Just finished this and I'm already level 4, although I'm still not completely comfortable with the characters. Anyone else having to practice more than usual with this alphabet? And is anyone else actually writing it out?
Just for the record: I am not.
I feel there is enough going on with Japanese without me spending extra time on handwriting.
I have, however, mastered the Kana keyboard (really easy to install on iOS), and I can more or less touchtype on it. That's helpful for working on flashcards going from English to Japanese.
It's definitely best to write them out over and over again, until it's burned into your memory permanently. I did this when I was little, and no matter how many years I go without using Japanese, I always remember how to read and write hiragana/katakana as easily as I do English.
Not as many as I should. I "learned" up to the first 800 kanji that are taught in schools by the time I was 12, but I forgot nearly all of them, so I guess I didn't really learn them (just for perspective, by the time Japanese students finish 6th grade, they've learned 1006 individual kanji). Now, I only know the 1st and 2nd grade kanji, and maybe a few from grades 3-6 , so I would say around 280-300 individual kanji, however there are a bunch of compound kanji that I don't know using those characters, so I really don't know that much. There are quite a few people on here that know way more than I do. I can no longer read a newspaper to save my life. But it's something I've started working towards again.