These Kanji Flashcards are pretty neat

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The most intimidating part about Japanese are the Kanji. Let’s just say that as a fact. At least for every non Asian learner. When I just started learning ひらがな and カタカナ I thought that if I mastered all Joyo-Kanji I could at least read Japanese without any problems. I had to notice the hard way that this wasn’t quite correct. First thing I did, went out an bought these Kanji flashcards. Used them or rather tried to use them for quite a while. But just had no good way of memorizing the complex characters. Browsing the internet I found out about Heisig and his method to remember the Kanji and got instantly hooked. Never looked at my White Rabbit flashcards again and was instead cramming my Anki decks hard. Heisig was the man. Maybe a year or so later a friend of mine told me of WaniKani and their website. I didn’t like it at first and thought of it as just a rip-off of Heisig’s method. Which it is. But using mnemonics to memorize something is not only based on Heisig as well. Regardless I continued with Heisig, learned about 1500 Kanji meanings and could differentiate them but still haven’t learned one single reading. That sucked.

I haven’t had the feeling of making any real progress. Sure, I learned more kanji meanings each day but couldn’t use my new knowledge because you learn the readings with the second book of Heisig. In retrospective I just should’ve went ahead, bought the second book as well and study both simultaneously. Of course, I haven’t done that and started with WaniKani instead.

Today I would say that sticking with Heisig would’ve been the most efficient thing to do at that time. But learning with WaniKani you don’t have to make the little stories yourself to memorize each kanji. the learning process seemed streamlined to me and I liked the fact that you’d learn some vocabulary with it as well. But the words you learn are not that useful. After starting with iKnow I definitely realized that. I’m currently in the middle of core 2000 and even if I already knew a lot of the words my comprehension still benefited a lot from just hearing every sentence out loud.

I recently started to pull out my flashcards from White Rabbit Japan again to use them alongside iKnow. I already know nearly all these Kanji but it’s a great way to refresh your memory and check in which words they are used. On the back side of each card are the different readings, basic Kanji meaning and translations of the vocabulary the Kanji is used in.

It’s really great to be able to touch each card and have something physical in your hand. The list of words the Kanji is used in is also pretty neat. Really helps get the different meanings of Kanji and understand who it can be used. If you have absolutely no knowledge about Kanji and the different recurring parts they’re build of I would suggest doing a little bit of Heisig/WaniKani first before attempting to learn with these flashcards. It really makes things a lot more easy.

But if you already have learned quite a bunch of Kanji and just want to refresh your memory here and there or you want to polish up on your weak spots, these cards can be really useful.

  • Buy the Japananese Kanji Flashcards directly from WhiteRabbitJapan
    If you use this link for your purchase I’ll get a small referral fee (at no extra cost to you) which will help to support the site and buy more awesome stuff for review. Thanks!

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How are you learning the Kanji? Heisig, WaniKani or maybe the hardcore method of writing each and every single one a couple of time (which is an understatement).

  • Buy the Japananese Kanji Flashcards directly from WhiteRabbitJapan
    If you use this link for your purchase I’ll get a small referral fee (at no extra cost to you) which will help to support the site and buy more awesome stuff for review. Thanks!
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  • S S

    Hi! For Kanji learning I`ve chosen Asahi Kanji app. This way is more convinient than paper cards. For the present time the app can even show writing order of a kanji and OCR them.

    • Neat little App. I was never interested in learning to write the Kanji though.
      With these cards I especially like that I have something physical in my hands.

  • Hannes

    Tachle,

    I own all of these flashcards, but I can’t say this method of learning works for me. I learned best by far from Heisig and repeat N2-N5 kanjis in Memrise. But at the moment I concentrate on learning vocab, since this seems to be the most rewarding thing to do (even though the thing I hate most :)). By learning vocab I also learn the readings of the appearing kanji and I look up kanjis I haven’t known. I probably should learn kanji more, since I intend on taking the N2 in december (in Stuttgart, back to our beautiful “Ländle” ;)), but I can’t motivate myself at the moment to do that.

    Viele Grüße nach Freiburg

    • Oh nice. JLPT N2 sure is a great achievement. Good luck with that. I definitely feel you. For Kanji learning if you have no foundation these cards are not the way to go. But especially when learning solely vocab (using iKnow for this atm) I found these cards to be a great way to refresh my memory.

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