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What's the best way to remember kanji?

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What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby ダラゴスちゃん » Sun 12.11.2011 8:09 pm

Hello!

Hi, I have just started chapter 3 in Genki I Second Edition. And, with chapter 3, there's kanji. I know a few kanji right now, but they are pretty simple, "語" is the most complex one I know so far. I'm presented with a new challenge, that's learning not only the word with the meaning, but the word with the meaning and the kanji associated with it.

So how do you remember the kanji?
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Re: What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby BBCC » Sun 12.11.2011 10:20 pm

I learn them as I learn words.
Once I come across a new one, I look for the stroke order and only worry about the reading associated with the word I just learned.
I'm using genki too but I also have a few more books that I use to learn Japanese. I feel that I can come across more characters that way.
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Re: What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby Hektor6766 » Mon 12.12.2011 12:20 am

Learn them within the words they form, yes, but also pay attention to the radicals. Let's look at the example you gave: 語. In it you have 3 basic kanji 言 "word, remark, say", 五 "five", and 口 "mouth" So you have the "word of five mouths", or "five mouths say". Therefore 語 means "speech" or "language", words said by many mouths. The added benefit in this example is if you remember the onyomi for 5 is "go" you also know the onyomi for this kanji-just remember 語 "go" has 五 "go" right there within it!

The radicals will guide you to the conceptual family the kanji belongs to, and the clever rebuses formed within the kanji are entertaining and will hold in your memory.
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Re: What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby ダラゴスちゃん » Mon 12.12.2011 9:55 pm

Thanks everyone :3
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Re: What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby HawaiianBoy » Tue 12.13.2011 4:26 pm

well the truth is there is no best way to learn kanji. Learning all the essential kanji takes time and a lot of practice. Keep in mind that stroke order is key to perfecting kanji. kanji is not all about memorizing the meaning but also memorizing each stroke order and length. Try to create flash card and practice writing it every now and then until it becomes natural. As stated above , remembering the radical can help but it is useless to use that method when it comes down to more complex strokes. Most of the time it will be difficult to remember all the radicals, for example the kanji for depression is "憂鬱" which contains more than 20 strokes and a bunch of radicals.
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Re: What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby Hektor6766 » Tue 12.13.2011 6:29 pm

The first kanji contained in that word is easy: a hundred things descending upon and covering one's heart, mind, or spirit; the second, a votive jar of wine enclosed in a forest, is more difficult, I admit; I can only speculate that it signifies a loss of fortune or spirit amid a wilderness. That would be consistent with depression or melancholy as the meaning of the word. And as far as the pronunciation, ゆううつ yuuutsu, I don't see any help from the radicals there.

I'm not saying this is a magic bullet; memorizing kanji is a hard endeavor. All I'm saying is that knowing the radicals makes it easier to remember learned kanji and helps to interpret the meanings of new kanji.
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Re: What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby ダラゴスちゃん » Wed 12.14.2011 8:21 am

I'm going to learn the radicals. But eh, where's a good site explaining all of them. Would really appreciate a good site :)

I'm a determined person, who loves language. I'm learning spanish beside japanese. And also next I'll be learning bokmal and Swedish.
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Re: What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby Hektor6766 » Wed 12.14.2011 5:49 pm

http://nuthatch.com/kanji/demo/radicals.html

http://zhongwen.com http://zhongwen.com For Chinese, but maybe the best site to provide full, original descriptions.

http://www.mementoslangues.fr/Japonais/Debuter/The-214-Radicals.pdf is a list in .pdf format.

The kanji mode in rikaichan will show all, or almost all, radicals that make up a kanji.

If you can get your hands on a Nelson's Kanji dictionary, it has a good list of radicals with complete explanations.
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Re: What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby micahcowan » Fri 12.16.2011 4:50 pm

Personally, I highly recommend Remembering the Kanji by Heisig. It is a source of some fierce contention (as far as I can tell, mainly because some people expect or claim it to do things it does not), but the bottom line is that it is beyond doubt the single biggest boost I ever gave my kanji-learning skills.

A similar tool that may require somewhat less of an extreme time investment before it begins to pay off (but which I didn't find huge success with), is the book Kanji ABC.

You can see a much more detailed review of it here.
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Re: What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby Kurume » Sun 01.08.2012 2:22 am

I used kanji look and learn for a little while until their images were so fabricated that I had to strain harder to remember their story/image than the strokes themselves :roll:

IMO, bbcc has it right. I wouldn't waste your time with any system that tries to make images for you.
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Re: What's the best way to remember kanji?

Postby vonessa » Sat 10.20.2012 4:20 am

I like the Heisig book too. It's been helping. Of course it doesn't teach vocabulary, but a divide and conquer approach is great in my opinion.
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