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Learning Article : How To Learn Kanji: 3 Pieces Of Advice For Beginners

Discuss the Article : How To Learn Kanji: 3 Pieces Of Advice For Beginners

<a href='/article/188/3-pieces-of-advice-for-beginning-kanji' target='_blank'>How To Learn Kanji: 3 Pieces Of Advice For Beginners</a>

Kanji are not just written stroke by stroke, but also radical by radical. It’s like building or putting parts of words together. I know the way Japanese people learn and the way foreign people learn is a little different, but to know the meaning of radicals absolutely helps you...

Jul 2, 2014 12:00 AM
Comments · 15

I'll just copy what I wrote on fb:p
Nice article! I found that many textbooks actually discourage students to learn Japanese, because the authors write about how tiring and frustrating learning the kanji is. There were even quizzes in them like: "will it be possible for you to memorize kanji?". No wonder I know many people who begin learning Japanese and give up as soon as they try to learn kanji.

Heisig's RTK or similar method based on radicals/primitives for learning how to distinguish and write Kanji/Hanzi. Then you'll find that you like kanji, because they only make learning vocab easier. Breaking kanji into radicals and creating stories than connect them into kanji. Instead of learning 2000 characters, you learn 160 radicals and just connect them. It makes the process of learning Kanji, more fun than learning the language itself:p Takes about 2-3 months to finish it. It's like being Chinese and trying to learn Japanese after it. There were even some teachers that use RTK in class, before teaching anything else.

July 3, 2014
July 10, 2014

This article is very insightful. Arigato!

September 23, 2014

i don't know if using radicals as mnemonics is helpful .. infact in my opinion mnemonics are useless becuase the effort i use to memorise it can be spent in memorising the kanji itself .. also sometimes i find that the radical has nothing to do with the overall meaning of the new kanji .

July 11, 2014


Thank you a lot for this article! It is really interesting!As a beginner in japanese, kanji is the biggest worry.I always wonder which way is the best to learn them, some say that I don't have to memorise the kanji itself but it is preferable to memorise words with kanji.I though that the second way is better because I don't have to worry about the "onyomi and kunyomu" readings but now that I have read your article I think the way that you suggested is better because it helps me to expand my vocabulary quickly.

Honestly I decided to learn japanese a few months ago, I wasn't advancing because I wasn't taking it seriously, furthermore, I gave up many times because of Kanji and I started again a week ago.

I will try to do my best anyway.


Thank you again for this useful article.

July 3, 2014
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Language Skills
English, Japanese
Learning Language