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Recognizing vs Recalling Symbols

Hi everyone!

Recently, I came across Japanese being released on Duolingo, and I was thrilled to try it! I've been studying for 4 days now and learned a few skills.

My biggest frustration for now is that I am gradually learning to recognize hiragana, katakana and even first kanji symbols, but I experience trouble recalling them in my memory. E.g., when I see Japanese symbols, I can tell where "ka" is, but if you ask me to write it or even imagine the glyph, I'll fail. Of course, this is even more frustrating with kanji.

How do you cope with this? Do you practice writing outside Duolingo?

June 7, 2017



That's called writing memory, just write it tons of times on paper until you stop making mistakes. That's what everyone does.


I actually began doing this for hiragana and katakana, but I'm more frustrated with kanji. Should I search somehow for every new kanji introduced on Duolingo so that I can learn the right stroke order? Or should I try some altogether separate resource (books, sites, etc.) to practice kanji in some official order?


Honestly, this is a growing problem even with Japanese natives. Most of them still know how to write just fine, but some of them are only able to recognize most kanji, due to computers making it easy to write them (they don't have to put as much effort in creating the kanji as they had to before).

Writing them a lot would definitely help.


This video definitely shows some native speaker writing fails: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJNxPRBvRQg


I like the Kanji Study app. It's partially free and has no ads. It's enough for you to decide if you want to use it. It has practice writing on the screen. You write with your finger. It doesn't have stroke order for kana, but it does have it for kanji. I haven't used it too much at this point. I learned the kana in school years ago and I can still write most of them. Do the read mores if you decide to use it. They help a lot.


I adore this app! The version I have does have the option to both view and test yourself on the stroke order for kana, which is a hair glitchy, but still a huge help. I've been using the kana quiz daily and have noticed a significant improvement in my recollection ability and speed. It's definitely worth a free download to test out the quiz for anyone who, like me, feels they were a little slow to pick up the hiragana!


I learned how to write kana just before starting Japanese Duolingo. There are a couple good books for this that show stroke order.



There are really good Katakana and hiragana decks on Tinycards. I started them, but I thought that they were probably better used as a supplement to DuoLingo. (I'm on the web, so I can't learn Japanese yet) :'(


The 2 things that helped me the most with hiragana and katakana were an app called Kana Mind that uses spaced repetition to help you remember and even more so just writing them over and over. I got a small white board and wrote one over and over. Then I'd look at the chart and find another one I couldn't remember and write that one over and over. That's called Rote Memorization. Just be sure you know the correct stroke order or you'll be learning to write them wrong.


Forgive my ignorance. I understand that stroke order is helpful for kanji, as it makes the etymology clearer, thereby making things easier to remember. But what would be the concrete impact of having it wrong for the kana?

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