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Re: [tlug] Remembering the Kanji wrote:
> Where I find knowing the basic kanji helpful is that it allows me to
> remember the compounds more easily.  I already have kanji I remember in
> part by their components (oh yea -- that's the one with horse...  and ...
> has an ax in it, etc.) and it helps me to remember the complete
> characters.  In many cases, the characters and the word are related and
> the relationship helps me to remember the word.

Yes, it naturally works that way. You study the basic kanji (as actual words, not as abstract 
characters) and their meaning and that helps you 'understand' the more advanced ones 
(usually a combination of simpler ones).

> The Japanese have a significant advantage in learning to write Kanji over
> us -- several actually.  The first is that they already know the language
> before they start learning to write.  

I don't see how that helps with *writing* kanji. But there is no denyin they *do* have 
 an advantage :)

> I can't learn Japanese like they do
> -- I already have a context in which I'm trying to put a new language. 
> They start with a blank slate.

But still, they start with simple texts which introduce bacis kanji, and then more advanced texts 
which introduce more kanji. The difference being that you have to learn the word and the kanji 
that make it up, while they already know the word. A similar approach is effective for gaijin as 
well. Remembering the word+kanji in a certain context is easier than studying it in isolation.

> I see this as a crutch.  If I can hang the Kanji on something to help me
> remember it, I have a better chance of remembering it until it's firmly in
> my memory and I no longer need the crutch.

Sure, anything that helps you remember it is good :)

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