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The Diaspora > 日本語BBS

Understanding kanji

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I was wondering if anyone had a good resource to actually understanding kanji, not just writing or pronouncing it.  I can't learn it very well through rote memorization, I tend to prefer knowing the meanings and structures.


"A Guide to Reading & Writing Japanese" is a very good resource when you're just starting out. It gives you the stroke order, different readings, meanings of the kanji, and example words. It only teaches you the essentials, though, so if you want to learn more, an actual kanji dictionary will probably be what you want.

If you are OK with just learning the meanings of kanji in an amazingly easy way (you pick ways to remember them, via pictographs or meanings of the parts of the kanji), then http://kanji.koohii.com/ is great. It's free to sign up for and helps you study and review and stuff.

Sweet.  Here, have some magic circuits.  ^^


Wakan is all I use, and I will (hopefully) soon be done with all jouyou kanji...

Just memorize them by radicals (e.g. remember 語 as 言 五 口 rather than as a random collection of lines), learn some of the most common compounds for each kanji (no point memorizing 季 by itself -- but 季節 is a common word), and make sure you can actually handwrite them without looking 5 minutes later (even if you never plan to actually handwrite -- just imagine how questionable your grasp of the English alphabet would be if you needed a computer to remember how to write an 'A'... it does wonders for long term memorization, too)

(Disclaimer: there are a bunch of errors in the stroke orders given by Wakan. If in doubt, double-check with WWWJDIC, which, as far as I know, has them 100% correct. I also kept a .txt of all the errors I noticed until I got good enough at stroke order to stop checking it most of the time, so ask me for it if you're interested)


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