Chinese and Japanese kanji - Familiarizing

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JLS
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Chinese and Japanese kanji - Familiarizing

Postby JLS » Tue Jul 09, 2024 6:47 pm

I have been practicing the learning of kanji through writing. However, considering how many kanji one must know to become proficient, I'm not sure I have time to do so much handwriting practice. Chinese learners, do you find that you pick up on kanji just fine by doing a lot of reading? I know you have to practice handwriting or drawing to some extent, but is that really where the bulk of the kanji learning comes from?
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Re: Chinese and Japanese kanji - Familiarizing

Postby leosmith » Wed Jul 10, 2024 4:00 am

JLS wrote:I have been practicing the learning of kanji through writing.
What exactly do you do?
Anyway, you might what to read this recent thread. My answer was:
If you don't need to write, it's not necessary to learn it. I used to believe otherwise, and I love writing it myself, but I've heard so many people claim they can read well but never learned to write that I'm forced to believe them. I personally did a 500hr spurt to improve my Chinese reading recently, and I did no writing or L1 to L2 flashcards, which seems to support the no-writing thing since the spurt was quite successful. Btw, L2 to L1 flashcards were extremely helpful...
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Re: Chinese and Japanese kanji - Familiarizing

Postby JLS » Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:56 am

leosmith wrote:
JLS wrote:I have been practicing the learning of kanji through writing.
What exactly do you do?
Anyway, you might what to read this recent thread. My answer was:
If you don't need to write, it's not necessary to learn it. I used to believe otherwise, and I love writing it myself, but I've heard so many people claim they can read well but never learned to write that I'm forced to believe them. I personally did a 500hr spurt to improve my Chinese reading recently, and I did no writing or L1 to L2 flashcards, which seems to support the no-writing thing since the spurt was quite successful. Btw, L2 to L1 flashcards were extremely helpful...


I find words or sentences, practice writing them from memory, and do it until I've got the characters in memory.
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Re: Chinese and Japanese kanji - Familiarizing

Postby Prosciutto » Wed Jul 10, 2024 1:56 pm

JLS wrote:Chinese learners, do you find that you pick up on kanji just fine by doing a lot of reading? I know you have to practice handwriting or drawing to some extent, but is that really where the bulk of the kanji learning comes from?


Hello! I've studied both Japanese and Mandarin for a few years now. If the character is fairly common, which you can determine based on how often you see it, I would try to write it out, maybe review it in flashcards a few times. I definitely haven't sat down and just wrote certain characters over and over again unless it was really necessary like a test/exam and really complicated. Once you pick up enough, you just naturally start to get familiar with radicals and how to actually write characters without too much reference. Reading and just being mindful of what you see really often is pretty much it. If you're keeping a journal or actually writing out sentences, that's also a good way to commit them to memory rather than just writing out characters repeatedly.
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Re: Chinese and Japanese kanji - Familiarizing

Postby Alagard » Wed Jul 10, 2024 6:54 pm

I wrote a lot, while it's time consuming I found writing them down a couple dozen times helps tons with commiting them to memory. It's been five years since I dropped Mandarin practically completely and I still remember how to write maybe half of what I learned and recognize almost all of them. Mostly I've forgotten only the tones and sometimes the pronunciation, but the meaning sticks
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Re: Chinese and Japanese kanji - Familiarizing

Postby leosmith » Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:10 pm

JLS wrote:I find words or sentences, practice writing them from memory, and do it until I've got the characters in memory.
That sounds really difficult. You might try the Heisig method if you are looking for something more efficient. I'm not saying you need to go through the whole book(s); just using his technique of memorizing the radicals and making a little mnemonic story for each character should reduce the number of times you need to write characters.
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Re: Chinese and Japanese kanji - Familiarizing

Postby JLS » Thu Jul 11, 2024 11:40 am

Appreciate all this. I didn't think that any Chinese learner really needs to copy out each one X times. I do find too, if I just translate and interpret the sentence, even without practice-writing the kanji, the sight of the kanji will still somehow trigger the memory of the word.
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