Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Safe & Secure. We respect your privacy
Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hi!
Welcome to the Japanese Kanji video series.
My name is Alisha and I'm joined by...
Hi everyone.
I'm Risa!
In this series, we'll teach you the best method for learning Japanese kanji and teach you some of the most useful kanji characters along the way!
That's right!
And we're here to help guide you through your journey.
In this first episode, you'll learn exactly what kanji is and why you need it, the best method of learning kanji, and about the building blocks that make up a kanji character.
Okay Risa, let's get right into it.
First, let's explain what kanji is exactly.
What is kanji?
It's quite simple actually.
Kanji is the use of Chinese characters, in Japanese writing.
So, Japanese actually uses Chinese characters in part of its writing.
That's because Japanese writing actually originated from China right?
Right.
A long time ago Japan only used Chinese characters.
Today, we use three different scripts together to write Japanese.
Those three scripts are:
hiragana, katakana, and kanji.
So for comparison English only uses one script, the 'English alphabet', but Japanese uses three different ones.
Kanji is the interpretation of Chinese characters into Japanese.
And hiragana and katakana are scripts created after by Japanese people; you can kind of think of the latter two as the "Japanese alphabet". We refer to them as...
かな。
Learning kana is easy, it's just like learning the alphabet.
You learn a limited number of letters and using those letters, you can put them together to form words.
On their own though, they don't really hold any meaning.
Kanji however, is different.
There are thousands of them.
And hidden beneath each one lies a secret message.
One kanji character can say more than a hundred of these letters because it represents an idea.
A wealth of meaning can be uncovered from this single character.
The concept and meaning however, will only reveal itself if you know where to look.
And this is the true power of kanji.
Okay, now that we know what kanji is, how do we actually start learning kanji?
How to learn kanji?
There are many ways to start learning kanji.
The most obvious way, although not the most effective, is to simply memorize them.
Like learning the alphabet, or learning new words, you can start learning kanji by memorizing a few each day, every day, until you've memorized them all.
Unlike learning the alphabet however, which consists of only a small set of letters, there are thousands and thousands of kanji characters, each with their own unique concept and meaning.
And let's pray that you don't forget a few along the way.
Memorizing each individual kanji one by one just isn't practical.
There's simply too many of them.
You can memorize the alphabet in a few days, but memorizing every kanji there is?
Let's just say that you'll be at it for a very, very long time.
Thankfully, there's a more effective way to learn kanji.
And that's by learning the "radicals."
What are radicals?
A kanji character can be broken down into smaller components.
These smaller components are called 'radicals'.
You can think of radicals simply as "the building blocks of kanji."
Every kanji character has at least one radical.
Sometimes, the radical itself can be a kanji on its own.
And several radicals put together could be another kanji.
By learning radicals, the building blocks of kanji, you can understand the general meaning of kanji characters you've yet to learn.
Instead of learning individual kanji characters one at a time, we essentially learn the building blocks instead. You only have to learn a few radicals to be able to read some of the most common kanji characters out there.
In this series, we'll teach you 10 useful radicals that'll get you started learning kanji quickly and easily.
We've covered quite a lot of things already, so why don't we wrap up the first lesson and recap on what we've learned.
In this lesson, you learned that Kanji is the interpretation of Chinese characters into Japanese writing.
Kanji are characters that represent an idea, and therefore contain a wealth of meaning.
And the quickest and most effective way to learn Kanji is by watching this series at JapanesePod101.com, where we teach the building blocks of kanji - radicals.
In the next lesson, we'll teach you one of the most common, useful, and basic radicals used in kanji - the person radical.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!
Bye~!

37 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Do you know the true power of kanji?
Click here to download FREE Kanji e-book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1119424354
Click here to download Full Version Kanji e-book: http://store.innovativelanguage.com/A-Radical-Approach-to-Mastering-Kanji_p_742.html

June 11th, 2017 at 2:46 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Macklin Marvin Korvah,
Thank you for the comment!

Sorry, I don’t know how to pronounce your name correctly in your language, but I guess it would be “マックリン・マーヴィン・コ―ヴァー(Makkurin Māvin Kōvā)” in katakana (and romanization).

Hope this helps you.

Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com
Cheers,
Miki(美希)
Team JapanesePod101.com

Macklin Marvin Korvah
June 9th, 2017 at 3:45 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Please send me the correct spellings of my full name using the Katakana script.

June 2nd, 2017 at 2:21 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello ジュリアン,

The links are in the 1st comment section.
Click here to download FREE Kanji e-book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1119424354
Click here to download Full Version Kanji e-book: http://store.innovativelanguage.com/A-Radical-Approach-to-Mastering-Kanji_p_742.html

Cheers,
Lena
Team JapanesePod101.com

ジュリアン
May 17th, 2017 at 6:13 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

こんばんは

Where can we download the free ebook regarding the 1500 kanjis. I do not see any link.

Thank you for your help😄

April 18th, 2017 at 12:09 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Beatriz,

Thank you for posting.
Unfortunately we can’t send you the PDF files by email.

There are various softwares online, which allow you to open a PDF document.
Please try to check with one of those.

Also, our new interface allows you to check the contents of the PDF documents as well.

Sincerely,
Lena
Team JapanesePod101.com

April 5th, 2017 at 1:35 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

> Eber-san, Petr Koutny san,
konnichiwa! 😄
Thank you for helping each other and have a friendly conversation here! 😇
That’s right; this is only the introduction, and it’s also true that giving too much information
in one lesson is risky and this is why any language lessons in the world never gives you
too much information (so that we don’t scare the learners off😁 )
Being interested in the other kanji showed in the lesson is a good sign! Please feel free to
ask us questions. We’ll be happy to help. 😉

> Beatriz-san,
konnichiwa! 😄
Do you watch this lesson with your PC?
You don’t have to own any apple product to get PDF. Let us know if you still have difficulties to get what you want. 😉

Natsuko (奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com

Petr Koutny
March 29th, 2017 at 3:17 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Eber-san, konnichiwa!

well my opinion comes from the fact that I have watched couple of Kanji videos here and its fabulous when you get all the context and you can think of what each particular kanji character means. And searching for unknown kanjis directly from the PDF is kinda complicated. That is the reason why I was sad when opened the PDF😄

Regards!

Eber
March 28th, 2017 at 4:52 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Koutny-san, konnichiwa!

This is just the introductory kanji course, I mean, it would be too much to teach a lot of kanji radicals in one lesson, wouldn’t it? They gave examples using the radical focus of the lesson, the onnahen, to show us how the radical form other kanji, but it’s natural that by doing so they would use other kanji or radicals that we don’t know yet. But one can always look for oneself what the kanji showed means. I did it, and by doing so I already learned another kanji.

Good luck with your studies!

Petr Koutny
March 28th, 2017 at 4:07 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Konnichiwa,

I took a look on the Free Kanji ebook and it is nice, BUT - it lacks very important thing. There is no mention about the rest of radicals in sample words. For example - in case of “elder sister” it does not say what is meaning of all radicals in kanji character. So it is hard to memorize and not so playful. It is a pity, I was considering buying full version😞

Beatriz
March 28th, 2017 at 3:39 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I’d like this PDF, but I don’t have any apple product, can you send me by email please?