Very soon I will be heading off to work and as usual will be taking my notepad with me to keep in my pocket and in my free time like breaks and designated rest times I will be putting pen to paper and once again writing down the Kanji on a small notepad of what I have been learning and practising the ones I know and writing sentences.
I think writing it provides an immense benefit and enhances the learning process ten fold. It not only enhances the learning but adds to the level of skills you are capable of doing and helps the brain exercise by stimulating the learning parts of the brain into action.
I could not possibly think of learning Kanji without writing it as it reinforces all of them into your mind and the more I write it the less likely I am to forget Kanji. Any Kanji I can write I have never forgotten.
For me personally this has helped me a lot by actually writing them down after I have learnt them and writing them regularly and semi regularly to keep them fresh in my mind.
Well, actually I’ve meant to ask you about how you go about it.
You mentioned that you are able to recognizing them in different styles too, specially in the handwritten styles you would see on casual notes or izakaya menus.
I tried writting them from the star when first learning kanji, but for one it added time to an already full schedule and actually watching the kanji I was learning while reading was enough for me to recognizing them, so It didn’t stroke me as a necessity then.
Now things have changed and actually I’ve been participating in a caligraphy class for the last month or so. See them written in cursive style and struggling at identifying them was enough for me to start a dedicated run through Remembering the Kanji 1, which I’ve always considered a better suited method to learn kanji meaning and make sense on how to write kanji.
Did you reviewed the standard radicals first, any resource you care to mention?
Do you use any additional resource? I’m not much into the whole etymology, but I do appretiate to be able to reference while talking to japanese people about an specific kanji, specially when I don’t have a familiar vocab that comes quickly to mind as reference.
Are you writing kanji alone, text in general too?. I’ve also noticed that writting vertically is a thing as well, specially if aiming for a well aligned and balanced caligraphy, which is my current goal.
The only other resource I use is the Essential Kanji book by P.G. O’Neil which has about 2000 Kanji with stroke order and radical list in the rear. I find the book very beneficial and it has helped me learn to write them.
Initially I started writing them at work and now finally before I go to bed I will pull up a notepad and write diary kind of notes in Kanji like writing down sentences I have heard or been studying.
I will write them both horizontally and vertically depending on what I am studying.
Some days I will find a new Kanji, learn the stroke order and just randomly write it and some included vocabulary just randomly on breaks throughout the day.
Something I’ve been playing with is this “water writing cloth” for Chinese calligraphy practice:
It’s probably not as portable as a notebook, but it does mean you can practice pretty much as you want without using up paper. The Japanese term for the same stuff seems to be 水書用紙, which might help in searching.
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