read japanese – Japanese Words From Japanese Words to Japanese Fluency Wed, 23 Jan 2013 03:33:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Remembering the Kanji in 58 days:Day 5 Thu, 08 Nov 2012 12:45:13 +0000 20121108-214307.jpg

Highlighted have been learned


I finished my 5th day today and am currently at 299 kanji. I had about 50 reviews plus the new cards I studied today. All together it still took me about an hour. Finding and marking the kanji off the kanji poster took far more time. However, I have to say that the kanji poster has been very helpful. It has forced me to recognize the kanji to make sure I know meaning.

Now that the kanji are starting to pile up a little, it is more important than ever to focus on the stories and really imagine them. I studied in the car today while waiting for my wife in the store. It was easy to get distracted and I realized later that I didn’t remember those kanji as well. Make sure you seclude yourself and really focus. Don’t try to go too fast.

In case you missed the start of this program you can read about how to do it yourself here: Learning 2042 Kanji in just 58 Days

Remembering the Kanji in 58 Days (Day 4) Wed, 07 Nov 2012 15:46:42 +0000 This is just a mini-update to let you know that I am still on track for Remembering the Kanji. I have been doing it for a total of 4 days now and am up to 234 kanji. In order to finish in time I need to continue to study at least 33 kanji per day. I am planning to continue at about 50 or so a day for at least the next couple of days, so that number should go down. At this point retention is still very good and I am not having any trouble with this many each day. I spent about 1 hour total today.

For those having trouble remembering the kanji after you’ve learned it, don’t focus on the writing. Instead, spend more time visualizing the story. It will make writing it much easier.

Also, be sure to check out the latest post I made about exporting lists into Anki. A tip to help you study more Japanese words faster:  Using Imiwa’s Export Function to Get More Japanese Words

Does learning the kanji sound like fun to you? You can find what you will need to do the same thing here: Remembering 2042 Kanji in 58 Days

Remembering the Kanji in 58 Days (Day 3) Tue, 06 Nov 2012 05:51:19 +0000

Highlighted kanji have been learned.

I just finished with day 3 and am up to 172 Kanji with a very high retaining rate. I also have them all reviewed in Anki and highlighted on the Kanji Poster.

I am a bit ahead of schedule, but I am doing it on purpose. I figure I will study as many as I can in these early stages while it is fun and exciting. That way I won’t have as big of a workload as the reviews get longer.

Today I studied about 70 Kanji in about 30 minutes and then reviewed 74 cards in 11 minutes with Anki. All together less than one hour.

I look forward to your comments and hearing about your own progress.

I should mention that studying the kanji won’t teach you any Japanese words or grammar along the way. It will however, teach you the basic meanings of the kanji and how to recognize and write them.


Learning 2042 Kanji in just 58 Days Mon, 05 Nov 2012 07:30:07 +0000

Is it possible? Many of you are probably thinking no! However, there are others who have done it. I won’t be the first. I should point out that I wouldn’t recommend this method for everyone. I have a lot of experience with kanji, I studied Japanese in the US, attended Waseda University in Tokyo, and currently live in Japan. Unfortunately, I haven’t taken the time to learn all 2042 kanji and make sure that I can recall and write them whenever I want.

I’ve decided that NOW is that time!

I calculated that to reach my goal of 2042 kanji in 58 57 days that I need to study at least 36 kanji per day. I actually started yesterday, and studied 52 yesterday and 52 today. So two days and I am now at 104 Kanji. For the first couple hundred I will probable keep this pace to give myself a little leeway at the end.

So what better time than to learn the kanji than to study along with me!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Remembering the Kanji 1: I did a full review on this book and was really impressed with the method it uses to teach kanji. You can get it here. (Purchasing using this link helps support this site.
  • Anki: We will be using this to review the kanji and make sure we are remembering them correctly. The full set of RTK cards can be downloaded from their site.
  • Reviewing the Kanji: I recommend an account here so that you can check out different stories for help (This will make more sense to you once you start). The downloadable card set in Anki already contains the links.
  • Kanji Poster: Recommended if you want to see the kanji all in one place. Cool to have, but not really necessary to reach our goal. (Link also helps support this site).
How to Study Kanji for this project
  1. Choose your finish date, and then divide the number of kanji by the number of days you have left. In my case 2042 kanji/58 days=36 kanji per day.
  2. Study the Kanji using the Remembering the Kanji book.
  3. Review the kanji you have learned in Anki. I usually wait at least a couple of hours before reviewing.
  4. Mark off or highlight kanji you know on the kanji poster (not necessary, but will help give me a visual of my progress)
  5. Rinse and repeat, until you have conquered all the kanji.
  6. Make sure you continue to study Anki and also use your learned kanji to read Japanese.
So, in order to stay motivated, lets do it together! I will be posting about my progress, and please feel free to leave comments or questions about yours.




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Rikaikun (Rikaichan for Chrome) Fri, 08 Jan 2010 10:04:30 +0000 I have written about Rikaichan before and how it is one of my favorite tools for reading and learning Japanese. It allows even a someone with a basic understanding of Japanese to read like a pro. Well, for all those who use Google’s chrome, a port has been made called Rikaikun.

Since the current release of Chrome doesn’t handle plugins you will need to install the beta. It will ask you to do this if you try and install the plugin.  Give it a try and let me know what you think. I’ve got it downloaded and it seems to work just fine. In fact it was easier than Rikaichan because all I needed to do was one click.

Rikaikun Plugin

Learning Hiragana and Katakana Mon, 04 Jan 2010 07:17:56 +0000

Background - an ancient volumetric Japanese re...

The second Japanese class on Edufire ended today and Eri had a lot of fun teaching it. Thank all of those who attended. I hope you enjoyed the classes and learned some new Japanese.

Eri has posted a couple new classes as well. One for those wanting to learn to read and write Japanese (hiragana and katakana) and another class for practicing conversational speaking (this class is limited in size so if you are interested I recommend you sign up soon). You can find the classes here:

Japanese classes

For those serious about learning Japanese, learning hiragana and katakana as fast as possible is very important to not only reading Japanese, but for pronouncing it correctly as well. The sooner you get away from the English alphabet the better.

In the class, Eri will be showing you the correct way to pronounce the characters and how to write them. The class will be recorded, so those attending can watch it over and over again for review.

If you already know how to write and read the characters, then you are ready to sign up for the conversational class and start speaking Japanese.

Japanese classes

Reviewing the Kanji Wed, 07 Oct 2009 15:09:56 +0000 reviewing the kanji

Yesterday, we covered what I consider to be an essential set of books for learning the Japanese kana and kanji. By themselves, Remembering the Kana and Remembering the Kanji are great tools for learning Japanese. So great in fact,  someone has created an entire website to help you use them more efficiently. Besides being a website, Reviewing the Kanji is an SRS (spaced repetition system) that contains all the the kanji in the Remembering the Kanji series.

It keeps track of what you need to study, when you need to study it, and also keeps track of all your progress with various charts and reports. One of the best parts about the site is the social aspect. You can write your story for each kanji and also see what other people are using for theirs (this will make more sense once you get the books).

As far as I know, there is currently no way to sync Remember the kanji and Anki, so you will have to choose which one you want to use from the beginning. Though there does seem to be a plugin for Anki to import “Reviewing the Kanji” progress. Both have pre-made decks containing all the kanji, and in fact the deck for Anki even contains links to the Reviewing the Kanji page. I recommend you try them both out and see which one you like the best. You can find a link to Reviewing the Kanji below:

Reviewing the Kanji

Remembering the Kanji Tue, 06 Oct 2009 15:41:53 +0000 remembering the kanji 1

Next in the line of helpful Japanese tools are a set of books. Remembering the Kanji 1 & 2 and Remembering the Kana are extremely useful tools, and combined with Anki, will hep you learn the Japanese kana and kanji before you know it. The system used in these books to teach the Japanese characters in not orthodox, but it works. If you are struggling to learn the kana or kanji, or maybe have been putting it off because the task looks to daunting, then you need to get these books. Once you get started you will be wishing you had started sooner.

If you want to get the books now, and I recommend you do, you can find links to purchase them in the right sidebar.

If you want to get started while you wait for your books to arrive, you can download the sample containing the first 276 Kanji now:

Remember the Kanji Sample

You can find more information on the books at the below link:

Remembering the Kanji

Why You Need To Learn The Japanese Kana Tue, 22 Sep 2009 13:46:25 +0000 hiragana

One of the most popular posts on Japanese words has been the common Japanese Words list containing over 1000 Japanese words and kanji. That page has received quite a few comments asking for pronunciations in romaji (English Alphabet). While having romaji may seem to make studying easier when you first start out, learning using the English alphabet will actually hold you back. This article will cover the main reasons why you should start studying and master the Japanese Kana (hiragana and katakana) as soon as possible. As well as listing a few tools to help you learn more quickly.

Thinking in Japanese

If you want to learn Japanese as quickly as possible, then you need to immerse yourself in it. The more you are seeing and thinking in Japanese the faster you will be able to learn. If you are trying to learn using the English alphabet, then your mind is only half thinking in Japanese. You are seeing Japanese words, but your mind is trying to translate them into English. If you read using the kana (and eventually kanji) it is easier for your brain to make the change.

Once you learn to read the kana, you will realize how difficult reading Japanese in romaji really was!

More Japanese Materials

The more Japanese materials you have available to you the better. It doesn’t mean that you will use them all, but you will have a larger selection from which to choose the best ones. Once you learn the kana, you aren’t limited to only Japanese language study materials (textbooks, Japanese language books, etc). You can start trying to read Japanese magazines, mangas, websites, and subtitles on movies. This will also help you start learning the kanji, which are essential for anyone serious about Japanese.


Japanese has far fewer sounds than the English language. Furthermore, each kana can only be read a single way. Not like English where vowels can have different sounds depending on the letters next to them. Once you learn the correct sound for each kana, you will be better at pronouncing Japanese words. Of course you will still need a lot of practice to learn the correct pronunciation, but getting away from romaji (which can have several) is a good move in the right direction.

Travelling/Living in Japan

It’s true that you can find a lot of English signs in the main cities in Japan now days. However, there are many places that have no English signs at all. Having the ability to read at least hiragana and kana will really help you get around. Learning the first 100 or so Kanji will be an even bigger help.

Tools for Learning the Japanese Characters

Remembering the Kana– James Heisig, Author of Remembering the Kanji has created a unique and effective method for remembering Japanese characters. Using creative stories to remember each kana and it’s reading, the book teaches you the hiragana and katakana in about 3 hours each. You can read a full review on the book here: Remembering the Kana.

Read The Kanji– Now that you have finished Remembering the Kana, it’s time to get some practice. Read the Kanji is a great site that allows you to practice using Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji in sentences. It highlights the word and you type the reading. Not only is it great reading practice, it’s also great typing practice. The website keeps track of your progress and makes you review characters and words you know less, more often. I highly recommend this site.

Learn the Kana– This site has all the kana, but more importantly they also have the sounds. Very helpful if you are just getting started.

Rikaichan– Rikaichan is an amazing addon for Firefox that will give you the reading, definition, and a ton of other information of any Japanese word or character you mouse over. You can find a more detailed review on Rikaichan here: Reading Japanese Words Like A Pro With Rikaichan.

Anki– Anki is a spaced program that helps you learn quicker by showing you the right items when you need to see them. A great tool for learning Japanese and completely free.

Smart.FM– A website that uses spaced repitition to help you learn faster. There is a downloadable list for hiragana and katakana with sound.

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Japanese Adjectives in Sentences Part 9 Mon, 21 Sep 2009 13:00:08 +0000 fushigi

Here is part 9 of using Japanese Adjectives in Sentences. Hopefully you have learned a lot of new Japanese words, a bit of Japanese grammar, and have a better understanding of how to use different adjectives. You can find all of the previous adjectives posts at the bottom of the list.

81    昨日、不思議な夢を見ました。
Last night, I saw a mysterious dream.

82    彼は真面目な顔で話し始めた。
He began to talk with a serious face.

83    彼女は離れて暮らす母親の事が心配そうです。
He looks worried about his mother who lives separately from him.
*Adjective + そう(な)=looks (adjective)

84    前の会社は、楽な仕事ばかりで物足りなかった。
I was not satisfied with all the easy work at my previous company.

85    今日の夕飯に必要な材料を買いに行く。
I’m going shopping for the ingredients I need for today’s dinner.

86    駅で変な人に声をかけられた。
A strange person spoke to me at the (train) station.

87    危険な場所で遊んでいる子供たちに注意をした。
I warned the children who were playing in the dangerous place.

88    私は正直な性格なので、嘘がつけません。
I have a honest personality, so I can’t tell a lie.

More Japanese Adjectives Posts