Essential Beginner Information

I’m surprised that despite the amount of people mentioning memorizing kanji by their shapes, nobody yet seems to have brought up Jitai, the font-randomizing script. I highly recommend getting it, along with some very difficult fonts like ArmedBanana, to get your brain to recognize kanji not only by their shapes in one font but by their ‘skeleton’ which is preserved across all fonts.

I don’t really think it’s wrong at early levels to memorize kanji by their shapes, really. You eventually learn by trial and error which kanji you need to look at radicals to disambiguate and which you don’t. Scripts like Niai help with this a bit but most of the time you can just retrain yourself to look for telltale signs (which will often be in the left radical).

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Edit: I don’t know what’s up with my font, but the difference between the two is now even more difficult to see…