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Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

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Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby ThePacster » Tue 01.22.2008 8:07 pm

I feel that I've reached a point in my studies where I need to change my priorities a little. As far as my book is concerned, I do fairly well grasping vocabulary and grammar in terms of reading, but writing kanji I've been neglecting and want to get back to it, but I'm not sure how much would be overkill.

A friend of mine who visited China gave me some practice paper with nicely sized squares to practice with, 20 x 15 so 300 squares. Using my books (Genki I & II), I figured I'd work from the ground up and refresh myself on kanji I know, and eventually lead up to the kanji I should be learning. [Ideally I'd like to write kanji together as words to practice writing them, but this is for the sake of passing my class first.]

Anywho, just how much writing do you guys consider overkill? A few kanji 10 times, 30 times a day? How do you practice writing kanji and how often?
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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 01.22.2008 8:45 pm

[Ideally I'd like to write kanji together as words to practice writing them, but this is for the sake of passing my class first.]


I don't think this makes sense -- writing the kanji by themselves over and over again is the worst way to learn to write them, so it's probably not going to help you as much in class. What do they ask you to do in terms of writing the kanji in class? That's probably what you should practice doing on your own.

Also what problems do you have writing the kanji? Is it that you can't remember which kanji are used in which words? Or that you don't remember the shapes?
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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby skrhgh3b » Tue 01.22.2008 9:46 pm

Good point. You can write a character 200 times and still forget how to write it six months later if all you're relying on is rote memorization in a notebook. All it's really good for is learning the stroke order for the first time and practicing your penmanship.
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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby ThePacster » Tue 01.22.2008 10:48 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
[Ideally I'd like to write kanji together as words to practice writing them, but this is for the sake of passing my class first.]


I don't think this makes sense -- writing the kanji by themselves over and over again is the worst way to learn to write them, so it's probably not going to help you as much in class. What do they ask you to do in terms of writing the kanji in class? That's probably what you should practice doing on your own.

Also what problems do you have writing the kanji? Is it that you can't remember which kanji are used in which words? Or that you don't remember the shapes?


Well I'm in what they call a "Critical Language Program" at my college so we don't really use them in class persay, but there is a list of kanji they expect us to be able to write and know the meanings of separately which I think is fruitless. But to humor them I'd like to practice moreso for penmanship than for learning the meanings of them, but I do have to know the meanings of the invidivudal kanji for the final exam. So perhaps the better question would be, when learning to write kanji, how much do you consider enough to work on good penmanship?
Last edited by ThePacster on Tue 01.22.2008 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby Wakannai » Wed 01.23.2008 8:28 am

once a day for 30 days is far more effective than 30 times in one day.

Instead of writing individual kanji, try writing your dialogues out. That's what I do.

As for penmanship. That's pretty much a personal priority.
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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby nukemarine » Wed 01.23.2008 10:07 am

Usually you only have to write it once to have it down pat (one of the benefits of the Heisig method). Now, memorizing the meaning and how to pronounce it in Japanese is another story. Since you only have a select few to learn, the Heisig method (in its entirety) is unsuitable. However, if the list you have to know is large enough (Genki is what, only 250?), do a variant that many do: find out the meaning of the radicals and develop visual stories or mnemonics off those.

Worry about penmanship later. That's kind of like worrying about the paint job of a car when the engine won't run.
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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby Orcrist » Wed 01.23.2008 6:25 pm

I'd defenitly recommend using an SRS. You won't have to worry about when to recall which kanji how many times, you only have to start the program every day and go mad. Very effective, and very efficient.
And ofcourse using mnemonics to remember how to write a kanji, and reading/writing them in context to remember reading a kanji helps alot.
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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby ThePacster » Thu 01.24.2008 12:57 pm

This is probably a stupid question, but what is an SRS?
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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby LustBaka » Thu 01.24.2008 1:34 pm

When I learn a new kanji i write it down a few times by itself just to make sure that I have the pronunciation and such down, then after that, like wakannai, i write out the dialogue for it. It works really well.

I also use flash cards, but that's just me.
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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby furrykef » Thu 01.24.2008 2:10 pm

ThePacster wrote:
This is probably a stupid question, but what is an SRS?


Nah, it's not a stupid question. SRS stands for Spaced Repetition System, a particular system of using flash cards. Three popular SRS programs are Super Memo, Mnemosyne, and Anki. (I recommend either of the latter two; Super Memo costs money and is buggy.) You can read about how they work at supermemo.com, as SuperMemo was the first program that truly developed the concept.

You should try one, though. They really do work wonders, but of course you still only get out what you put into them.

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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby tin00 » Thu 01.24.2008 2:14 pm

deleted because the previous poster was faster than me and said it better. ;)
Last edited by tin00 on Thu 01.24.2008 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Writing Kanji Practice: How much is enough?

Postby Orcrist » Thu 01.24.2008 5:42 pm

ThePacster wrote:
This is probably a stupid question, but what is an SRS?


I'm sorry, I should have provided a wikilink or atleast a small explanation. I tend to forget very few people still know about the existence of this software. :)
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