First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
Post Reply For those who are learning kanji
19958 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
19 / F / Oslo
Offline
Posted 11/12/12
Hey guys, so I just have a question for everyone who's learning kanji.

Right now, I'm almost done with my first kanji book that teaches me around the first 250 kanji, and the company has an overall of 4 workbooks, claiming to end at about 1000 kanji if you were to buy and read them all.

What my question was that, if I was to finish all of these workbooks, where do I go from there? Because doesn't your average Japanese newspaper require you to know around 2500 kanji? Is there a more efficient way to practice kanji in a more orderly manner once I'm finished with the first 1000 instead of searching for the ones I don't know?

I just feel like, although it's effective, that searching through the web or some random novel for things to read and discover takes a lot of time, and I'd like to reach the 2500 mark in around 5 years. (learning around 2-3 kanji per day.)

Thanks!
210 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / F / The Netherlands
Offline
Posted 11/13/12
If you are going to work with a book, then try another one.
For example Remembering the Kanji by James W. Heisig teaches you 2200 characters.
I think the books you are buying are focussed on selling you as many books as possible and you're even better off with just searching the Kanji on the internet.
56315 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / M / WI
Offline
Posted 11/13/12
Remembering the kanji is a great book. Another rec I'd have is Read Japanese today by Ben Walsh. I really liked how it covered the evolution of each kanji from the early pictographs the Chinese used all they way until the Japanese picked them up. While it doesn't give you stroke orders I found it easier to remember the symbols by what they first represented.

While most students out of high school know over 2,000 kanji you only need about 900 to be fairly literate. Get urself a good kanji dictionary and ur set.
53207 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
42 / M / Canada
Offline
Posted 11/14/12
I started out by trying to memorize them and write them all but now I find it is better to learn them on demand with a good dictionary. This way I am learning relevant kanji instead of ones I will soon forget. I find unless I read a lot of Japanese I tend to forget them so it works out that the kanji I encounter at least a few times are the ones that stick in my head. Kanji you encounter once are not useful unless you are a Japanese literature student.

Learning jukugo is more important than just learning kanji in the long run anyways. Just putting random kanji together makes no sense for many compound words. They are more than just the sum of their parts.

For home use The Kanji Dictionary is great and I have an awesome pocket progressive Japanese-only dictionary for away from home.
16017 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / 僕の部屋
Offline
Posted 11/14/12
Good to see people who actually take an interest in learning the language properly. I don't see any particularly good reason why one shouldn't be able to learn Kanji in much the same way as it's learnt in Japan. As far as how much/many you should know, obviously, the more the better, but, that said, between 1000 and 2000 (the right ones that is) should be enough to get you into university in Japan. about 1000 or so should cover most manga, ads, anime, video games, etc. To be safe, learning the 2100 odd Jouyou Kanji would be my firm recommendation. By the time you've got that down pat, using a Kanji dictionary should be pretty much second nature. And beyond the Jouyou, I'd be inclined to recommend you just learn them as you go. There's tens if not hundreds of thousands of Kanji, seriously, for every single word in the Japanese language, there is technically a kanji equivalent, but, not even the most proficient among those of us who speak/read/write the language know all of them.

The best way to learn the language is to get out there and use it. Get yourself some Japanese books, magazines, manga, newspapers, etc. Try joining some Japanese social forums and learn to use Japanese wrong the right way (if that makes any sense). The more you learn the more you realise just how much you do not know. You will not know what you don't know until know enough to appreciate that you don't know it. So just work your way through the Jouyou kanji (while learning the rest of the language properly too of course) and by the time you've worked your way through that, you'll be set to at least be able to figure out for yourself how to figure Japanese out yourself.

I really hope that doesn't sound too cryptic. Best of luck, I hope you find great success with learning Japanese and fear not, it really is one of the simplest languages in the world (if you can get your head around English, you can get your head around Japanese).
63023 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
47 / M / KC
Online
Posted 11/14/12
I'd recommend using several techniques. The contrast amongst them should help reinforce your memory of the kanji and vocabulary you learn.

I definitely recommend Heisig's "Remembering The Kanji" series. There are 3 volumes, but the first two are what you need. I'll warn you that the series isn't as good for teaching you all the pronunciations.

To help with that, I recommend Anki. This is a program that uses spaced repetition with flash cards. You can download sets for free. I'd recommend getting a kanji set as well as a vocabulary set.

Finally... read! Practice what you learn. You'll remember it better that way. There are many dual language books that can help ease your transition to reading Japanese books, so you should start there.

You'll still need to work on grammar, though.
19958 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
19 / F / Oslo
Offline
Posted 11/14/12
Thanks guys! I'm definitely going to check out this book called "Remembering The Kanji"
When it comes to pronunciation, I think I'm ok because I have Pimsleur's Japanese that pretty much hammers the language into your brain; and I save all the grammatical stuff for my workbooks and dictionaries :)

But seriously! Thanks! You've all been a great help.
112 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
37 / M / Canada
Offline
Posted 11/15/12
I have the book A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters from Kenneth G. Henshall and I like it very much. I also use the site http://www.surusu.com/ to do flashcards and it is very good. Finally, I subscribed to the Word Of The Day from the website http://www.japanesepod101.com/index.php. I receive a Japanese word every day for free. Try it !
21010 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F
Offline
Posted 11/17/12
What helped me was to of course to write and memorize the kanji.
But what was even more important was as someone said: to use it in real life as in reading books, manga,newspapers and so on.
It can also help(when learning to read) to find a japanese chat friend.Then you get to practice what you've learned and probably will discover new kanji characters as well. Good luck!
1387 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
29 / F / Kumamoto, Japan
Offline
Posted 11/17/12
Anki. Not a book. It's a free application you can get on your phone or download to your computer. You can make your own Kanji lists or use lists other people have made. I use it for my JLPT test studying. Very helpful and... free. :)

The thing with kanji is to not only learn the words it can be associated with, but to focus on learning both the on yomi and kun yomi readings. Kun yomi is the Japanese reading. On yomi is the Chinese reading. It's usually associated with the kanji when the kanji is in a word, or not first in the word. Knowing the different readings will help you be able to read it in a word you have perhaps never seen before. From there it's an easy look up in a dictionary now that you know how to read it.
12281 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / North Carolina, USA
Offline
Posted 12/15/12

mesomuffin wrote:

I'm definitely going to check out this book called "Remembering The Kanji"


Just know that the book is not about learning the readings or pronunciation AT ALL.
It is strictly a book about using mnemonics to remember the meaning of individual kanji in English.
There is no Japanese taught in the book.
16108 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M
Offline
Posted 1/6/13
Memorizing straight kanji will only take you so far, as most words are compounds and every kanji has multiple readings. I would strongly recommend learning words, and learn the kanji as you increase your vocabulary. Good books to do that with are the JLPT study guides, I like the "Nihongo So Matome" series. Most are broken up for daily practice with 8-10 new kanji a day, but also with 5-6 words per kanji that use that kanji. My N3 kanji book had about 200 new kanji, but also from those kanji it taught me close to 1000 new words. Take that information and drop it into an Anki deck and you will be golden.

In the computer age, reading kanji is also becoming more important that being able to write it, as your PC will do that for you.
40756 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M
Offline
Posted 1/6/13
I use my Galaxy S3 phone with apps
10832 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M / United States
Offline
Posted 1/6/13
I plan on learning it myself time permitting. It's been something I've wanted to do for the last 7 years I had quite a few Japanese friends some years ago and I learned a little bit from them but not nearly enough.
26251 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 1/20/13
I first studied through the meanings of the elementary school kanji (a bit over 1,000 kanji), then I drilled through those meanings many times. I'm about 300 characters into the junior high kanji now. After study and drilling, many characters are still very fuzzy, though I seemed to pick up some of them quite easily. The fuzzy characters tend to solidify when I learn words that use them. As mentioned by others in this thread, learning words is very important for learning kanji.
First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.