I used to have kanji drills as part of my homework for Japanese class in the first couple years, but it’s been mostly conversational for a while now. I tried to do some writing at home a few weeks ago, but I got bored way too quickly and haven’t tried again since… It feels like handwriting isn’t useful for anything in my life right now so it’s hard to motivate myself into practicing it.
For me, I know that it probably won’t be all that useful for me to learn how to write kanji, but I find that I quite enjoy it myself ^.^
As with English I type everything. I’ve never had great handwriting which was not improved by a childhood headmaster’s approach to teaching penmanship; which was to haul me into his office on a regular basis and shout at me for my bad handwriting. He was a megalomaniacal bastard but did instill in me a deep and abiding love of opera, so not all bad.
Anyway I type in Japanese and try and do it as often as possible, I write short social media posts to practice. I sometimes wish I could dash of a beautiful New Years card.
Wow. Couldn’t just go past that phrase lol. Was that in Australia?
I don’t practice handwriting at all because Tofugu’s guide says don’t bother, at least at first. Any time spent practicing handwriting would likely be better spent learning more kanji or grammar or reading Japanese, especially given how much writing these days is done with a keyboard. Simply learning to type in Japanese will get you through almost every writing situation you’ll ever find yourself in and you can master it in a couple hours at most.
A lot of people seem to think that hand writing characters helps with recognition, which I’m sure is true… but I wonder how efficient it is in terms of time spent. Wouldn’t it be more effective to use that same time reading? Reading improves character recognition, but also grammar, vocabulary, and literally everything else. Why not read more instead?
Of course, I would like to learn how to write Japanese by hand someday. But for me, someday is a point in time after I’ve already mastered the rest of the language, and even then maybe I won’t bother. We’ll see, I guess
I write only when my Japanese teacher tells me I must. Lol. My handwriting has always been atrocious, even in my native language.
You have a good point.
I don’t think I learned Kanji the proper way in college as it’s been ages and I still suck at them. Now that I use wanikani, things have progressed significantly faster.
The handwriting I did back then, was beneficial because it worked on more than one level. It wasn’t just mindlessly repeating the same kanji, but we were actually constructing sentences using the grammar we learned. While being encouraged to use as many kanji as we could.
I think we also used to write short essays in year two, now that I think of it.
That said, I still think that repetition is important IF you want to continue to write kanji by hand and like Leebo are aiming for the Kanken test.
So all in all, it really depends on what you want with the language.
I do a lot of writing exercises, and for me it is something that really helps me remember vocabulary etc. I use the Minna No Nihongo textbook series, and I have both the original textbooks, and the extra practice workbooks. I usually do like 2 chapters per week and I write out ALL of the exercises in my notebook, it is great practice for hiragana and I also write out the kanji that I know how to write. So far with Kanji Kentei I have learned how to write all 80 of the Grade 1 kanji and I have noticed a huge improvement in retention for those, I can write them on command from my brain and instantly know how to write it, read it, etc if I hear it or think it which is really good for me. For me recall is equally as important as recognition. I will be starting the grade 2 kanji kentei book and learning to write those 160 as soon as I reach the level on wanikani where I have learned to recognize them all which is maybe level 18.
I know writing isn’t for everyone, but for me, when I was in school writing was very important, I mean we had computers but I wrote everything so for me it is really helpful to do that now. Plus I like to write a journal/vacation journals etc in an actual journal, so naturally I just enjoy writing in Japanese as well! =D
When my 先生 gives us homework, we write the answer by pen and then she corrects it. I’m always surprised that she can read my chicken scrawl. My 先生’s handwriting is very かわいい, btw. If I could I’ll try to make a photo of it (from the whiteboard) and post it here.
I’m currently in the process of reviewing my Genki 1 Textbook, and each day I “learn” 5 vocabulary words and an example sentence for each one in a notebook.
As a stationery nerd and japanese language student I try to find any excuse to practice handwriting xD. At least a few words every day and the days I sit down to study I write down oll the grammar on a notebook with some example senteces or notes from other books etc. Sometimes I just like to doodle around with kanjis I find and try to write them. It’s very fun!
I normally (try to) write new kanji as I learn them from the WK lessons. My ひらがな is pretty good although I really need to tune my brain to カタカナ so that I could read pastry names with ease and without cursing under my breath.
I definitely think it’s worth practising hiragana and katakana, because they’re quick and easy to write and the drilling hammers them into your brain. You don’t have to ‘waste’ time that could be spent on other things either; just doodle them out while you’re doing other things, sitting in meetings, etc.
I did a term of after-school classes at secondary school and for a few months would obsessively write out the hiragana whenever I had a chance to doodle. When I picked up Japanese again 10 years later I remembered them all.
I write in Japanese almost everyday. I’m lucky that I work in a Japanese company and will need to fill in a training report of what I’ve done every day. As such I always need to write about what I’ve been doing. At first it was very hard, sometimes I even forgot hiragana and katakana. I could read fine but its different when your writing. Now I have good kanji for work that I can write from memory. My colleagues are fantastic at helping me with the report when I’m stuck and correct it for me about 1 time a month.
Yes, she is also かわいい. I think her husband would agree
Every day, I write out all of the hiragana, all of the katakana, and all of the numbers (1-10, 100, 1000, 10000). Then, I write out all of the Kanji that appear in the current chapter of my textbook. I use kanji flashcards to prompt me for those. It is a little time-consuming, but it keeps that stuff “in my bones”. Without it, I found it difficult to read katakana, because I kept forgetting certain characters. Also, it does increase my kanji recognition confidence. I expect to stop doing this someday, just as I’ve stopped practicing my English characters (although I have forgotten how to write some capital letters in cursive).
If it helps you to learn, feel free to write them while you study, but the writing skill has pretty much no practical use in Japan and is mostly just waste of time if learning the language is your goal. For the past year I’ve studied and worked here, the only kanji i have needed to know how to write are the ones in my address. Even the Japanese people i’ve talked with tell me that they don’t actually write that much by hand anymore.
Of course in the beginning it is handy to learn the basics of the stroke order so you can utilise it if (and when) google translate (and you) doesn’t recognise the wacky brush strokes from the picture. It’s pretty good at recognising the kanjis drawn on the screen though.
So write them if it helps you to remember the kanjis, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.
I write about 8 pages a day in my Leuchtturm notebook (A5). Most of my studying is done with Anki and all of my flashcards are sentences and audio only on the front. To get it right, I need to correctly transcribe it and understand the sentence.
I enjoy it and I’m gonna keep doing it till I finish the book I’m working through (Assimil) because I’ve got a good rhythm going but I wouldn’t recommend it. It does stick the Kanji I learn pretty firmly in my brain but it makes every flashcard take so much longer that I reckon it’s not time efficient.