I have one thing to say about this topic;

Kanji. Is. Hard.

There, I said it. It is confusing for someone whose first language is based on letters rather than pictures or symbols. But it is obviously a HUGE part of learning Japanese and so I have taken the plunge into the world of complicated Japanese.

This (almost) new year I have decided to set myself the challenge of trying to learn one kanji every day. This sounds almost impossible for a novice like me, but who doesn’t love a challenge? In university post-it notes were a must have revision tool for me, and so I’m planning to write each kanji out and leave them around my flat in the hopes that subliminally they will stick (hehe stick like a post-it).

There are a few lessons I’ve learned already about kanji;

  • They originate from Chinese characters, and some have retained their original shape that depicts what the character means.
  • There are ‘radical’ particles that have meanings on their own but also provide an indication of the meaning of a group of particles creating a new kanji. (Japanese dictionaries can be organised by radical particles to make them easier to navigate)
  • Not all parts of complex kanji have separate radical meanings, and some radicals have no meaning on their own.

Even if I learned all the theory behind kanji, the biggest task is overcoming my memory – or lack thereof. I have a few apps and websites with lists of kanji that I will be learning from, and am planning to review theeee most useful book ‘Kanji Pict.o.Graphix’; a book that utilises mnemonics to help the reader memorise the kanji. Highly recommended for beginners.

The way kanji are formed is so interesting, and the combination of ‘radical particles’ to make bigger meanings is such a cool concept. The way kanji slot in between hiragana and katakana also looks so aesthetically cool, and so I am using this as motivation to keep on keeping on.


Sayounara and ありがとう, Jooosiekins XXX





2 thoughts on “KAN YOU LEARN KANJI?

  1. Bonsai says:

    Once you understand radicals and stroke order is all become easier. I used to be a technical translator and knew many kanji about specific manufacturing topics but those days are gone as I “quit” the culture for the most part. It is easiest in my opinion to study around a particular topic and learn all the kanji associated with it once you get past 6th grade level anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jooosiekinsan says:

      Getting time to practice them will be the challenge! I have been thinking of getting a radical based dictionary to use as a tool. Is it worth studying by grade as I am still on grade 1 haha.


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