Back to studying after two years - any tips or tricks?!


I’m fairly new to posting in this community, but I thought I would give it a try! I’ve studied Japanese at university for two years before dropping out due to personal reasons.

This was in 2018, and while I still kept up with basic grammar it seems like I “unlearnt” a bunch of more advanced grammar (which is something I am trying to tackle this year!)

I also cannot for the life of me remember how to write most kanji - oftentimes I can read words, but thinking about writing them? Not a chance.

Are any of you learning how to write kanji as well? How are you going about it?


Well, WaniKani is giving you a story for each kanji. Try to really remember the story when you think about each kanji and write it accordingly. For example: when I think about the kanji for the word “need” which is 要, and I try to write it, i remember the story: “A woman who pilots a helicopter will have the insatiable need for something. She doesn’t know what it is. But she needs it. And that’s why she’s flying around looking for it!”. Not word for word, but basically the gist of it. Now is just remember the radicals and how to write those and voila, the kanji is there. Of course, I will write a kanji wrong sometimes, but can immediatly recognize that something is wrong based on the look, in which case I try to remember the correct way and look it up if I can’t. That’s basically it.

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I am, as I believe that it better helps me remember how to distinguish similar-looking ones.

I am using the Bonjinsha series of kanji-writing books, and do a little most days, getting through a chapter a week (I divide each of the practice exercises in 3 to stretch them out over 3 days as they are quite time consuming).

What did you use for grammar study at uni? Did you find it/them useful and reasonably enjoyable? If so, I’d recommend a review by going back through them to relearn that lost grammar and to reinforce the more basic stuff before you get to the more advanced.

Welcome back! :bouquet:

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For this specific issue, I suggest you take time to read Koichi’s article on the general principles of kanji stroke order! :slight_smile:

Good luck with you studies! ^>^ You can do it! :+1:

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Oh those kanji-writing books look very helpful, thanks for the link!

We used Shin Bunka Shokyuu Nihongo books 1 and 2 (I think it’s basically the same as Genki, with the “small” difference that there are no English explanations and everything is in Japanese haha talk about immersive) as well as Tobira. I actually went ahead and got those ready for a thorough review using my old notes :slight_smile:

Thank you for the reply!!


I also did 2 years of Japanese at uni, but your class obviously went a lot faster than mine if you got into Tobira! Well done you.

The fast pace definitely contributed to the reasons I decided to drop out after all - in the end it all became too overwhelming between private life, grammar classes, speaking practice classes, writing papers… I’m hoping to stay on track now that I get to go at my own pace~

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P.S. Another tip/trick if you’re used to class study rather than self study would be to create a schedule for yourself, and expect to have to tweak or overhaul it while you learn how to juggle everything. There are a whole bunch of us keeping study logs, so you can look through and see if anything meshes with how you would approach things; Master List of Study Logs


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