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JLPT Kanji

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JLPT Kanji

Postby m_ » Sat 07.12.2008 6:23 am

Hi is it required to write the Kanji for JLPT 4? Some of my exercises for JLPT 4 preparation require me to write the Kanji when the Kana is given. I can recognise many Kanji and their meanings when I see them. But writing it is an entirely different challenge altogether. And in real life with computers, it is hardly necessary to remember the strokes and write the Kanji right. And how about JLPT 3, 2, 1?
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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby furrykef » Sat 07.12.2008 6:50 am

The JLPT, at all levels, is entirely multiple choice. You will have to fill in the blank with the correct kanji, but you will not have to physically write the kanji.

m_ wrote:And in real life with computers, it is hardly necessary to remember the strokes and write the Kanji right.


This is sort of like saying that, with computers, it is hardly necessary to have good handwriting in English, either. A lot of native speakers of both languages do have horrible handwriting in their native language (mine used to be a bit sloppy, and it still is when I care more about writing quickly than neatly), but that doesn't mean they should.

Moreover, stroke order isn't very hard. I use a flash card program to drill kanji and I simply write the kanji with the proper stroke order in the palm of my hand (using my index finger) when I review. If you do this, correct stroke order will internalize itself very quickly and become very natural. You still won't be able to guess the official stroke order of a new kanji 100% of the time, but you'll still get it right maybe 95% of the time, and you'll probably be as good at it as a typical native speaker.

Finally, I should note that not writing the kanji makes them very hard to learn. I would say that learning to read kanji well without ever practicing writing them is darn near impossible, and certainly much harder than necessary. The reason is that by writing the kanji -- particularly by doing exercises where you're given a word and you write it in kanji from memory, as with my flash cards -- you internalize the shapes much more easily. Without doing so, you will often miss small but critical details. It is a well-known fact that memory is aided by involving multiple senses. For instance, if I practice Japanese by reading it aloud, I will remember it better than if I read it silently, because reading it aloud reinforces what I am reading. The same goes for kanji: it is better to invoke the senses of both sight and touch than sight alone.

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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby ss » Sun 07.13.2008 9:53 pm

mさん、こんにちは。

And in real life with computers, it is hardly necessary to remember the strokes and write the Kanji right.


Is that right? That’s not true. I don’t think people would just depend or rely on the pc with all kinds of learning like that.

In real life, if you are a student, you handwrite a lot, like doing Mathematics, drawing diagrams to illustrate your answer in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography etc. Or slightest, you'll have to write composition for both English and Chinese, isn’t it because of this, you have to look up dictionary and learn to use (read or write) new words?

Even if you’re a working person, in real life, you have lots of paper-works to attend to.

As furrykef-san has already answered --- The JLPT, at all levels, is entirely multiple choice. Even though, in real life, it is still necessary to keep up with the hand writing practice. Btw, are you taking Chinese as second language here?
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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby furrykef » Sun 07.13.2008 10:22 pm

Another reason to know stroke order that's specific to computers(!) -- you can look up kanji you don't know how to pronounce, and it will be much faster than looking the kanji up by radical. For instance, with Microsoft's IME, you can just pull up the pad and draw the kanji with the mouse. If your stroke order is correct but your writing is terrible (which is typical when writing with a mouse), it will still likely understand what you're trying to write. If you get the shapes absolutely perfect but the stroke order is completely wrong, it will not understand. The IME pad "thinks" in terms of strokes, not shapes. For instance, if you try to draw 月 by drawing ノ on the left, then 三 in the middle, then | on the right, the IME will just go, "What the hell is that?"

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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby m_ » Mon 07.14.2008 6:53 am

yeah I agree writing Kanji will help to reinforce memory but it is still very much a torture to me now. I am learning Japanese due to my interests and I want it to be an enjoyable learning experience. For now, I will try and recognise the Kanji, the pronounciation and the meanings first, I hope writing it will come more naturally to me later.

Another reason to know stroke order that's specific to computers(!) -- you can look up kanji you don't know how to pronounce, and it will be much faster than looking the kanji up by radical. For instance, with Microsoft's IME, you can just pull up the pad and draw the kanji with the mouse.


really! That will be a great help. It's really difficult to check the Kanji in dictionary if I can't pronounce it or copy and paste in WWWJDICT. I really need to explore that feature, is it require to install anything else other than the IME?

As furrykef-san has already answered --- The JLPT, at all levels, is entirely multiple choice. Even though, in real life, it is still necessary to keep up with the hand writing practice. Btw, are you taking Chinese as second language here?


great=) I am more confident about JLPT 4 now :)
well, I can recognise Chinese characters - the pronounciation and the meanings, but I can't write them at all.
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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby furrykef » Mon 07.14.2008 10:47 am

m_ wrote:really! That will be a great help. It's really difficult to check the Kanji in dictionary if I can't pronounce it or copy and paste in WWWJDICT. I really need to explore that feature, is it require to install anything else other than the IME?


Yep. This is exactly how I look up kanji in tools like WWWJDIC, and it works pretty well. Sometimes you have to retry it a couple of times before the IME really gets it, but usually that only happens when you accidentally made an extra click (and therefore the IME thinks you made an extra stroke somewhere). I've actually input nearly 2000 different kanji using this method -- granted, usually using a pen and tablet rather than the mouse -- so I know it works well.

To the right of the 般 button on the IME (I just wrote that using the IME pad itself, BTW, since I don't know that character's reading), there should be a button that has a tooltip saying "IME Pad". Click it, then click "Hand Writing (JA)" at the top, and there you go. It always starts out with 宀 in the pad... I don't know why. Just click "clear" (unless your character does happen to start with 宀), draw it in from there, and select the correct kanji from the list. If you write the kanji with correct stroke order, it'll usually be the first one in the list.

By the way, sometimes the menu you click to to get to the IME pad doesn't work correctly and it won't open up. What I do is just switch to English and back to Japanese mode, and it'll work. Damn Microsoft... they always have bugs like this in their software that go unfixed for eternity. It's an infrequent problem, though, and you might not even end up having it.

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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby m_ » Fri 07.18.2008 1:04 am

Kef-san

I had tried it and it works fabulously!. Previously I just ignore the Kanji if I don't know the pronounciation. This will help me to know more Kanji. Thanks
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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby richvh » Fri 07.18.2008 6:52 am

furrykef wrote:By the way, sometimes the menu you click to to get to the IME pad doesn't work correctly and it won't open up. What I do is just switch to English and back to Japanese mode, and it'll work. Damn Microsoft... they always have bugs like this in their software that go unfixed for eternity. It's an infrequent problem, though, and you might not even end up having it.


The IMEPad won't open up unless the focus is on a text input box. If you had to drag the IME toolbar over far enough to see the IMEPad button, the focus is now on the toolbar, not on your application, and the IMEPad won't open.
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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby furrykef » Sat 07.19.2008 5:04 am

Actually, the pad opens up just fine even if the focus isn't on an input box. I also have the problem even when the focus is in a textbox. Moreover, it's not the pad that won't open; it's the menu to get to the pad that won't open.

I'm pretty sure it's just a bug. It could be a bug related to having my taskbar on auto-hide (it wouldn't be the first auto-hide bug I've encountered), I dunno.

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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby richvh » Sat 07.19.2008 9:31 am

Maximize the language bar. Click inside a text input box. Click outside the box. Watch the appearance of the language bar menu buttons change.
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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby furrykef » Sat 07.19.2008 3:52 pm

The appearance of the buttons has nothing to do with it. The buttons look the same as they always do when the problem occurs. Also, my buttons don't change appearance when I click outside the textbox anyhow, although of course I'm unable to actually type until I click inside one.

Besides, if the problem had to do with the textbox, then switching to English and back wouldn't fix the problem.

You can't fix this problem for me, rich. It's a bug, plain and simple. ^^;

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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby richvh » Sat 07.19.2008 5:07 pm

When I do as I said, a black border appears around each of the buttons. When the buttons have that black border, the menus can't be accessed.

I don't have English installed as language at the moment, so won't be experimenting that way.
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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby furrykef » Sat 07.19.2008 11:56 pm

Nope, doesn't happen with me. In any case, I'm pretty darn sure that the textbox thing has nothing to do with the problem.

Maybe you have a different version of Windows? I'm using the US version of Windows XP.

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Re: JLPT Kanji

Postby richvh » Sun 07.20.2008 7:38 am

Ditto. (XP Home)
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