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Joyo kanji


14 Jan 2009
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Knowing a kanji is not a binary state. There's no contradiction in someone being able to read materials that contain 3000 or 4000 different kanji, particularly if they're an educated native speaker reading material in their specialist field, but not being able to handwrite enough to pass the higher levels of 漢検.

By the same point, just because X number of kanji are used in newspapers doesn't mean that native speakers necessarily know or need to know all of them - people are pretty good at dealing with new/unfamiliar words in context in their native language - or that if you did know X kanji that means you'd never need a dictionary for any word containing one of them.

And you could be able to pass all the tests in the world but not know "うp乙" or "死にゲー" or "迷場面" (if you do know what all that means, hi! let's be friends). Sadly there is no official test to validate my continuous accumulation of useless internet knowledge.

Too much emphasis on numbers, really. I just kinda want to let all the beginners who come onto the internet and see people claiming they learnt eight billion kanji in three months using SRS and hypnotic suggestion that a) such claims are meaningless and b) you don't have to. Honest. IMO, best thing I ever did was stop trying to learn all the joyo. Didn't stop learning kanji, just changed the focus to stuff I'm actually interested in.

Getting back to the original topic of the thread: there are some programs about that will make a list of all the kanji/their frequency given some text. You could do worse than to throw some text you're interested in through one of those and see what comes out. I should try it on Cookpad sometime, that would be amazing. ♫ and ☆ would probably rank higher than half the joyo.
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