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Learning Kanji

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,336 Cake Fiend

    <snip>This site no longer exists

    Nice little site with kana and kanji study cards, also has a forum.


  • Right, over the past few weeks I've downloaded practically every sort of software package that exists to learn kanji.
    They're all crap, demo useless things with all of 7 kanji on them, they're english and piss all else. e.g. Kingkanji etc.

    That is.. until I found this beautiful lil piece of software:

    It's completely free, it has 8000 (!) kanji on it divided into 9 grades. It gives the english translation, hiragana On and Kun readings. And for each and every one, a multitude of combo examples and their entire respective translations...
    Feck that I'm throwing my flash cards out..

    A piece of advice though, read the short intro in the help file or you will be lost as to what is going on and think the yoke has only 8 kanji instead of 8000..

    PS: I'd like to second the value of LRNJ (aka slime forest) rpg above for learning the kana. I learned katakana and hiragana entirely and 100% from that game. In superu-kuwiku-fasuto time too! :D An excellent tool, though not sufficient for kanji as it only gives you the english translation and nothing else.

  • Post by Konata!

    Here's your go to sticky for all questions and advice related to mastering the kanji!

    To start, here are some useful sites to help you learn:


    Some fun games to help you learn:

    - DS Game

    Please feel free to post any other sites you may recommend, reviews of sites already posted and other advice/questions you may have :)

  • Incidently, on facebook there's an application called Kanji Box. You can learn kanji by all the various school grades as well as JLPT grades, and it will track your scores in the kanji drills, as well as compares your scroes in the kanji quiz against your friends. Very good for motivation as well as seeing tangible improvement.

  • I can also recommend this to anyone with a DS who was thinking of buying a fancy expensive 電子辞書 (electronic dictionary) like a Wordtank. It's the DS Kanji dictionary cart 漢字そのままらくびきじてん!

    I bought mine early this year for about 30Euro second hand a few days after my girlfriend bought her "real" dictionary (Canon Wordtank V300) for about 10 times the price. I think it's just as good for what most foreign learners need. It has some of the same dictionary data files used on larger electronic dictionaries, lots of English definitions (green text), Japanese definitions (red text) come with pronunciation kana showing the syllales attached to each character in a multi-character word, you can save interesting or useful entries to a bookmark list, there are some kanji games and it has really good handwriting recognition for stylus input of characters. Plus you should never need to turn it off! My DS can be closed and left in standby mode when I'm not using this and will get about a weeks worth of reasonably frequent use before needing charging, plus as soon as you reopen your DS it's ready to go.

    Now the caveats! There's no English instruction mode so all the menus, games and screen buttons will be laden with kanji, but it's very easy to figure out how to use it. It doesn't have ALL the dictonaries that larger dictionaries like the V300 have (like historic Japanese, Slang, Eng-Eng), but I've never found this to be much of a problem. Even the largest font size is a bit small on the DS's screen so reading it and seeing how the strokes are arranged might not be easy for some.

  • Just a question. how did you guys begin learning Kanji? Did you just start with a random one, learn its meaning and how to write it etc and then move onto another or what?

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  • Two common methods are to start with the JLPT sets (modeled after the order Japanese kids learn kanji in school, that is most common kanji first) or the order in James Heisig's 'Remembering the Kanji' (ordered by kanji complexity and building on previously learned kanji).

    If you're planning on studying Japanese long-term, I'd recommend the RtK method (although you could study both methods in parallel if you wanted to, for example if you wanted to take some JLPT exams before you reached the relevant kanji in RtK).

    Personally, I struggled through the JLPT order till about level 3 before starting the RtK method (which I think is far superior).

    Here's a link to a sample of RtK, showing the order first 250 or so kanji plus an explanation of the method.

  • ooft. After finding kana so easy that looks very tough. The RtK sounds preferable but I would be willing to try the jlpt way too. Should I start learning straight away or start learning grammar etc better?

  • Learning kanji's going to take a while, so the earlier you start, the better.