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Q: What is the best method to study Japanese Kanji? ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: What is the best method to study Japanese Kanji?
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: tuanphamcom-ga
List Price: $98.00
Posted: 16 Dec 2005 18:08 PST
Expires: 15 Jan 2006 18:08 PST
Question ID: 606706

I am studying Japanese and the most difficulty of Japanese is its
Kanji characters. I want to know what is the best way to master it. I
prefer studying by video and some dynamic methods which is easy to be
Please show me many sites to learn Japanese Kanji, both free and paid
ones from basic to advance Japanese Kanji for learner. For each Kanji,
it should be come with "Kun" & "On" reading method and phrase or
example statements.

Thanks a lot!

Reese Donner
Subject: Re: What is the best method to study Japanese Kanji?
Answered By: webadept-ga on 16 Dec 2005 20:25 PST
Rated:3 out of 5 stars

Check out this page. If there is anything more you need besides what
is on here, then please let me know using the Clarification function,
and I'll see about finding that for you. What "that" might be, I can't
imagine, but ... that's the great thing about imagination, there's
always new places to go.

A Select List of Japanese Language Study Sites

Be sure to check out the Things to Listen to with Scripts, Podcasts,
and the Free Software areas.

thanks and good luck in your studies, 

tuanphamcom-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
Thank a lot! this is a great link I found out many good sites from that link.

Subject: Re: What is the best method to study Japanese Kanji?
From: purplecloud-ga on 16 Dec 2005 20:28 PST
Hi Reese
  I haven't studied Japanese Kanji, but I have studied Mandarin
Chinese, so perhaps my experience in learning characters may partially
be valid for Japanese.  I found the first year or so of studying how
to write them to be the hardest until I became familiar with the
various parts of characters -- the wood radical, the water drops,
metal, etc. Then it became easier to hold onto the image of the
character in my mind -- I could 'name' the parts and then write them
  A useful tool was a child's toy - I believe it's called a magic
slate. They are found where you buy coloring books and other
periodical-like things in a bookstore or a drug store in the US. (not
an Etch-a-sketch!) you just write on top of the 'slate' and then lift
a transparent plastic sheet to erase what you've just written. When I
practice writing characters on paper, my eye would always cheat to see
how I'd written the character before. With the magic slate, if you
erase the character each time you write it, you can't 'cheat'.
  You asked about the 'best' way to master the characters. Different
people find different methods better for them because they have
different preferences in how to learn things - some people are visual
learners, some are auditory learners, some prefer to move their body
as they learn. And, of course, there are combinations of these
methods. It might be useful for you to find out what type of "learner"
(what type of learning preference) you are and then either find or
adapt a method to match your learning style preference. This concept
of learning preference is largely a topic in the field of education,
so foreign language teachers may or may not be aware of it. If you are
at a college or university with a center to help students study,
consider visiting them and asking their help in finding out a good way
for you to learn these characters.
  I would, however, recommend much practice in writing the characters.
This will help you absorb part of the Japanese culture as well as make
your characters look more "Japanese-y'. From my experience here in
Taiwan with foreigners writing Chinese characters, it's very uncommon
for a foreigner to write characters so they look like an adult wrote
them. Usually the characters we write, although using the correct
stroke order, look very clumsy and can be an unspoken source of
embarassment. I'm not talking specifically about pursuing calligraphy
-- although a wonderful discipline!) -- but being able to coordinate
the strokes and proportions together.
  A looming crisis in schools here is the impact of typing Chinese
characters on writing them. It's different from typing English wherein
you actually spell the word: in Chinese (and I would imagine in
Japanese, too) to type a character,you either type the phonetics for
the character or type a code for the parts of the character. This
brings up a menu of characters that match the phonetics or parts of
the character -- then you select which of those ten or so words you
actually want. So typing in Chinese is more a matter of selecting the
character you want from a menu than it is a matter of actually
typing/spelling it. Since so many people mainly rely on typing
characters these days, their written characters are becoming sloppily
written or people are forgetting how to write the characters. I'd
suggest learning how to type Japanese as well as practicing writing
them by hand. This can seperate the boys from the men, esp if you are
considering working in Japan or for a Japanese company.
Subject: Re: What is the best method to study Japanese Kanji?
From: thewhiterabbit-ga on 02 Feb 2006 10:17 PST
Have you checked out White Rabbit Press "Japanese Kanji Flashcards"
Subject: Re: What is the best method to study Japanese Kanji?
From: htmlgecko-ga on 16 Aug 2006 15:35 PDT
The most effective (for myself) I've found in all my years of foreign
language study (8 years, 6 languages) is to use flash cards. Write the
kanji on one side, the pronunciation on the other, with the English
meaning in smaller letters beneath the pronunciation.

Also, armed with, say, 100 characters memorized (its not that hard!)
and a dictionary, begin to try and pronounce every thing you read. It
doesn't matter if you can't translate it, because that's not the
purpose in this exercise. You simply want to learn to recognize the
characters you read and their pronuncation in that context. This is
very important for Japanese students because they must learn to
understand a kanji when used in different contexts without falling

I also recommend reading children's books in Japanese. They will be
(obviously) basic, and geared towards learners of Japanese- exactly
what you need!

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