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Welcome to the Kanshudo blog! The most recent entries are displayed here; click on any headline to read the full post. Older posts are linked from the bottom of the page.
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Japanese name reversal

Posted: 2020-01-04 | Tags: pointsofinterest names
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Alert: as of the 1st January 2020, all Japanese names have changed!
More specifically, the English translations of Japanese names are now officially written in the same order as the Japanese, with the family name first. So, the official English translation of the name of Japan's current prime minister,
あべ
安倍
しんぞう
晋三
, is now Abe Shinzō . This is the opposite of the conventional order of Western names, so for many years the standard translation has followed the Western convention - Shinzō Abe.
The primary motivation for this change is convenience for Japanese people - why should they be forced to say their names backwards when talking to non-Japanese? In practice, the key question will be how long it takes foreign media to adopt the new convention, since that is how most people develop a sense of the 'right' way to say a Japanese name.
This blog post is based on the Japanese name reversal point of interest. For more points of interest, see the point of interest library.

The Kanshudo 2019 Holiday Sale!

Posted: 2019-12-20 | Tags: sales offers
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Celebrate the end of 2019 by locking in a year of the best online Japanese learning platform available: one year of Kanshudo Pro access for $15.
2020 will be a fantastic year to learn Japanese: Japan will host the Olympics, which will put it on the world's center stage. 2020 is the first full year of the new Reiwa era, following the ascension of Emperor Naruhito in May. And Japanese continues to be one of the world's most interesting languages, offering unparalleled access to one of the world's most unique cultures.
Whether you are looking for a new career opportunity, a fascinating travel experience, or simply to enrich your life, learning Japanese is one of the best investments in yourself you can make.
Become a Kanshudo Pro today and get 12 months of Pro access to the world's most sophisticated online Japanese learning platform Sign me up!
Kanshudo brings an extraordinary range of benefits to supercharge your Japanese studies:
Take the most important step towards mastering the Japanese language: become a Kanshudo Pro! Sign me up!
And here's one more great reason to become a Kanshudo Pro now. Kanshudo pricing has not changed since we were founded nearly five years ago - and in that time the features and content in the system have multiplied tenfold. In early 2020, we will be putting our prices up for new subscribers.
However: existing Kanshudo Pros will continue on current rates! So now is the best possible time to lock in the unbelievable value that Kanshudo Pro brings for anyone serious about learning the Japanese language!
Give me unbeatable value: $15 for a year of Pro access Sign me up!

Introducing Grammar Match

Posted: 2019-12-16 | Tags: games grammar jlpt
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We're thrilled to announce our very first grammar game! As requested by many of you for a long time, Grammar Match makes it possible to learn grammatical constructions directly in the context of example sentences. Grammar Match uses a fun and intuitive game format, similar to our Sentence Complete game, as well as to one of the most common exercise types on the JLPT: choose the correct construction from several similar ones to fit the blank(s) in a sentence.
Kanshudo's huge grammar reference library
The Kanshudo reference library of Japanese grammar now contains nearly 750 articles, which between them include nearly 50,000 words! It is fast becoming one of the most comprehensive resources on the Japanese language available. You can search and bookmark articles, and even study them as flashcards. Our unique Grammar Mastery Wheel helps you visualize your knowledge.
However, until today, the grammar library has been largely 'read only'. There was no way to directly test your knowledge of Japanese grammar in a fun and engaging way.
Introducing Grammar Match
Now there is!
Use Grammar Match to test yourself on what you already know, to identify new constructions at your current study level, as well as to reinforce your knowledge. Grammar Match currently covers around 80 core grammar points - the most important 10-15 for each JLPT level - and we are adding more daily.
Play Grammar Match with over 100,000 example sentences!
One of the best things about Grammar Match is that it draws on a huge array of available material. Gone are the days when you could only quiz yourself on a couple of examples of a construction. To create Grammar Match, we have indexed our entire collection of nearly 160,000 example sentences for grammatical constructions, so as you play Grammar Match, you can work with sentences of almost any difficulty level, and an almost inexhaustible supply of fresh material. The grammar points included so far draw on nearly 115,000 sentences, and that number is also increasing as we include more grammar points.
Earn points and Pro access
And of course you benefit from all the usual Kanshudo features: as you play, you earn study points, which in turn give you coupons for Pro access. Playing Grammar Match will help you increase your Japanese Mastery Level and your Grammar Mastery Score.
Play now!
Click here to play Grammar Match now. You can also find Grammar Match any time from the main PLAY menu in the top right of every page.

Your Japanese Mastery Level vs Your Kanji Mastery Score

Posted: 2019-11-19 | Tags: mastery kanjimastery howto deepdive kanjiwheel
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In this post we're going to dive a little deeper into the relationship between your kanji mastery score and your Japanese mastery level. Long-time users of Kanshudo will be very familiar with the kanji wheel and kanji mastery score - how exactly do they tie up with our new comprehensive Japanese mastery level?
Your kanji wheel and kanji mastery score
The kanji wheel is a visual summary of your progress with all kanji. We divide kanji (and kana) into sets, and visually represent those as rings in a wheel - the hub of the wheel represents kana, and the most frequently occurring and useful kanji are nearer the center.
We shade the rings in the wheel based on our assessment of your knowledge of each kanji individually. We rate your mastery of a specific kanji from 0 (no knowledge) to 4 (fully mastered). Each ring of the wheel shows you how many kanji you have with each score.
Your kanji mastery score then sums up your knowledge of all these kanji by assigning weights to each ring - rings nearer the center are given more weight, because the kanji are more important. A score of 95 means you have fully mastered all 2136 Joyo kanji. (To get to 100, you also need to know kanji outside the Joyo, such as the Jinmeiyo.)
Your Japanese mastery level
Your Japanese mastery level is a number from 1 to 70 which represents your overall Japanese progress - not just kanji, but also vocabulary, grammar, and general experience.
In your dashboard, the graphic at the top represents your progress through your current mastery level. The number in the center is your level - here, 24. Each 'wedge' is shaded to show your progress through that element.
So in this example, the wedge on the left (kanji) is fully shaded - it shows you have completed the kanji requirement for mastery level 24. The top wedge (vocabulary), is about 80% shaded; the right wedge (grammar) is about half shaded; the lower wedge (experience) is about 20% shaded.
So how do my kanji / word / grammar mastery scores relate to my Japanese mastery level?
Each set of ten mastery levels corresponds to one ring in each wheel. So for example, mastery levels 10 to 19 (each of which starts with a '1') corresponds to ring 1 - the first actual ring in each wheel. (In the kanji wheel, the central circle is for kana.)
Mastery levels 20-29 correspond to kanji / words / grammar with usefulness level 2. If your mastery level is 24, you are working on the second ring in each wheel.
The rings show you how many items you need to study, and what your mastery score is for each item. From those numbers we calculate an average - your 'average mastery' for the ring. We require you to reach average mastery of 3 (out of 4) to progress from one ring to the next. In other words, to complete one set of ten mastery levels, we require you to get your average mastery for the kanji / words / grammar in that set to 3.
So to progress from one mastery level to the next, you need to accomplish 10% of that - you need to increase your mastery of kanji / words / grammar by 0.3.
We require you to make progress in all dimensions in parallel. Even if you increase your kanji mastery by more than 0.3, you won't progress to the next mastery level until you also increase your grammar and vocab mastery by 0.3, and accumulate a certain number of study points.

Introducing Japanese Mastery

Posted: 2019-11-06 | Tags: mastery
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We are delighted to formally take the wraps off our comprehensive new approach to learning Japanese, the most exciting update and significant update in Kanshudo's history.
Our new approach brings five significant improvements:
Your Japanese Mastery Level
Your Japanese Mastery Level is a single number from 1 to 70 which represents your progress with Japanese. Kanshudo now tracks your knowledge of kanji and kana, grammar, and vocabulary separately, and presents you with an overall progress assessment as well as your progress in each area individually. Read more about Japanese Mastery Levels.
Dashboard
Your Dashboard is a new central location accessible from anywhere on Kanshudo with a single click, showing your Japanese Mastery Level, your current study session, and other key status information. Visit your Dashboard.
AI Study Recommendations and Study Sessions
Our new AI examines your study history and Japanese Mastery Level, and develops custom study sessions just for you. Study sessions can be as long or short as you like, and you can take them as often as you wish. Each session consists of one or more study tasks which are customized to focus on the knowledge most useful for you to acquire next, as well as on making your study time as effective and fun as possible. View study recommendations on your Dashboard.
Your Japanese Mastery Map
Your Mastery Map is a visual indicator of your progress through the 70 mastery levels, represented as a physical journey through Japan's islands, culture and history. The Mastery Map helps bring your Japanese to life, as well as giving you practical and useful knowledge of life in Japan. Visit your Mastery Map.
New Navigation
We've completely redesigned our navigation system, putting key study tasks in the top menu, and a comprehensive list of key system functions in a new bottom menu. You can access your Dashboard and Study Session from the top of any page, and you can take advantage of a sophisticated new search switcher which will help you find anything on Kanshudo quickly.

OLDER BLOG POSTS
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Change component list
By default the component builder shows the most common components (themselves joyo kanji, or used in at least 3 other joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.



Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
Help with the component builder
For detailed instructions, see the Component builder how to guide.
To find any kanji, first try to identify the components it is made up of.
For any components you recognize, if you know the English meaning or name, start typing it in the text area. Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
Alternatively, count the strokes of the component, and scan the list to find it visually.
Example
To find the kanji :
  • Notice that it is made of several components: 氵 艹 口 夫.
  • 氵 艹 口 all have three strokes, so you could look in the list in the 3 stroke section. 夫 has four strokes.
  • Alternatively, you could start typing 'water' (氵), 'grass' (艹), 'mouth' (口) or 'husband' (夫) in the search area, and the components will be highlighted in yellow.
  • Keep adding components until you can see your kanji in the list of matches that appears near the top.