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Thread: Kanji, anyone?

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    Well, i find that one good way to start learning Kanji is to look at them as pictograms. For example, "川 -> kawa, which means river. With a bit of imagination, it really looks like a small stream, doesn't it? :} Of course, this becomes more difficult with the more complicated Kanji. And it doesn't really help you remember how to say it, either... But it's a start (^_^) and as MistressPookyChan said:

    Quote Originally Posted by MistressPookyChan View Post
    Stroke order is important and all, but I think that radicals are more important. When you know the meaning of the radicals, you can get a general meaning for the kanji. For example, you can know if it is something having to do with water, or that it is a bird, or a fish.

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    I agree! When you first start learning the simpler kanji, it is definitly useful to see them as pictogram (even though they are technically ideograms). Still, I'd always prefer radicals!

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    There is a book that teaches kanji using pictograms, but I don't know anyone that has gone over the 200 kanji hump. After that, they don't really look like pics. So, when you're starting out it may be helpful, but you may need to discover other learning styles after awhile.

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    from a certain point on it´s just craming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MistressPookyChan View Post
    There is a book that teaches kanji using pictograms, but I don't know anyone that has gone over the 200 kanji hump. After that, they don't really look like pics. So, when you're starting out it may be helpful, but you may need to discover other learning styles after awhile.
    You're completely right! Usually somewhere around the beginning of Grade 3 (if you study by school grade), it becomes much more important to really know the different radicals and what they mean.

    For example:
    seashore, beach
    This kanji looks like 17 strokes of pure hell! But once you learn to break it apart in your head and analyze the different parts, it becomes so much easier.
    The two radicals here are
    石 & 幾
    The first (石) means "stone" or "rock". The second (幾) means "a certain number or quantity". Put them together, and with a little abstract thinking you get "there are a certain number of rocks and stones". This would obviously refer to the rocky shores of Japan's coast. Therefore, you can remember that the kanji means "seashore or beach".

    What does everyone think about this advanced approach? Reasonable, insane, etc...

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    Kanji is SEXY!!!

    ...no sorry, I'm weird...it's because I hang around nothing but weird people all the time...

    I learn a lot of kanji from reading raw manga and then I look up said kanji in a Japanese Word Processor. <---very useful. GET ONE! They're free.=D

    What does everyone think about this advanced approach? Reasonable, insane, etc...
    It's good, it's good. *nod nod* Kinda like how my sensei taught us.「好」means "love" or "like" because it consists of 「女」 "woman" and 「子」 "child" because everyone loves women and children etc. xD

    Sore ni...

    I can remember the kanji for 朝 (morning) because the 日(sun) and the 月(moon) and the 十 stars are out at the same time...^^
    (十 is not the kanji for star but if you use your imagination, it looks like a twinkling star so....*shrug* Get eet?
    Last edited by 小美ドクロchan; 01-19-2007 at 01:48 PM.


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    The way I'd remember is 好 is "all mothers love their children", but any way you can find to remember a certain kanji is good. In essence, you make a connection or association between the radicals in the kanji.

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    Hey! Maybe people familiar with Kanji could post new words every day for people in this forum to learn ^_^;; complete with how to pronounce it, what it means and how to construct it using the various radicals (if applicable). That way even the posters themselves get to practice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by conformiste View Post
    Hey! Maybe people familiar with Kanji could post new words every day for people in this forum to learn ^_^;; complete with how to pronounce it, what it means and how to construct it using the various radicals (if applicable). That way even the posters themselves get to practice!
    Hm... it's not up to me, but to the mods. Though, it does sound like a good idea. I wouldn't be too helpful (since I only the first 80), but it would refresh my memory, and help me learn more =D. Hmm... we'll see, like I said, I'm not in charge ^^;.

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    some kanji are quite understandable or at least suggestive...by just reading them by radicals like 嬲る(naburu - to pick on someone...also possible with the radicals reversed, but not common) or 凄い(sugoi...ice + wife = scary ^^&#176...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kendoka7 View Post
    Kanji....what can I say about kanji.

    Probably the most frustrating thing for those of us learning Japanese as a foreign language is kanji. Kanji are both amazing and depressing at times. Bottom line, learning kanji is a life-long endeavor for most of us.

    What does everyone think? Comments/questions about kanji......
    ive studied kanji for two years and im better than my teacher who is japanese

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    I was going to do a sort of bi-weekly lesson but been trying to judge people's abilities. Perhaps I will do intermediate. No worries; kanji WILL be on there (because I'm just that geeky).

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    Quote Originally Posted by MistressPookyChan View Post
    I was going to do a sort of bi-weekly lesson but been trying to judge people's abilities. Perhaps I will do intermediate. No worries; kanji WILL be on there (because I'm just that geeky).
    Oh it's not geeky XD! It's a good idea. Well, I know it'll be for me x_x. As I plan on actually posting in Japanese for once here ^^;. Unfortunately for me right now, I only know romaji *is shotted*.

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    i would say kanji is easy, coz kanji is chinese character n i'm chn XD

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    Quote Originally Posted by kendoka7 View Post
    You're completely right! Usually somewhere around the beginning of Grade 3 (if you study by school grade), it becomes much more important to really know the different radicals and what they mean.

    For example:
    seashore, beach
    This kanji looks like 17 strokes of pure hell! But once you learn to break it apart in your head and analyze the different parts, it becomes so much easier.
    The two radicals here are
    石 & 幾
    The first (石) means "stone" or "rock". The second (幾) means "a certain number or quantity". Put them together, and with a little abstract thinking you get "there are a certain number of rocks and stones". This would obviously refer to the rocky shores of Japan's coast. Therefore, you can remember that the kanji means "seashore or beach".

    What does everyone think about this advanced approach? Reasonable, insane, etc...
    wow, nice explanations!! r u a chn or pure amarican? o.O?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MistressPookyChan View Post
    I was going to do a sort of bi-weekly lesson but been trying to judge people's abilities. Perhaps I will do intermediate. No worries; kanji WILL be on there (because I'm just that geeky).
    *agrees with pengin-san*
    It isn't geeky!
    We would definitely appreciate it. For reference though (since you said you were trying to judge people's abilities) i'm currently JLPT 3 :<

    @Meia_Gisborn:
    I'm chinese too :| but i'm from Singapore. Are you? Or are you a mainlander, or something XD
    It certainly helps to understand the meanings, but the pronunciation's different. And sometimes i end up writing fan2 ti3 in chinese lessons too... @_@

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    I've only taken two years of Japanese in college but for the most part kanji isn't that difficult. To understand at least. To remember all the readings though, yeah, that's pretty hard. Once you start to really look at them as pictographs and learn to identify common parts, then they get pretty easy to figure out. The kanji for rest is a guy next to a tree. That's easy enough. The kanji for ocean is a little water symbol next to the kanji for every.
    A good place I've found for learning kanji online is www.kanjisite.com
    They also teach hiragana and katakana.

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    Heya, I'm new here and I was wondering... I've been learning Japanese at university and I'd like to learn kanji. I was thinking of starting to learn kanji properly instead of looking them up, and I see there's a few knowledgeable people on the subject here, so I'd be really grateful if you could clear up a few of my problems

    1. Is the best way to start the jouyou system (the levels)?
    2. When I'm learning case-by-case, what do I need to know about a character, aside from what it looks like, how it's pronounced and what it means?
    3. Where can I find a list of the 2000 daily-use kanji?
    4. Is there any program out there which lets you draw in a character for immediate recognition?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MazzieEowyn View Post
    Heya, I'm new here and I was wondering... I've been learning Japanese at university and I'd like to learn kanji. I was thinking of starting to learn kanji properly instead of looking them up, and I see there's a few knowledgeable people on the subject here, so I'd be really grateful if you could clear up a few of my problems

    1. Is the best way to start the jouyou system (the levels)?
    2. When I'm learning case-by-case, what do I need to know about a character, aside from what it looks like, how it's pronounced and what it means?
    3. Where can I find a list of the 2000 daily-use kanji?
    4. Is there any program out there which lets you draw in a character for immediate recognition?
    1. I personally think so, but you can also learn by grade ^^!
    2. Stroke-order. Sometimes you can get away with stroke with really simple kanji like 一, 二, and 三... but that's to be expected XD!
    3. Here
    4. What do you mean by that o.o?

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    I don't think Kanji is that hard to learn if you put your mind to it, well for me I only learned Hiragana and even that was hard for me, I guess when it comes down to it, Learning that language is easier than learning the Japanese Alphabet I actually took a Japanese Class and it was fun to learn all the new words and my teacher was really nice... I'll miss that class because it was so fun although I never learned much of the alphabet it was fun just to learn a new language and plus Japan has always interested me... I want to go there someday in japan...


    To say is easy, To do that is hard... (Rurouni Kenshin)

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    XD Thank you for answering!

    Well, I once saw a program on someone else's laptop - you drew in the character with your mouse in this little window, and it popped up the matching character in text form. I thought it was so clever and time-saving I thought... where can I get me one of those? Because when I try to translate things, it's finding the kanji in unicode that takes me ages.

    Actually, my memory's pretty much saturated with all the subtitled anime I've watched for five years, so I already had a sense for how the language *should* sound. So when I started Japanese in October last year and actually set my mind to learning the hiragana, I managed pretty quickly. I don't know how or why. I kinda treat it as one of those code games I liked when I was a kid. Katakana is much harder for me to remember though.

    Japanese class is fun Our teacher, I think, is a Japanese student on one of those programs I'm considering going on where you travel to another country to teach your language. He's also a bit scatterbrained which is kinda funny... he starts talking in Japanese (did this from first lesson, actually) and we're looking at him going 'eh?' then he says, 'daijobu?' XD And everyone just nods, because what else can you do?

    He also once asked me what anime I liked in a lesson when I'd gotten excited over the word 'persocon'. XD Of course, it's obvious why, but I don't think he's heard of Chobits, so it was funny (and embarrassing) trying to explain to him. I stuck one of my song translations into my Japanese portfolio, and bearing in mind we're not really expected to know hiragana yet - never mind kanji - I'm hoping it'll give me a good mark XD

    Did you do oral exams as part of your course?
    Last edited by MazzieEowyn; 01-25-2007 at 10:13 AM.

  22. #47
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    Mazzie:

    the kanji drawing thing is with IME. Press the icon with the magnify glass and paint brush and then the top option (手書き).

    If you want to know more about those programs "where you travel to another country and teach your language", let me know. I was on JET for 2 years.

    I ALWAYS had oral exams. They were difficult, but essential. I've seen too many people that can read and write a language but can't speak it.

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  23. #48
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    well what u say just is true. for me there isnt anyone that can speak japanese with me so i ended up talking to myself alot in japanese and yes i know it sound weird but it's true.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keithsnyder View Post
    well what u say just is true. for me there isnt anyone that can speak japanese with me so i ended up talking to myself alot in japanese and yes i know it sound weird but it's true.
    Actually, that's not weird at all! I recommend to all my students that they should speak to themselves. As you get ready in the morning, say aloud what you are doing. Everything from "taking a shower" to "putting on a shirt", when said in a foreign language, can be great practice! But this thread is about kanji, so please keep it there.

    Another idea would be to post-it note kanji on everything. For example, put 電話 on the phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MistressPookyChan View Post

    Another idea would be to post-it note kanji on everything. For example, put 電話 on the phone.
    lol, that&#180;s exactly what my chinese teacher is telling us...
    (but, since i hate flash cards and notes and thus never did it, it can be useful i&#180;m sure ^^&#176

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