The Kanji Code by Natalie Hamilton

The Kanji Code: See the Sounds with Phonetic Components and Visual Patterns by Natalie Hamilton
Requirements: .ePUB reader, 3.3 MB
Overview: Intermediate students of Japanese are well aware of the term ‘ON reading’ and know that memorising kanji readings is one of the biggest hurdles when learning to read Japanese. This handbook provides a wealth of information to help you tackle this difficult aspect of kanji study.

So many Japanese resources mention phonetic components in passing, only offering one or two examples. It is very hard to find a definitive list of the phonetic components, as opposed to radicals which can be found in most kanji dictionaries and in multiple online resources. The Kanji Code provides that list, introducing 150 phonetic components to help you learn the ON readings of 450+ common kanji characters. The book can be used as a textbook and studied from start to finish, but it is particularly helpful as a handy reference guide, used in tandem with standard kanji textbooks.

It provides useful background information to give you a deeper understanding of the history of kanji and the roles of the different components. It includes an easy-to-understand explanation of the keisei moji (形成文字) or form-sound kanji. In addition to the phonetic components, it introduces two innovative mnemonic methods for learning kanji ON readings.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Educational

The first method is association with hiragana and katakana, which were originally based on kanji characters. The second method involves applying art theory to group similar-looking kanji. Graphics show the visual connections. The research chapter will appeal to linguistics students and Japanese teachers, while those looking for more practical tips can skip to Chapter 1, since the bulk of the book contains practical reference materials.

It will be of most use to intermediate learners who have already mastered around 300 kanji or passed N3 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. It will also appeal to visual learners and those who like to take a creative approach to learning. Compact and easy to carry, it is an essential companion handbook for serious kanji students.

"Refreshingly different. Well worth reading, and the sort of book I wish I’d had 35 years ago." — Jim Breen, Founder WWWJDIC and Adjunct Snr Research Fellow, Japanese Studies Centre, Monash University

"An invaluable resource that explains very well the relationship between kanji and kana, kanji and phonetic code, and kanji and visual code. I will be recommending it to my students." — Dr Etsuko Toyoda, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne

"5 stars. An absolutely brilliant textbook! If you’re serious about learning Japanese or if you’re planning to live in Japan you need to read this book and integrate its principles into your studies." — Renae Lucas-Hall, Amazon Japan best-selling author of Tokyo Tales.

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