Before You Begin Your Kanji

“All great achievements require time.” - Maya Angelou

You’re about to start taming the monster known as “kanji.” But, before you begin, there’s a few things you have to know about it. Hopefully you’ve spent some time on the first set of radicals and know those pretty well. They’ll help you out a lot as you move on to the next section. Remember, good foundation = good long term learning. Don’t rush it!

Make sure you know your radicals before moving on to the next chapter – you can finish reading this one if you want, but you want to know them well before moving on to 1-2 stroke kanji!

First, let’s take a look at some of the aspects of kanji which are usually known as being particularly difficult to learn:

  1. Each kanji character often has multiple pronunciations depending on where / how it is used.
  2. Kanji can be combined with other kanji to form completely new and different words.
  3. Kanji is difficult to read and (even more so) write.

We’re going to take several novel approaches in order to tackle this problem. We’ve already gone over some of them (1. learning your radicals – 2. ignoring hand writing), but the fun part is yet to come. First, though, you need to learn more about how kanji works within the Japanese language. Sadly, it’s quite the mess in some ways, but hopefully this will clear things up and simplify them a lot for you.

Boo. Kanji is hard.
Don’t panic, you hoopy frood! TextFugu makes kanji way less hard than it’s usually made out to be!

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