Kanji as Vocabulary

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  asc349 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #1923

    Willster
    Participant
      Rank: DAYBREAK

      Hi All,

      I really like the way the kanji have been put together so that the graphemes follow on from one another. I also like the grouping of similar kanji together – it makes it mesh together much better than other courses I had seen. Also the vocabulary examples only using kanji that have previously been shown is a great plus too.

      I usually like to learn the vocabulary reading of a kanji when I learn it, but I can’t determine from the book which reading is used for the vocabulary for a standalone kanji. Some entries use the kun reading and some use the on reading. Is there any way to determine from the entry which is the reading to use for the kanji when it is used as vocab, for example, soil is the kun reading of tsuchi, but book is the on reading of hon, but it doesn’t seem to be marked down which to use.

      As a side note (not sure where to post it) kanji 68 for ‘Section’ says it is eleven strokes, but the stroke diagram only has ten strokes.

    • #1924

      asc349
      Keymaster
        Rank: SPECTRUM

        Hi Willster,

        If a kanji is used independently (not all are), sometimes it’s with the on reading and sometimes with the kun reading, as your examples illustrate. For some kanji (like 方) it could be either one. My general advice is not to try to memorize readings for their own sake, but to learn them in the context of words. For example, you learn that the word 方 (ホウ) means “way” or “side”, and you learn that the word 方 (かた) means “person”. The KLD (dictionary) covers all the usages in depth, or you can try an online dictionary. Most kanji are pretty straightforward and the KLC has all that you need. But for kanji that are used in a bunch of different ways, most of which are in the first third or so of the KLC, there’s more information than can fit into the KLC format.

        A number of people asked me for a resource that would allow them to see each kanji used in a bunch of examples, so they could see how it’s used in practice. It took a loooong time, but I finally finished some Graded Reading Sets that do just this (so far finished through the first 1000 KLC kanji). Since these are now available, I believe the best approach is to practice reading each kanji in the GRS after you study it in the KLC. This will give you plenty of chances to learn the words and the readings in a realistic context, especially since each kanji will appear in later exercises as well (all the examples are selected to include only such kanji as have already been introduced). I think you will find that approach more effective than trying to memorize readings in isolation. You can download the first volume for free from the GRS page on this site.

        Thanks for the tip about kanji 68. Over the years a few errors have been discovered in the book, so I will check this and add it to the list if it’s not already there.

        Thanks for your interest and good luck making progress over the holidays!

        Andrew

      • #1925

        Willster
        Participant
          Rank: DAYBREAK

          Thanks for the reply. I will give the graded reader a whirl.

          • #1927

            asc349
            Keymaster
              Rank: SPECTRUM

              You’re most welcome. I hope the readers will help you on your way. Good luck!

              Andrew

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