What are On’yomi and Kun’yomi? Are they important?

No, they are not a synonym of omnomnom and you don’t have to worry about not being able to pronounce them either. Basically are part of kanji (the complex Japanese character) which mentioned everywhere in common textbooks. But what are they really? And are they important?

You may have known that a kanji can be read in a lot of different way. Well, while some kanji can be read in more than 5 different ways, there are divided into just 2 big group actually. One is On’yomi, the Chinese reading and the other is Kun’yomi, the Japanese reading.

Differentiating Kunyomi and Onyomi

When a kanji is paired with another kanji, it’s most likely that it’s being read with On’yomi

輸出 yushutsu : export
感謝 kansha : gratitude
大丈夫 : alright

When a kanji is paired with hiragana, it’s most likely that it’s being read with Kun’yomi

大きい ooki : big
読みます yomimasu : to read
小さい chiisai : small


Are they important?

The big question! Are they important? Well…, you may notice that in all dictionary, they will list you both type of reading. To tell you the truth, they are mostly useless since there are too much to memorize and in practice, you don’t really remember which reading is Kun’yomi or which one is On’yomi.

It’s also worth to notice that when you’re looking at a word in dictionary, you will rarely search for it as a single kanji, but instead as a word. And the dictionary will let you know instantly the specific reading for the kanji in that word. That’s why Kunyomi and Onyomi are not important.

But knowing about Kun’yomi and On’yomi might increase your popularity in Japanese class and that should be a good thing, right? tehee!

In summary, knowing which reading the kanji use is basically useless…
The only important thing you need to work on is to remember how a kanji is read as a compound sentence or as a verb.

So don’t try to remember and try to differentiate all the reading of “” kanji

Just remember that:
一つ is hitotsu
一 is ichi
一人 is hitori
一番 is ichiban
and 一緒 is issho

Happy learning °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°  



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anonymous asked:

Hi! I still get confused about when to use kunyomi and onyomi? So I was wondering if you could give me some tips or some explanation please? Ps:I really love your blog it helps me a lot!

So happy my blog is helpful! (̂ ˃̥̥̥ ˑ̫ ˂̥̥̥ )̂ That means a lot.

I think that this post explains it best, but if that’s not helpful here’s my take. 

  • The onyomi is closer to the original Chinese language and is mostly used for nouns.
  • The kunyomi reading is used to show the traditional Japanese pronunciation. It is most frequently used when kanji appear in adjectives or verbs.
  • two or more kanji together is typically onyomi
  • kanji followed by hiragana is kunyomi


  1. Read this article
  2. Build up your verbal and listening comprehension. If you understand how words sound when you see them written you will understand the context which gives clues to the correct pronunciation. 
  3. When in doubt use a dictionary with audio pronunciation of both onyomi and kunyomi for each kanji like this one
  4. Realize that English has similar words such as read/read, minute/minute. How do you know which one to use when you speak or write? It’s not intuition. Similar to the rules for kanji, the position of the word dictates how it’s pronounced. I already read that. Read it now. I’ll be there in a minute. After all, it was so minute I forgot it was there. 

I hope that helps a bit. Anyone with any other advice please feel free to reblog with your take or tips.


This is the only way I can remember Kanji readings or meanings that I keep forgetting. Writing them on an A3 paper with a thick marker (feels nice), writing down compound words with Kanji I already know and hanging the thing on my wall

I´ll list the Kanji plus meaning and a compound word for the reading


置・place・おチ・置く(おく)to place, lay

束・bundle・たば、ソク・札束(さつたば) bundle of money


打・strike・うつ、ダ・打つ(うつ)to strike


挙・raise・あがる、キョ・挙式(きょしき)holding a ceremony

競・compete・きそう、キョウ・競演(きょうえん)recital competition

札・tag・ふだ、サツ・compound word @束 


隊・squad・タイ・隊員(たいいん)group member







命・fate・いのち、メイ・命運(めいうん)fate, doom


治・reign・おさめる、なおる、ジ、チ・完治(かんち)complete recovery

I'd like to order the cold thing, please

If you ever go to a Japanese bar, 居酒屋「いざかや」 they will probably have cold tofu as a dish and it’s called 冷奴「ひややっこ」. However, the kanji for is made up from 冷 which means “cold” and has a kunyomi of つめたい and the other kanji 奴 which means “thing” has a kunyomi of やつ. So when I first saw this at the 居酒屋 with my friend, we couldn’t stop laughing because as foreigners our first guess was to read it as 冷たい奴「つめたいやつ」and just because why not, we ordered it that way. The server got a kick out of it! But yeah, if you go to an 居酒屋 and want to try the cold tofu, impress your server by calling it ひややっこ!

boronic  asked:

hello, I'm really sorry to trouble you, but d'you recommend anything that could help me learn Japanese? I really really want to but I'm not sure how to go about it :/ thank you for your time :3

Hey there, you’re not bothering me at all! Japanese, like other languages with a script other than the latin script, is a bit more difficult to jump right into, especially when learning on your own, but it is definitely doable. If at all possible, I would recommend joining a japanese class either at your school/uni or any language-learning programs that are offered in your area. If not, that’s completely fine! LIke I said, teaching yourself a language is completely doable with the right attitude and resources.

Very first step! Learn Hiragana: Hiragana is the phonetic ‘alphabet’ of Japanese and is the very first step into reading the language. It’s phonetic, so they aren’t ‘letters’ per se. Each character has a sound, like ‘mi’ (み) or ‘yo’(よ) or ‘ka’(か). You combine these characters together to make a word, so in this case, it would be: みよか (miyoka)! I’m sure the resources that I give you for learning Hiragana will explain more in depth, but that’s the jist of it.

Hiragana Resources 

I’d also recommend downloading apps onto your phone! Just type in ‘hiragana’ into the apple/play store and plenty are bound to come up. One of my favourite apps for learning Japanese is “Human Japanese”. The full version costs money but it’s worth it. (I believe it is on both the play store and the apple store)

Second step! Learn Katakana: Katakana is only really used for foreign words that are introduced into the japanese language. For example, コンピューター (konpyuutaa) which means computer. As you can see, it was borrowed from the english word. Most of the loan words in japanese are borrowed from english and chinese (or at least from what I have seen), but there are a few that are from other languages as well. For example, アルバイト(arubaito) which means ‘part-time job’, is a loan word that comes from the german word ‘arbeit’ which means job. Foreign names would also be written in katakana (whilst japanese names would either be written in hiragana or kanji). My name (Brooke) would be ブルック (burukku). Often times, katakana is deemed unimportant compared to hiragana or kanji but it is important to know! Don’t skim over it, katakana shows up more in writing than you think.

Katakana Resources

Kanji: I wouldn’t call this the third step, because it is something that you never really stop studying. Even Japanese people struggle with Kanji sometimes! In fact, most kids’ books are written in hiragana and katakana. If there does happen to be kanji featured, then the hiragana would be written underneath the kanji in brackets. Some people call Kanji the third alphabet of japanese, but it’s not really an alphabet or a phonetic system like hiragana and katakana. It’s more of a ‘pictoral’ system or ‘symbolic’ system if that makes sense (I don’t know the proper term). One character represents a word, instead of writing the entire word out. So it could kind of be like putting a dog emoji instead of writing out ‘dog’. If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is just like the chinese writing system! In fact, kanji is borrowed from chinese. Many vocab words have a kanji equivalent. For example, おんな(’onna’- woman) would become 女. おとこ (’otoko’-man) would become 男. はなす(’hanasu’-the verb ‘to speak’) would become 話す And so on and so forth. There are a number of kanji that are taught to japanese school children and are generally the most frequent kanji that you’ll see. These are the ones that most people start with when studying kanji. Kanji often has two different readings (sometimes more, sometimes less): おんよみ (onyomi) and くんよみ (kunyomi). Kunyomi is the traditional japanese reading and is often read when the kanji is by itself. Onyomi is the Chinese reading (because like I mentioned earlier, kanji is borrowed from chinese). Onyomi is often read when the kanji is paired with another kanji. Onyomi readings are usually written in katakana, because the word is foreign and not from the japanese language. An example of kunyomi and onyomi is this: 西 (’にし’: nishi) is a kanji that means ‘west’ when by itself. にし is its kunyomi reading.  西瓜 (’スイカ’: suika) is a compound word using two kanji. This kanji pairing means ‘watermelon’. It uses one of  西 onyomi readings, which is スイ(sui). Notice how it’s written in katakana? 

Of course there are many exceptions to these two rules. There really are no set rules when it comes to reading kanji, in fact I reckon that it is one of the most difficult parts of japanese, but you will get it. It just requires dedicated practice!

Kanji Resources

Again, check out your app store for kanji apps!

Third step! Now that you can read basic japanese, it is time to start actually understanding it. If possible, check out your nearest book store (or online) and see if there are any japanese learning resources (like grammar/vocab books, full japanese course books, dictionaries, and books written in japanese). I would recommend focusing on the grammar first before focusing on vocabulary building, but some people prefer to focus on phrases and vocab before delving into learning the grammar right away. The grammar is much different than english, or any indo-european languages for that matter, so I think it’s important to at least understand how basic japanese grammar works. 

Japanese Learning Resources

Immersion: Not really a step, but rather as something that should be integrated into your studies as much as possible! This includes but is not limited to: Music, Movies, Books, Dubbed tv shows and movies, Anime (yes, anime. As long as you realize that the manner of speech in anime is often exaggerated, it can be a great immersion aspect if it’s your kind of thing). If you can listen to music while studying, then try listening to japanese music. Have it on whilst getting ready in the morning, on the way to school/work, whilst doing housework, etc. This goes for movies and other immersion aspects as well. Seize any moment of the day for some extra and low-effort study time! Try configuring your computer/phone and any social media you have (tumblr, facebook, google) into japanese once you get a bit of a start into the language (preferably when you’re able to read it). Even your internet browser of choice!

Culture: It’s always a great idea to research the culture of the country(s) that speak your target language, as it can deeply impact your understanding of the language. Japanese culture is incredibly rich, so there’s no way to fall short in that aspect. Try learning the geography of Japan as well, such as the main islands, the major cities, and the prefectures. There are plenty of geographical-related quizzes online. 

I hope this helps you get a jumpstart into the language and as always, if someone would like to add resources and/or advice/tips, then you’re welcome to, of course!

Good luck! 

anonymous asked:

Hey, I'm confused. I saw people making posts and tweeting about 3/30 being misawa day but I can't see how? Then I saw you tagging that misawa fanart 3/30 is misawa day so I hope you know? Can you please enlighten me? Thanks a bunch hun.

hi, no worries. anyway, i think the japanese fandom refers to 3/30 as misawa day because 330 can be read/said as MI-SA-WA in their wordplay (goroawase). 

japanese has kunyomi and onyomi right? their readings for a certain character/word. so, look here:

if you look at 330, you get みさわ thus MI SA WA.

**Goroawase substitutions are well known as mnemonics and Mnemonics are formed by selecting a suitable reading for a given number; so i don’t think there’s really a rule for it, because this is made to remember dates/important numbers/words to them so anything would be applicable as long as you get it. And for Misawa japanese fandom, 330 is thus a misawa day too lol. 

anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice for learning Japanese?

After 5 years of working as an English teacher, I’ve found that everyone learns differently so there’s no one “go to” method that will work.

However, I have told students, parents, other teachers, etc. for years that these three things are necessary to succeeding in foreign language acquisition (and anything for that matter):

  • Desire. You have to want to learn this language, and want to learn it badly enough that you’ll be willing to actively put in the work to do so. Don’t learn a language just to learn it, but do it because there’s something you want to do with that language. “I want to watch subtitle-less anime” is a perfectly legitimate reason, for example. Another, which is even better if you can simulate the conditions for it, is “I need to be able to communicate in order to live.” You just need a real, quantifiable goal to work toward. This is important because if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to do with the language you’re learning, it will make the next step really hard.
  • Progress. Like anything else, people are more motivated to continue if they don’t feel like they’re pushing a boulder in place. This is where your Desire comes in–did you want to learn Japanese so that you could read manga in its original format? Well, try reading some manga raws and see how much you can manage to read. Keep coming back to that manga during your studies and note when you’re able to read more than you could before. Then, once you can finally read it completely, you will feel extremely accomplished and proud of yourself, which ties into the third point.
  • Confidence. I know some people who study and study and study Japanese, but they don’t ever get beyond a certain level of skill because they don’t challenge themselves. You can study forever, but if you never turn off the subtitles, or talk to a Japanese person who doesn’t know English, or whatever, you will stagnate. Why don’t people do this? Well, because they’re terrified of messing up. The thing is, mistakes are not the worst thing ever–they’re momentarily awkward, sure, but if you make note of where you mess up (possibly with the help of someone correcting you), then you actually learn something. I will never again forget that 残高 is read with kunyomi rather than onyomi like it normally would be because I messed it up talking about my school lunch account once and got gently corrected by a music teacher. I write all my internal work emails in Japanese now, and I ask my coworkers to let me know if there’s a better way to phrase certain things. Basically, you need the confidence in yourself to be able to make mistakes, because otherwise, there will always be a limit to what you can learn on your own. Learning and learning languages especially is a communal activity–language is communication, after all! So don’t isolate yourself, thinking that you will never make an attempt until you’re perfect, because that day will never come.

I’m sure there’s some legitimate techniques that you could use to improve as well, but I think that unless you have this kind of philosophy in place (or you’re a genius), you’ll end up plateauing.

Boku dake ga inai machi (Erased) anime-themed vocabulary list


人質(ひとじち)- captive

人殺し(ひとごろ。)- murder, murderer

被害者(ひがいしゃ)- victim

共犯者(きょうはんしゃ)- accomplice

犯人(はんにん)- offender, criminal

犯罪者(はんざいしゃ)- criminal, culprit

誘拐(ゆうかい)- kidnapping

発見者(はっけんしゃ)- eyewitness

行方不明(ゆくえふめい)- missing (person)

死刑(しけい)- death sentence

街(まち)- a city

蜘蛛(くも)- spider

蜘蛛の糸(くも。いと)- spider’s thread

線(せん)- a line

間に合う(ま。あ。)- to be in time for something

過去(かこ)- the past

妖怪(ようかい)- Youkai

暴力(ぼうりょく)- violence, mayhem

勇気(ゆうき)- courage

昭和(しょうわ)- Shōwa era (1926.12.25-1989.1.7)​

平成(へいせい)- Heisei era  (1989.1.8- )​

勘が鋭い(かん。するど。)-  have a good intuition

勘が鈍い(かん。にぶ。)-  be slow to notice things、have a slow perception

悲劇(ひげき)- tragedy

哲学(てつがく)- philosophy

理屈(りくつ)- theory, reason

論理(ろんり)- logic

走馬灯(そうまとう)- revolving lantern

掌(てのひら)- a palm

痣(あざ)- birthmark

達成(たっせい)- accomplishment

逃亡(とうぼう)- escape, flight

暴走(ぼうそう)- rage, fury

螺旋(らせん)- spiral

終幕(しゅうまく)- end, close

歓喜(かんき)- joy

未来(みらい)- future

宝物(たからもの)- treasure


Keep reading

exsterndetxctive  asked:

When should I read kanji as on-yomi or kun-yomi?

This is the general rules
When you find hiragana suffix after the kanji, called the okurigana , as in 優しい (Yasashii) . You read it as the kunyomi (Japanese reading).

While in a compound kanji (no hiragana following it) as in 火山 (kazan), you will read it as on-yomi (Chinese reading).

But you will find a lot of words which abandon the general rules above. As an advice, don’t worry about what is the on-yomi or kun-yomi reading of a kanji. After you’re familiar with the vocabulary, you will know how to read it!

Hope it helps! (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧

anonymous asked:

Hello!! So I want to start learning Japanese (・ω・)ノ I was wondering if you had any like tips or suggestions on what to start learning first or anything like that. Thank youuuu! ♪

Hello, sorry for the late reply & glad to hear that you’re interested in starting! I’ve already created a few posts for this type of question (linked at the very end), so I’ll try to add on some more additional information here again :3 This time, I’ve tried create a more detailed schedule off of my personal experience! Of course, everyone has a different way of learning the most efficiently, so try & keep what you like! I have arranged it by proficiency “levels” though some of the 2nd & 3rd levels (& a bit of the 4th) can be mixed together. Hope this helps!

*Disclaimer: I am not a Japanese instructor of any sort & I am still learning myself, though I have tutored students on Japanese before.   

Beginner Order of Learning:

  • Alphabet: Hiragana & Katakana
  • Basic Greetings
    • Time Greetings: Good morning, afternoon, evening
    • Gratitude & Apology: Thank you, Sorry (& the various politeness levels), Good work
  • Basic Grammar w/ a Focus on Relationals
    • Do you know when to use を (wo), へ (e), に (ni), で (de)?
    • The difference between は (ha) and が (ga) in sentences
    • Your first verbs: います、あります、いきます、きます、かえります、たべます、のみます
    • When do & don’t use です?
  • Transforming Grammar to Sentences
    • Learn the basic sentence structure in Japanese: Subject or nouns are written first, while verbs are at the end
    • Piece together all of the relational, verb, etc rules
  • Basic Sentences
    • Present & Past Tense
    • Naming a Place & Time
    • Describing Nouns with Adjectives
    • Asking questions

Easing into Regular Studies:

  • Create Vocabulary Lists / Flashcards
    • 15~30 words depending on your motivation
    • Separate the columns/categories by: Japanese (Hira/Kata), Romaji, English
    • If written on paper, fold the columns so you can test yourself on the other 2 categories by only looking at 1 in your free time
    • Add a column/category for example sentences, & create 1 sentence (no matter how simple) for each vocabulary word
    • Set yourself a deadline: When must you memorize the entire vocabulary list by? On that day, test yourself on every word
    • After testing yourself, if you receive a score you’re satisfied with, move on and repeat the vocabulary list process
  • Look for sample sentences or dialogues online to read & translate
    • Read orally to improve your own pronunciation and reading pace
    • Translate for practice: However for beginning practice, it’s essential to an answer key of sorts b/c you will be making mistakes 
    • Sentences and dialogues with professional translations are most found in textbooks & online guides
  • Write short writing entries
    • For starters, journals or diaries with 3-5 sentences would be nice
    • If you just learnt a new sentence structure, use it immediately in your journal (otherwise, you’ll forget it faster than you know it)
    • As you improve, increase the number and variety of sentences you write. and change the topics/themes for your journals
  • Choose a beginner/intermediate Japanese learning guide either online or via textbook
    • It is essential to build a strong foundation in early years for languages before continuing on to more complexities
    • In this way, you can expand your grammar, sentence structures, & vocabulary without being confused on what to study next
  • Follow a regular schedule, especially if self-studying
    • Whether it’s weekly or biweekly, you should allot a certain time frame for serious studying so you don’t slack off b/c knowledge can easily slip from the mind 

Steady on Your Feet?

  • Interact/practice your Japanese with others
    • If you have friends who are also studying Japanese, have Japanese-only conversations with them
    • If possible, interact with fluent Japanese speakers & natives (esp. those who are interested in learning English so it’s a fair exchange)
    • Recommendation: Lang-8 (useful for any language learners~)
  • Start testing your Japanese with actual media
    • Try reading manga / watching anime or dramas raw
    • Actually pay attention to song lyrics & pay heed to how much you can understand
    • Read websites in Japanese (not recommended for shopping sites if you’re not window-shopping; you wouldn’t want to buy anything by accident)
  • Start learning kanji & gradually adding them into your writing
    • Be clear on onyomi, kunyomi, & other special rules/features to kanji
    • Actually do handwritten repetitive exercises for your kanji to learn the stroke order and distinguish them from others that may look similar
    • Always add okurigana (small hiragana) on top of kanji you are not familiar with when writing, if you don’t write okurigana on everything
  • Create your own schedule of intended study topics, including cultural knowledge

Striving Even Higher

  • Check out the JLPT N5 (lowest) - N1 (highest) standards
    • Includes comprehensive list of vocabulary, grammar, etc that allows you to measure your skill
    • JLPT - Japanese Language Proficiency Test; actual exams that can be taken to prove your level professionally
  • Transform your journals into essays
    • Do not have to be formal essays, but perhaps opinion pieces on certain topics
    • Recommended amount: 3 paragraphs, 4-5 sentences each to start off
  • Read novels, whether that’s contemporary or classics
    • Ex. starters would be light novels, higher levels would be Haruki Murakami, Souseki Natsume (← … good luck)
    • For older literature, the grammar, sentences, & even hiragana may have changed from the current version of the language
  • Learn more country-specific vocabulary: 四字熟語, proverbs, slang, etc. 
  • Translate news articles, book excerpts, etc even without “answer keys”/professional translations
    • This is only recommended once you have a good grasp of the language, which would be understanding at least ½ of the material you want to translate w/o a dictionary
    • For public translating, I personally wouldn’t recommend people who are below ~JLPT N3 or N4 level or understand less than ¾ of what the material…? Of course, this is my own opinion.

This is all I can think of for now (& it took quite a while), but there are many more experienced Japanese speakers that can elaborate on the learning process so search around!

Other Posts I’ve Written About Japanese Learning

nerdsarcasm  asked:

Hey!! I just started learning Japanese by myself with the resources I found online and some other apps. I need to start learning kanji but I don't understand where to start. What is one supposed to learn when one learns kanji? Oncoming and kunyomi only? What is jukugo? And compound words? Can you please help?? Thanks!!!!

Kanji can be very difficult to learn at first, but it’s something I’ve found that you learn a little at a time. It’s not something that you learn quickly, unfortunately. There are 2,000 commonly used kanji characters, but you can get away with learning about half of that and still understand most Japanese newspapers, articles, documents, etc. Learning both the On-yomi and Kun-yomi readings are important as well.

I started out with the workbook Kanji Power by John Millen.  This book introduces kanji that you would need to know for the JLPT N5 and N4. It includes compound words (jukugo) and example sentences for each kanji character.

I also use the app Imiwa? quite often to look up kanji meanings and translations.

Here are few other resources you might find helpful:

A Guide to Writing Japanese Kanji and Kana

CosCom: How to Learn Kanji Efficiently

WaniKani by Tofugu


NHK News Web Easy (news articles with furigana (kanji readings in hiragana) that also includes a audio file of a native speaker reading the article)



MLC - Basic Kanji 120

Hope this helps! Let me know if you find any other useful kanji resources! :)


Akane from the ZE artbook! Scans by @feytaplaysgames. See the complete artbook here.  Junpei | Akane | Santa


  • I’m pretty sure this has come up before, but the ‘mu’ from Murasaki is the same ‘mu’ that’s the kunyomi for ‘roku’ (6), Akane’s bracelet number. She’s also wearing a purple (murasaki) dress, which might also be why Junpei thought of it.
  • They do say ‘female college student’, but they probably lying.
  • Yeah, I’m not sure about some of the notes on the sketches because, as @electric016 can tell you, Kinu Nishimura has really shit handwriting.
  • ‘Perfectly ladylike’: she actually says ‘yamato nadeshiko’, and that Akane is an ‘ultra heroine’. Definitely not the sort of character Kinu Nishimura is used to designing. 

anonymous asked:

こんにちわ‼ Can you tell me the difference between 時 and 時間❓どうもありがとうございます!

They both have a number of uses. 時, when read as its onyomi form じ, appears after numbers to mean “o’ clock.”  時間 (じかん) is more representative of like the concept of time, or a period/interval. So 時間 after a number will mean an interval of time of that many hours (3時間 = 3 hours). Similarly, it’s the pretty commonly used word for the noun “time.” (時間がない = “there’s no time”). 時 can also used to refer to period of time, particularly when the kunyomi reading とき is used it means “when _____” with the blank being clause or something that appears before   時 (10才の時 = “time when I was ten years old”), 時 is usually going to be used as an add-on to something, while  時間  is more standalone word. 

anonymous asked:

Yooo! Can you give me some tips in studying kanji?

Hello, thanks for the ask!

I’m not as confident about giving kanji advice, but here’s a few (basic) suggestions I came up with:

  • I believe the two most important factors to learning kanji are practice & recognition. In order to distinguish one character clearly from the others, it takes repeated written practice and reading of its usage in sentences. There are dozens of similar-looking kanji out there, so even if this step is boring, it is rather essential.
    • My recommendation would be to write each kanji 10 times when you learn it, while saying the pronunciation with every character. Afterwards, on a separate sheet of paper, see if you can write the character and its okurigana from memory, and if you can’t, then repeat the process. Do the self-testing again (without practicing beforehand) the next day to confirm that you remember it until you feel confident.
  • The moment you start to learn kanji, immediately incorporate it to the sentences you regularly write! If you delay the process, you’ll easily forget the vocabulary you learnt in the beginning, and want to postpone it more and more since you may find it to be a growing hassle >o< Japanese sentences are rarely only a mixture of hiragana and katakana, so it’ll also get you used to reading Japanese websites and texts.
  • While this doesn’t work for me as I’m a Chinese speaker, I hear that looking up the pictographs and etymologies for kanji (esp during your early studies) are helpful, as you can interpret the characters as a drawing or story instead of just blindly memorizing it. This also helps when you start learning about radicals.
  • When you’ve finished half a year or a year of kanji-learning, it will be beneficial to start learning about radicals. This is more or less the process of using simpler kanji to build more sophisticated ones. Understanding how radicals work will give you hints on what a new, unfamiliar kanji is related to or means, and will aid you plenty in the future :D
  • One struggle I had constantly with kanji in the past was memorizing all of the onyomi & kunyomi, and how I attempted to resolve the problem was through associating each pronunciation with a word that used it constantly (e.g. 通 in 通う & 通販).
  • Another way of quickly engraving the pronunciations of kanji in your mind is through continually adding okurigana on every kanji you write. It’s a method I’m honestly not very fond of since I was forced to do it all throughout high school, but it does work!
  • If you ever find yourself unsure of where to further your kanji studies, looking at the JLPT N5 - N1 lists are helpful! Not only will they provide you with a long set of characters, but will also test your level as you can see how much your recognize in each list.
  • Challenge yourself with Japanese texts, media, and the like that has difficult kanji, since it’ll push you to study and look up the words immediately. In addition, if you’re looking at manga or tweets, similar kanji are bound to reappear so you’ll easily familiarize yourself with a set of characters!

That’s about all I can think of for now, but hopefully it helped! I’m sorry if all of these were too simple or general tips o(*´д`*)o

anonymous asked:

Hey! I've finished studying hiragana and katakana so my next goal is mastering kanji ^^ I have the first volume of Genki to help me study but would you recommend me buying another book that specializes on kanji?

About Mastering Kanji

By “mastering Kanji”, we hope that your goal is “To be able to read & understand vocabularies I found in books or other media which are written in Kanji” instead of the list below.

What you shouldn’t focus on:
- Memorize all kunyomi (Japanese reading) & onyomi (chinese reading) the reading of 
a kanji
- Learn to write all Kanji you learn
- Memorize all the meaning of a single Kanji (1 kanji can have 3 or more unrelated meaning)

The 3 points above are very hard to be mastered and doesn’t have a high practical usage. To say it bluntly, they’re quite useless… They’re only good for getting a good grade at a Kanji test or something similar.

Note that a JLPT test are very practical, you only need to be able to read the Kanji used as a vocabulary in a sentence and understand the meaning correctly.


Recommended Book to Master Kanji

Note that by mastering, we mean by the time you finish this book and learning method. You will end up to know 464 single kanjis, and able to read around 4500+ compound vocabularies in 3 - 4 months if you practice 50 new words everyday. Each day would take around 30min - 1 hour.

There are still more vocabularies to be learned if you want to read manga smoothly, but this should be more than enough for a good foundation. And all of the kanji used in this books will cover material from JLPT N5 to some of N3-N2.


Here’s the link to get the book: Japanese Kanji Power book

This book cover all basic Kanji stuffs such as:
• The story behind each Kanji
• All reading of each Kanji (kunyomi,onyomi)
• How to write each Kanji (stroke order, tips, etc)

But the most important part here is the sample sentence. In fact, you could ignore all the feature above! lol… Below you can find the preview.

Important note:

This book is aimed for JLPT N5 - N4 learner. BUT… Actually, it’s not a good book for JLPT N5 learner since the vocabularies used on each sample sentence can be considered as a high level one.

We really recommend you to atleast learn the JLPT N5 or better, the JLPT N4 grammar, before you start to use this book to learn kanji.

Yes, the book teach a simple kanji , but the compound words sample are a hard one. Here are some examples from the book:

入 (enter). Sample: 輸入 (Yunyuu: import)
口 (mouth). Sample: 口惜しい (Kuyashii: regret)
三 (three). Sample: 三味線 (Shamisen: a japanese small guitar)

In fact, you won’t need that kind of vocabularies for JLPT N4 - N5 test.


450+ kanji, 4500+ compound vocabularies in 3 - 4 months

Now here’s the method. You will require around 30 min - 1 hour/day to finish this challenge on time. Or if you’re not in a hurry, you could take your time.

1. Download Ankidroid (googleplay) or similar Flashcard apps on your smartphone.
2. Create a flashcard for EVERY vocabularies that you’re not able to read in the sample sentences.

Here’s the important part below:
3. Don’t write only the vocabulary & it’s meaning. But put more information on the back of the flashcard. This is the key point. Describe the radical it have, what English or other Japanese word might have a similar spelling? What the kanji shape look like? In what other vocabulary did you also see this kanji?  Read the details about this on our previous post 

4. Learn minimum of 50 words everyday, while rehearsing the previous words. By using Ankidroid or other Spaced Repetition System, this would calculate how many card you will learn each day automatically. Just remember to change the new card amount to 50/day. 

5. Even if you think you can’t remember it, keep reviewing it. Add more description/details for each kanji whenever you see fit. You’ll be surprise that after a few times of repetition, your brain will suddenly able to recall it well eventhough you aren’t too sure about the vocabulary yourself!

Actually, this method can be considered a hack, since you bypass all the amount of time/books you need to read to naturally learn each words,
and simply repeat the new words until it’s stick to your brain. Note that to make the process effective, point 3 is very very important!

Anyway, here’s the link to get the book: Japanese Kanji Power book
Please try it and let us know the results!! ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

Happy learning (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧

anonymous asked:

Matchakame-sama, I really love your account!!! I think it's the best out there, and your posts are all so greet!! Thank you for all the hard work ^.^! I'm sorry to bother you, but I have a question. I'm Japanese by blood, but people tease me because my English is better than my native language. So, I decided I should probably learn Japanese properly. Only... I've grown up in western countries my whole life!! I don't know where to start! Help!!T^T please bless me with you matcha-ness T^T

Hello, thanks for the sweet message and sorry for such a late reply! m(⌯˃̶᷄ ﹏ ˂̶᷄⌯)゚m I think it’s a wonderful idea that you’re trying to learn your mother language, but please don’t feel pressured by the teasing because being Japanese by blood isn’t the only aspect of your identity, but one of many aspects (><)

For learning Japanese, I would first start with memorizing the hiragana & katakana alphabets. This is best done by repetitive writing exercises, preferably while saying the pronunciation out loud for every character you write. This will allow you to associate the sound with the visual immediately. Please don’t try to memorize entire charts at once, but go row by row while reviewing your previous knowledge, because these will be your building blocks for the rest of your Japanese studies.

Once you have both of them fully memorized (i.e you can easily recall one off of your head), I would google “basic Japanese grammar” or buy a low-level Japanese textbook where you can see how sentences are built and how certain structures are used. I prefer learning by textbook series because their chapters usually have a balanced lesson plan for speaking, writing, reading for several years, but I hear that recently there have been dozens of amazing online guides as well! Your resources should also have vocabulary lists or example dialogues so you know how to incorporate the grammar daily. As you gradually build up your glossary of words, phrases, and grammars, it’s nice to have a dictionary at hand to immediately look up unfamiliar words (Online, I would recommend jisho.org). Of course, during this process, try to read aloud all of the example sentences or dialogues you see, and write all of your own sentences fully in hiragana and katakana instead of relying on romaji.

After you’ve memorized a decent amount of grammar & words and are comfortable with expressing yourself simply, try your hand at kanji (but make sure to read the explanation for it, esp about onyomi vs kunyomi)! It’s near impossible to memorize all kanji, so just slowly pick up a few every week and replace it into your sentences. By this point, simpler sentences from Japanese media and social media should be comprehend-able. From here on, it will be a mixture of continuing to learn new grammar, words, and kanji from both language guides & outside references (e.g. manga, twitter, light novels) so find a learning pace that suits you!

As I mentioned before, learning a language is a timely process so it’ll take more than just a month or two. This is only my way of approaching it, so feel free to search online for more tips & good luck!

Other tips on Japanese learning:

anonymous asked:

I still have trouble with Kanji. I don't understand when to read it as kunyomi or onyomi. Is there a guide for this?

There are a few rough guidelines, but this is a tricky issue.

This article and this forum conversation helped me get my head around it a bit more, but I have by no means mastered it yet, good luck!

Rough guidelines (there are, of course, exceptions):

  • If there are hiragana attached to the end of the word it’s most likely the kunyomi
  • If the word is a compound of several kanji it’s most likely onyomi.