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Reading kanji outloud

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Reading kanji outloud

Postby TrashTreasurer » Sun 12.09.2007 6:16 pm

I ran into a problem that I figured the great people of TJP would be able to help me with ;). Anyways, I was trying to get some kanji learned through anki, by seeing the word "fish" and writing 魚 for example.

My problem was that I didn't know how to say it out loud as I was writing it, in hopes of connecting the kanji to the word and drilling in another word in my japanese vocab at the same time. I found a website that lists the "on-yomi" pronunciation as ギョ, and the "kun-yomi" pronunciation as さかな. Basically, if I were to approach a person on the street in Japan looking for fish, would I use ギョ or さかな? Or do I have to learn both because the noun has a kanji? Is there a second reading because this might be a chinese character? My thanks if anyone can help me out, and my apologies if this has been covered extensively in the past.
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby everdream » Sun 12.09.2007 6:20 pm

If you wanted to ask someone for a fish, you would use さかな.
ギョis only found in compunds of that kanji.
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby Nibble » Sun 12.09.2007 6:26 pm

You're doing it backwards. Learn words first, then learn the kanji needed to write those words.
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby hungryhotei » Sun 12.09.2007 6:42 pm

Nibble wrote:
You're doing it backwards. Learn words first, then learn the kanji needed to write those words.


Lets just hope that this doesn't descend into another Heisig method thread now. ;)
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby TrashTreasurer » Sun 12.09.2007 6:52 pm

I'm not doing anything in any specific order. Since I don't have a textbook, I've been using tae kim's guide, which introduces kanji in the beginning through his grammar lessons. I figure why not learn the kanji that's used in his sentence examples, so that kanji isn't some big ugly monster that's saved til the end, but rather something that's learned in small chunks through my learning of grammar and such. I have no leaning towards heisig or any other method, and don't desire to debate his methods seeing as the other thread for that got kinda ugly. So yeah... on-yomi and kun-yomi?
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby everdream » Sun 12.09.2007 7:02 pm

Are you asking about them?
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby saraLynne » Sun 12.09.2007 7:07 pm

Trash Treasurer, using Tae Kim's guide, you have an easy solution to your practice.

Mouse over Kanji he uses and it gives you the appropriate reading for that context. That particular functionality of his site isn't announced loudly enough. While he does mention it in one of his introductory paragraphs, I also needed someone else to point it out. :P

Hope that helps. Oh.. and if you're using Rikaichan, turn it off on his site as it sometimes interferes with his own tooltips.

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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby TrashTreasurer » Sun 12.09.2007 7:07 pm

yes sir (ma'am?). I don't know though, I'm getting the impression from you guys that I'm supposed to learn the grammar without worrying about the kanji, build vocab, and learn the kanji later. If I'm wrong for picking up kanji through the grammar lessons, that'd be good to know. thanks for the help ;).
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby everdream » Sun 12.09.2007 7:10 pm

It depends on what you want to do, in theory. Some argue, that you should learn kanji right away, others that you should get some basics down first.
While learning the kanji from his lessons isn't a bad thing, it's not the best way to learn them IMO. Start with some basic kanji first, then gradually move onto harder ones.
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby chikara » Sun 12.09.2007 7:13 pm

TrashTreasurer wrote:
.... If I'm wrong for picking up kanji through the grammar lessons, that'd be good to know. thanks for the help ;).

Picking up kanji through the grammar lessons is OK and is the way I believe you should learn kanji. This way you are learning the kanji in context as you are building up your vocabulary.

If you are using Tae Kim's site then placing the mouse cursor over the kanji in an example will display a tool tip showing the correct reading of the kanji of the kanji compound in that context.

BTW the reading you use for a particular kanji or kanji compound should be teh same whether you are reading out loud or in your head :D
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby Wakannai » Sun 12.09.2007 7:35 pm

Keep in mind that it takes a little more time to learn a kanji than it takes to learn a word without the kanji.

Simple efficiency shows us that it is therefore more productive to learn words and grammar as a higher priority, then learn Kanji.

You can learn kanji from day 1, just don't allow the kanji to slow down the rest of your studies. The exact ratio will depend on your personal abilities, but on average it seems you shouldn't learn more than 1 kanji word for every 2 normal words. You could also test yourself to find your personal limit. Memorize as many kanji words as you can in one day. The next day test yourself and tabulate. Then learn as many normal words without the kanji, then the next day test yourself and tabulate.
Wait a week and tabulate again and you have your personal ratio. For me, it works out something like 5 words + one new kanji word. Not including kanji words that I don't have to learn new kanji. Like I just read 同時 in a book. It used to characters I already know, so I consider it a regular word even though I did have to learn a new reading for one of the kanji. A new kanji word such as 存在 where I had to learn 2 new kanji I consider a kanji word, so it gets a slightly lower priority.
Last edited by Wakannai on Sun 12.09.2007 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby TrashTreasurer » Sun 12.09.2007 9:14 pm

I just want to thank all of you for being so willing to help with this, you guys are the best. And yeah, I didn't notice that his guide displays the reading that easily, that really helps. So basically, a kanji can be read differently based on the context in which it's used in the sentence? And haha, when I say "outloud" I was referring to it being "spoken" in my head as well, but I think you knew that.

Basically, my gameplan is to pay more attention to sentence structure and the retention and usage of vocab, and not worry so much about picking up all the kanji I can. Thanks again for everyones insight, advice, and help.

P.S. About the un-yomi and kun-yomi readings? lol :D
Last edited by TrashTreasurer on Sun 12.09.2007 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby SerpentPanda » Sun 12.09.2007 9:33 pm

For me, kanji isn't that hard to learn. I learned 20 a day and finished with the JLPT 4 list. Now I'm going to start learning vocabulary. Although most of the kanji I knew, I already knew the word, some I didn't, and I learned the kanji and the word just fine.
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby TrashTreasurer » Sun 12.09.2007 10:19 pm

SerpentPanda wrote:
For me, kanji isn't that hard to learn. I learned 20 a day and finished with the JLPT 4 list. Now I'm going to start learning vocabulary. Although most of the kanji I knew, I already knew the word, some I didn't, and I learned the kanji and the word just fine.


That's what I was looking at. With the kana, I would write each syllable 15-20 times while saying it out loud each time and it was in my brain. Doing only that, once I finished with the last syllable I used the kanatest program in my linux install and got 1100 right and 70 wrong. It doesn't seem like the kanji is going to be THAT much harder, and I seem to be picking up the ones I've already learned rather easily, and have anki as an equivalent program for the kanji. I just don't want it to interfere with grammar studies or other things that might be more important at this point.
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RE: Reading kanji outloud

Postby richvh » Sun 12.09.2007 10:28 pm

Learning the first 100 or so kanji by rote learning isn't that hard. Getting from there to 500 or so is more than 5 times harder.
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