The android application and online app consist of 7 pages. A help page, a page which lists the Radicals along with their definitions and 5 review pages where you can interact with the main application for learning Kanji and the Radicals. The first review page is for leaning the Radicals. The other 4 review pages are based on different Kanji lists which all overlap to some extent. The different lists are provided for reference and to make leaning a bit more interesting! You can plan your lessons by setting the range of Kanjis displayed. For instance 1-79 (LPT Level N5) or 613-979 (LPT Level N4).
Review Mode and the Timer
You can put the app in review mode and test what you have learnt by viewing flash cards. Also, when interacting with the review pages the next Kanji can be displayed either manually or by starting the timer. The timer drop down menu initially displays “timer idle”. You can start the timer by selecting one of the “start n” options. The numbers are in seconds! The timer can be halted by pressing the “stop” button. While the timer is running you can alter the delay or turn “Review Mode” on/off.
The Kanji Radicals play an important part in the learning process so they are described briefly below. If you are just interested in the review pages provided by this app for learning Kanji then please skip this section.
Introduction to Kanji and the Radicals
The word Kanji is the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese word hànzì, which means “Han characters”. Han refers to the Han Dynasty (206BC – 220AD) and is the name given by the Chinese to themselves. Between 5,000 and 10,000 characters, or Kanji, occur in written Japanese. Kanji are built from a small number of component parts called Radicals.
The system of classifying the Kanji by their component parts first began with the Kang-xi dictionary in China and is now widely used in Japan. Virtually all Japanese Kanji characters are either a single radical or made up from two or more. By memorizing Kanji as a combination of parts, rather than as a unique character, one can greatly simplify the learning process. There are 214 Radicals. To get started, you only need to memorize some of the most important ones. You will then be able to figure out the meaning of many more. A list of Kanji Radicals is accessible from the main page.
The 5 Review Pages
Each of the review pages is based on a different Kanji list, all of them compiled for educational purposes. The original list supplied with this application is no longer included because it was incomplete. This list has been replaced by the Heisig Kanji index.
1) Radicals Review
This page helps you learn the 214 Kanji Radicals. The number of stokes is also displayed next to the index.
2) Common Kanji
This page is intended for learning the most commonly occurring 2500 Kanji found in newspapers.
3) Heisig Kanji Index
This is a list of Kanji based on the Heisig index. Kanji whose Radicals appear in many other characters are shown earlier in the list which many would argue facilitates learning and is more effective than just learning the most common Kanji.
4) Jōyō Kanji
The Jōyō Kanji list was released by the Japanese Ministry of Education. The list used by this app contains 2,136 characters and was released in 2010. The Kanji Review page for Jōyō Kanji also displays the associated radical for each character next to its index.
5) JLPT Kanji List
The Japanese Language Proficiency Test, or JLPT, is a series of proficiency tests for non-native speakers. The JLPT has five levels. Level N5 is the most basic and Level N1 the most difficult. The number of Kanji occurring at each level and their indexes in the list used by this app are shown below.
- JLPT Level N5 Kanji (79) indexes: 1 – 79
- JLPT Level N4 Kanji (166) indexes: 80 – 245
- JLPT Level N3 Kanji (367) indexes: 246 – 612
- JLPT Level N2 Kanji (367) indexes: 613 – 979
- JLPT Level N1 Kanji (1232) indexes: 980 – 2211