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Kanji Dictionary

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About This Site
Getting started:
Japanese is probably one of the most difficult languages to learn. its use of four different writing systems, including the Chinese characters or 'kanji', and the various readings for each character, make Japanese difficult to master.

As an aid to help get you started we recomend you using these 3 essential tools to get to first base. first read the lets "let's learn hiragana", then " let's learn katakana ". These 2 are excellent -if you study 1 hour a day, you'll probably have mastered them within a couple of weeks! And when you feel comfortable with writing basic Japanese characters start with Richard S. Keirstead's "Kanji-A-Day Practice Pad", This is great for learning to read and write kanji.

   

Be careful because even the deceptively simple hiragana and katakana have quite a few pitfalls when it comes to writing. Using the wrong stroke order or direction can produce a completely different character. on top of that is the written form sometimes different from the printed form. using a guide to writing will help you avoid these pitfalls.We offer a free application for learning Hirigana and Katakana, the Kana Quizzer. Click here to learn more about it.

There are the latest writing systems in Japan.

Roman characters -this shouldn't be too difficult, you have probably mastered these by now.
Hiragana -phonetic writing system, used for native Japanese words and for the conjugation of verbs.
Katakana -phonetic writing system, used for foreign words. e.g English, French, Spanish, etc
Kanji -Chinese characters.

 

Reading Japanese:
There are two ways that the Japanese tend to write:

In the modern method: from left to right and from top to bottom.
In the classical method: from top to bottom and from right to left.
when written in this way, books are read from back to front.

Study Method:
Try to do a little every day rather than taking on too much at once, and try to memorize about 5 kanji per day. This will help keep the study load light. To memorize kanji we recommend writing the kanji repeatedly. this will also help you familiarize yourself with the stroke order. For writing kanji squared paper is recommended. It will help you separate kanji from radicals.