Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Tips for studying with our videos

Learn Kanji videos include multiple pieces of information. This guide will help explain them so that you can use them for your study. :)

Video titles
Multiple Kanji Examples
Hiragana and Katakana
Red and White Text
English Translations
Abbreviations in English Translations
3 Caveats for English Translations

Video Titles
Titles show the kanji that the video lecture focuses on, the reading of the kanji in hiragana or katakana, one or more English translation of the kanji, and the number of variations that the video will introduce.

If the kanji that the lecture focuses on doesn’t make sense without other kanji, you’ll see --- in the place of the English translation. This means that there really isn’t an English translation for the kanji on its own.

Multiple Kanji Examples
Most kanji can be read multiple ways.
In Learn Kanji videos, we focus on one kanji and give examples of each different way of reading the kanji. We don’t normally include advanced or special readings. If there are multiple important words that can be read the same way, we may introduce them as well.
The examples are ordered easy to advanced if possible.

Hiragana and Katakana
There are two categories of kanji readings: onyomi (音読み), which is the Chinese reading, and kunyomi (訓読み), which is the Japanese reading.

Chinese readings are written in katakana.
Japanese readings are written in hiragana. 

This is a format commonly used in Japanese kanji dictionaries, drills, etc for Chinese and Japanese readings.
(*In general usage like manga, picture books, or textbooks, etc, hiragana is attached to kanji as furigana (振り仮名). Furigana are phonetic symbols written above some kanji so it is different from onyomi and kunyomi.)

Red and White Text
The red font highlights the pronunciation of kanji that the video is focused on.
The white font highlights the pronunciation of other kanji or okurigana (送り仮名), which is the part of word written in kana.

We put romaji (and hiragana, katakana) in video to help you understand how to read the kanji. They will also help you type the kanji in Japanese using an alphabetical keyboard.

English Translations
We try to introduce translations that are easy to understand and as close to the Japanese meaning of the kanji as possible.

Meaning of abbreviations in English translations
We sometimes include abbreviations in the English translations to clarify the type of word:

(n) - noun
(v) - verb
(adj) - adjective
(adv) - adverb
(prep) - preposition

3 Caveats for English Translations
Some kanji have multiple meanings even though they have the same the character and are read the same way.
For example, when 一時 is pronounced “ichiji”, the meaning can be “one o'clock,” “short period of time,” or “some time ago,” etc

Some kanji can be pronounced multiple ways even though the meaning is the same.
For example, 一時 can be read ichiji, isshi, ittoki, and hitotoki. These words all sound different but mean the same thing, like “short period of time”, “some time ago,” etc. 

Some kanji can’t always be used for all of the same English words. 
For example, 四日 represents only the fourth day of the month, not the fourth item in a sequence.

To make things easier to understand, we plan to post details of each kanji in the Learn Kanji website!

If you would like to learn more about kanji seriously or deeply, the website will help your study. :)