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Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?

RE: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby Oracle » Thu 01.31.2008 10:06 pm

The advantage of learning in a class is that you're forced into situations you're not quite comfortable with: like doing dialogues / presentation in Japanese in front of a class etc. That's when you have experiences which help your Japanese become more than just something for passive listening/reading. Self-study alone means you never really leave your comfort zone.
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RE: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 02.01.2008 12:12 am

I also find that having other people in the class means that questions get asked that you would never think of, or question things that you've wrongly assumed.
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RE: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby nukemarine » Fri 02.01.2008 12:17 am

I think the key here is to have a plan if/when you're going at it alone. Once I had a structure in place, the rest fell in line. So, for me, it was getting the Kanji out of the way and not sweating Japanese while I was doing it. Once it came to the sentences, that's where problems will come up for those doing the AJATT method. I think the book "Understanding Basic Japanese Grammar" was a god send. It gave the sample sentences in a logical order for you to build your SRS deck. I really feel that in three months of using that book, I can begin learning straight from Japanese sources.

Anyway, having a structured plan will make self study move effective that classes. I don't buy that you need to practice with other people just as bad at Japanese as you are to learn. I don't think a teacher will be there for the length of time needed to correct your mistakes. I definately don't think forcing output will help. These are just opinions I'm going off of so YMMV. The idea of a one size fits all to learning Japanese would be asinine.

Yes, a new thread on opinions for the perfectly structured language class (and self study path) would be good. Most will be suggestions for a good grammar book.
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RE: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 02.01.2008 9:54 am

But it seems like from what you're saying that you're still fairly early on in your studies, and furrykef is just starting out. I don't see how you can confidently state from these positions that you will never need classes, and that classes won't help anyone else either.
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RE: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby Jay3205 » Fri 02.01.2008 3:56 pm

I find correction from teachers pretty essential. I've tried studying from books and audio materials before, but it just doesn't seem to measure. There are several times when I've come across grammar or words that have very similar meaning, but there is still a difference in nuance.

There's also times when stuff is grammatically correct, but it isn't natural. For instance, if asked the question (in English) "Do you think he will come?", I would be far more likely to say "No, I don't think he'll come" than "No, I think he won't come". Then again, a vocal emphasis could also give a different nuance, and the emphasis tone I take in English most certainly would differ from when a word is emphasized in Japanese. It seems like that kind of thing is something that can't be effectively learned without someone explicitly explaining it.
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RE: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby ebellis » Mon 02.11.2008 10:04 pm

I've begun self study, and I must say this discussion cleared up some confusion i was having between hiragana, kanji and kana. I'd also like to believe that I can learn a fair amount through self study. To do this I've have a few books including the genki textbook and workbook, and to help with understanding I watch japanese dramas from time to time... if anyone has any other suggestions on what else might help, feel free to pm me
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RE: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby ebellis » Mon 02.11.2008 10:04 pm

accidental double post, sorry
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Re: RE: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby xhilononi234 » Sat 03.22.2008 5:24 pm

joieaumonde wrote:What I think is funny is that kanji originated from China and then, Japanese adopted it. Then, formed they two writings: hiragana, by simplifying the kanji, and katakana, by taking a piece from kanji characters. And then they use all three! I love it, I hate it. Although there are a lot of strokes to a character as opposed to it's hiragana or katakana equivalent, I like writing the kanji more. :D Does that go for anyone else?

Me, it's a lot more fun and eaiser to read! Since there are no spaces, I don't look at kana and have to figure out which kana are for what word. Also, according to Yoko Hasegawa, Ph.D in her book, Elementary Japanese: Volume 1, Kana was originally created by "buddhist clerics in the 9th century, based on the Sanskrit order of consonants and vowels (7)"

Newbies have to learn some basic Kanji. They are an integral part of the writing system. Kana is used mostly for verb forms and some words but a vast majority of words are written in Kanji. It is important to gain a small vocabulary then add on kanji, grammar and keep on studying other words. I can reccomend Yoko Hasegawa, Ph.D's book series, Elementary Japanese. It does a good job of introducing words, Kanji and grammar. It is for the first year of college education. I don't know your skill level but I'm just trying to help and give you my opimion.
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Re: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby Omnistegan » Sun 03.23.2008 2:46 pm

I just bought a Kanji Dictionary today. (Kanji & Kana: A Handbook of the Japanese Writing System ISBN:0-8048-2077-5)

I decided that since I had little trouble memorizing the Kana I should start tackling some Kanji. I'm not planning on knowing them all in the next month but I think it's good to have a reference, and a basic understanding of Kanji. I hope I can learn even just one Kanji a day, and then the plan is that as the days go by, I'll learn to understand more and more written Japanese.
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Re: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby RiderofNesme » Thu 04.10.2008 11:15 pm

I want to know if I should try and learn the stroke orders of a limited number of Kanji? Even do my Japanese vocabulary is any where between 10 and 20 words. Because I have the book Remembering the Kanji by James Heisig the first volume only. He explains that he will only give you the stroke order and the basic meaning because later on when combine with other kanji the basic meaning no longer applies. Well that is my understanding of the intro of the book. Oh, and I know Hiragana and Katakana.
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Re: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 04.11.2008 7:33 am

Your question is pretty much what this entire thread (and others) have discussed -- some people recommend Heisig, others don't. You have to make the decision for yourself; I don't think there's any point rehashing this whole thread again.

(One note, however -- Heisig book 1 is made to be used as a whole. It doesn't really work to use it only for 200 kanji or something like that.)
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Re: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby yukamina » Fri 04.11.2008 1:06 pm

RiderofNesme wrote:I want to know if I should try and learn the stroke orders of a limited number of Kanji? Even do my Japanese vocabulary is any where between 10 and 20 words. Because I have the book Remembering the Kanji by James Heisig the first volume only. He explains that he will only give you the stroke order and the basic meaning because later on when combine with other kanji the basic meaning no longer applies. Well that is my understanding of the intro of the book. Oh, and I know Hiragana and Katakana.

Not sure what you're asking...
Learn the stroke order for the kanji as presented in the book. Once you know the stroke order for the components, all you have to do is add them together to get more complicated kanji. The 'basic meaning' usually applies to the words the kanji appear in.
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Re: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby Miyamoto Mushashi » Fri 04.11.2008 2:36 pm

If all words written in hiragana. It would difficult to distinguish the definition. Because most Japanese word has more than one mean. For instance, the word "good" in English it defines as morally admirable, and products. In Hiragana one word with more than definitions if written in hira its mean first definition, with the help of kanji it define as second definition. You know what I mean.
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Re: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 04.11.2008 2:53 pm

Please don't bring up the same points that have already been discussed in the topic. If you are not willing to read the 19 pages of what has already been written, do not reply. (Which means this thread should be allowed to die unless someone has something really new and relevant to add. There should be no upper limit on a length of a thread as long as everyone is reading the entire topic and adding new information.)

(I also would encourage the mods not to lock this topic; the issues discussed in this thread are very frequent topics and if this is allowed to be locked and to drift away, I'm afraid the same topic will come up again in a whole new thread. I would like to keep this topic in memory, at least, since it contains almost everything I want to say about the "kanji are necessary for Japanese" issue and the Heisig issue.)
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Re: Why Are Newbies Learning The Freakin Kanji?!

Postby RiderofNesme » Sat 04.12.2008 11:28 pm

Yudan Taiteki what books would you recommend for learning kanji?
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