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Thread: Kanji

  1. #21
    Member taysukidesu's Avatar
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    Default Kanji

    Do Wanikani. Just do it. The first two weeks are awful because there's really nothing in the SRS system, but after level 4 or 5 (so, about a month) it really picks up.

    I tried Heisig on Anki, no good. I tried Genki, no good. I even went to a Japanese language school for four months, no good. Could not identify kanji for the life of me.
    Now, that doesn't mean I couldn't read. Reading stuff aimed at learners was easy, because I'd memorized a lot of words, but I couldn't read anything new because I didn't know readings and thusly, could not learn new words without a ton of effort. I was one of the people who argued that you should just learn "through immersion" but it's shitty. That's how you learn vocabulary and alternative readings, but you have to have a base, and Wanikani gives that to you.

    At the very least, pay for one month after you finish the trial and then decide if you want to commit. I am hooked. It's a shame it took me so long to come around...

    Edit// I also write the kanji/vocabulary down in a notebook when I review, whether I'm at my laptop or using my phone. Once for the reading and once for the meaning.
    Last edited by taysukidesu; April 29th, 2015 at 01:02.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by taysukidesu View Post
    Do Wanikani. Just do it. The first two weeks are awful because there's really nothing in the SRS system, but after level 4 or 5 (so, about a month) it really picks up.

    I tried Heisig on Anki, no good. I tried Genki, no good. I even went to a Japanese language school for four months, no good. Could not identify kanji for the life of me.
    Now, that doesn't mean I couldn't read. Reading stuff aimed at learners was easy, because I'd memorized a lot of words, but I couldn't read anything new because I didn't know readings and thusly, could not learn new words without a ton of effort. I was one of the people who argued that you should just learn "through immersion" but it's shitty. That's how you learn vocabulary and alternative readings, but you have to have a base, and Wanikani gives that to you.

    At the very least, pay for one month after you finish the trial and then decide if you want to commit. I am hooked. It's a shame it took me so long to come around...

    Edit// I also write the kanji/vocabulary down in a notebook when I review, whether I'm at my laptop or using my phone. Once for the reading and once for the meaning.
    Awesome, just registered my account there.

    I think I'm in the same boat as you were starting out. I can recognize like 100-150 characters right now through repetition, but I know veeery little about radicals and readings. Would help to be able to figure out how to look up kanji that way instead of just being totally lost...

  3. #23
    PIKITIS!!!!! x_stei's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    Awesome, just registered my account there.

    I think I'm in the same boat as you were starting out. I can recognize like 100-150 characters right now through repetition, but I know veeery little about radicals and readings. Would help to be able to figure out how to look up kanji that way instead of just being totally lost...
    Here is a short guide on how to look up kanji using radicals on jisho.org.

    1. Identify the radical of the kanji you're looking up.
    2. Figure out how many strokes it takes to write that radical.
    3. Figure out how many strokes it takes the write the whole character/Kanji.
    4. Head to jisho.org
    5. Underneath jisho and to the left of the search bar, click on "radicals".
    6. The radical "chart" will pop up below the search bar. It is ordered in ascending number of strokes for each radical. Click on the radical according to the number of strokes it takes to write it.
    7. Another area above the radical chart will pop up with kanji written with that radical. Find the number of strokes it takes to write the whole character, that kanji should be listed. Click on it and append "#kanji" to the search bar and it should lead you to an encyclpedic page of kunyomi, onyomi and stroke order.

    Let me know if any of this was hard to understand and I can clarify with an example.

    Does anyone know why some of the kanji listed are grey and some are black? Is it because the grey ones are not part of the 1006 kanji for native elementary school students?
    Last edited by x_stei; April 29th, 2015 at 02:10.
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  4. #24

    Default Re: Kanji

    I use jisho.org to look up kanji all the time. It's a great website.

    x, they just recently reno'd the website. Everything in on the left of the searchbar now, but it's all clearly labeled. As for the black and grey I think it's the joyo kanji that you learn up to high school.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Kanji

    classic.jisho.org if you prefer the old site, like me
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  6. #26
    Member taysukidesu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    classic.jisho.org if you prefer the old site, like me
    YOU'RE MY HERO

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by taysukidesu View Post
    YOU'RE MY HERO
    Humbled.
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    I use jisho.org to look up kanji all the time. It's a great website.

    x, they just recently reno'd the website. Everything in on the left of the searchbar now, but it's all clearly labeled. As for the black and grey I think it's the joyo kanji that you learn up to high school.
    Okay A, I'm a little bit confused, but that's okay. Regarding the black and grey kanji: that makes sense.

    classic.jisho.org just screams USABILITY, but even classier would be http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/c...wwwjdic.cgi?1C, the database jisho.org was based on.
    Last edited by x_stei; April 30th, 2015 at 02:32.
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Kanji

    I just got wanikani and started the first session. It reminds me of this:


    Is that all this is? Just giving radicals names and saying, "You can remember power by thinking of a dude flexing his arm!"
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Kanji

    You know, I thought that too! It seems childish, but you don't know which methods work for people.
    Fleetwood Mac sex pants, new band name, I call it!
    Oooh, you know what, maybe just Fleetwood Mac.
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  11. #31
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by x_stei View Post
    You know, I thought that too! It seems childish, but you don't know which methods work for people.
    Word. I'm not calling it stupid. I just don't think it suits me. I'm wondering if maybe that's just one phase of a more comprehensive approach.
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  12. #32
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    Word. I'm not calling it stupid. I just don't think it suits me. I'm wondering if maybe that's just one phase of a more comprehensive approach.
    Give me sometime and I'll write up a good explanation Ina few hours.

    Just keep doing the boring ass reviews for the time being
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  13. #33

    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    I just got wanikani and started the first session. It reminds me of this:

    Is that all this is? Just giving radicals names and saying, "You can remember power by thinking of a dude flexing his arm!"
    You remembered it, didn't you?! I think mnemonics are great! They definitely work for me. I actually started a paid sub a couple of days ago 'cause I've got high hopes for it.

  14. #34
    Member taysukidesu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Most of their mnemonics are really stupid, but I find they usually inspire me to think of a different story (that isn't stupid and is more relatable to me) based off key words or a concept they have in their own.

    The radicals are pretty straightforward through level 11 (where I currently am) and don't really need mnemonics in my honest opinion, but I guess for a complete newbie to Japanese writing, they're necessary to learn them all.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Haha yeah, but to be fair, I already knew it. I just think it's kind of separate and disconnected from the language. My approach was always, "This symbol is TIKARA. It means power. RYOKU." Then I'd write it a bunch. I think it's just the way my memory works. Who knows how much I would have liked it when I was a beginning student? If it works for a lot of people, that's great!
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    Word. I'm not calling it stupid. I just don't think it suits me. I'm wondering if maybe that's just one phase of a more comprehensive approach.
    That's exactly correct. There is a HUGE reason they are teaching you like this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Frap View Post
    You remembered it, didn't you?! I think mnemonics are great! They definitely work for me. I actually started a paid sub a couple of days ago 'cause I've got high hopes for it.
    This is exactly the point. It stuck. It might have been stupid but it sis stick and you will remember... Until you don't need it anymore.
    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    Haha yeah, but to be fair, I already knew it. I just think it's kind of separate and disconnected from the language. My approach was always, "This symbol is TIKARA. It means power. RYOKU." Then I'd write it a bunch. I think it's just the way my memory works. Who knows how much I would have liked it when I was a beginning student? If it works for a lot of people, that's great!
    Okay, so here's the big difference between that strategy and a heisig SRS based approach (which is what anki is).

    The goal is to build reading ability without worrying about literacy at the beginning. A huge mistake foreigners male when learning Japanese is to assume that the phonetic representation is sufficient and then you can learn the kanji as parts of words.

    The problem is that's not how they are supposed to be learned nor is it how a native of those languages process them. They are built of recognizable components, which are used to differentiate one from another. More importantly, they aren't solidified all at once to the native but rather progressively. They see the design, they see the incorporates style, they get the meaning , and then they incorporate the final product into new words.

    Now ask a Japanese person this and theyll tell you I'm nuts. They don't think of its like that... Until you ask them a series of questions to get it out of em (which I've bee. Doing. Ya live research).

    Now as for anki itself, let's make it simpler for you when you start. If you're already somewhat familiar with Japanese ignore their nmenoics for the radicals, and just do what comes naturally. The important part about learning them is to make it MUCH easier to differentiate them later. If you've done heisig before, ignore them. If you only had 300 kanji under your belt, forget that you ever knew then and follow the system.

    If you don't like their stories, make your own based on their radical names.

    Now as for the old, learn everything at once approach. That was me. Four years of uni, a bunch of kanji under my belt, but no ability yo use em. Then I learned about heisig from a friend who went from near nothing to near native in four years (with more than 3k kanji learned). I followed that, and it drastically transformed my learning and speed. Most importantly my retention and ability to manipulate the kanji was WAY higher. In the end I stopped heisig and moved to wanikani (after 1800 kanji) because I'm lazy. Wanikani gave me progressive vocabulary based on kanji I already know without me having to do anything. That addition of relevant vocabulary AFTER solidifying the kanji was a huge boost to my learning speed and using the system reduced my time investment drastically as I didn't need to find em myself.

    Now this has been a long ramble, full of typos.. Yay phone! If you have any specific questions I'll do my best but today I am computer less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Kanji

    Writing them about a bunch of times will help you remember it, for sure. Are you gonna write out 2000+ kanji every day, because I promise once you stop doing that much of your kanji knowledge is going to disappear within a few months. The "cram" method only works short term. It's great for taking a test, not so great for actually remembering it after. How much material of a test would you remember within a few months of taking it back in school? The spaced repetition system helps you cement your study over time.

    Even if you don't use Heisig / WaniKani, you need to use an SRS system if you want the knowlege to stick. Frankly though, people who say that "Heisig doesn't work for me" when they've only done a hundred kanji or so (about 5% of it) are missing the point. It isn't meant to teach you all the kanji. It's meant to create a base, an understanding of kanji patterns, the radicals that compose them, their most basic meanings and how you might use them. You're meant to blow through it relatively quickly to supplement your other study.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Kanji

    The problem for me isn't breaking down kanji or using radicals to group them, or anything like that. I can't get behind turning everything into English and making stories for radicals. I used WaniKani for about 6 minutes and said, nah, eff this, so I could be missing out big time. I couldn't get past the "These are the fins! They aren't like feet, so they're not people, but picture a fish!" Also I think it very well could have been useful for me in the past, but it's too late. I don't want my comprehension to be contingent on weird stories for symbol construction and reasoning them out in English. I probably sound either pretentious or curmudgeonly, but it seems really misguided to me.

    But... if it helps, then rock the hell on. I hope everyone finds the method that works best for them.
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  19. #39
    Member taysukidesu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    You're not supposed to rely on the mnemonic forever. It's just a vehicle for moving an item from short term to long term memory, and a way for you to piece together a piece of writing in the wild. Eventually, you grow familiar enough with the kanji and its related vocabulary to the point you don't think about it. Do you remember learning kana? I'm pretty sure everyone used a mnemonic, visual or otherwise. I certainly did. Now when I read kana and it feels unnatural to assume that it would mean anything other than how it reads. Like, it's just SO obvious か means KA, to the point I subconsciously assume they're written the same way; that's the ultimate goal in using something like Wanikani.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Sounds good! I didn't learn kana that way, but maybe I should have.
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