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Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Learning Japanese: kanji while learning vocabulary, how to go about doing that?

A kanji book just shows you all the kanji starting from simple kanji to more complicated. I could just start from the beginning and learn them. But then i need to learn vocabulary , and i have a big list of vocab already and it's written in Kanji( verbs, etc). I'm kind of confused on how to approach learning . If i study single kanji from the kanji book i have, and then i also study vocab and it has kanji.. so it's like learning kanji from 2 different things: Vocab containing kanji, and individual kanji. So i'm like doing double work?

should i just learn the kanji by working on the vocab and looking up the kanji found in the kanji compounds that make up the vocabulary term... or should i leave off the vocab lists, and study kanji individually from the kanji book?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Kanji's so hard to learn, in my opinion, because each one can have multiple readings. I think simply going through the kanji dictionary won't help you much - it's probably better to work on vocab and look up their kanji as you go so you associate the words and the meanings with the character. Plus, as someone above me said, this'll help you get compound kanji readings right.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Studying Kanji is the hardest part of learning Japanese, though it can be accomplished. I'd say the best method is to learn it alongside the vocabulary. Kanji is no good if you don't know what it means. But, at the same time, Kanji isn't much good if you can't write it. Though learning exact stroke order isn't necessary, it really does make sense (after doing a few hundred different Kanji, believe me it starts to come together). Reading and writing go hand in hand when learning Kanji, so the way I would go about it is to learn the word with the Kanji. Then try Kanji flash cards-where you write the Kanji on one side, and then the Hiragana and English meaning on the other. I have found great use in Mind Binders ( I use ring-bound. Kind of expensive if you buy them single, but try a six pack of the medium size. Small size works, but I prefer medium. If you're learning several hundred Kanji, you're going to want six of those.

    Also, try learning Kanji with Hiragana attached, when appropriate. It can help to attach the entire ending of the dictionary verb form. For example instead of just writing the Kanji for 'eat' without the verb ending of 'beru', write it all together as 'taberu' with 'ta' as the Kanji and 'beru' as Hiragana. Then use flash cards with the Hiragana and Kanji. It helps a lot. Then when you think you can remember it, try a different flash card without the Hiragana and see if you can do it.

    Hope you can use one of my suggestions, and have fun learning vocab and Kanji!

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  • 1 decade ago

    The best way to learn new vocab AND kanji is to use flashcards. Write the word in kanji on one side, and on the other side write the English translation and the correct pronounciation in hiragana just to make sure you read it correctly. This way you'll get used to learning to read the words and you'll remember the kanji better. This is especially helpful for kanji compounds, when two or more kanji are used to make one word.

    Good luck!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Kanji was IMPOSSIBLE for me to learn. I only know enough to read certain things of interest like dates and some chop marks on antiques, otherwise I am completely lost!

    I suggest that you take it all the way back to how the young children learn it in Japan. It takes more time that way, but it really is the only way to do it right considering it is so very foreign to us as being used to American and the English Alphabet.

    Learn stroke by stroke. The children learn by memorization of the images and the different kinds of symbolisim.

    It is a very hard undertaking. Good luck!

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  • Linda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    you didn't say you're planning to learn katakana? you think kanji is easy, but no it's not......and a dictionary CAN'T help you!! my advice is take japanese lessons or search japanese free online.............if that doesn't help you.....................go to japan!! find native speakers that know english..............

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