Japanese, and the use of Kanji


Yellow Belt
Jun 12, 2023
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It's been a while that I'm "trying" to study Japanese and now I'm studying Hiragana and I can distinguishing the characters (I have small trouble with the R section and W), now I'm going to studying Katakana and then Kanji.

My question is first, how do you remeber all the Kanji or even 20% of those? I tried mnemonics but for me doesn't work, I can't imagine a house with this 摰 << seriously... there is no house.

Second, WHEN do you need to use Kanji? Why not Hiragana, and the answer that I expected is becuase is faster...


Master of Arts
Nov 21, 2020
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I became fluent in the kana for my first trip to Japan and very quickly. But I found it was of very limited use as most text are a mixture of at least hiragana and kanji. Id read the kana in a sentence and when I got to the important section of the script,be confront with an illegible kanji! Frustrating. Thus you really need to learn kana and kanji concurrently to get by in Japanese.

Learning the kanji is simply a memory game but there are many methods to enhance retention. But only you can decide which suits you best by exploring them (there are lots of youtube clip that will help you choose). Remember, Japanese children spend 11 years or so learning the kanji they require for their lives so dont expect to learn the required 2000+ overnight!

When I was learning human anatomy, I looked at lots of visuals (mainly body parts in the dissection hall) and lots of repetition. I used to dream about nerve courses and muscle insertion. Then years of teaching anatomy to medical students (more repetition) burned the knowledge into my head. Learning Kanji for me, is much the same.

Im using James W Heisigs books, but the method is labour intensive and requires a good imagination.

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