Check out our updated Community
Learning Japanese Vocabulary: Should I learn the Kanji from the vocab or just with Hiragana/Katakana?


I'm a beginner in Japanese, but I've kinda learned a bit of Japanese on and off. I was stressing myself out with the Kanji, trying to learn the basic Kanji. I didn't even learn vocabulary, I just prioritized learning basic Kanji first - which was tiring to me and I stopped. So I'm trying to prioritize vocabulary now, but I wonder if I should write them in Hiragana/Katakana instead of writing them with their Kanji? 
I'm just learning really basic things right now. I'm learning with a little book "Learning Japanese in 30 days" (it's not in English; and I'm not actually learning it in 30 days, I'm taking my time) and there's no Kanji in it - it's just in Hiragana/Katakana so it's really just for building a basic understanding of talking Japanese. 

It would take some more time to learn the words with Kanji (I'd just learn how to write them and pronounce them in that word, not all the pronunciations and meanings), but if I learn them without the Kanji now, it would be weird to learn the words again later on, just with their Kanji. 

What do you think I should do? 

Mar 3, 2018 12:39 PM
Comments · 3
Native Japanese speakers learn the language based on pronunciation and are fluent speakers before they learn to write at all. It’s my understanding that once they start reading, it’s with the kana — the kanji come later. Based on that, I’d say it’s fine to wait.

I’m learning Chinese now, not Japanese, but I’d say that learning hanzi is a big help for Chinese. Of course, hanzi were originally developed for Chinese, and there are no hiragana or katakana at all. Also, you don’t have as many different readings (pronunciations) for each character in Mandarin as in Japanese.

The most important thing, in my opinion, is that you follow your heart. If you don’t enjoy kanji, then don’t force yourself. It’s better to keep studying the way you like until one day you’ll find your curiosity about kanji has grown to the point where you feel compelled to study them.
March 14, 2018
I agree that kanji is too hard but if you learn with kanji you can memorize vocabulary for many long time.

March 14, 2018

Yes, it would be good to continue with the kanji!

The earlier you start the better.

Maybe just write furigana for ones you're unsure of.

March 14, 2018
Language Skills
Catalan, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
Learning Language
Catalan, French, Korean, Russian, Spanish