, go do something else and come back. Hmm, where am I going to find easy sentences??
That I do, short attention span and dislike being near the PC. I usually use flashcards on iPhone app to do testing but, it's preset and not customizeable like Anki.

キャろ -
I tried to use Remembering the Kanji...and just ended up remembering random parts of the stories instead (and at that point I'd been studying Japanese for 3+ years)...so I think it really depends on your learning style.Yeah, I suppose so.


But I truly love Anki because you can multi-task with it (use it while having random gchat conversations!, use it when you have some time off at work!, use it for 10 minutes before you go to sleep so that you have really random dreams where Japanese people insist - in Japanese - that they have to practice French with you...)My attention is given to what's more fun lol. (Not Anki lol) Lol, that's a bizzare dream lol.


I'd also recommend studying for the kanken (漢字検定), which will mean studying kanji in the very systematic way that Japanese students do it - I'd be willing to bet Kinokuniya has kanken books. (They start at 10 - for first graders - and get progressively harder)
Isn't the way you study Kanji in most essential Kanji books like Basic Kanji Book etc.? Are you referring to Kanzen Master or something? Don't every student start first grade with 80 Kanji and move up? Or is that something different? I do not know the titles either.
BOOKS KINOKUNIYA Homepage (http://www.kinokuniya.com/sg/index.php/fho001)

Kinokuniya is VERY expensive. They seemed to have raised their prices recently.

wicket -
Remembering the Kanji isn't for everyone and it certainly didn't work for me. I used Kakitori on my DS and Japanese novels that I had read in English translation. They were a good motivation to learn kanji. Of course, it took me months to finish one novel, but it was worth it because then I could remember the kanji in context.
Writing the kanji over and over in different words and learning them in the order Japanese school kids learn them is the most useful thing I did for remembering themOhh, I don't have a DS, I know there is a program that you can write on and it teaches stroke order and gives example sentences.

Japanese novels, at my stage might be too difficult . . . I don't know any novels with furigana . . . . that are affordable? . . .

I saw this book Peach Boy and some other fairy tales, do those have furigana or are they mainly hiragana?? I was initially going to buy them but it seems like my library carries them so I'm going to see if I can get my hands on them. It like 13 per book so I don't like spending money on easy books that you just read through once and probably never touch again.

Yeah, I agree that it gives you the ability to remember something in context.


Got a few new questions.

1. So, I have Genki 1 workbook for two years now, never covered more than Chapter 5 lol. So, I just purchased the textbook and so I'll have to restart everything.

And, so my question is . . . . Do I buy Genki 2? I was initally going to do this . . . . but I'm not sure if you guys heard of an Asian version of Minna no Nihongo?

Well, if you haven't it's just a cheaper version since it's published in Malaysia. It's not entirely cheap, but cheapER. It doesn't have a workbook. The contents of Minna no Nihongo Japanese and Asian, are kind of similar. The CD is cheaper MUCH cheaper. They don't teach Kanji or anything, just like the Japanese version. So, should I switch?

2. So, when I'm trying to read something in Japanese, what I usually do when I don't know the Kanji is go to this site ( jDictionary.com (http://www.jdictionary.com/) ) so I was wondering if there was a dictionary, that would help me the same way?

Would that be Kanji Learner's Dictionary? ( Amazon.com: The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary (9784770028556): Jack Halpern: Books (http://www.amazon.com/The-Kodansha-Kanji-Learners-Dictionary/dp/4770028555/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332143524&sr=8-1) ) or ( Amazon.com: The Learner's Japanese Kanji Dictionary (Bilingual Edition) (9780804835565): Mark Spahn, Wolfgang Hadamitzky: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Learners-Japanese-Dictionary-Bilingual-Edition/dp/080483556X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1332143524&sr=8-2) ) Although, according to the review, seems like the first is best.

I saw a Furigana dictionary but it's Japanese-English ( Amazon.com: Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese (9784770024800): Masatoshi Yoshida, Yoshikatsu Nakamura: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Kodanshas-Furigana-Japanese-Dictionary-Japanese-English/dp/4770024800/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1332143524&sr=8-6) ) and English-Japanese ( Amazon.com: Kodansha's Furigana English-Japanese Dictionary (9784770027511): Masatoshi Yoshida, Yoshikatsu Nakamura: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Kodanshas-Furigana-English-Japanese-Dictionary-Masatoshi/dp/4770027516/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332143673&sr=1-2-spell) ) However, the first seems a little pointless if I can't read the Kanji and the second being a better option? Although, the first one has a lot more reviews. And, seems like there are example sentences in the first one?

3. This is totally random. So, I been talking to someone from Singapore, who mentions to me, that Japanese pronunciation is important, and to learn it "properly" is best. Which he said, many teachers don't teach. So, his example that, like that of Minna no Nihongo.

ha NA
HA na

flower and nose are pronounced differently.

HA shi
ha SHI

bridge and chopsticks are also pronounced differently.

na MA E
se N SEI

The different stressing on the words. These words seem very obvious to me . . . .

As far as I know, Japanese pronunciation isn't as important and when talking about something like hashi, it depends on the context if you're hearing it. So, that's why I would like to know if what his saying is true. I asked a Japanese mate of mine and he said, "we don't care" and when I told this person about it, he said, "maybe his the type that doesn't care and if you wanna learn, you have to learn "properly".

I should also mention that he mention that his a Japanese tutor and quite pushy and looking for students and regularly posts in Singapore forums that his students stay with him till N1 and how good he is, and repeatedly offers free trial lesson. I just want to know if his for real, not that I want to take up his class, but just want to know if he knows what his talking about.

Eudox
March 19th, 2012, 17:22
3. This is totally random. So, I been talking to someone from Singapore, who mentions to me, that Japanese pronunciation is important, and to learn it "properly" is best. Which he said, many teachers don't teach. So, his example that, like that of Minna no Nihongo.

ha NA
HA na

flower and nose are pronounced differently.

HA shi
ha SHI

bridge and chopsticks are also pronounced differently.

na MA E
se N SEI

The different stressing on the words. These words seem very obvious to me . . . .

As far as I know, Japanese pronunciation isn't as important and when talking about something like hashi, it depends on the context if you're hearing it. So, that's why I would like to know if what his saying is true. I asked a Japanese mate of mine and he said, "we don't care" and when I told this person about it, he said, "maybe his the type that doesn't care and if you wanna learn, you have to learn "properly".


It is important if you aren't speaking in full sentences (which you wont be when you first start speaking). When I first got here I had real issues with intonation and people not being able to understand me because of it. Now that I'm mostly using full sentences, and I've been copying other people's intonation, it's not so much of an issue. That being said, I wouldn't worry about it too much. It is much easier to pick it up in Japan than in your own country.

coop52
March 21st, 2012, 08:13
The thing with intonation and such is that different parts of Japan can be pretty different. Osaka/western Japan in particular is very different from Tokyo pronunciation. For example, ame is both "rain" and "candy", and the pronunciation in Osaka is the opposite of the way they're said in Tokyo.

Jiggit
March 21st, 2012, 10:19
As a beginner myself I would say that you're probably best off speaking like a robot until you know enough actual Japanese to start worrying about how you say it. Trying to put the words in correct sentences will make you far more easily understood than fretting over intonation.

Also re: what RL said about long vowel sounds, the double consonant/small っ sound is also important and relatively easy to learn if not exactly intuitive.

Flowerpoddess
March 21st, 2012, 16:28
Could I please have input on the 1st and 2nd questions? I'm in the mids of making a purchase and need help, with those instead.

Thanks!

Flowerpoddess
March 21st, 2012, 17:53
Eudox -
It is important if you aren't speaking in full sentences (which you wont be when you first start speaking). When I first got here I had real issues with intonation and people not being able to understand me because of it. Now that I'm mostly using full sentences, and I've been copying other people's intonation, it's not so much of an issue. That being said, I wouldn't worry about it too much. It is much easier to pick it up in Japan than in your own country. I do have to say, I didn't know there was a difference in pronunciation between nose and flower, bridge or chopsticks.


When you say "real issues", it just made me recall this girl who was from US (not sure which state, a country state) and whenever she spoke Japanese, her accent and speech was not understandable. I guess that's what you mean??

Some of her speech was something like;

kore - koray

That's about all I can remember, and she had actually stayed in Japan for awhile but whenever she spoke in Japanese, I couldn't understand her but when someone whose Japanese spoke, I got it.

And, I have another mate whose Frenchie and she stayed in Japan too and spoke Japanese, but whenever she spoke, she dropped her accent, and it was easy to understand her. People told her that her pronunciation is good and I've got to agree.

I have been talking on/off since I started studying, but haven't had a problem being understood.

coop52 -
The thing with intonation and such is that different parts of Japan can be pretty different. Osaka/western Japan in particular is very different from Tokyo pronunciation. For example, ame is both "rain" and "candy", and the pronunciation in Osaka is the opposite of the way they're said in Tokyo.My Japanese mate mentioned this. But, I know that whenever we study, the materials we get and use is standard Japanese used in Tokyo. So, I guess unless I'm going to be studying specifically in Osaka or something, I don't think I need to be concerned. I spoken to three from Osaka. Their speech sounded a little different but I know they have their own slang.

It's kind of like with English, with the several different pronunciation or accents rather, is how I figure it.

RomulusLupin -
Context is king, fortunately. As long as you aren't learning exclusively from an old man–their speech is notoriously impossible to understand no matter what dialect they're speaking–your speech will be intelligible to people all around the country. Incidentally, long vowel sounds–おお/おう vs. お–are much more important for making people understand you. I agree!

I've noticed, and I haven't been learning from any old man lol.
Yeah, I learned early on how to stress vowels and stuff!

Jiggit -
As a beginner myself I would say that you're probably best off speaking like a robot until you know enough actual Japanese to start worrying about how you say it. Trying to put the words in correct sentences will make you far more easily understood than fretting over intonation.

Also re: what RL said about long vowel sounds, the double consonant/small っ sound is also important and relatively easy to learn if not exactly intuitive.

From about 2 years ago, when I first started studying Japanese on and off, I'd speak in Japanese ( a couple words and some sentences, since I lacked vocabulary, grammar etc. to have long conversations) almost daily and still do now, here and there, and there was no problem in understanding what I said, that's why I was like ? ? ? when this tutor, talks about annotation, cause I been speaking and understood fine. I didn't have to speak like a robot lol.

I don't worry about Japanese intonation since, it just seems natural to say things like na MA E, te N ki. Yeah, I've got more trouble reading double consonant/small tsu than speaking. My reading speed is slow. That's more of my concern.

greengoo
March 22nd, 2012, 01:03
1. Genki is amazing. It's far friendlier to the new learner than any other text I've read (I used it in college, and also picked up the brand new second editions of both G1 and G2 when I moved here). Buy it. Even if you use other stuff too, you should own genki.

2. Amazon.com: The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary (9784770028556): Jack Halpern: Books (http://www.amazon.com/The-Kodansha-Kanji-Learners-Dictionary/dp/4770028555/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332143524&sr=8-1)

I have two separate copies of this (one I bought, one I received as a gift but kept anyway). It's fantastic for three things:

1. Looking up kanji if you're not good at kanji (it lets you do it in a natural, intelligent way)

2. Learning easy, common words that will improve your vocab and help you remember kanji.

3. straight up just learning kanji. I actually spent some time just copying down from this book (on flights, when I had time after class and was bored waiting for another to start, etc). It's also a good size where you don't feel like you're lugging around a dictionary as much as a novel.

I tend to use my iphone and Midori (app) more because it's always on me, but I really, really like this dictionary and recommend a copy to any learner of j-go.

Flowerpoddess
March 22nd, 2012, 11:01
greengoo -
1. Genki is amazing. It's far friendlier to the new learner than any other text I've read (I used it in college, and also picked up the brand new second editions of both G1 and G2 when I moved here). Buy it. Even if you use other stuff too, you should own genki. I agree.
It's just more expensive. I buy used versions since the new ones are wayyyyy out of my budget.


2. Amazon.com: The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary (9784770028556): Jack Halpern: Books (http://www.amazon.com/The-Kodansha-Kanji-Learners-Dictionary/dp/4770028555/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332143524&sr=8-1)

I have two separate copies of this (one I bought, one I received as a gift but kept anyway). It's fantastic for three things:

1. Looking up kanji if you're not good at kanji (it lets you do it in a natural, intelligent way)

2. Learning easy, common words that will improve your vocab and help you remember kanji.

3. straight up just learning kanji. I actually spent some time just copying down from this book (on flights, when I had time after class and was bored waiting for another to start, etc). It's also a good size where you don't feel like you're lugging around a dictionary as much as a novel.How is this different from the other Kanji Learner's dictionary by Tuttle publishing, do you know? I think they both use different search methods?

Thanks for including those points!


I tend to use my iphone and Midori (app) more because it's always on me, but I really, really like this dictionary and recommend a copy to any learner of j-go.Oh? I haven't heard of this app but I have Kotoba app. I went to look it up, kind of expensive but it looks good since you can input words with strokes. There was another app pretty similar, started with an R I think.

I do want a physical dictionary since my iphone is almost always dead =/

Thank you!

Are Furigana dictionaries worth it . . . Japanese to English or English to Japanese?
Since, I'm making this purchase from US Amazon with a discount program for March, I can't change or return the books, so I need to know for sure.

I had intentions to buy Basic Kanji Book Vol. 1 and Genki 2 workbook but I'm not finding them affordable and the Genki 2 workbook is usually from companies that are unable to tell me if the books have a lot of writings in them. Still looking . . . .

Eudox
March 22nd, 2012, 11:10
Oh? I haven't heard of this app but I have Kotoba app. I went to look it up, kind of expensive but it looks good since you can input words with strokes.

If you're talking about inputting kanji by drawing, this is an iPhone feature not an app one. I use the app "Japanese" - it cost $10 or so but I use it alllll the time.

Flowerpoddess
March 22nd, 2012, 15:07
If you're talking about inputting kanji by drawing, this is an iPhone feature not an app one. I use the app "Japanese" - it cost $10 or so but I use it alllll the time.

Huh? iPhone feature?
Not all apps have the handwriting feature so it's an app feature.

The name of the app I was trying to recall is ShinKanji and if you paid, the app's handwriting feature is then available. I've only got the lite version.

I looked up Japanese app, it's pretty similar to that of Midori. That's true that it's worth it, if you use it all the time! If that case, I've seen ppl buy electronic dictionary so does the app replace your need? Or, do you still own an electronic dictionary?

Eudox
March 22nd, 2012, 15:13
Huh? iPhone feature?
Not all apps have the handwriting feature so it's an app feature.

The name of the app I was trying to recall is ShinKanji and if you paid, the app's handwriting feature is then available. I've only got the lite version.

Okay, we're talking about two different things. If you want to be able to input kanji by drawing it on the iPhone, you can do that by turning on chinese character input in your phone input settings. This is what that looks like:

http://japantravelmate.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/iphone-kanji-translate-app.png

But I'm guessing the "app feature" you're talking about helps you to learn the kanji by teaching you how to draw it, which this doesn't do.

Edit: After doing a quick search for that app, it looks like they've just implemented their own kanji input method? I'm not sure why they would do that, but I guess it works.

Flowerpoddess
March 23rd, 2012, 01:05
Okay, we're talking about two different things. If you want to be able to input kanji by drawing it on the iPhone, you can do that by turning on chinese character input in your phone input settingsChinese character has to be on? Not Japanese?
I don't have an app that allows Kanji input, I've got to buy it, so even if I activate it, I can't use it? . . . Gonna try it out . . .

That pic looks a lot like Kotoba.


But I'm guessing the "app feature" you're talking about helps you to learn the kanji by teaching you how to draw it, which this doesn't do.
Edit: After doing a quick search for that app, it looks like they've just implemented their own kanji input method? I'm not sure why they would do that, but I guess it works. Yeah, it's "locked" function on some app and, you don't get to use it on lite versions. I downloaded it long ago, it taught stroke but it is also a dictionary to input kanji and look up the definition.

Since, I didn't buy the full handwriting enabled version, I just use Kotoba.

hunterofpeace
March 23rd, 2012, 03:41
What were the graded readers you were talking about? Not sure I ever caught the names. I love genki and I swear by it for most aspects of learning Japanese but I've tried to learn kanji from it and it didn't go so well. I remember it for a little while then forget it because it's not really meaningful to me. My friend brought me back a Detective Conan manga which has the kanji but also the hiragana. I like that aspect but it's frustrating to read because it's far above my level. I have to spend so much time with the dictionary to even figure out the hiragana. I'd love to get something with a little easier reading level that also has the kanji alongside the hiragana.

Eudox
March 23rd, 2012, 07:23
*facepalm*

Like I said, it's a phone feature not an app feature. This is how chinese (and japanese), people input kanji on their phone. Just try it and see.

You can input kanji anywhere you can input normal text, e.g. safari, notepad, itunes... any text field. You'll get a little "world" button on your keyboard that you can cycle through different input methods. I recommend turning on kana input as well, so you can input things that way too.

greengoo
March 23rd, 2012, 09:33
Eudox is correct. Midori costs $10 but I'd say it's worth every penny. It's fast, reliable, easy to use and has tons of features (I especially like the name dictionary and linked entries)

I don't know much about the other kanji dictionaries. Also, I think furigana dictionaries are useless, romaji is bad for your Japanese . However I received one as a gift and despite romaji it's a great tool for finding the most common use word instead of kotoba/midiri giving you ten versions.

agrilledfish
March 23rd, 2012, 16:41
Ohh!! That is an interesting tactic. Thanks! I might try it out.
Previously, I used preset cards? like ones done by ppl and you just reuse them?

Hmm, where am I going to find easy sentences??
I've found the deck "Core 2000 Japanese Vocabulary" to be good. It's available under Download->Shared Deck. The sentences are graded in 10 steps so you can use the selective study option to only show cards at your level. It's basically just pure vocabulary though, so you should obviously supplement it with learning grammar and kanji with the other posters' many excellent suggestions.

Flowerpoddess
March 24th, 2012, 17:14
hunterofpeace -
What were the graded readers you were talking about? Not sure I ever caught the names. I love genki and I swear by it for most aspects of learning Japanese but I've tried to learn kanji from it and it didn't go so well. I remember it for a little while then forget it because it's not really meaningful to me. My friend brought me back a Detective Conan manga which has the kanji but also the hiragana. I like that aspect but it's frustrating to read because it's far above my level. I have to spend so much time with the dictionary to even figure out the hiragana. I'd love to get something with a little easier reading level that also has the kanji alongside the hiragana.

Graded readers => Amazon.com: Japanese Graded Readers: Level 1 (9784872176247): Books (http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Graded-Readers-Level-1/dp/4872176243/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1332573771&sr=8-2) ( This has plenty of books depending on level and they're too expensive for me )

But I was refering to this book => Amazon.com: Read Real Japanese Fiction: Short Stories by Contemporary Writers 1 free CD included (9784770030580): Michael Emmerich, Reiko Matsunaga: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Read-Real-Japanese-Fiction-Contemporary/dp/4770030584/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1332574176&sr=8-2) and another one in the same series.

Ohh, I don't rely on Genki for Kanji, but I was able to pick it up here and there, I just used the dictionary that showed all the kanji and just picked it up here and there. And, I started using the Basic Kanji Book and Let's Learn Kanji for a little through a pdf copy and it helped! That's why I want the Basic Kanji Book since it was fun and explained well about radicals and how a Kanji was created. One thing I hate is writing . . . =/

Ohh I understand about being frustrated to read. LOL I do this with certain English books, like The Historian, wow . . . kept refering to the dictionary every few sentence and I gave up lol. I don't like manga . . . . but it's available to you then ya know, it's good to have it.

I only know of one book with Kanji alongside with hiragana, Furigana books? . . . . And, that's Yuko Chan And the Daruma Doll 32pages, the rest that I have access to (without having to buy) are all in Hiragana and no Kanji.

The above books, I'm not sure if they're all in Hiragana or Furigana, haven't looked into them much.

Eudox -
*facepalm*

Like I said, it's a phone feature not an app feature. This is how chinese (and japanese), people input kanji on their phone. Just try it and see.

Chinese people just use a Chinese keyboard, they don't use the handwriting feature and start drawing Kanji.

I got the Chinese - simplified handwriting keyboard installed now, should I have chosen traditional?? Thanks for telling me about this! I am able to input handwriting on Kotoba and search for Kanji!


You can input kanji anywhere you can input normal text, e.g. safari, notepad, itunes... any text field. You'll get a little "world" button on your keyboard that you can cycle through different input methods. I recommend turning on kana input as well, so you can input things that way too.

I know I can input kanji, I meant I can't input Kanji that's handwritten into a program that allows me to search for defintion but now I see that Kotoba does have that function. I was thinking it was like ShinKanji, that you needed to purchase the program in order for it to allow handwriting input.

I've had Kana and Romaji inputs on for awhile but Kana, seems like I have to select one and hold for the others to show up and I forget which "group" kana belong to?

greengoo -
I don't know much about the other kanji dictionaries. Also, I think furigana dictionaries are useless, romaji is bad for your Japanese . However I received one as a gift and despite romaji it's a great tool for finding the most common use word instead of kotoba/midiri giving you ten versions.

Really?? Furigana are useless? I looked it up and it seems like if I'm looking for a word and it doesn't have Kanji, I'm able to get a defintion?

agrilledfish -
I've found the deck "Core 2000 Japanese Vocabulary" to be good. It's available under Download->Shared Deck. The sentences are graded in 10 steps so you can use the selective study option to only show cards at your level. It's basically just pure vocabulary though, so you should obviously supplement it with learning grammar and kanji with the other posters' many excellent suggestions.

I have seen this deck before and used it some, it was from Smart.fm. I might already have this deck installed, not sure . . . You said it's pure vocabulary, but I'm looking for example sentences to help retain the meaning of the Kanji?

greengoo
March 28th, 2012, 09:56
greengoo -
Really?? Furigana are useless? I looked it up and it seems like if I'm looking for a word and it doesn't have Kanji, I'm able to get a defintion?


I think you're slightly confused, or possibly just talking about different things. Furigana are the little hiragana written next to kanji in children's or other simple texts. Any word without kanji cant have furigana by definition.

Any dictionary you pick up will either be romaji or furigana, but a furigana dictionary just means native characters in this sense. Kanji dictionaries tend to give one or two example words but are for looking up meaning, strokes, etc, not individual words.

And to that end my point was why pick up a paper dictionary when an app is faster and fits in your pocket on a device you already carry?

Flowerpoddess
March 28th, 2012, 11:45
greengoo -
I think you're slightly confused, or possibly just talking about different things. Furigana are the little hiragana written next to kanji in children's or other simple texts. Any word without kanji cant have furigana by definition.

Any dictionary you pick up will either be romaji or furigana, but a furigana dictionary just means native characters in this sense. Kanji dictionaries tend to give one or two example words but are for looking up meaning, strokes, etc, not individual words.

Yes, it's to look up words by hiragana and find definition. Since, I'm reading children books or just plain looking up words, some of them have no definition for me to understand. I need to look it up.

It wasn't for kanji. I prefer furigana to romaji dictionary.

Yes, I know about Kanji dictionaries purpose. Been using an online dictionary mostly.


And to that end my point was why pick up a paper dictionary when an app is faster and fits in your pocket on a device you already carry?

I mentioned early on why I prefer paper dictionary. My phone is not reliable and its used for other purposes and almost always dead hence I find it inconvenient. I prefer paper format anyways.

Page
March 28th, 2012, 12:57
*facepalm*

Like I said, it's a phone feature not an app feature. This is how chinese (and japanese), people input kanji on their phone. Just try it and see.

You can input kanji anywhere you can input normal text, e.g. safari, notepad, itunes... any text field. You'll get a little "world" button on your keyboard that you can cycle through different input methods. I recommend turning on kana input as well, so you can input things that way too.

I think the misunderstanding in here is that the Midori kanji draw is built in to the app and "native" to Japanese. The Chinese keyboard used in other apps is for Chinese. Not all characters have the same stroke order across both languages and some were even imported differently (if not slightly).

That said, I use the keyboard with Japanese and have had, for the most part, no problems finding what I'm looking for!

Eudox
March 28th, 2012, 14:05
I think the misunderstanding in here is that the Midori kanji draw is built in to the app and "native" to Japanese. The Chinese keyboard used in other apps is for Chinese. Not all characters have the same stroke order across both languages and some were even imported differently (if not slightly).

That said, I use the keyboard with Japanese and have had, for the most part, no problems finding what I'm looking for!

Ah yeah I know, but as you say it works 99% of the time. The 1% it doesn't work is usually down to it not picking up my sloppy writing (it does a bloody good job getting it right, really). I wasn't going to get into that because I had enough trouble communicating that there was another method in the first place. IMO the midori kanji drawing looks like a cheap imitation, but I say that not having used it at all and thus have nothing to base that opinion on. Anyway, each to their own.

Flowerpoddess
March 28th, 2012, 21:26
I think the misunderstanding in here is that the Midori kanji draw is built in to the app and "native" to Japanese. The Chinese keyboard used in other apps is for Chinese. Not all characters have the same stroke order across both languages and some were even imported differently (if not slightly).

That said, I use the keyboard with Japanese and have had, for the most part, no problems finding what I'm looking for!

You're right.

And, my point also was even if I got the Chinese keyboard method activated, I wasn't going to buy the Japanese dictionary app, Midori app with the built-in Kanji draw nor activate ShinKanji's handwriting function, so where was I going to input the kanji drawing and look up the defintion? I had no dictionary application that would serve the purpose.

It's a good thing that Kotoba free dictionary allowed the input through the Chinese keyboard, and wasn't built-in. Otherwise, I would have not activated it.

Thanks for pointing that out about the strokes.

On a side note, Singapore is full of Chinese so my mate was like "crazy or what?" to "Chinese people using drawing/handwriting function to input Kanji". "No one uses this method to write! Time consuming!" It sure was funny.

Eudox
March 29th, 2012, 08:20
On a side note, Singapore is full of Chinese so my mate was like "crazy or what?" to "Chinese people using drawing/handwriting function to input Kanji". "No one uses this method to write! Time consuming!" It sure was funny.

Really? Is there a phonetic keyboard they use? (I'll be honest, I don't know anything about Chinese). I wonder why they have kanji input at all then...