Kanji Hacks 漢字の覚え方

How to memorize kanji so they stick

正(ただ·しい、まさ、セイ、ショウ)

Meaning: correct, justice

Components: 一(one)and 止 (stop)

My hack: Think of someone who is very concerned about the environment, and who wants to use a car as little as possible. This person would say “One stop shopping is correct. (Driving all over town is not.)”

Tip: this character is the one that Japanese people use to count things in fives, as opposed to the “counting days in jail” way:

countingby5

If you’re game for it, I would recommend giving the Japanese way a try. Not only will you learn the kanji down cold, but you may find that you like this way better.

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March 14, 2009 Posted by | 5 strokes, Grade 1, JLPT 3 | , , , , | Leave a comment

本(もと、ホン)

Meaning: book, main, true, root, source

  • (you’ll probably encounter this as “book” or the “hon” in “nihon” more than anything else in the beginning.)

Components: 木 (tree), and a very small 一 (one)

My hack: Books, which are made from trees, are the one true source of knowledge.”

OR, “books are made from tree roots.”

Photo by a hundred visions and revisions

Photo by a hundred visions and revisions

March 14, 2009 Posted by | 5 strokes, Grade 1, JLPT 4, Radicals | , , , , | Leave a comment

How is Kanji Hacks different from other kanji learning sites?

Glad you asked. There are a lot of fantastic sites out there where you can learn everything there is to know about kanji, but if you are anything like me, you just don’t have the time to go paddling around to find what you need. You’re at your desk thinking, “I have to have these memorized by tomorrow and I’ve hit a wall!” Kanji Hacks is your study aid that will help you get through all that tedious memorization so you can focus on the other zillion things vying for your attention.

You just search for the kanji you need, check out the memorization techniques, find one (or add one) that works for you, and you’re done.

The other thing that’s different is that you aren’t restricted to any particular set of rules, so whatever “hack” works is fair game. I know a lot of people like “Remembering the Kanji” (I used it myself for a long time) and those books are great resources, but sometimes it’s too hard to come up with a great “story.” If you’ve got a trick to remember a kanji that doesn’t follow the traditional rules, great! It may work for others too.

Everything’s still in the construction stage right now, but there’s more content added every day, so keep coming back!

March 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment