How do you all practice writing Kanji?

Hello!
I have used WaniKani for a few months now and I have noticed a persistent problem. I cannot remember Kanji outside of Wanikani ,as well as how to write said Kanji, usually when learning new Kanji I write the kanji 10 times and I regularly do my reviews, but I still cant remember!
If anyone has any tips on how I could improve I would be very grateful!
Thank you!

3 Likes

I don’t. ^^

26 Likes

I carve kanji onto the Oscar statuette that I won for Leaving Las Vegas in 1996

22 Likes

w-were we supposed to do that

24 Likes

Hiragana was hard enough, and it still looks like some ancient script I wrote, i think kanji will wait, though I’d like to maybe one day

2 Likes

Someone else might have a better/more effective method, but from my personal experience, repetition is most likely your best friend here. Maybe don’t just write the kanji in isolation, but also try writing out the words it’s used in. The more often the better. You can make an educated guess at the stroke order of a good chunk of kanji just from knowing how to write radicals/early level stuff, too.

Some books that teach kanji also like making mnemonics for stroke order. Just off the top of my head, 右 and 左 can trip new learners up, but you can just think that “the kanji that means ‘right’ begins from the first/topmost stroke that starts from the right (ノ), while the kanji that means ‘left’ begins from the first/topmost stroke that starts from the left (一)”.

3 Likes

I like using this kanji deck for anki! The good ol’ srs.

Edit: how to guess stroke order

3 Likes

What worked for me was making a deck in Anki with both Kanji->Meaning and Meaning->Kanji cards, reviewing it everyday, and writing down everything (even the recognition cards). If I write any stroke wrong in the recall cards, I mark it as wrong until I learn how to recall it 100% correctly. I also make an effort to write down a few sentences everyday so I can learn to use the kanji in context.

You could make your own deck and add the WaniKani kanji as you learn them, write down the wanikani sentece examples for practice, and then write your own sentences after a few anki reviews.

2 Likes

I got two notebooks. In one I made an answer key with kanji vocabulary written in the left column and the hiragana reading in the right column. The second was for me to test myself. I would cover the hiragana with the second notebook and then try to reproduce it. Then, I’d close the answer key and, looking at what I’d just written, I’d challenge myself to reproduce the kanji. I’d test myself a few times each week. On days off, I’d practice any kanji I was having trouble with. I did this for roughly six months before discovering WK, and learned to write rather effectively using this method.

3 Likes

Thank you! I will keep that in mind.

1 Like

It doesn’t have to be the one for Leaving Las Vegas. It could be one of your other Oscars, or even one of your Emmys, if you run out of room.

8 Likes

I write the kanji and vocabs 60 - 100 times and I almost always zero my WK reviews but I sometimes still can’t remember. In case of me, I found myself lack of reading Japanese books I have, I found myself lack of reading context sentences in Japanese because understanding its English translation already exhausted myself, I found myself lack of reading my new vocabs’ thesaurus, I found myself lack of reading my new vocabs’ homonyms so when :crabigator: asks me vocabs I learned a long time ago, I’m often confused them, because I rely on my hearing memory alone but ignore the radical/kanji compositions, etc, etc, I could keep on typing if I’m not starting to sleep again.

I want to say all good tips have been taken by yasashii senpai but I think that sentence alone is not useful so

I’d say exposure often helps. A lot.

1 Like

I use a lot of resources that are specifically meant for the Kanji Kentei. I track my Kanken progress in the thread below. We talk about resources fairly often.

6 Likes

I bought a relatively inexpensive book called Easy and Fun Kanji - https://www.amazon.com/EASY-FUN-KANJI-Basic-Leaning/dp/4794605013 (edit: the price on Amazon is higher than the ~1,200 yen I paid)

This has helped me get the stroke order, review the vocab I’ve learned from WK, and just generally get another ‘touch’ to the content. I actually started using the book slowly before jumping onto WK, and the readings in book mystified me. but now each entry is fairly easy to use. I recommend it!

Writing kanji (and occasionally reviewing) is also why I’m still occasionally using RTK (1x or 2x a week). I started on that before doing WK, and I’ve slowed down considerably, but it’s still a nice way to practice the strokes and write/recognize each radical/element.

1 Like

I tend to just write things down habitually anyways because of my Asperger’s, so I get a lot of writing practice. (Even then, my Japanese handwriting isn’t precisely great, per se…)

1 Like

I use James Heisig’s Remembering The Kanji to study the meaning and writings of kanji. I use Anki to review them, and write them down in my notebook (usually a couple times to get a good feeling for the writing). I’m about 1500 kanji in right now, and I’m feeling pretty great given it only took me a couple months to get here.

2 Likes

What‘s "writing”? :rofl:

5 Likes

Not everyone writes but some people find it easier to remember if you hand write kanji. Here’s a few things that I do!

  1. Master stroke order. Often kanji will look like a big mess of things, and it’s even harder to visualize or write them down if you can’t first break a character down into its smaller pieces. Learn the rules of stroke order, and practice them on the new radicals you learn!

  2. Like some already mentioned, practice writing them in every day vocabulary. This will take them from being abstract concepts from your mind and turn them into something more every day, so you’re more likely to remember them. I think keeping a daily journal of 3-5 sentences in Japanese using vocabulary words you’ve learned is a good place to start. (it can be something as simple as 今日、この言葉を勉強しました!)

  3. Expose yourself to new sentences using the kanji you are learning. Whether you go read picture books or look for examples from a dictionary, it always helps to see words you want to write being put into use.

I use the app HelloTalk to have native speakers correct my grammar on what I’ve written for the day before immortalizing it in ink, too, to reinforce good grammar if I were to ever look back and read old entries. I also get to see things written by Japanese people on there, or else hop into Japanese Twitter to see other people saying things in everyday ways.

Some people want to master writing every kanji, and memorize them perfectly, but remember that not even native Japanese speakers can perfectly write every kanji beyond a certain point. Unless you plan on taking the kanken or need to prove your kanji worth in a 闇のゲーム, try not to push yourself too hard and burning yourself out!

4 Likes

I study to pass the kanken kanji test there you are forced to write. It is a good motivation and you get a nice certificate. Its also a good challenge and will give you feedback of your kanji knowledge. Furthermore you learn a ton of new vocab since its aimed for Japanese.

If you have an iPhone I’d recommend the app KanjiBox. I can’t remember if it’s free, as I’ve had it on my phone for… a long time - but it’s got an optional add on called KanjiDraw which is about 99p. This tests you on your stroke order as you draw the kanji right on the screen and will grade you with a green/orange/red system for accuracy for each stroke.

It’s also got some other drills like multiple choice kanji meaning/readings, a missing kanji task which gives you vocabulary and you have to fill in the blank with the correct kanji which helps reinforce the meanings through context. There’s also some grammar drill tasks which aren’t as effective as things like bunpro and reading practice but are a nice inclusion.

I pretty much used this app to learn all the N5 and N4 kanji and then decided I wanted something a bit more involved for later levels (hence moving here), but it’s still my go to for handwriting and on-the-go testing when I don’t have any reviews. It’s not a pretty app but it’s certainly useful! There is a web based version of it but I’ve only used the app so cannot comment on any other versions.

2 Likes