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Thread: Few random questions

  1. #21
    ฿300,000,000 greengoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Few random questions

    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

    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.
    Last edited by greengoo; March 22nd, 2012 at 01:04.
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  2. #22

    Default Re: Few random questions

    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

    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 . . . .

  3. #23
    Senior Member Eudox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flowerpoddess View Post
    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.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudox View Post
    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?

  5. #25
    Senior Member Eudox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flowerpoddess View Post
    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:



    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.
    Last edited by Eudox; March 22nd, 2012 at 15:16.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Few random questions

    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
    Chinese 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.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Few random questions

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by MJN View Post
    Since when does awareness of surrounding make an ALT better? Chances are if they didn't have a clue and got lost in the forest and eaten by bears on the way to work, the school would be better off and the ALT would in turn be a better ALT.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Eudox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Few random questions

    *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.
    Last edited by Eudox; March 23rd, 2012 at 07:24.

  9. #29
    ฿300,000,000 greengoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Few random questions

    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.
    Your best? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit
    It's like GG's life is run by a DM who lets him take all skill checks with his charisma modifier.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flowerpoddess View Post
    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.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Few random questions

    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 ( 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 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?

  12. #32
    ฿300,000,000 greengoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flowerpoddess View Post

    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?
    Your best? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit
    It's like GG's life is run by a DM who lets him take all skill checks with his charisma modifier.

  13. #33

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    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.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudox View Post
    *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!
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  15. #35
    Senior Member Eudox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Page View Post
    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.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Few random questions

    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.

  17. #37
    Senior Member Eudox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flowerpoddess View Post
    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...

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