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Studying The Kanji

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Studying The Kanji

Postby RWP » Fri 09.30.2005 4:05 pm

What is your prefered method? Do you write them and their readings and then just write endless compounds? do you just write them and their readings over and over again, so that when you see compounds you have a slight chance of remembering the correct reading? I'm teaching myself and I'm finding it very difficult to actually start the learning process!
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby skrhgh3b » Fri 09.30.2005 4:29 pm

i use a combination of writing practice, flash cards, and just general reading practice. i personally find that the hardest part is retaining how to a write a kanji because i've been guilty of forgetting how to write a kanji that i can still read on numerous occasions. so, i've recently bought some of those kanji practice notepads with the blank squares, and i've been doing my best to do a little writing practice every day. it's helping a lot, and i would recommend doing the same. i don't necessarily learn every possible reading at once, however, especially those kanji with numerous possible readings, but simply what fits with the vocabulary i'm learning. i'm not saying that this is the best way to learn new kanji, but it's practical for me.

a couple hundred down, a couple thousand to go... :D
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby Kates » Fri 09.30.2005 5:18 pm

I think skrhgh has a good method going: learning how to read (visually as well as orally) and write the kanji at the same time.

Try learning about ten a week (or more or less, depending on how good a self-studyer you are)--practice writing the kanji alone, as well as as a compond word.

Try to learn similar kanji (like learn a few adjective roots together, or verbs, or nouns related to something similar like the train/airport/school/etc). (Most textbooks teach kanji this way, anyway.)

Try to read lots of stuff, so you can learn to recognize the kanji you study--and kanji you haven't studied yet, too (it will make them easier when you finally DO study them).

Most importantly: DON'T GIVE UP!
Good luck!
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby skrhgh3b » Fri 09.30.2005 9:22 pm

that's a good point. grouping similar kanji, as well as similar vocab, because the two often go hand in hand, after all, is probably the best way to learn new words, because basically you're preparing yourself with the vocabulary to converse about a given subject. and yes, run-on sentences are easy to write :D
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
skrhgh3b
 
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby meryl33 » Tue 10.04.2005 1:11 pm

Yeah, it is a pain in the U-know-where!

:)
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby InsanityRanch » Tue 10.04.2005 5:49 pm

I agree with skrhgh3b that reading is a great method of learning kanji (as well as getting an instinctive feel for the grammar and learning useful vocabulary).

That said I want to mention again a program called Lexikan, which offers a great opportunity to learn kanji in a fairly thorough manner. Namely, it offers both writing practice (with immediate feedback) and practice in recognizing compounds using a particular kanji. (electronic flashcards) It's also possible to make your own flashcards if you want to practice vocabulary from your reading.

That said, a tool I haven't seen yet is a good method that's oriented to producing that vocabulary when you need it. What I mean is, I recognize a lot of words when I read them or hear them, but when I want to say or write them, I have to look them up or ask my conversation partner. I've got them in my memory but the "key" is their written form or pronunciation, and I can't access them by the concept I want to express.

What I'm using right now to address this shortcoming is JFC (which is free and related to the free word processor JWPCE) to drill from English back to Japanese. It's farily easy to enter information. You can easily create a bulk file with 100 cards in it or whatever, and it is flexible enough to let me enter phrases or whole sentences if I like, which I often want to do.

I've also used a program called Memorylifter (also free), but it has no UTF support, which means I can, if I'm lucky, remember pronunciation but not written form. But I like the box system because with tweaking it really does present the card just about the time I might forget it. Also, being forced to write the answer keeps me honest.

I would love to see a really good English to Japanese flash card generator, ideally with boxes, that had the ease of data entry of JFC and a lot of flexibility about what part of the info I want as a hint. As far as I know, that doesn't exist.

Shira
"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby skrhgh3b » Tue 10.04.2005 9:14 pm

there's a flash card program for max os x called "kotoba" that allows you to create your own flash cards for vocab and kanji. it's a pretty sweet deal.

http://www.kung-foo.tv/kotoba/index.php
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby randyrandy » Tue 10.04.2005 9:56 pm

For me, I just use this site's Kanji stuff..

I'm learning Kanji 1, and I know the multiple sayings and how to write it down, what the word means..

I just basically write down the stuff on flashcards, and review them for like 20 min after writing them down, then maybe check for around 10 min before sleeping.

Then when you wake up, and go school, study there. I study when I'm finished with my work or just feel like I gotta refresh my memory. After school, I review all I learned (around 30 min.) and keep memorizing them untill I get them all right. In other words I write down what I learned that past day, or everything I learned if I had the time. Some days I try to mix in some Kanji with Hiraga/Katana.

After that, I would just keep on reviewing the same ones, and the next day I will try to learn 10 more. Then keep following the steps.

So far I learned about 80 in 10 or so days, hoping to keep this pace up ^^; (BTW, one reason it seems faster is because seeing as I'm half-japanese, my mom tends to talk to me in japanese so I know some of these words.) (Pitiful I know, half-japanese and not even knowing how to speak it! =X)
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby f00f » Tue 10.04.2005 10:22 pm

In addition to that, whenever I'm out and about, I think of things as their kanji, like when I go to get a glass of water, I'm not getting a glass of water, I'm getting a glass of 水 (みず), and I visualise the kanji in my head, and sometimes write it on my hand with my finger.. it helps you reinforce the meanings and pronouciations of the kanji, and doesn't require paper!
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby james989 » Sat 10.08.2005 4:57 am

Or you could just use the heisig method and go for full japanese literacy in a time eriod YOU decide.
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 10.08.2005 9:00 am

(Note: my opinion comes from limited experience with the Hesig method)

I actually wasn't too impressed with the heisig method, personally. My friends were all addicted to it, and knew the meanings and how to write a TON of kanji. Blew me away. But they had no idea how to pronounce anything, which is the one issue I have with his system.
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby InsanityRanch » Sat 10.08.2005 9:01 am

James -- correct me if I'm wrong. (in fact I'd love to be wrong)

I looked into the Heisig method awhile back and I find it's ok for learning the shapes of the kanji, but offers nothing special for the much harder (to my mind) task of learning the readings. Especially on-readings. Can you comment on that?

Shira
"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby hideko_san » Sat 10.08.2005 10:01 am

yeah, I agree... i find that much of the 2nd Heisig book (how to pronounce the japanese characters) is just bollocks.... I find no ease in the way he has put them together or how to remember them, all he has done, is group kanji with identical pronunciation together....
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby skrhgh3b » Sat 10.08.2005 5:50 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
(Note: my opinion comes from limited experience with the Hesig method)

I actually wasn't too impressed with the heisig method, personally. My friends were all addicted to it, and knew the meanings and how to write a TON of kanji. Blew me away. But they had no idea how to pronounce anything, which is the one issue I have with his system.


hahah. doesn't that just totally sidestep the whole purpose of learning kanji? to be able to read? oh, man. if only learning a foreign language were so simple. on the other hand, i often find myself reading chinese in english when i go to chinese restaurants because i also know the meaning of kanji in english and still think in english too much.... so, i'll say to someone, "i have no idea how to read that in chinese, but it means such and such."
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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RE: Studying The Kanji

Postby rizzo » Sun 10.23.2005 10:30 pm

skrhgh3b wrote:
Harisenbon wrote:
... But they had no idea how to pronounce anything, which is the one issue I have with his system.


hahah. doesn't that just totally sidestep the whole purpose of learning kanji? to be able to read?


Learning to recognize kanji and their meanings goes a long way towards letting you read the language. After that the next important thing would be to learn the meanings of compounds. But as for pronunciation... it's never absolutely necessary for 'reading'. Think of scholars who can read and write ancient Hebrew and Egyptian.
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