How to remember Kanji without rote memorization?

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Joined: 2018-10-23, 17:51
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How to remember Kanji without rote memorization?

Postby langmon » 2018-11-10, 6:54

How to remember Kanji without rote memorization?

For those of you asking why I sometimes keep emphasizing that "without rote memoration" thing :), well, it is because I already learned many words in several languages in the past that way (i.e. by rote memorization), but then I forgot them.

This gap of knowledge feels "worse" (although not worrying about it) than not having learned those words in the first place.

Nowadays, I only learn languages on the base of "whatever sticks that sticks, and whatever doesn't, that doesn't". And I am really happy about the fact that since then, there really was a big increase related to many, if not all, of those on my list.
this is a reboot

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Joined: 2018-10-27, 17:38

Re: How to remember Kanji without rote memorization?

Postby pennybright » 2018-11-13, 15:10

Nice answer: There are various sources that provide mnemonics to help with kanji memorization, the most famous of which being James Heisig's Remembering the Kanji book series. This can be really helpful in the beginning, so I recommend it!

True answer: Ultimately, you don't. Mnemonics get weird beyond basic kanji. Also, it's critical that you practice writing kanji with the correct stroke order and number of strokes, or else you'll never be able to use a dictionary later. It stinks, but there's no way around the fact that Japanese is the most unnecessarily complicated writing system out there.

It's a good idea to combine kanji study with vocabulary study, i.e. don't try to memorize isolated kanji, but instead learn the kanji in the vocabulary words you're working on. That will let you make more mental links, and you won't have to memorize all of the possible readings at once.

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