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Thread: Kanji

  1. #1

    Default Kanji

    It's so hard. How do I learn it....? I can't remember it without attaching at least one reading to it, so Heisig doesn't work for me... and repetition is pretty slow progress, but at least it helps me retain. I've learned a bit over 100 since August (and that's not even all readings in some cases...). After I'm done with my Genki I stuff, I'm gonna invest in Genki II, but I'm trying to figure out how to supplement it, too. Would maybe be useful to slowly start to work my way through the first few grades of jouyou Kanji? Would love some suggestions.

  2. #2
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    It might sound like lazy advice, but it's how I've done it. I just read stuff. When I see kanji I don't know, I guess at the meaning and reading, and look it up at classic.jisho.org
    It works better when I'm in Japan and get all kinds of exposure, but the internet is handy.
    車庫 B1F

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kanji

    Along with Bif, I found the best way for me was buying a manga and reading through it with BifCarbet's strategy. I started with Dragonball, since most of those had the hirigana in them anyways, but having something you WANT to read and mixing that with study really seemed to make the task seem more managable to me. Just find something you actually want to read, and find it in japanese.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Kanji

    yeah I'm trying to make it through a Shimajiro book my Japanese prof gave me and it's slow progress lol. That's not even kanji, really just grammar/vocab, but I keep telling myself I need to finish it before starting something new! I guess picking up a Doraemon manga or something might be good for some low-level Kanji stuff, though.

    I'm sure the constant exposure helps SO much... I just need to force myself to get as much exposure as I can I guess before I'm dropped over there with no other choice haha.

  5. #5
    PIKITIS!!!!! x_stei's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    This post is made with the assumption that you are a beginner at Kanji.

    Kanji is such an enigma and it's so hard to make shit stick. Whatever kanji writing skills I learnt from the Genki I workbook has mostly been forgotten.

    I agree with beef car bay, I think immersion is obviously the best way to learn kanji. Maybe there is a way to simulate this. Go to local Japanese stores and check out the books and the manga. Read magazines in things you're interested in. My all time favourite way that I have learnt kanji is to watch dramas with Japanese subtitles on them and listen carefully to each dialogue as you go. Sometimes multiple watches are necessary. Also, variety shows are big help because often times they have subtitles for funny phrases or just labels of people and topics at hand.

    If you're into Jpop, romanize lyrics. You can find original kanji lyrics at http://www.uta-net.com/. And then try one song you have heard or like. Or romanize one where romaji lyrics are readily available. I used to do this alot and it made me more confident in my Japanese skills.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Kanji

    Yeah, I only know like 100 lol. I guess recognition is probably more important than writing anyway. Writing really helps me memorize, it's just very tedious sometimes... the Kanji from Genki though has really stuck because of it, though.

    I think I'll try out the variety show thing, though, and definitely transcribing/translating songs since at least it has me writing things/hopefully committing them to memory?

    Thank yooou

  7. #7
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Oh yeah, x_stei, the music one is great, especially if you add karaoke to it. I learned a lot of words in context, and the kanji for them by singing songs I like at karaoke.
    車庫 B1F

  8. #8

    Default Re: Kanji

    I started with workbooks, like the Genki I and II, then I dove straight into writing everything I could in kanji when I studied - new vocab? Write it in kanji, write the furigana over it and then write the definition. I learned about 500 or so that way. Then I started to translate everything that crossed my desk at my main school - which gives you a lot of education vocab, but not a lot else. At my max I probably could read about 700 or so, which was more than enough for daily life. Although I fell off the study wagon about a year ago and haven't been bothered to study much at all since then.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Kanji

    If you're not using some kind of SRS software then you're going to have real trouble memorizing that much data, and you'll probably forget most of it the minute you stop doing it every day. Have you tried using Heisig with Anki or kanji.koohii.com? I don't believe you can say it "doesn't work for you" if you've only learned 100 kanji so far. It's the kind of thing that starts to make more and more sense the further you get into it. Once you get about 500-1000 kanji in your mind starts making all these little connections and suddenly it all starts to make a lot more sense.

    Being able to associate meanings with certain kanji really helps you to understand kanji compound words and learning them by particle order really helps you get the internal logic. It'll help you with readings later too, as similar kanji often have very similar readings. I can't imagine trying to learn kanji by any other way, tbh it sounds like completely frustrating agony.

  10. #10
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Some type of srs is nescessary to keep it in the head, combined with exposure.

    If you can do it yourself, go the anki way with some heisig and then a lot of reading practice.

    If you don't want to do it yourself and cna afford to toss 100$ at it, sign up for wanikani and do their system for a year.
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  11. #11
    PIKITIS!!!!! x_stei's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    Oh yeah, x_stei, the music one is great, especially if you add karaoke to it. I learned a lot of words in context, and the kanji for them by singing songs I like at karaoke.
    This is how I learnt/learned hiragana.

    And yes, you can learn a lot about pronunciation in different contexts and even some rare pronunciations for words when you pay attention to song lyrics. I've obviously spent/spended way too much time listening to Jpop.

  12. #12
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    KanjiBox is my preferred SRS method for kanji. The online version is free and the app is reasonably priced.

    I think learning kanji in context is absolutely critical, but SRS methods are great for retaining the knowledge and differentiating between similar looking kanji. It also can test you on meanings, vocab, readings, and fill in the blanks, which is why I favor KanjiBox over Anki. But go with whatever you like best.

  13. #13
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    I used to use kanjibox, before anki. Kanjibox just is not a good training tool. Great testing tool, but for learning it just seems inferior all around.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    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.

  14. #14
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    I'll give you that. I would definitely not recommend it if you're a beginner, but it's good for testing recognition. I already had a pretty solid grasp of kanji before I started using it.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Kanji

    Yea I should probably force myself to use an SRS but right now it's really not working for me... Not to say it eventually won't though because you're right there's really just too many. I tried Heisig but it really confused/frustrated me since it didn't have any readings attached to it. I just wanna at least take a reading or 2 out of it lol. I guess I could do that on the side though.

    I'll check out kanji box and I heard wanikani is good? I signed up for the beta so I'll hopefully be able to try it out soon. I think the hardest part right now is figuring out some solid methods and sticking to them with consistency...

  16. #16
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    I'm not great with kanji, but I kind of like the Wanikani method of learning radicals. It's been the most effective for me. For me the kanji for new, "新" is stand (立) + tree (木) + axe (斤). For me, breaking it down like this really helps me learn these much faster.

    I also agree with Jiggs though that it's helpful to know the meaning behind the kanji. For me, if I don't know the meaning behind the kanji, it just looks like a bunch of squiggly lines.
    Last edited by johnny; April 22nd, 2015 at 23:25.

  17. #17
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    I used to use the White Rabbit flash cards along with reading pretty much everything I could. Anki works as well, but I am lazy about setting up decks. I like renshuu.org since it's free and doesn't require an extra app.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    I'm not great with kanji, but I kind of like the Wanikani method of learning radicals. It's been the most effective for me. For me the kanji for new, "新" is stand (立) + tree (木) + axe (斤). For me, breaking it down like this really helps me learn these much faster.

    I also agree with Jiggs though that it's helpful to know the meaning behind the kanji. For me, if I don't know the meaning behind the kanji, it just looks like a bunch of squiggly lines.
    Ohh yeah, when I actually know the radicals, it's definitely easier for me to process more complex Kanji so I'll definitely give wanikani a shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by coop52 View Post
    I used to use the White Rabbit flash cards along with reading pretty much everything I could. Anki works as well, but I am lazy about setting up decks. I like renshuu.org since it's free and doesn't require an extra app.
    Thanks for suggesting white rabbit I think I might invest in the first pack. I think a big reason on why SRS doesn't work for me is because so much of it is on a screen, and I just don't process things well like that... I've always retained so much more when I'm doing something tangibly/actively, so hopefully those could be a good solution?

  19. #19
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    Sure, as long as you do the method they recommend where you have different piles or whatever. I forget the details, but it's a way to make sure you review the cards every once in a while. Get a little card case at the 100 yen. The one they sell on their site is the exact same but costs like 800.

  20. #20
    Looking for some chaw acpc2203's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kanji

    I used Anki and reading to learn Kanji. I was about N2 level (~1000 kanji) but I slacked off and forgot a bunch, plus a bunch of the kunyomi and onyomi from the ones I remember. My goal is to pass N1 when I get back from JET so I just started studying again, though I feel the grammar will be much harder, I think I have maybe N3 level grammar :/.

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