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How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kana ma

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How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kana ma

Postby Feba » Fri 09.21.2007 8:45 am

I've recently come back to trying to learn Japanese, and I'm still getting kinda stuck with Hiragana.

my problem is that it's just hard for me to tell some of them apart, like め&ぬ、きさち、わねれ, and so on. I'm curious if anyone else has this problem, or has some good ways to remember which is which, as even if I manage to learn the kana eventually, I can easily see how this could become a problem with kanji. I'd really like to nip this problem in the bud, if I can.
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby saraLynne » Fri 09.21.2007 9:06 am

Anecdote:

I have recently had a front row seat, watching my two children learn how to write in English over the last couple of years. Honestly it made me feel a whole lot better about my own efforts in Japanese.

It's not really so different... confusing d/b/a and g/q and f/t or making the loop on a P so big it looks like a D..... and I had never recalled how hard it was to learn to write with uniform size and spacing.

/anecdote ^_^

There's no shortcuts around it... reading and writing only become easier through high volume repetition. Read them. A lot. Write them. A LOT.

If you like japanese music, find some romaji lyrics to a song you like and transcribe them into hiragana. You're not doing it to learn the words, so don't worry about whether they're normally in kanji or not. It's just supposed to be fun (and helpful).

check out http://www.lrnj.com and get the free version of Slime Forest. The kanji part is interesting but I used it for fun drills on kana. I can honestly say my recognition of kana is very much attributed to that game.

Understand that recognition will not be great, even after all that, until you start to know more words. Then, you will be able to figure out which is which from context. When I see, 「だれ?」 I know that's a "re" at the end because the word is.. "dare?" (means, "Who?")

You'll get it, and don't feel bad or like you're behind because you have these problems. It's only natural! Do your best and push through. がんばれ!
Last edited by saraLynne on Fri 09.21.2007 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby Feba » Fri 09.21.2007 9:39 am

and I had never recalled how hard it was to learn to write with uniform size and spacing.


Ugh, my handwriting *still* looks like a third grader's. I could blame it on me typing everything, but it's really just because I never bothered learning how to have much control over my hands. You should see me draw, I have absolutely no sense of proportion either.

Anyway, as to the rest of it, thanks for the ideas. I think the site I use for pillows lyrics has the original (written japanese) lyrics on their forums, and I could just use rikaichan to break down the hiragana from that, and just double check it against the romaji lyrics. I did something like this before, but instead of using music I just took the sentences from lessons (such as from this site, the NHK stuff, etc), then broke it down into four levels-- the written version, with kanji, hiragana only, romaji, and then finally the english meaning. this was somewhat of a boring process though, as I occasionally got a point where I was thinking much faster than I was typing-- which as I mentioned above, I use more for communication than verbal means, so it's no small feat!

I tried slime forest before, but I remember it being *extremely* boring. Some people might say that educational games are always boring, but given I remember having lots of fun with educational games way back when Windows 95 was the king OS, I know that's simply not true. Hell, even the asahi-net kanji drill thing was much more fun than I remember Slime Forest being, and it's *just a glorified flashcard program*!

Anyway, your post does give me a bit of hope... I could figure out both words easily without any help, although I think I might need to turn up font sizes a bit! (small edit:) That, combined with the fact that I can be very anal with English (on other forums, I have a habit of going around insulting [native english speaking] people that misuse words, like effect/affect, their/they're/there, your/you're, and so on), at least with other people who speak it as a first language, I think I have hope of being able to tell things apart once I become more familiar with them.
Last edited by Feba on Fri 09.21.2007 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby Denus » Fri 09.21.2007 10:43 am

The only major problems I have with reading is the difference between シ and ツ, and メ@and ン. It's also hard to notice (and tell the difference between) dakuten and handakuten (I'll often read ば as は or ぱ.)
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby Orcrist » Fri 09.21.2007 3:01 pm

Repeat them over and over, but before you do that make sure you puth both characters you have problems with distinguishing from one another next to eachother and identify their differences.

For example; シ and ツ. When I came across ツ I noticed immediatly it looked alot like a character I already learned, so I put them both next to eachother. Then I noticed that ツ is vertical and シ is horizontal. Theyre not _actually_ horizontal nor vertical, but thinking of them in extremes helped me remember them immediatly.

Once you have done that just go to a site that drills you, such as http://www.realkana.com, and just select the rows/characters that you have problems with and train them whenever you have a spare minute.

It worked for me with the kana, hope it's somewhat helpfull for you.
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Fri 09.21.2007 3:27 pm

め and ぬ aren't anymore similar than i and l in the roman alphabet. Just practice and practice, you'll get there!
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 09.21.2007 4:14 pm

unfortunately there are no tricks to make it easier. one must use them over and over and by repitition, you will get them stuck in your mind.
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby Dehitay » Fri 09.21.2007 8:25 pm

Feba wrote:
my problem is that it's just hard for me to tell some of them apart, like め&ぬ、


Humorous Sidenote: I literally spent 3 minutes trying to figure out what & was. The size and font threw me off completely. At first I thought it was ふ but Rikaichan wouldn't help me out at all
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby mr_pain » Sun 09.23.2007 12:00 am

Denus wrote:
The only major problems I have with reading is the difference between シ and ツ, and メ@and ン.


Depending on the font (whichever I am currently using is dreadfull) I have the exact same problem. Let me just try (shi シ tsu ツ so メ@n ン). Well I got it but I had to double my font size and I still wasnt 100% sure.

So yup, errrm yeah 練習!
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby spinizuey » Sun 09.23.2007 12:26 am

just when i think i've mastered shi, tsu, so and n... another font comes along and I can't tell the difference at all. I'm hoping when I learn more words I'll be able to tell the differences more easily. Kind of like recognizing when to read "ha" as "ha" and "ha" as "wa".

I greatly struggle with "shi", "sha", "ji", "ja" etc.. because my brain has turned the hiragana into a backwards "J" and I keep reading it as the "ji" conjugation no matter what. STRUGGLE!
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby Infidel » Sun 09.23.2007 12:35 am

in some fonts て and こ are hard to tell apart.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby Enchantrix » Tue 09.25.2007 5:30 pm

When I started learning hiragana I always used to muddle up ろ and る.

I read on the internet that a good way to remember which was which was to think of the little loop on the end of る as a ruby and to think of ろ being the victim of a robber that had stolen the gem.

I find making up little stories really helps, especially with learning kanji (yes do I own Heisig's book ^^)
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby Denus » Tue 09.25.2007 5:45 pm

Enchantrix wrote:
When I started learning hiragana I always used to muddle up ろ and る.

I read on the internet that a good way to remember which was which was to think of the little loop on the end of る as a ruby and to think of ろ being the victim of a robber that had stolen the gem.

I find making up little stories really helps, especially with learning kanji (yes do I own Heisig's book ^^)


I linked to an article on learning Japanese in another thread, and it stated that mnemonic training is highly underrated. I tend to agree. =P
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby shin1ro » Wed 09.26.2007 11:17 am

Aren't they better than I, 1, l and |? Also O and 0? :)

In my company, I'd been wondering why there were white signs on an asphalt road read as ャtト soft/software??? Some day I suddenly figured out it reads リフト, signs of a guide for forklifts. :P

-shin1ro
Last edited by shin1ro on Wed 09.26.2007 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: How do you keep things seperate in your mind? (Kanji/Kan

Postby richvh » Wed 09.26.2007 12:03 pm

On the manual typewriters I used many, many moons ago, there were no 1 or 0 keys; you typed those numbers using the letters l (lower case L) and O.
Last edited by richvh on Thu 09.27.2007 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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