Home Forums The Japanese Language Kanji is confusing

This topic contains 21 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  vlgi 9 years, 12 months ago.

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  • #44820

    Alexis
    Member

    I am currently in season 2 and have been introduced to 14 kanji already
    However I find it really hard to remember the kunyomi and onyomi

    Could anyone please recommend a way in which your use the kanji page and how your remember kanji?

    Also how many “pages” of TextFugu do your go through each day? Somehow I feel like I’m cramming information in my head and I can’t remember them all perfectly.

    Thank you!

    #44828

    Cimmik
    Member

    You don’t have to remember both the kun and on reading for the kanji (at first). You can settle for the one further down on the kanji page.
    e.g.
    http://www.textfugu.com/kanji/%E4%B9%9D/#top
    the on for 九 is く or きゅう and the kun is ここの. Under the topic “reading” on the page you get told that you should learn the く、きゅう at first, so just do that.
    For remembering it I either use the mnemonic written or I make one myself. Often you remember them better if you make them yourself.

    How many pages of TF I do each day depends on the day and the page. If I have a busy day I often only go through one page but if it is an easy page I sometimes think I can take one more. I try to not do so much that it becomes too difficult. If I feel it begins to become too much for me, I stop. I let my brain absorb the new information over the night. It’s okay to day one page each day. I think it is better to read it one (two in a few cases) time and remember nearly everything than reading it three or five times before understanding it because I mix things up.

    #44830

    kanjiman8
    Member

    My advice would be to scrap the Kanji section on here completely. There’s other and much better ways to learn it. Some alternatives are WaniKani, Remembering the Kanji or the way Japanese kids learn at school.

    WaniKani will be an extra cost, so you might want to try our the first two free levels before deciding to commit to that.

    If you want to do RTK, you can either buy the book or download it. You can use the supplement website http://kanji.koohii.com/ with the book and use other people’s stories instead of Heisig’s.

    The last method is learning the initial 1006 characters taught in grades 1 – 6 in Japanese primary/elementary school. After that, learning the rest taught in high school.
    http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/jouyoukanji.html
    This is a method I’ve recently begun to use as you start to learn common words early which use the kanji you’re learning. You can use jisho.org to find common words, and you can download free anki decks with vocab list here https://ankiweb.net/shared/decks/japanese.

    Experiment and see what works best for you.

    Definitely don’t bother learning the on and kun readings separately. You will naturally pick these up through vocab.

    • This reply was modified 10 years ago by  kanjiman8.
    #44834

    I agree with kanjiman8.

    #44846

    Return
    Member

    My advice is don’t try to memorize the kun and on readings. Even if you knew them, you wouldn’t be completely sure how to read the kanji if you came across a new word. Sometimes you’re not sure whether you have to use the on or kun reading. Instead, learn the kanji in context. Learn the whole compound word; not just the kanji separately.

    There was a really good site with an article that elaborated on this, but damn I can’t find it. Pisses me off to; it was a really good one.

    #44852

    Alexis
    Member

    You don’t have to remember both the kun and on reading for the kanji (at first). You can settle for the one further down on the kanji page.<br>
    e.g.<br>
    http://www.textfugu.com/kanji/%E4%B9%9D/#top<br>
    the on for 九 is く or きゅう and the kun is ここの. Under the topic “reading” on the page you get told that you should learn the く、きゅう at first, so just do that.<br>
    For remembering it I either use the mnemonic written or I make one myself. Often you remember them better if you make them yourself.

    How many pages of TF I do each day depends on the day and the page. If I have a busy day I often only go through one page but if it is an easy page I sometimes think I can take one more. I try to not do so much that it becomes too difficult. If I feel it begins to become too much for me, I stop. I let my brain absorb the new information over the night. It’s okay to day one page each day. I think it is better to read it one (two in a few cases) time and remember nearly everything than reading it three or five times before understanding it because I mix things up.

    I see! Thank you very much, I was a bit confused with how to utilise the kanji page.

    I shall try out the method that you proposed! (:
    Currently I am jus ploughing through most of the pages since it’s the holidays and I already know some of the lessons through my Japanese classes, so its sort of refresher and to help deepen my understanding (It has done a good job, i understand textfugu more than my Japanese classes!)

    #44853

    Alexis
    Member

    My advice would be to scrap the Kanji section on here completely. There’s other and much better ways to learn it. Some alternatives are WaniKani, Remembering the Kanji or the way Japanese kids learn at school.

    WaniKani will be an extra cost, so you might want to try our the first two free levels before deciding to commit to that.

    If you want to do RTK, you can either buy the book or download it. You can use the supplement website http://kanji.koohii.com/ with the book and use other people’s stories instead of Heisig’s.

    The last method is learning the initial 1006 characters taught in grades 1 – 6 in Japanese primary/elementary school. After that, learning the rest taught in high school.<br>
    http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/jouyoukanji.html<br>
    This is a method I’ve recently begun to use as you start to learn common words early which use the kanji you’re learning. You can use jisho.org to find common words, and you can download free anki decks with vocab list here https://ankiweb.net/shared/decks/japanese.

    Experiment and see what works best for you.

    Definitely don’t bother learning the on and kun readings separately. You will naturally pick these up through vocab.

    So the kanji section here is pretty confusing for beginners? Would you think it is a good idea to go through all the other parts of textfugu without the kanji sections?

    I haven’t got around to trying wanikani yet, what do you think about it?

    RTK is definitely a popular book for learning kanji!

    The last method definitely sounds interesting! I am currently taking Japanese lessons, and soon the teacher is probably going to start on kanji, I think she would probably teach like how japanese kids learn kanji.

    So don’t think of them as ON/KUN readings? Just think of them as vocab?

    Thank you very much for sharing your methods!

    #44854

    Alexis
    Member

    My advice is don’t try to memorize the kun and on readings. Even if you knew them, you wouldn’t be completely sure how to read the kanji if you came across a new word. Sometimes you’re not sure whether you have to use the on or kun reading. Instead, learn the kanji in context. Learn the whole compound word; not just the kanji separately.

    There was a really good site with an article that elaborated on this, but damn I can’t find it. Pisses me off to; it was a really good one.

    Do you mean that I should only learn the vocab, and not focus on the ON KUN reading?

    Would be totally awesome if you could find it! I hope you find it again sometime!

    Thank you for the advice (:

    #44858

    “I think she would probably teach like how japanese kids learn kanji.”

    Almost certainly. Native Japanese teachers seem to think the way they learned kanji was the best and the only way it should be done. They learned kanji by writing them out by hand 100s of times but that seems such a waste of time to me haha.

    I agree with the opinion that you shouldn’t need to explicitly learn readings themselves. As an example, if you learned the words 電車(でん・しゃ), 自転車(じ・てん・しゃ), and 自動車(じ・どう・しゃ), then your brain will be able to infer itself that 車 can be read as しゃ, without having to learn the reading as a separate entity beforehand. Whether しゃ is ‘on’ or ‘kun’ isn’t really that important, unless you’re being tested on it :P There *are* a few basic guidelines on where ‘on’ and ‘kun’ readings are each used but there are so many exceptions. Also, if you learn readings from words, it guarantees that the readings you do learn are actually useful (only learning useful readings is also part of TF’s kanji section, but this method streamlines the process even more, if that makes sense).

    Say that you’ve learned the word 電車(でん・しゃ)above, you know that 電 can be read as でん, but you can’t be sure it’s a common reading since you’ve only seen one word with it. Then say that you learned the word 電気(でん・き)- this makes the association between 電 and でん in your head a little more concrete and it gives you a better idea of how common it is. Learn the word 元気 and that’s you got 気 → き more firmly in your head :D And from the second two examples in the above paragraph, you’ve also got 自 → じ. All these associations happened naturally, without you making any extra effort to learn しゃ, じ, でん, or き on their own.

    #44859

    kanjiman8
    Member

    So the kanji section here is pretty confusing for beginners? Would you think it is a good idea to go through all the other parts of textfugu without the kanji sections?

    I haven’t got around to trying wanikani yet, what do you think about it?

    RTK is definitely a popular book for learning kanji!

    The last method definitely sounds interesting! I am currently taking Japanese lessons, and soon the teacher is probably going to start on kanji, I think she would probably teach like how japanese kids learn kanji.

    So don’t think of them as ON/KUN readings? Just think of them as vocab?

    Thank you very much for sharing your methods!

    Personally, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to use the whole of TextFugu in its current state. It’s an unfinished, mistaken ridden mess. I know that’s probably the last thing you want to hear, but read the “Updates update” thread to understand better. Now, saying that, I would however, suggest using the first couple of seasons maybe. These have important motivation techniques, and does explain very simple grammar points like です in an easy to understand way. If you do that, you can use that as a springboard and then switch to a better resource like Tae Kim’s guide or a textbook like Genki.

    WaniKani – I used the first free two levels, but didn’t really like it. I prefer using Anki and either making my own decks or using shared ones. Give it a try to see if it’s for you.

    RTK is a popular book but it does have its downsides. Some of the kanji it covers aren’t that common and aren’t used in common vocab words. Not to say you won’t see those kanji at all, but I think it’s better to learn common kanji first. Which brings me to the method Japanese kids use. If you do it their way, it might seem harder as each kanji don’t build upon each other like in RTK, but you’re learning common kanji which are found in very common words.

    Yes, don’t worry about the on and kun readings. Just think of them as vocab. There’s too many to memorise. Plus when it comes to names, there’s even more readings. Even native Japanese don’t learn every single reading for each kanji.

    #44872

    Alexis
    Member

    “I think she would probably teach like how japanese kids learn kanji.”

    Almost certainly. Native Japanese teachers seem to think the way they learned kanji was the best and the only way it should be done. They learned kanji by writing them out by hand 100s of times but that seems such a waste of time to me haha.

    I agree with the opinion that you shouldn’t need to explicitly learn readings themselves. As an example, if you learned the words 電車(でん・しゃ), 自転車(じ・てん・しゃ), and 自動車(じ・どう・しゃ), then your brain will be able to infer itself that 車 can be read as しゃ, without having to learn the reading as a separate entity beforehand. Whether しゃ is ‘on’ or ‘kun’ isn’t really that important, unless you’re being tested on it :P There *are* a few basic guidelines on where ‘on’ and ‘kun’ readings are each used but there are so many exceptions. Also, if you learn readings from words, it guarantees that the readings you do learn are actually useful (only learning useful readings is also part of TF’s kanji section, but this method streamlines the process even more, if that makes sense).

    Say that you’ve learned the word 電車(でん・しゃ)above, you know that 電 can be read as でん, but you can’t be sure it’s a common reading since you’ve only seen one word with it. Then say that you learned the word 電気(でん・き)- this makes the association between 電 and でん in your head a little more concrete and it gives you a better idea of how common it is. Learn the word 元気 and that’s you got 気 → き more firmly in your head :D And from the second two examples in the above paragraph, you’ve also got 自 → じ. All these associations happened naturally, without you making any extra effort to learn しゃ, じ, でん, or き on their own.

    Definitely doesn’t seem like the most effective way to learn Kanji. (If there is one)

    So what you are saying is that one should study the Vocab part in the TF kanji section? Then eventually after learning more vocab one would be able to match a certain way of reading it?

    For example 入る(はいる)I shouldn’t learn it as 入る(はい.る)?

    Gosh kanji is pretty darn complicated, I hope I’m not confusing you because I’m pretty confused myself.

    #44874

    Alexis
    Member

    Personally, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to use the whole of TextFugu in its current state. It’s an unfinished, mistaken ridden mess. I know that’s probably the last thing you want to hear, but read the “Updates update” thread to understand better. Now, saying that, I would however, suggest using the first couple of seasons maybe. These have important motivation techniques, and does explain very simple grammar points like です in an easy to understand way. If you do that, you can use that as a springboard and then switch to a better resource like Tae Kim’s guide or a textbook like Genki.

    WaniKani – I used the first free two levels, but didn’t really like it. I prefer using Anki and either making my own decks or using shared ones. Give it a try to see if it’s for you.

    RTK is a popular book but it does have its downsides. Some of the kanji it covers aren’t that common and aren’t used in common vocab words. Not to say you won’t see those kanji at all, but I think it’s better to learn common kanji first. Which brings me to the method Japanese kids use. If you do it their way, it might seem harder as each kanji don’t build upon each other like in RTK, but you’re learning common kanji which are found in very common words.

    Yes, don’t worry about the on and kun readings. Just think of them as vocab. There’s too many to memorise. Plus when it comes to names, there’s even more readings. Even native Japanese don’t learn every single reading for each kanji.

    Well I definitely hope that they pull TF out of its current state, since it has so much potential!
    I am currently finishing season 2 but not quite yet since I can’t sort out all the Kanji they have put into season 2. Sometimes I just skip the kanji section and realise there is sort of a problem since TF teaches through “build-up” learning, so the practice sentences they use have Kanji which I do not know. So I am definitely contemplating on whether to go through with the kanji on TF or just drop it for now and just understand the other chapters. Currently for my Japanese class we are using the minna no nihongo TB.

    Okay will do! I will probably borrow RTK from a library and check it out.

    So for example 入れる. I should learn it as いれる and not い.れる?

    Thank you!

    #44875

    kanjiman8
    Member

    We keep hearing about this potential massive TextFugu update, but whenever koichi sheds light on it, there’s no time frame given or concrete details of what new content will be added. The idea appears to be to merge TextFugu with EtoEto, but who knows. I think it will eventually see the light of day, but not for a good while yet. By then, most of the current TextFugu members will likely have no need for it anyway.

    Definitely give RTK a go. Loads of people like the method and have found success with it. It might just work for you.

    Yes, ignore the dots in the middle of vocab words. Only seen that on TextFugu.

    #44878

    Joel
    Member

    So for example 入れる. I should learn it as いれる and not い.れる?

    Yes, ignore the dots in the middle of vocab words. Only seen that on TextFugu.

    No, you need to remember that the い is represented by the 入 while the れる is the okurigana ending. When the verb conjugates, the reading of the kanji itself stays exactly the same, while only the okurigana changes.

    While I’ll grant most places I’ve seen will write the reading with paretheses as い(れる), you can’t have seen many sites if TextFugu’s the only one where you’ve seen an interpunct, Kanjiman.

    #44879

    kanjiman8
    Member

    Yes, I don’t go scouring every site to see if they do that Joel. Just like you, I see the reading in parentheses most of the time. The main sites I look at for vocab are jisho.org, and Jim Breen’s http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C

    In resources such as Genki and Tae Kim’s site, it’s the same.

    Wasn’t trying to give bad or wrong advice, just giving help based off my own experiences.

    Could you list some examples of sites where you’ve seen it with the dots?

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