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Point of interest: The Written Japanese Language

The Written Japanese Language - Considerations For Learning Kanji
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In Japan, the written word is a much more elaborate and visceral art than most people in the west are accustomed to. It's an essential skill for understanding the language. One that requires patience, dedication, and attention to detail. Though it can seem daunting at first glance, you can grow to understand the nuances and underlying principles over time. This unlocks the potential to understand the Japanese language in a fuller and more fluent way, elevating your comprehension of words and phrases beyond their mere sounds. It can be a long and tiresome journey, but the reward is access to a language and form of writing that can open doors into the unique culture of the country.
Of the three most important scripts, kanji is both the oldest and widely used. It was adopted by Japan in the 5th century from China and has been an essential part of the Japanese writing system ever since. It's a good place even for beginners to start, as nearly everything written in Japanese uses kanji in some way. 
 

Things To Consider When Studying Kanji

 

Every Character Has A Unique Meaning

Kanji is a script comprised entirely of ideograms. This means that every character refers to something unique, and is therefore distinct from every other character. There are tens of thousands of different Kanji characters overall, some of which may be combined with others to form more words and ideas.
 

Not Every Word Can Be Written With Kanji

All Japanese nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs can be written with Kanji, but other kinds of words cannot. Therefore, one cannot write fluently in Japanese with Kanji alone. Both the Hiragana and Katakana scripts are needed to complete most sentences and phrases. Kanji will give you a basic grasp of most places, things, and ideas in Japanese, but you will need to learn the other scripts as well to fully master the language.
 

Years Of Study & Practice Are Required

With so many distinct characters, it takes considerable practice and patience to write Kanji fluently. You will likely not remember every character and its meaning you learn, and so you will need to relearn many of them as your study progresses. Don't be discouraged, as the more time you spend learning the more you will remember and the more your skill will grow. With time and perseverance, you will definitely become more adept and more accustomed to the Japanese language as a whole.
 

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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.