Having trouble with Kanji :(
  • Soo... I bought these books called "Kanji de Manga"... they haven't helped me at all. I've tried to understand them, but Kanji is just really hard to understand... Can anyone offer me any help, please?
  • They are not really hard to understand. They might be difficult to remember.
  • Can you specify what you have the most problem with, and what you were trying to learn when you learned the kanji from that book?

    Often when people say they have problems they're:
    1. Attempting to learn the wrong things (like trying to remember every reading for every kanji)
    2. Overestimating how much they can learn (like expecting to get everything learnt in a month).
    3. Thinking that having learnt the kanji is enough to understand Japanese (e.g. getting tripped up by kanji compounds which have unexpected meanings or which aren't read in standard ways).

    I think the main problem is vocabulary (at least, in my experience that's where I get tripped up). It definitely helps to have an understanding of radicals/components (for example which parts are hints about meanings and which parts might be hints about on-readings).

    It might help to know the different ways in which kanji can be combined (not including cases where they're just put together for the sound, like 天麩羅 for tempura). In the 漢字検定 (a set of exams for native speakers), these questions are called 熟語の構成 (compound formation). These are the main types:

    ア、同じような意味の漢字を重ねたもの          {岩石}
    Second kanji has a similar meaning to the first. e.g. both these have meanings like rock/stone.
    イ、反対または対応の意味を表す字を重ねたもの   {高低}
    Second kanji has an opposite meaning to the first, e.g. these two mean "high" and "low" and the word means "fluctuation"/"rise and fall"
    ウ、上の字が下の字を修飾しているもの         {洋画}
    The first kanji modifies the second. In this case you can often think of the first kanji as an adjective and the second as a noun. 洋 means "western" and 画 means "painting", so this compound can mean "western painting" (as opposed to Japanese) - although because movie is 映画 this term is also used to talk about western (American/European) movies.
    イ、下の字が上の字の目的語・補語になっているもの {着席}
    The second kanji becomes the target/object of the first. In this case the first is often representing a verb and the second a noun. In this case 着席 has the meaning of 席に着く (arrive at your seat/sit down).
    オ、上の字が下の字の意味を打ち消しているもの   {非常}
    The first kanji negates the second. Easy one - this is for certain prefix kanji like 無、非、不 which are used much like things like un-, non-, ab-, are in English (not necessarily in that order). 常 means usual/normal, so 非常 means unusual/abnormal.
  • Never tried to learn Kanji with a book:-) I am pretty successful with a computer programm for the Japanese language although I am using it for learning the whole language but it really helped me with the Kanji because I can let them be written and I sit down and look at the process. Try solutions via internet or via computer programm because you need the constant repeading and no book can give you that unless the book hat 1000 times the word "king". OK, I have a book too but I dont use it for learning only for information from time to time.
  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6IvToj55x0
    and Kanji funny world

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