step-by-step breakdown of how you can and should learn the kanji in 97 days
excerpt from Hacking Japanese Supercourse, a practical, detailed guidebook for mastering the Japanese language.
Divide the Kanji into Constituents
Create Effective Mnemonics
If you go look at that article, it will talk about the mechanics of memory.
Only Worry About 1 Thing: Recognizing the Meaning of Characters
As you will learn very early in your Japanese studies, there are many different elements to “learning the kanji,” which, by itself, is quite a vague statement. For example, consider the following. Say we have the kanji 食, which means “eat.” There are many aspects to “knowing” this kanji:
- In general, it means “eat,” “eating,” or “food.”
- The On’Yomi (Chinese-derived reading) is しょく / shoku or じき / jiki.
- Yeah, by the way, there are different sounds for each kanji. This is one of the side effects of smashing Japanese into the Chinese writing system. So, for one characters, there are many possible readings (ways to pronounce it). We’ll worry about this later. Also, it won’t be stressful at all.
- The Kun’Yomi (Japanese reading) is た.べる / taberu or く.う / kuu or く.らう kurau.
- This is the stroke order:
That’s a lot of info, right? And I’ve had so many readers email me saying that they think they should just learn all of that at once in a sort of get-it-over-with attack on kanji. I also have readers that look at all of that information and just say, “You know what? This just isn’t for me after all.”
Review Them with an SRS Program (Anki)
three tools? Well…
- Anki Flashcards will keep us from forgetting what we learn.
- Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji will help us break our kanji into parts so we can learn them via stories and mnemonics.
- Reviewing the Kanji will save us when we have a hard time coming up with our own kanji stories and mnemonics.
Used together, these three tools can speed up your kanji acquisition exponentially.
Keep a Time-Efficient Flow
Clean Up Mnemonics over Time
Decide Your Challenge Time Period
Prioritizing Your Study Flow
Do every single review card every single day.
Find Your Study Sanctuary
Focus on the Habit
Get Your Grit On
I read this really awesome article
on grit recently, and I thought that it could definitely apply to language learning. I probably sound like a broken record talking about how we need to make studying into an enjoyable, routine process full of flowers and sexy anime girls. But there’s no sugarcoating the fact that this will be difficult. This will be work. This will require grit and resilience.
A Navy SEAL Explains 8 Secrets To Grit And Resilience
What we can learn from James, the SEALs and the research on how to have grit:
- Purpose and meaning. It’s easier to be persistent when what we’re doing is tied to something personally meaningful.
- Make it a game. It’s the best way to stay in a competitive mindset without stressing yourself out.
- Be confident — but realistic. See the challenges honestly but believe in your own ability to take them on.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. Grit comes a lot easier when you’ve done the work to make sure you’re ready.
- [For #5-8, Please read the original article, below.]
Don’t Make Kanji the Enemy
1 Kanji at a Time
Just take it 1 kanji at a time. Don’t look forward. Look at the one kanji. Some day in the future, that kanji will be the last kanji. It doesn’t matter when that day is. All that matters is knowing that such a day exists, and it will come eventually.
Kanji Challenge Recap
- Download Anki.
- Download the Nihongoshark.com Kanji Deck.
- Set Anki’s preferences.
- Start learning new kanji.
- Repeat new-kanji-learning process 2,131 times.
- Review kanji flashcards every day.
Hacking Japanese Supercourse
Hermann Ebbinghaus (January 24, 1850 – February 26, 1909) was a German psychologist who pioneered the experimental study of memory, and is known for his discovery of the forgetting curve and the spacing effect. He was also the first person to describe thelearning curve. He was the father of the eminent neo-Kantian philosopher Julius Ebbinghaus.
Published on Jun 22, 2013
“Remembering and learning the Kanji” – How to learn 2,200 Japanese Kanji characters using Heisig (stroke order and meaning) the easy, fun and most importantly – quick way.
*GET SPEAKING WITH A JAPANESE PERSON!* (iTalki): http://promos.italki.com/abroad-in-ja…
When I found out the Japanese writing system, Kanji, has over 2,000 characters I nearly packed up my bags and went home after I finished crying – but after discovering a fun and creative solution to the problem , which turned a hell of a task into a short, enjoyable one, I feel I have to share the method with the world.
The method revolves around a book called “Remembering the Kanji” by Heisig and is very popular for learners of Japanese who struggle with the characters. I highly recommend the book to all and it can be found HERE:
For those interested in Japan, sarcasm and ridiculous things, why not check out the rest of my YouTube channel here:http://www.youtube.com/user/cmbroad44…
And why not check out AbroadinJapan.com for articles as well, including how to fail in a Tokyo Nightclub: