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Please tell me how to learn kanji! I'm thinking about learning it like Japanese kids, studying with the radicals, or just learning it with vocabulary. Which should I do? It'll be great to study with someone too.
Jul 25, 2016 8:11 PM
Comments · 7

I'm still learning kanji along with vocabulary. Since I don't need Japanese for any serious purposes, my method of learning made me able to only read kanji, though I can still write several kanji with not many strokes, but I can mostly only read them. So basically, my method of learning kanji is super simple : As soon as I see a new kanji, I translate it, and then just recognize it later on. After a few times of seeing it you will surely memorize it.

 Though, I actually was learning kanji actively for about half a year to get some basic knowledge, back then when I was still a beginner. Now I just decided to go with this kind of a simple method since I never use written Japanese and don't have to know how to write kanji anyway.

July 26, 2016
+1 for Remembering the Kanji, it took me half a year of relatively lazy studying to go through all the Jōyō kanji with it. Niko of NihongoShark has a great introduction to the method on his website:
As an alternative, you can try some other mnemonics-based methods like KanjiDamage, I believe any of them would be superior to rote-based memorizing that Japanese children do at school.
July 25, 2016

For me, Heisig's Remembering the Kanji is the only way I see as feasible for an adult to get some actual results from. I started with this and never regretted it. It isn't for everybody, but certainly worth checking out.

This method is meant as a preparation. It will show you how to recognize and write the kanji, which will prepare you so much better for the studies of readings and usage afterwards.

You can download a "sample", which really is the complete first few chapters to try it out.

I cannot stress enough to read the foreword and his instructions thoroughly. (imo, most of the complaints about the method I came across online so far where from people who obviously hadn't read the instructions...)

Heisig: Remembering the kanji

July 25, 2016

Thank you for the great advice, Benjiro.

As far as I watch your introduction video, you sound almost like a native Japanese speaker.

My American friend asked me the same question.

James Heisig is apparently a friend of my business partner.

I'll recommend Remembering the Kanji to the friend of mine.


August 8, 2016
August 8, 2016
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Language Skills
English, Japanese
Learning Language