Planning for the JLPT? Learn about the new JLPT test levels N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5. The JLPT is a goal for many students of the Japanese language - whether for university entrance, a job in Japan, or just personal motivation.
Hi Right now i'm studying the old level 4 kanji in preperation to take the N5 in december. I was wondering if it would be better to learn the kun/on readings or just to learn the meaning of the kanji. ありがとう ございました
As far as I know, the N5 test expects you to be able to read Japanese using something like 80 - 100 of the most common kanji. I don't think it tests your knowledge of kanji readings. So, in answer to your question, I guess that means that it's better to focus on the meanings.
gaghl641295-san, マイケルsan, kon'nichiwa Like マイケルsan said, N5 expects you already some kanji knowledge. I think they have questions for kanji readings; to choose the right reading for kanji. If so, you might need to know the readings, as well as the meanings.
Please check our N5 preparation lessons and also JLPT website where trial tests are available for all the levels. For instance, this is for N5: http://www.jlpt.jp/samples/n5.html
Thought I'd share what has been very helpful for my learning kanji.
I use flashcards made from 3" x 2.5" index cards (available at office supply stores). I write the kanji on the blank side. On the ruled side I wrote the on-yomi at the top in katakana (with purple ink) and kun-yomi at the bottom in hiragana (with green ink) with the English equivalent in corresponding colors. If the word lended itself to pictures, I'd draw something instead of using English words, such as for kodomo 子供 and yama 山.
Then when studying I made myself really look at the kanji and notice the strokes/patterns and say the pronunciation that I was trying to learn OUTLOUD.
I found trying to learn multiple pronunciations at a time to be counterproductive since I could not keep on-yomi and kun-yomi seperate.
Yes, that means learning each pronunciation seperately, but that also means greater familiarity with the kanji. For this I'd say the new pronunciation OUTLOUD several times until it sunk in, then say the new pronunciation followed by the previous pronunciation.
I have about 10-15 kanji flashcards at a time -- five are almost memorized, five are famiiar, and five are new. Every couple of days I look through my pile of memorized kanji to refresh them. Using staggared interval for review during the day and then skipping a day before reviewing freshly memorized kanji really helped move it into longterm memory.
I like JapanesePod101's flashcard tool, but the index cards let me study whenever I have a chance, no internet or computer required. My understand and recall of learned kanji and memorization of new kanji signifigantly increased using this method.
(this method touches on auditory, tactile/kinesthetic, visual, and image learning styles)
Thank you for sharing your study method! That sounds very systematic and effective Customised flashcard is a very good method and saying the words out loud is always better for memorising (and getting used to them)!
You really need to know the readings for the JLPT tests. The tests are all in Japanese, so they can't really ask you for a meaning (as you'd write that in English). So the test questions will show you a word made of kanji and you'll have to choose from a list of 4 choices, written in hiragana, which is the correct reading. Hence if you learn the kanji 読, then you might get asked:
- what is the reading for 読む? In that case, you'd answer よむ。 - what is the reading for 読書? In that case, you'd answer どくしょ
What you will not get though is a question that says "what is the meaning for 読", (to read). You will also not get asked a question of "what are the potential readings for 読" - in which case you might answer よーむ and ドク。
So you need to know the おんよみ and くんよみ readings for the characters, but not the meanings. Having said that, many people find it useful to know the meanings too.
There'll also be the reverse-type of question: something is written in hiragana and you'll have to choose the correct kanji. So you might get a question like:
- how do you write よむ。In that case, the answer is 読む。
Another point is that the questions will be about words containing the kanji, not about the kanji themselves. Hence I think that as well as learning those readings, you should learn the N5-level words containing those kanji.
As for studying kanji, I think flashcards are useful. I use the "Flashcards Deluxe" app on my iPhone. You have to create the flashcards yourself, but that is part of the learning process in my opinion. Some people will look the good old school paper based flashcards too. I use an app called Skritter a lot too. It's great for learning how to write kanji too. You have to pay a subscription for that, but I think it's worth it.
I've been looking for ways to practice kanji for ages now. But really I just realized I been overlooking ways to practice and no actual doing practice(if that makes sense).
Flashcards would be the best thing. so look into anki flashcards or use the japanesepod101 flashcard tool. However for me, I use the flashcard tool for vocab but i don't know to create a deck just for kanji learning though. Atm, I've been favouring an app called "Obenkyo" on my phone. It has multichoice flashcards for vocab,kanji and grammar particles.
But another way I'm thinking of trying. is doing the old school method. Write kanji out on paper one by one with the readings on paper. but write the kanji 5-10 times. Sounds abit time consuming. But I remember back in seceondaty When I had detention I had to write the same words over and over again. Haha silly me.
Just try one thing after another. If it works, stick to it. If it doesn't and you think it doesn't work for you, next method. Every method works. It's just consistentcy.
I'm gonna experiment now. For now I'll do the writing method. See how far I go.
Hope this helps. Everyone else that posted on here has better methods I reckon. Ernie
Ernie-san, kon'nichiwa! Thank you for sharing your opinion!
chonnyfonny696924 wrote:But another way I'm thinking of trying. is doing the old school method. Write kanji out on paper one by one with the readings on paper. but write the kanji 5-10 times. Sounds abit time consuming. But I remember back in seceondaty When I had detention I had to write the same words over and over again. Haha silly me.
Lovely. This "old school method" is actually what I need to do too (if I want to remember some words in other languages). I remember I've done that a lot, and now too, I've been trying this method. This could be an old way, but this does work better than other fancy ways (proven fact).