K漢nj字 Le学rn習ng [Kanji Learning]

Learning the Meanings of the St常ndard-Us用ge Kanji


Kanji can be tricky to learn, which is why we’re making this newsletter.

Style of this Digest

We will feature one or more kanji a month with images of etymological origins and some sample sentences. The sample sentences will feature Kanji in English Context, a method invented specifically for Japanese Complete to help newcomers assimilate Japanese Kanji in record time.

For example, the heading 「K漢nj字 Le学rn習ng」 reads “Kanji Learning” and in Japanese reads as 漢字学習 (かんじ・がくしゅう) [kanji-gaku-shuu].

Is it p可ss能ble to le学rn kanji qu早ckly and eff効ct果vely this w道y?

We bel想eve that it is.

What are Kanji?

Starting around the 5th century, Kanji were imported to Japan lock-stock-and-barrel from Mainland Asia. There are four types of kanji, namely:

  1. Pictographs (3-4%)

  2. Indicators (1%)

  3. Combographs (5-6%)

  4. Meaning-and-Sound-Borrowers (90%)
    also called Shape-and-Sound-Borrowers.

Kanji are used to mask different “letters” (kana of the Hiragana and Katakana) to provide glyphic value, sense, and meaningful context. Without kanji, written Japanese would be reduced to a phonetic script with far too many homonyms to be comprehensible. Kanji are, as a matter of fact, an engrained part of Japanese.

[Four Types of Kanji image © Japanese Complete]

One New Kanji per Issue

In this newsletter, we will feature one kanji per issue, go over its etymological origins when helpful in remembering its meaning, and explore its variety of meanings and senses through Kanji in English Context, originally devised as a learning tool for the Japanese Complete rapid fluency acquisition curriculum.

We hope you will join us on this excellent learning adventure, as we aim to bridge the gap between two cultures through a clever and delightful mid-air collision of languages.