Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Kanji.

Kanji.

Have a Question about some Grammar point? Share it with the world!

Kanji.

Postby Cid_Highwind » Tue 11.08.2005 9:37 pm

Ok, so I know the kana and I've been learning how to write sentences using it. I am under the impression that hiragana is for mostly grammar and katakana is for loan words and names. In writing these practice sentences I've been using hiragana to right out everything, verbs, nouns, adjectives etc. I was wondering if I should be learning to write the kanji for these verbs and nouns now or later. What is the best way to go about this?
Cid_Highwind
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue 10.18.2005 5:17 pm

RE: Kanji.

Postby InsanityRanch » Tue 11.08.2005 11:15 pm

My belief? Learn kanji now.

The tough thing about kanji is jukugo -- those Chinese-derived kanji compounds that are a huge component of the Japanese language, like, say, Latin-derived words in English. Jukugo are tedious and require rote memorization and sometimes defy logic and are an absolutely essential part of the language. You will eventually have to suck it up and learn them, and that is kind of a pain.

But the EASY use of kanji, and the spectacularly helpful use of kanji is to write Japanese words. To simplify shamefully, Japanese nouns are written with a single kanji, while verbs and adjectives and adverbs are written with a kanji plus special "grammar kana" called okurigana. You can literally see whether an unknown kanji is a noun or a verb or an adjective/adverb and how it is conjugated or inflected. You may not know the meaning until you look it up, but you will know the function.

Once you get the hang of this system, you can see Japanese sentence structure literally laid out in front of you in the pattern of kanji and kana. This is well worth the annoyance of memorizing the shape and readings of kanji.

Just my opinion of course. (But when was I ever shy?) <g>

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
InsanityRanch
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue 04.19.2005 2:17 pm

RE: Kanji.

Postby Cid_Highwind » Wed 11.09.2005 12:16 am

Do you know of a good site that lists most of them and there meanings? The list on this site doesn't have a search so I'm just randomly clicking on different kanji.
Cid_Highwind
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue 10.18.2005 5:17 pm

RE: Kanji.

Postby InsanityRanch » Wed 11.09.2005 12:45 am

Tell me how you are planning to go about this and I will be happy to suggest a strategy. (Other people will, too. Some of these strategies will be contradictory. That's life!)

There are plenty of options. A non-exhaustive list might be:

Study the JLPT 4-kyuu kanji, then 3-kyuu and so on.
Study in Japanese grade order.
Study whatever kanji you happen to come across in reading.

You can combine these strategies. I actually learned the first two grades of kanji, then began studying whatever kanji I encountered in reading. I have slowed down a lot and haven't yet completed study of all 2000 or so, but I can read pretty well, which was my original goal, so...

I do think that studying the simple kanji first is good. There is a reason that the 4-kyuu kanji and grade 1 kanji are taught first. (There's a lot of overlap between 4-kyuu and grades 1 and 2, not incidentally.) Many of the simple kanji are components of harder kanji. And many of them are also in extremely common use.

So... you're gonna be studying kanji for quite awhile. Might as well take a bit of time to figure out what you want to achieve and how you will go about it.

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
InsanityRanch
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue 04.19.2005 2:17 pm

RE: Kanji.

Postby Cid_Highwind » Wed 11.09.2005 1:17 am

My goal is practical reading and righting. I want to be able to have some talk to me, understand them and be able to respond. Same with the writing. Is there a site that you can type in verbs or whatever in romanji and have it give you the kanji? Is there a better way I could be doing this? As of now I've just got the kana down pat and am working on sentence structure, so the kanji seem to make it easier to organise.
Last edited by Cid_Highwind on Wed 11.09.2005 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Cid_Highwind
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue 10.18.2005 5:17 pm

RE: Kanji.

Postby mandolin » Wed 11.09.2005 2:22 am

If you can come up with $20, drop it on a book called "Kana and Kanji" by Spahn & Hadamitzky. The order they teach kanji in is based on how frequently they're used. It covers all the essential jouyou kanji.

The best part about this book, in my humble opinion, is the fact that the jukugo (kanji compounds) examples ONLY use kanji you've already learned (assuming you start at page 1 and work through them in order).

I have found this method immensely satisfying, as I don't get discouraged by seeing kanji that I have never run across before. This means I can write all the kanji involved, without having to look up some unknown kanji just to find the proper stroke order.
User avatar
mandolin
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon 06.20.2005 3:44 am

RE: Kanji.

Postby Cid_Highwind » Wed 11.09.2005 2:37 am

Ah man. Stroke order. Does that really matter? I've just been making them look the same. I figured it was just about the end product.
Cid_Highwind
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue 10.18.2005 5:17 pm

RE: Kanji.

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 11.09.2005 3:01 am

Stroke order is actually fairly important. I didn't think so until I came here, but in order to look up any kanji in the dictionary, you are going to have to know the number of strokes, which normally means you have to know some modicum of the stroke order. Also, kanji written in the wrong stroke order look... off... for some reason.
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: Kanji.

Postby mandolin » Wed 11.09.2005 3:32 am

Having the right stroke order makes them easier to write, too. If you know the stroke order, your various stroke endings will be going in the proper direction (they typically trail toward the beginning of your next stroke).

If you just haphazardly write the kanji strokes however you want, it won't stick in your mind later for more complex kanji, and you're not doing yourself a favor by skipping something so important.

Basically, you're going to have poor memory, and even if you do manage to remember them marginally well, you'll have extremely poor handwriting.
User avatar
mandolin
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon 06.20.2005 3:44 am

RE: Kanji.

Postby Infidel » Wed 11.09.2005 4:10 am

Stroke order matters more the faster you write.
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

RE: Kanji.

Postby AJBryant » Wed 11.09.2005 11:30 am

Stroke order also affects literacy. Unless you know how the strokes go (mostly from writing fast yourself) you won't be able to read most hastily-written notes or letters or what not as you won't have internalized the directional shortcuts.

Tony
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: Kanji.

Postby Infidel » Wed 11.09.2005 11:34 am

I can't wait to be able to write semi-cursive.
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語


Return to Grammar Questions and Problems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests