Kanji are indeed difficult. As if the multiple readings weren't hard enough, the brain's separate faculties for reading and writing become painfully apparent when learning kanji. I can't tell you how many times I've recognized a character I've studied, then realized that I couldn't write it from memory. It's definitely true, that which is commonly said: Your hand has to learn the character. You simply have to keep writing the same kanji over and over, repeating readings out loud or in your head, and of course, practice both kun'yomi and on'yomi in various words. There is no truly effective shortcut.One could try learning the parts that make up the kanji, and indeed there is a book out that can help with this: Kanji Pict-o-Graphix by Michael Rowley. It's a book of kanji mnemonics, and in learning the mnemonic, you learn the kanji. But I feel that the book is only good for learning to read the kanji, as the writing faculty of the brain is not really engaged, so writing using only this method is somewhat difficult. I found myself still writing the kanji again and again and again when using the book to learn to write. Not to mention the book gives very few examples of words in which the on'yomi is used, so it again loses value as an instructional tool. If you for some reason want another source for learning kanji, I would suggest Kanji & Kana by Wolfgang Hadamitzky and Mark Spahn. It has all of the jouyou kanji (standard kanji taught in schools) as well as all of the jinmei-you kanji (used in names). It also has several good examples of words with kun'yomi and on'yomi, as well as all of the possible readings of a kanji (I've noticed that many other sources seem to omit several readings). There should be a copy of this book in Alderman.Just write the kanji over and over again, people!Jaa, mata!
Kanji Kanji Kanji...we know so few, but even then it can feel overwhelming. So many places where the character can take the place of a few hiragana characters, or just one, and we feel, why bother? Reading wise, its easier to read kanji, but like ther person above, said, its easy to read but hard to produce. And again, in agreement with the previous post, the only way to memorize kanji is to practice, practice, practice, and then maybe practice some more.What I find helpful is to write out the kanji in the words we know they go in, not just the character. Writing just the character will help you memorize the character, but not in the context of the word, onyomi or kunyomi. Also, im in the 1:00 class so its prob. more beneficial to me, but if I wake up early enought to eat breakfast or have enought time to eat lunch, just pull out the book, go to the kanji section, and you dont have to write, but just read through it several times, getting used reading it, and maybe, in your mind, writing it. 15 min. a day is a alot more helpful then cramming the day before. You can just focus on one character a day that way to. Oh well I hope some people find this helpful :D .
I must admit that I have an advantage when it comes to Kanji. I used to be fairly proficient at reading and writing in traditional Chinese, and so I have seen most of the Kanji thus far, and those that I have not are just simplified versions of the traditional character. Thus, I only have to memorize the on-yomi and kun-yomi readings of the word.In the past, when I was learning how to write Chinese, it was definitely a matter of practice, both reading and writing the character. You have to be able to picture the Kanji in your head.For learning the readings, I find it helps to learn them as part of multi-character words. Such as...instead of memorizing 作 as saku, memorize that 作文 is sakubun. You get the on-yomi of two Kanji with only memorizing one word really, birds with one stone.
The kanji shapes were developed with ideographic or pictographic interpretations of the thing or idea they represent, and/or are compounds of kanji to get some idea across. So, I find it fun and helpful to try to figure out why the kanji looks like it does in order to memorize it and the words in which it appears. Sometimes they are more straightforward, for example 好き（すき）is a woman and a child, so my thought process is woman and child -> mother and child -> mother likes child -> like.Or some are more vague like 仕, as in 仕事; when trying to remember which kanji is the し in しごと, I realize 仕contains 土, which means soil. So: soil -> dirt -> working in the dirt -> job.Another way to approach this method is to consider different parts of the kanji making up different parts of the pronunciation of the on'yomi or kun'yomi. For example, while trying to remember 語, I would remember the 言 part because I would think of language->speaking, but I would forget the right half of the 語 kanji. Knowing that it is pronounced ご think of 五, which is also pronounced ご, AND is contained in the right half of 語. Tada!
Although I came from China , can I still say that in the Japanese class it is not easy for me to write the Kanji? I haven't gotten any full point for the Kanji page from the workbook. I just can't write like a Chinese 2rd grade elementary school student. Also, sometimes for the same Kanji, the Japanese way and Chinese way of writing it are different. Therefore, when it comes to the Kanji, I have to be patient, write slowly, and make mistakes. However, I still have an advantage of memorizing the Kanji without much practice. This is my payoff by going through the aweful 2nd grade. For every Chinese Character I've learned that time, I had to write each one 100 times with its pronounciation. If the teacher thought the writing was not pretty, I had to write more. There will be no fun to write one Kanji even 50 times, but it's a good way to get used to them. Since I only have to remember the Japanese reading of the Kanji, I usually just say it aloud when writing them. Also, Like Jerry-san said above, remembering the word composed by Kanjis is easier to remeber a single Kanji.Lastly, I usually remember 5 Kanjis each day when the new chapter starts. It is definitely easier than remembering all of them in one night.
There isn't too much to say on the topic of Kanji and its relation to the course. At least, not much that hasn't already been said. I can say, however, that Kanji is probably the one solid thing that poses a greater-than-expected challenge for me. Japanese happens to be my fourth language (grew up with English and Spanish, 5 years of French in high school), so learning a language is a rather trivial process in my eyes. However Kanji is easily something I have never had to work with in any other language study I've done.The first few chapters came along fairly easily; the symbols made sense to what they were representing, and at the very least there weren't many of them at any given time, which allowed more focus on the ones we were learning. Now that we're hitting the 100-count, I can tell that things are getting a bit tricky, not only because we know more of them, but also due to the fact that they're simply becoming more complicated.Although up until now I am also a guilty party for not strongly following this method, I do believe the best way to learn them and have them available is to grind them out uncountably and recite their meanings until your little sister wants to punch you for sounding like a broken record. Even for those who may be ethnic to the Chinese and Japanese regions, they also had to learn them at some point before. And how did they do it? Drill, drill, drill! Until we discover how to implant information via laser or something, we're just going to have to do the same.I personally am not familiar with any resources focused primarily on Kanji. However, I have made good use of and am rather fond of jisho.org, which is an online Japanese dictionary (could you have guessed?). It gives a mass array of possible words/phrases as well as any and all Kanji spellings of them. It's a very handy source when you just can't remember that one little phrase two paragraphs into your sakubun. At any rate, practice plenty, memorize hard, think you're turning Japanese (you'll really think so).
I get frustrated with kanji, because it seems that everytime I learn the new kanji, I forget them again after one day. That means that I have to re-learn them every day until, 2 weeks later, they finally stick. It's a pain.I think the Mallard helps. I try to do the kanji Mallard earlier in the chapter to help learn the new kanji - especially before the kanji quiz.BUT ... why is it that all of a sudden, we have so many kanji with the reading "go"? Sooooo many.
The thing that is most frustrating to me about kanji is that one kanji can be pronounced in so many different ways. It's hard to keep track of which pronunciation to use with which words. It's also frustrating how complex a single kanji character can be, especially with the newers ones we've learned. It seems to me that it would be so much faster if I just wrote out the word in hiragana instead. In learning the kanji, for me it is helpful to go back over the vocab we have already learned and see which words use a given kanji character. I've also made little flash cards to help me memorize the basic meanings of each individual kanji and to give example of words that it is used in. (I made them on the computer so it looks neat and I know that the word is right). It's kind of tedious and time consuming, but I will never know how to use the kanji unless I practice.
I agree with Hsieh san.「instead of memorizing 作 as saku, memorize that 作文 is sakubun」. Kanji should be learned as "vocabulary," not just as "characters." One character has too many readings and too many compounds to remember at a time. So I think you should try to see them as a word in context.Also, I think Rikaichan, the add-on dictionary to firefox, is a great tool for Japanese learners. https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2471/
onyomi and kunyomi gets really confusing.
this website is helpful i think~http://www.yamasa.cc/members/ocjs/kanjidic.nsf/SortedByKanji2!OpenViewI thought we are writing blog entries on this, so I did;p This is what I wrote:"I found memorizing by its parts is easier than memorizing the entire Kanji first time. Like 雨 in 電(rain and lightning), 田 in 男(rice field and man), 食 in 飲(eat and drink). Some parts appear more often, like イ(think of it a person doing things) in 作る, 仕, 休み, 何; 言(speak) in 語, 読む, 話す. Practising is very helpful too, just keep practising til the hand can write it out without the brain thinking, lol. I'm serious:)"
The hardest aspect of kanji for me is the onyomi and kunyomi. When we knew only a few kanjis it was easy to remember them but as we go on we got to learn about so many ji's and shi's that sometimes i get confused about which ones i should use. However, i believe with practice this will get easier.It is hard to get the right order of the strokes at the firsat try, but every time I am free, I start doodling kanji on every single sheet of paper I see and I saw it really helps to randomly go over what we did in class that day. Studying kanji for the sake of studying might get repetitive so I try to integrate them in my daily life and hope it will become a routine!