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Trying To Learn Kanji

Japanese, Life1 min read

I have been trying to learn Kanji these past few months and it is difficult. Japanese kanji is very complicated becasue you need to remember multiple readings of a character depending on how it is used.

Sometimes you have words that are just read differently depending on the other characters in the word. For example (あじ) on its own is read as "aji" and means taste. But if I write 意味 (いみ) it is read as "imi" and stands for "meaning".

Things get more confusing when you have words like 開く can be read as "aku" which means "to open" and "hiraku" which also sort of means "to open" but the difference between the two words is pretty nuanced.

Even if you ignore the multiple readings, learning Kanji is also difficult for people who only know latin alphabets because the characters themselves can look pretty similar to our untrained eyes. Like 開閉, 毎海, 番香. For some people maybe this isn't a big deal but for me this is always a challenge.

So far I have studied about 60 Kanji but probably commited only a small fraction of them to memory. It is a constant struggle. I am trying to come up with more ways to actually memorize them. Right now I am using an app called Anki which is like a flashcard application to learn them. It works okay but I think I need to practice writing the kanji more and actually reading them in sentences.

I am debating about trying to write a program that scrapes Japanese news sites for articles and pull out sentences that have specific kanji... Of course I am incredibly lazy though and probably have better things to do than build this. I have seen a bunch of apps to try and learn Japanese but I am also cheap so haven't tried paying for anything just yet either.

One day I will be not awful at Japanese. I am content with reaching the level of "bad" or "not good".