How to use Free Software to learn Japanese, and more.

Learning Kanji

May 25, 2021 — Tatsumoto

Unlike kana which you can learn in a matter of few days no matter what method you pick, learning kanji is apparently more difficult, and there are many methods of doing it.

To pick the right method you have to understand why you want to learn kanji in the first place. The "practice how you play" principle applies here as well. Kanji do not exist in a vacuum, instead they're used to writing Japanese words, so in order to "learn" them all you need to do is learn words. To learn a word means to memorize how it's read and what it means. Over time as you keep learning words you unconsciously get better at recognizing the kanji.

We advise against learning kanji readings in isolation. Very often a kanji character has a number of completely different readings. Not only learning all of them is an enormous task, but it's impossible to apply the knowledge to real native content when reading.


AJT Kanji Transition deck

February 25, 2021 — Tatsumoto

The most important part of learning Japanese with the AJATT method is to enjoy native content and be able to grow your understanding of the language entirely through immersion by picking up new words from the media you read, watch or listen to. To transition towards learning directly from Japanese media, first you need to level up your comprehension.

Ajatt-Tools Kanji Transition deck is an Anki Deck for newcomers to Japanese based on the JP1K method. If you want to learn the theory behind this deck, please read this article.

The deck is designed to teach how to recognize Kanji along with the most common 1000 words used in everyday conversations. Once you finish this deck, you should be able to understand enough Japanese to start learning directly from your immersion.

Prior knowledge of kana is required but there is no need to do any isolated kanji study.

If you have already learned basic vocabulary through a premade deck like Core or Tango and know more than 1000 words or have gone through isolated kanji study with a book like RTK, you are unlikely to benefit from the deck. However, if your vocabulary is below 1000 words, I recommend that you give the Kanji Transition deck a try.

The vocabulary used in the deck was taken from Ankidrone Starter Pack and consists of words commonly used in everyday life in Japan. Each sentence in the deck tries to introduce only one unknown word or structure. Each word along with each sentence has native audio and an English translation.

We have prepared two versions of the deck. One for people who prefer TSC card format and another for people who like WCC more.