Vocabulary dictionary

Kanji dictionary

Grammar dictionary

Sentence lookup


Forums - How do you memorize the hiragana/katakana for kanji?

Top > 日本語を勉強しましょう / Let's study Japanese! > Anything About Japanese

Level: 88, : 4

Ive been trying to learn Kanji but the readings for them are confusing and there's a lot of them. Is there anything I can do to get better at them. thankskao_heart.png

2 months ago
Level: 717, : 2,156

A few ways:

- Use mnemonics. Many kanji in the dictionary here have mnemonics for them. When I do mnemonics for kanji, I often like to incorporate: the meaning, how to draw it, and the readings (Often if you remember one part, it helps triggers the memory to remember the mnemonic to get the other parts too)

- learn a word that uses the kanji, and then associate the kanji's reading with that word

- Often one component of the kanji (often the rightmost, or lower most component) give the onyomi pronunciation, so if you know the onyomi for a component, you can guess that the kanji has that pronunciation. e.g. anything containing often has KO for an onyomi e.g. ,,,,etc.

-only worry about the main readings, don't worry about obscure readings

You may also want to check out this article about the "sound sisters" (I don't personally use that technique, but many find it useful): Cure Dolly Sound Sisters

2 months ago (Edited 2 months ago.)
Level: 368, : 1,802

When you're just starting out with kanji, it may be better to put most of your focus just on what they mean until you have a bigger base of kanji & vocabulary. The kun'yomi readings seem really arbitrary if you aren't already familiar with those words, and as Anonymous says, once you learn a certain amount of kanji you'll start to see patterns that make remembering the on'yomi easier.

Vocabulary & kanji feed each other. In the beginning it's a lot of just remembering things until you have a big enough foundation, but the more you learn of one the easier the other will get.

2 months ago
Level: 100, : 57

I highly recommend WaniKani to get you in the mindset of learning with Mnemonics and practicing with SRS. It's really hard to understand Kanji starting from zero, so that an RTK are really good ways to get into the mindset of learning and acquiring Kanji knowledge.

2 months ago
Years Studied: ごろしましたけど、めたと、けた
Studying: Japanese, Korean, and Living life
Level: 277, : 140

For kanji's onyomi, I use the way I study chinese, by linking pronunciation grouping according to the radicals/parts. A range of characters using the same radicals mostly sound the same. This is also similar to previously mentioned "Sound sisters" by the late Cure Dolly sensei.

The tougher part is starting to memorize the radicals and the reading. For this either rote learning, or, my prefered approach, constructivism pedagogy will help.

This applies to both kunyomi reading and onyomi's base radicals learning.

As mentioned, mnemonics is one tool in the full suite of toolkit.
Other ideas of linking as much relational concept to any new unfamiliar glyphs/characters/radicals for anchoring into your memory are:
- look for history of kanji pictograms (chinese works too), most non-conceptual words can be linked to primitive objects that exists in nature e.g. tree, water droplet, fire; and the pictograms are close enough representative "abstract art sketches".
- look for the opposite concept of the character e.g. opposing elements, opposing predator-prey, opposing direction, opposing positions, opposing color/taste/feel/smell/distance
- look for related things as a set/group e.g. family, furniture, tableware, fruits, animals, sea region, mountain region, urban stuff, food, drinks, school, work, leisure
- look for homonyms and what are the differences e.g. く vs く vs く (same same but different), and other homonyms that are totally different.
- look for synonyms and link a relation
- link it to favourite jp song lyrics, jp quote, food, concept, anime, drama
- link it to places you've visited or experiences e.g. what is the color of sweetness?, what is the smell of teal?, what is the temperature of a happy tune?

The idea is to link/associate as many relations as possible to any new foreign concept.

Hope this list gives you some ideas that might be helpful on your learning journey.

2 months ago (Edited 2 months ago.)
Level: 7, : 28

All the apps I use: Drops, Ryou Flashcards (for more advanced people), Duolingo, Japanesepod101, renshuu (obviously), LingoDeer, AnkiApp, WaniKani, Hey Japan, MochiMochi, Kanji! , J-Crossword (from renshuu), Kanji Native, Kanji Study, KawaiiNihongo, JReader, kawaiiDungeon, and lastly, FunEasyLearn.

Kanji! Is the best for me, I hope that helped! 😃

2 months ago (Edited 2 months ago.)
Getting the posts

Top > 日本語を勉強しましょう / Let's study Japanese! > Anything About Japanese

Loading the list

Sorry, there was an error on renshuu! If it's OK, please describe what you were doing. This will help us fix the issue.

Characters to show:

Use your mouse or finger to write characters in the box.
■ Katakana ■ Hiragana