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Kanji question

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Kanji question

Postby Kyoku » Thu 09.09.2010 1:25 pm

Is it essential to learn the shapes of Kanji? Like for 火, it symbolizes the shape of fire.
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Re: Kanji question

Postby micahcowan » Thu 09.09.2010 2:20 pm

The clearer your question is, the more helpful the answers will be. I'm afraid I didn't understand your question very well at all.

Is it essential to learn the shapes of Kanji in order to do what? And by "shape", do you mean pictographic representation (like 火)? If so, only a handful of kanji characters are actually pictographic; a handful more are ideographic (such as the combination of woman 女 and child 子 to make "likeable" 好). Most are some combination of ideographic and purely phonetic representation, so don't express a "shape" that is readily connected with the meaning (thus requiring you to "invent" a connection to the meaning).
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Re: Kanji question

Postby squarezebra » Sat 09.11.2010 8:57 am

If you want to read intermediate+ level natural Japanese then getting hang on Kanji is going to be very important, but it is also a lot of fun. I know a lot of people, including myself, who have really enjoyed doing the Heisig method of remembering the kanji (www.kanji.koohii.com) which works entirely with images and stories to familiarise yourself with the Joyo kanji (常用漢字) list (or most of it before they added extra characters). You won't really learn any words per se, but the task of building vocab is infinately more accessible when you have an idea what the characters represent.
Spend less time thinking, and more time doing.
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