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Re: [Lingo] remembering japanese words

On 13/06/07, steven smith <> wrote:

What works?  Is it necessary or useful to memorize the
onyomi/kunyomi as well as the kanji?

Memorising the on/kunyomi of the first couple hundred kanji is very important, IMO. It bootstraps your kanji reading ability in that you start to internalise the component-reading connexions that exist. This will help you immensely when reading kanji that you have never studied, because you will be quite surprised that you can guess the correct onyomi reading in the wild a good percentage of the time.

Onyomi really matters more than kunyomi for all but the most basic
kanji (again, the first couple hundred), as written Japanese contains
*lots* of 漢語 (kanji words). But memorising the kunyomi is not a waste,
because human memory works better the more pathways you have to any
given piece of information. So if you know onyomi, kunyomi, English
meaning, meaning of several components of the kanji, and compound
words in which a given kanji appears, you have *lots* of chances to
access that kanji when it comes rememberin' time.

For me, learning words was a process of rote memorisation at first,
testing on that rote memorisation shortly thereafter, and a conscious
effort by me to incorporate those words into conversation as soon as
possible. Using words helps a lot. Especially if your conversation
partner is willing to correct your usage.

I hope this helps somewhat.


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