Author Archives: Micah Cowan

Bang for Your Buck

So, along with thinking of things like Learning Kanji without Kanji, I’ve been thinking of other things related to learning strategic vocabulary sets that make it easier to learn kanji later. I’ve thought often about learning a set of 2,100 … Continue reading

Posted in Pre-Kanji Vocabulary | 1 Comment

Meanings for Ji

So, here’s the first article in my experimental series for Learning Kanji Without Kanji. See that article for an explanation of the motivations and approach. According to the data I collected, the on’yomi (Chinese-origin kanji reading) that occurs most frequently, … Continue reading

Posted in On'yomi Meanings | 4 Comments

Learning Kanji Without Kanji

A credible reason for why learning new kanji is generally a much easier proposition for native Japanese, has been rolling around in my head for a while. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, when a Westerner encounters an unfamiliar kanji character, there’s … Continue reading

Posted in Musings, On'yomi Meanings | Leave a comment

Review: Remembering the Kanji, volume 1, by James W Heisig

So, I recently took the time (about 2½ months) to work my way through volume 1 of Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji. The following is my review, which I also plan to post on Amazon. Bottom Line: It works Okay, so … Continue reading

Posted in Resources | 29 Comments

“Miru” and Friends

In this article, I’m covering some of the readings for the kanji character 「見」. I assume the reader is familiar with the readings for 「見る・見ます」, and try to focus instead on a couple of readings found in compound words. Following … Continue reading

Posted in Homonym Studies | Leave a comment

Towards a System for Learning to Read Japanese

Learning Japanese through reading practice can be very frustrating (probably a familiar theme by now). Instead of simply learning just new vocabulary or new characters, you’re often trying to learn new characters, new radical/sub-component characters that made up the character … Continue reading

Posted in Musings | 3 Comments

Resources That Gave Me A Leg Up In Japanese

As I mentioned before (here and here), learning Japanese can be very frustrating. Here are some resources that I found to be better-than-average at helping me find the next footing. Many of them have unique qualities that made them enormously … Continue reading

Posted in Musings | 3 Comments

Why Learning Japanese Can Be Frustrating, Part Two

This is part two of a series on the frustrations of learning the Japanese language. The foregoing assumes you’ve already read part one (though you should be able to get along without it: it’ll just start somewhat abruptly). Learning Through … Continue reading

Posted in Musings | 6 Comments

Why Learning Japanese Can Be Frustrating

I’ve always been fascinated by the study of foreign languages. This fascination probably sprang from a childhood love of codes and ciphers. The languages I was most fascinated with were those with beautiful and exotic writing systems. If I had … Continue reading

Posted in Musings | 8 Comments