Best way to learn kanji for beginners

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RE: Best way to learn kanji for beginners

Post by skrhgh3b » Sun 01.06.2008 6:36 pm

kotori wrote:
I know what he's going for, and it's worthless.

He gives you all the kanji, and attaches them to an english keyword. He may give you a story, too, but the whole idea is the 'keyword' thing. It puts you into a rut of thinking of them in terms of english, not mental imagery.

I'm not going to endorse the Heisig method because I've never bought into it myself, but I can't buy into what you're saying either. How can the English "keyword thing" be the problem? Until you're a fairly advanced learner who can think in Japanese, you're going to associate any vocabulary you learn with a more or less equivalent English word. What the heck do you think you use a J-E dictionary for?
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RE: Best way to learn kanji for beginners

Post by skyborg007 » Sun 01.06.2008 11:38 pm

基本的に説明すると、その英語の記号は漢字の形や書き方や書き順を覚えやすくする道具として使われてるだけです。漢字を見て英語の記号を思い出しては行けないとその本では説明されています。 それは、漢字を見たら日本語の読み方を思い出さなければならないのです。 Heisigは目の泥を落とそうとしているだけでしょう。

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RE: Best way to learn kanji for beginners

Post by Tesu » Mon 01.07.2008 10:34 am

Qbe wrote:
If you have the time and dedication to get through volume 1 in, say, 6 months or less, you'll have 2000 kanji meanings and can start attaching readings to them fairly soon. That kind of rapid progress would have to be pretty encouraging--fairly decent literacy in a year or so would be great.

Heh, learning the Kanji is the easy bit, the difficult part is learning the 10,000+ words and grammar points to understand it.

I've always tried to learn the Kanji of new vocabulary, but I've never put that much effort into it and never sat and studied Kanji in itself. I can't give even an approximate number of how many I read since I've learnt most kanji as compounds in other words, and sometimes don't even recognise individual kanji if its used in another word I'm not familiar with....

I can read some Manga now without relying on a dictionary too much too :)

EDIT - Since I was curious I just did the Kanji level check on the MLCJapanese webpage, and it indicates I can read between 600-640 Kanji, which sounds about right I think. Not too bad for having lived here not much longer than a year :)
Last edited by Tesu on Mon 01.07.2008 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: Best way to learn kanji for beginners

Post by Shoj_Blade » Wed 01.30.2008 10:20 pm

I usually have that book checked out from my library, heh.

It's helpful. It sorts the kanji by radical similarities. Not all of them, but a small group of them. It's hard to explain. It shows 和、利、秋、私、and 科 on the same page. It also shows 言、話、計、記、and 語 on the same page, and 国、困、固、団、and 図 on the same page.

Just thought I'd give my input. ._.;

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Re: Best way to learn kanji for beginners

Post by Riza » Sat 03.29.2008 10:04 am

I'm not even learning Kanji yet, I'm still in Katakana, but I have a doubt, do japanese people know all the 2000 Kanji?

I'm still a newbie in Japanese, I'm 16, I hope I can learn Kanji before I get to be 20. Oh, geez, that 4 years from now ;_;

This is going to be hard to learn x_x

And sorry if this isn't the right place to ask.

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Re: Best way to learn kanji for beginners

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Sat 03.29.2008 10:34 am

Yes and no.

Most educated native Japanese can read more than 2000 -- perhaps in the 3000 range, maybe more than that. 2000 is not enough to read every character used in the modern language. It's very hard to figure this out, though, because it's hard to define what it means to "know" or "be able to read" a character, and most native Japanese have very little need to figure out exactly how many characters they can read.

Most educated native Japanese cannot write 2000 characters, though.
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Re: Best way to learn kanji for beginners

Post by two_heads_talking » Sat 03.29.2008 12:32 pm

The Japanese Ministry of Education designated 1,945 characters as Jooyoo Kanji, which are the most frequently used characters. It would be very helpful to learn all Jooyoo Kanji, but the basic 1,006 characters which are learned upon graduation from 6th Grade are sufficient to read about 90% of the kanji used in a newspaper (about 60% with 500 characters). Since children's books use less kanji, they would be a good resource to practice your reading.

As late as World War II some Japanese dictionaries listed as many as 50,000 Kanji. Before 1946, Japanese needed to know some 4,000 Kanji in order to read newspapers and magazines, in 1946 there was alist of 1850 kanji approved for use in public documents and the media many of these were simplified. There is complementary group of 284 Kanji used for writing personal and place names.

If you're wondering how many Kanji you must know in order to be proficient in Japanese, consider that learning the 200 most used Kanji (most of which are taught in the first and second grade) will allow you to read many simple phrases in Japanese and get a feeling for the meaning of several words.

If you learn the 1,006 Kanji taught by the sixth grade, you could read most of any Japanese magazine or newspaper. Even if you define "proficient" as having the same reading abilities as a native educated Japanese, take note that even some Japanese people can't remember all readings for all Kanji - particularly those used in names of people and places.

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