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Question How should i learn kanji?

Joined
Jul 9, 2017
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こんにちわ,
I have a question about how to efficiently learn my Kanji.
Right now per day I am learning the on reading of 7 Kanji (1 page in my book), additionally the kun readings as vocabulary and for each kanji: the most common multiple kanji word that uses this kanji and kanji I already know.

Now I am thinking about omitting the most common word and instead learning 14 Kanji and their kun readings instead.

My thought is that, the sooner I am done with the kanji, the sooner i can start reading text, for example on nhk easy.
I assume that being able to read text would boost the speed of me learning the language a lot and it would be much easier to remember the words, because now there is a context.

I know about 400 Kanji right now and a lot of grammar.

So my question is: Does that make sense? Should I learn more Kanji per day and less words?
 
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joadbres

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There are about as many opinions about kanji studying as there are kanji studiers, but I will give mine.

First of all, 'multiple kanji words' are usually called 'compounds' (in Japanese: jukugo, 熟語).

I think the change to your approach that you are considering is not a bad idea. However, when learning a new kanji for the first time, I think it is useful to be exposed to some of the more common compound words that use the character. These don't have to be rigorously memorized at this time, but it is good to at least see them, to gain familiarity with how the character is typically used in compound words. For that reason, I would still recommend looking at some compounds as you learn a new kanji, but you don't need to memorize them. This shouldn't require so much time, and will allow you to meet your 14 characters per day goal. Also, for the characters that don't have a kun reading in common use (i.e., on-only characters), which increase in number as you get to higher levels, it might be hard to learn the character without at least looking at a few compound words.

A few other comments:

Please realize that being 'done with the kanji' is not something easily accomplished, as it will most likely require some repetition over time to comfortably remember the characters, if you are like most people. Also, be aware that, assuming you are studying the characters in an order similar to that of Japanese schoolchildren, some of the higher-level characters are harder to remember than the lower-level ones, as they are used in more advanced words, and tend to have more complicated and diverse meanings.

One of the keys to mastering kanji is to be able to confidently recognize a character when you see it, and to be able to clearly distinguish it from similar-looking characters. This gets significantly more challenging as you learn more characters, so, again, repetition will be an important key to studying.

Most kanji learners recommend using some kind of spaced repetition system (SRS) to assist in learning kanji. Popular SRS's include anki and memrise (both are software-based). You can find online various character sets that have been created and shared by other learners, and may even be able to find sets that are synced up with the book you are using to study.
 
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Thank you very much for your reply.
First of all I am using a SRS (Anki, I am creating the character sets and the mnemonics etc myself) and I am confident that I can distinguish all the Kanji characters I have learned so far and tell their readings right away.
It took me some time to figure out the right method, but the use of Mnemonics made it possible.

My main concern is that it may be harder to memorize the kanji as good, if I omit learning the compound words. On the other hand I assume once I am done, regular reading should prove as a very effective method to repeat them and learn many compounds at the same time.

I assume it all depends on how well I can memorize the Kanji without memorizing the compounds (I will just add the most common ones to my on reading character sets, to have a look at them if necessary). I will give it a try for a week and see how well it works out I guess.

Oh and btw I realized that I wrote こんにちは wrong, but i can't edit it anymore...
 
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...Oh and btw I realized that I wrote こんにちは wrong, but i can't edit it anymore...
Just a side comment, while こんにちは is the typical, "correct" way to write that phrase, I have seen Japanese people use ”こんにちわ” before.

Based on what I have read, the "わ" way to write it is more common with the younger generation, especially women.
 
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