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How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

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How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby kentaku_sama » Wed 03.18.2009 9:33 pm

I'm tired of it! I've tried book after book even if they're good books none of them give you any real knowledge.

In other words: You buy a book OR get a japanese writing resourse online that gives you information and diagrams and context. but one thing is missing! THERE ARE NO LESSONS, RENFORCEMENT OR ASSIGNMENTS! All it is just a bunch of info with no REAL INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO STUDY IT. Kanji have on-yomi and kun-yomi and combos for all the symbols but heck! Which contexts do I learn? How do you actually use it. I know it takes alot of time but learning stuff like kanji is stupid without renforcement assignments and exersises! My point is that I want a book or online resource that gives me the kanji by a certain grade and then gives assignments to write it and ect.. inorder to memorize it. The kanji a day is a great idea but there is still no instruction on what to try to learn that day. I mean,: wouldn't knowing a kanji be memorizing some of combos and being able to write the symbol? learning the kanji isolated is almost completely useless unless you know some vocab with it to back it up.
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Re: How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby astaroth » Wed 03.18.2009 9:47 pm

Hi kentaku_sama,
I'm using Anki (one of the many SRS's, spaced repetition software -- I think) alongside a book. On the book I learn ~15 kanji a week with both the actual kanji and words in which the kanji is used, then I add kanji and words on anki and review the kanji every day.
It's basically a flash-card system ... little by little I'm learning them and how to read them in context.
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Re: How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby richvh » Wed 03.18.2009 9:50 pm

Are any of those books you've tried actual textbooks? If you're looking for lessons and drills, that's where I'd expect to find them.
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Re: How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby Sairana » Wed 03.18.2009 11:20 pm

I'll second Rich's assessment.
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Re: How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby ss » Thu 03.19.2009 3:34 am

kentaku_sama wrote:
I'm tired of it! .......


I see your frustration, but don’t.
Like English, there are things easy to learn, there are also difficult things to follow.

Once in a blue moon, when I read newspaper, I’d try the quizzes from the language forum.
You might find these questions easy, but to me, they are difficult.

*The shape of a large ship appeared indistinctly, often threateningly through the mist.
(1)lingered (2)emerged (3)menaced (4)loomed

*He shows no ______ whatsoever when speaking in public.
(1)consternation (2)tension (3)inhibition (4)agitation

*The young man ____ across the dance floor, clicking castanets in his hands.
(1)wobbled (2)sauntered (3)marched (4)strolled

*The famous rock group was quickly _____ away in a limousine.
(1)sent (2)taken (3)whisked (4)snatched.

*The huge crowd at the fete ____ to only a handful by 10p.m.
(1)shrank (2)lessened (3)dwindled (4)dispersed


Kanji is definitely hard, there are many words to memorize, and learning to write them is definitely challenging, as I can imagine. I think, a reading habit, a systematic study of grammar and vocabulary, a lot of practice on your part will see you through understanding the language you are interested in.

Perhaps try writing one or two simple paragraph of journal? When you write, you’ll see that you use words which bear some relation to the topic. Maybe, in such a way, you can pick up words a little at a time.

To eradicate mistakes from our writing through a systematic study of essential grammar, structure and usage is probably what we need to put into practice, eventually.

It's easier to say than done, I know. But just keep practising, and be happy.
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Re: How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby kentaku_sama » Thu 03.19.2009 12:28 pm

Yes I love kanji, well basicaly because you really can't get bored with them since they're so many different ones. (UNLIKE ENGLISH...) And yes, I know it takes practice but I need some structure to my learning (that I don't create) because I just can't make a lesson plan that works by myself. plus I'm getting rossetta stone to incoperate with whatever I use to learn to write/ read. Rossetta stone only teaches you how to speak it.
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Re: How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby richvh » Thu 03.19.2009 12:35 pm

I repeat: Do you have a textbook? There are several that work fairly well with self-study (others don't really work well outside a classroom.) If you're looking for lesson plans and structure, a textbook should be the first place to look.
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Re: How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby Sairana » Thu 03.19.2009 12:36 pm

kentaku_sama wrote:Rossetta stone only teaches you how to speak it.


Rosetta Stone teaches reading, too (audio quiz where you must pick the appropriate word from 4 choices, and visual / written quizzes without any audio). The only thing it -doesn't- do is teach stroke order, but that's easily rectified through various kanji character references. I use 'Kanji & Kana' by Hadamitzky/Spahn.
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Re: How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby kentaku_sama » Thu 03.19.2009 2:10 pm

[quote][I repeat: Do you have a textbook? There are several that work fairly well with self-study (others don't really work well outside a classroom.) If you're looking for lesson plans and structure, a textbook should be the first place to look./quote]

Which text book would be good? Are there any that focus on writing? As in with a pen? With grids to practice on and such.
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Re: How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby Sairana » Thu 03.19.2009 2:47 pm

kentaku_sama wrote:Which text book would be good? Are there any that focus on writing?


This is what's tripping you up. A book that "focuses on writing" isn't a textbook, it's a supplement, and will have the same issues you have with your -current- books. There are texts that introduce kanji into the study material. Genki is one of the more popular ones.

As in with a pen? With grids to practice on and such.


Unless you're getting a book on calligraphy, they all assume you're using a pen. Usually, the example kanji are shown in brush font to highlight the stroke types (sweeps, full stops, hooks, etc) and direction which is less noticeable with pen strokes, but the orders are the same.

As for grids to practice on, a pack of 1/4" graph paper works great for me, though some people prefer to download pdfs of printable "official" kanji practice paper. I'm sure someone will be along shortly with a link... I never bothered to save any of them because a 30 cent pack of graph paper suits me fine. I just wrote in 2x2 boxes (it helped me learning placement by quadrant that way) until I was ready to just write smaller.
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Re: How the heck do I learn to write/ read japanese effectivly?!

Postby kentaku_sama » Thu 03.19.2009 9:42 pm

I'll see about trying genki
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