Decoding Kanji. Are You a Kanji Decipherer?
Reading Kanji would be a tedious process for almost every foreign learners who doesn't have Kanji background unlike Chinese and Koreans. Also it tends to be the root cause for the reason why a Japanese learner quits learning Japanese. It obviously had and still has a major impact on my language learning endeavour. Here in this article let's take a look at the ways to enhance your kanji reading ability.
Profoundness in Kanji is inevitable for those who are in need to take the Japanese Proficiency tests to justify their proficiency.
REASON FOR FEELING DOWN AND RESOLUTION:
The first reason that makes you to feel down is your craving to grow rapidly. Fluency in Japanese can't be attained in a week or month. It's a slow process and also based on your exposure to the language. You need to have a diverging view over it. I did have the same kind of desire to have a rapid growth which incurred me the same thought of quitting. Firstly, one has to evaluate one's own level and try to read materials that match their level. Be it an article, magazine or a manga, make sure it suits your reading level. If you are a beginner, you can go with books that has only kanas (hiragana and katakana) and also kanjis with furigana.
If one is at intermediate level, they can go with light novels(ライトノベル) and try to increase the quantity step by step. Even if you have cleared N1 it's not that you know all the vocabularies or can read any kanji. Fix targets for the day and try increasing it day by day. For example, try to comprehend a paragraph in the first day. After some days make that into a page and go on. My advice is to go with a Novel in Japanese after reading it in English. I have not read any Novel though. I read only contents that are related to my field of study and articles on world news and technology.
But the practice of reading Novels is only for those who learn Japanese for pleasure and interest. Japanese learners who learn Japanese for getting employment can confine their target to more specific topics related to work or their field of study. When it comes to Language exam, one has to go with the textbooks recommended by language teachers and it's up to the learner whether to go beyond the textbooks. Japanese language tests do not have a specific pattern from which vocabularies or questions can be taken from. It all depends on how hard you have worked so far on the language.
A paragraph may have a lot of unknown kanjis and this is where I usually feel depressed on finding out the meaning on the dictionary frequently. After having a talk with many of my Japanese learning friends, they feel the same. Finding out the kanji on your Electronic dictionary makes you exhaust for sure. Below is the link for an application that reads both vertical and horizontal characters and gives you the meaning if you input the photograph of the page.
STRATEGY TO MEMORIZE KANJI:
The best way to memorize Kanji is using the radical. You do have predefined meanings for certain radicals to better memorize them. If you think it's hard to again memorize those predefined meanings of radicals, you have all the rights to give a meaning to the radical. And it's your world. You can better remember the meanings that you have given to the radicals. This is what I used to do. It really is working for me. The second most important thing that I did is practice writing kanji. Even Japanese children used to practice kanji as Homework throughout their school life. Since people have various reasons to learn Japanese, follow a learning practice that suits your purpose. I don’t have any particular recommendations for learning kanji as any Japanese readings can serve you better to learn kanji.