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Thread: Kanji, how do you study them?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mindflux's Avatar
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    Default Kanji, how do you study them?

    My current methods are: Nothing.

    I did the first 500 kanji in heisig before I got here. That was helpful.
    Now I write kanji on my flash cards on the English side. Surprisingly good at getting me to recognize some kanji for doing no real studying of them. Can even write some of them from that.

    I could use a real method for learning Kanji though.

    Please don't have another useless heisig debate. I'm already well aware of that method so give me other ideas. How do you study kanji and what sets did you learn first etc.

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    I found www.speedanki.com works pretty well granted I have only been using it for the past two weeks, but I know about 80% of the JLPT kanji now
    Superman once wrote on the wall: "Batman is a wimp."
    The next day Batman wrote: "Superman is Clark Kent."

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    Senior Member Mr. Plainview's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    via iphone = win

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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    Okay, it's boring and it may not be helpful for a lot of people, but what I find helps me is just to write them. Over. And over. I've printed out some sheets with all of the kanji I've studied so far. On the left, there's a column with the kanji, next, the meaning in English, and then colums with the readings. I can fold back 1 or two sides, and try to write the kanji from the meanings or readings, and then check what I came up with by looking at the kanji in the left column. Far from high-tech, but it helps me remember them through practice.

    http://www.geocities.jp/mutasanjp/pr...ex_kokugo.html This site is also good. It has sheets with each kanji (the kyoiku kanji-- how it's taught to students here in Japan by grade), the readings, and then boxes below for you to first trace and then write the kanji on your own. It's kind of nice. The 4 page print-outs under "D" are the ones I've been using, but there are a lot of other practice sheets there as well (including reading with fill-in-the-blank and more). This is just the 1st grade page. On the left, you can access grades 1-6.

    Finally, for the "high tech" side of things, maybe this has already been mentioned a million times, but I think Kanji Gold is a nice program so far. I haven't been using it for very long. One nice thing though, is that you can turn on "pop kanji" (I think that's the right feature) and it'll open two windows, one with the kanji, and one with the meaning and readings. You can drag these down into a bottom corner on your screen, and they'll stay above the other windows, popping up with new kanji every few seconds (you can set the delay yourself). I think it might be nice to have them sitting there all the time, so you're constantly seeing them. You can get it here: http://web.uvic.ca/kanji-gold/

    Don't know if any of this will be helpful. It's just how I've been doing things.

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    Senior Member Yeti99's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorccy View Post
    Okay, it's boring and it may not be helpful for a lot of people, but what I find helps me is just to write them. Over. And over.
    That's what I do too. Not the most efficient way, and it certainly isn't for everyone, but for me, it's the most effective way.
    Mark it zero!

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    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    I use a book called 'Kanji in Context' and the computer flash card software 'anki'.

    The book is broken down into chapters of usually 10-15 kanji. Along with the kanji are compounds which use the kanji and there is a workbook you can buy which shows you common usage of the compounds and example sentences. The book is really high on reinforcement. Hundreds of compounds are repeated as new kanji are added.

    Let me show an example.

    The Kanji 飛ぶ(とぶ)-To fly
    This kanji is listed in chapter 12 as kanji number 295. The following words are under the kanji.
    飛び出す(とびだす)(出す is kanji 185)
    飛行機 (ひこうき)(行 is previously learned)(機 has not yet been introduced but we see it again as Kanji 334)
    飛行場(ひこうじょう)(場 is new too but not learned with 飛 and is introduced right after 機 as number 335)

    So when you first learn a kanji like 飛 you learn the verb 飛ぶ immediatly and get an introduction to 飛行機 and 飛行場 which is also a first introduction to 機 and 場 which come up again a few chapters in the future. The whole book is like this and you get constant repetition of vocabulary. I highly recommend it.

    I try to do a chapter a day from this book. First I write the kanji about 20 times to get a good feel for the stroke order. Then I write the compounds associated with that kanji but I sometimes skip kanji that have not been introduced yet. Then I input the compounds that the book deems important to know (they mark words that are considered rare or difficult) into anki and try to fit in an hour a day to reviewing with anki old words.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

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    ERRRRRGG Avocado's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    I normally just study kanji out of textbooks, but when I'm bored and looking to switch it up I use Read The Kanji just to test myself on some compounds that'll show up on the test. It's not ideal for learning kanji, but it's fun and help passes the time (plus it's web-based, which means that you can sign into your account on any computer).

    Upgrayedd, where did you get the Kanji in Context book? I'm looking to start some more in-depth self study and it seems pretty good. I've heard, though, that it can be pretty hard to find and somewhat expensive (?). One textbook and two workbooks, right?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    Heisig worked for me. You might give it another go.


  9. #9
    Senior Member GoddessCarlie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    I'm using Heisig to remember how to write it and to give me an arbitrary idea of what the kanji represents. I use 2001 Kanji Odyssey to learn different readings for the kanji. I think KO is like Kanji in Context, but I'm not sure. KO presents kanji in order of how often they are used in newspapers, I believe, and presents different sentences of the different readings, usually three sentences per kanji. I'm using Anki to help me study them.

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    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    Kakitori-kun on the Nintendo DS.
    I love that little chicken.
    "Like anyone with a sliver of honesty in them I believe what I find I believe when I wake up each morning."
    Stephen Fry, The stars' tennis balls

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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    Tuttle Kanji Flashcards.
    Perfect for breaking learning down into chunks. I always carry a few with me and once I know some of them really well: replace them with new ones.
    Theres about 400-500 cards per box (theres 4 boxes covering the joyo kanji list).
    Each card has the character; 4 common compounds, the readings, stroke order and even references to other kanji dictionaries/books.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by wicket View Post
    Kakitori-kun on the Nintendo DS.
    I love that little chicken.
    The little chicken is so condescending!

    It's like six pages of 頑張って.

    I WANT TO COOK HIM.

  13. #13
    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    I just write them down and use them.
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    ERRRRRGG Avocado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliDimayev View Post
    I just write them down and use them.
    That contributed a lot, thanks.

    Ses, have you ever used the White Rabbit Press cards? A review on Amazon of the Tuttle cards directed me there and they look quite good (at least they appeal to me more because they don't use romaji).

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    OK. I have the Nelson Kanji dictionary. I take a new charcahter write it down 100 times, make a flash card, and try to learn some compounds with it.
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avocado View Post
    I normally just study kanji out of textbooks, but when I'm bored and looking to switch it up I use Read The Kanji just to test myself on some compounds that'll show up on the test. It's not ideal for learning kanji, but it's fun and help passes the time (plus it's web-based, which means that you can sign into your account on any computer).

    Upgrayedd, where did you get the Kanji in Context book? I'm looking to start some more in-depth self study and it seems pretty good. I've heard, though, that it can be pretty hard to find and somewhat expensive (?). One textbook and two workbooks, right?
    I found the book at kinokunya and bought the first workbook from amazon.jp. I haven't bought the second workbook yet because I'm not up to that many kanji yet.

    American amazon sells the book for 50+ and the workbook 75+ but at the Japanese amazon site you can get it for 3,000 and 2,500 for the first workbook.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

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    Senior Member Urthona's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    You can also get Kanji in Context from your local bookstore if they have a section for learning Japanese.

    It is a really useful textbook - just hope to god that anki doesn't crash and wipe out your cards when you get to around lesson 60 or 70 making you have to reenter the whole damn lot and realize that you will get crazy amounts of cards that need to be reviewed.

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    Senior Member Yeti99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avocado View Post
    That contributed a lot, thanks.

    Ses, have you ever used the White Rabbit Press cards? A review on Amazon of the Tuttle cards directed me there and they look quite good (at least they appeal to me more because they don't use romaji).
    I've got volume one & two of the White Rabbit kanji cards. I quite like them. I highly recommend them.
    Mark it zero!

  19. #19
    ERRRRRGG Avocado's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    Hmm...I didn't know that speedanki was solely online, thought that there was a downloadable client. I usually make my own flashcards on my computer and use Mnemosyne (another program that utilizes some special algorythm that spaces out when you need to redo a card) to learn vocab, kanji, etc. It seems pretty similar to anki except that you make cards on any subject and don't have to be online to use it.

    Thanks for the tip on where to find the book! There are some larger bookstores in my area, I'll have to check to see if they have them

  20. #20
    ITIL's Favorite Beaner! Gusuke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji, how do you study them?

    Rote memorization works me, and I'm also playing a DS game to practice for the 漢検.

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