漢字 を 学問 -- Learning Kanji (follow on from last Journal)

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Feb 4, 2010 06:39
First, I want to thank everyone that helped me in my last journal!
はじめて、どうも ありがとう みなさん ^_^

This is quite a long Journal (please don't attempt translating it!), and it's as much for Japanese learners such as myself, as well as a huge thank you to everyone who has encouraged or helped me on Lang-8. I wouldn't have got as far as I have without you!

As recommended in the last Journal, I ordered, and now own a copy of "Remembering the Kanji" by James Heisig (which seems really good for recognition, but I'm slightly disappointed that it doesn't have the おんよみ と くんよみ readings)

Yesterday I also received deliveries of "ドラエモン" and the first two editions of the "ひらがな タイムシ" of this year!

I already have some books that I recommend to other people learning Japanese (in case any of you are reading this):

"Japanese in Mangaland" by Marc Bernable -- I'll have to come back to this when I'm a little more proficient, but it has some good exercises and builds up quite well.

"Teach Yourself: Beginner's Japanese Script" by Helen Gilhooly -- This is an excellent book, and is what got me enthused with how fun learning Kanji could be, and it also encourages you to learn the おんよみ and くんよみ which some other resources don't seem to.

"Japanese The Manga Way: An illustrated guide to grammar and structure" by Wayne Lammers -- this is an absolutely fantastic book, using manga to explain conversational Japanese, and it has a wonderful way of breaking down the sentences in an understandable way. This is one book that I'll keep coming back to.

When I ordered my last book, I read an interesting point about learning the カタカナ、 ひらがな and 漢字 as soon as possible, and for good reasons (aside from Romaji not having a single standard, it's not really used by anyone but for learning purposes)...

So this is an extract from the Amazon book review (for "Remembering the Kanji"), as I think it's well worded and puts the point across well:

"Most people when asked how they became proficient in Japanese will say that hobbled along for several years using mainly hiragana and katakana, and, worst of all, the romanized form - romaji (personally, I spent a whole year learning Japanese using romaji). However, to do that is really shooting yourself in the foot. It is a gross inefficiency for three reasons. Firstly, you will have to learn words twice, or even three times (if you used romaji, then 'upgraded' to hiragana and then kanji). Secondly, your memory won't be able to benefit from being able recognize ALL of the kanji you see around you on a daily basis in Japan. Thirdly (and perhaps most importantly) you will never have any insight into WHY a word sounds like it does. For example, learning the word for post office clerk - "yuubinkyokuin" - in romaji is very difficult because you have no idea whatsoever of the kanji building blocks. However, those sounds are there for a reason, and break down into four kanji which, using Heisig's method, you would have learned as 'mail', 'convenience', 'bureau' and 'employee'. Needless to say, these four sound-units appear in hundreds of other words, and this gives an internal logical to vocabulary learning which simply does not exist otherwise."

Sorry that this has been such a long Journal, and with precious little Japanese, but I thought it worthwhile posting at least.
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