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Sangetsu (Offline)
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01-09-2017, 11:50 PM

It does seem difficult, but if you look at the larger kanji closely, you will see that they are often made up of 2, 3, or more other kanji stuck together. Though there are thousands of kanji, there are not so many basic parts to each character, and knowing what each part means can help you understand or pronounce the entire character.

like the character for "person" 人 and the character for "tree" 木, you can put them together to make a new kanji 休, which is the first part of the very "yasumi", or holiday. The character on the left is the 人 character, shortened a little bit to make it fit into the larger kanji character. Then there is 木、林、and 森。The first characters is "ki" or tree, the second is "hayashi" or woods, the last is "mori", or forest. All three use the same basic character.

The smaller characters are called "radicals", though there is nothing radical about them. Every large kanji is made up of simpler kanji, most of the simple kanji will be the ones beginners learn. The stroke order for kanji is left to right, and top to bottom, and to get the kanji to look right, you must use the correct order. This comes naturally once you have learned a few hundred characters.

For whatever reason, when I was learning Japanese, I had an easier time with kanji and kana than I did with grammar and speaking. But I think this was because I was able to figure out the arrangement and composition of the characters.
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