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akaritan

Kanji Readings

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It depends on which aspects of Japanese you want to learn. If your intention is only to be able to read, not listen, then the readings of kanji may not be strictly necessary. However, there are some complications, of course. Some kanji sometimes are written in hiragana under various conditions (or even in katakana, for the sake of emphasis and such), so you might be losing out on some vocabulary that you wouldn't be able to interpret immediately without the use of an electronic dictionary―and that brings up the matter of whether your pursuits involve the continued use of an electronic dictionary, etc. Not to mention that there are generally two readings for kanji, the onyomi and kunyomi, and whether you choose to actively learn one or the other or both also depends on your circumstances.

In short: Not enough info. If you want to learn Japanese in all of its forms, as though you were in a classroom, then the answer is yes, but if your intentions are more specific, then the answer is maybe.

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1 minute ago, Fiddle said:

It depends on which aspects of Japanese you want to learn. If your intention is only to be able to read, not listen, then the readings of kanji may not be strictly necessary. However, there are some complications, of course. Some kanji sometimes are written in hiragana under various conditions (or even in katakana, for the sake of emphasis and such), so you might be losing out on some vocabulary that you wouldn't be able to interpret immediately without the use of an electronic dictionary―and that brings up the matter of whether your pursuits involve the continued use of an electronic dictionary, etc. Not to mention that there are generally two readings for kanji, the onyomi and kunyomi, and whether you choose to actively learn one or the other or both also depends on your circumstances.

In short: Not enough info. If you want to learn Japanese in all of its forms, as though you were in a classroom, then the answer is yes, but if your intentions are more specific, then the answer is maybe.

Right now I'm trying to fast-track my reading, but I'm quite interested in going to Japan one day and I'm in a class, so not learning them would probably just be putting them off...

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1 minute ago, akaritan said:

Right now I'm trying to fast-track my reading, but I'm quite interested in going to Japan one day and I'm in a class, so not learning them would probably just be putting them off...

I agree. Although I don't know the circumstances of your class, I would suggest sticking to whatever structure they use. In any case, if you want to get ahead, I would recommend something immersive like reading a visual novel with a text hooker or whatever, because raw memorization that isn't applied (as it would be in a class) will probably go forgotten unless you dedicate a wasteful amount of effort.

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If you're taking classes, then you should put the effort into it, it'll make your life easier later on.

Even if you weren't, reading Japanese does require you to know, well, the readings. It's useful to know all the profound thoughts of the creature known as non voiced faceless VN protagonist.

I think you should attempt to at least memorize the most commonly used readings if you want to get anything out of Japanese.

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11 minutes ago, Nosebleed said:

If you're taking classes, then you should put the effort into it, it'll make your life easier later on.

Even if you weren't, reading Japanese does require you to know, well, the readings. It's useful to know all the profound thoughts of the creature known as non voiced faceless VN protagonist.

I think you should attempt to at least memorize the most commonly used readings if you want to get anything out of Japanese.

How do I know which ones are the most commonly used? From what I understand, knowing which reading to use in different cases is often guesswork...

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Individual kanji study is generally a complete waste of time unless you're leaning towards production. What you should be doing is simply learning readings through vocabulary. Download Core 2k/6k/10k and do however many new cards a day you have the capacity for. At 40 new cards a day, you'll be done with 6k in 5 months or so, which is around 1700 kanji with multiple readings. Additionally, using the ITHVNR + Firefox and Rikaisama text-hooking method, you can import unknown kanji and vocab into Anki with a single key press. It's also a method which does not spoonfeed you with furigana, parsing and (optional) machine translations.

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learning the readings is a waste of time (imo) because you wont remember them (some kanji have like 7 lol), I don't think there is any logic behind when to use one reading or another and if there is I haven't yet find any book that says so.
For example why some words with 見 start with "み" ,most of them with the meaning "look" or "show" etc so you think there is some kind of pattern or logic but then then you have 見学 for example which is written like けんがく...why why is not みがく... why would you suddenly change it to けん, けん is mostly used when the kanji ends the word like 意見  (いけん) so basically sometimes they use on and other kun, are they native jap words and that's why the use kun..? who knows, but with so many kanji is really hard if not impossible to learn the meanings by themselves, it's already really hard to memorize the kanji and their meanings let alone all their readings... 
Maybe is not a waste of time... but thing is there are some better ways to spend your effort and time when you are learning japanese than learning that.

The best thing you can do now is learn vocabulary (this is really important and it serves a purpose) like Tawm suggested and read read read, you can learn a lot of vocabulary by reading not just with cards.

 

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I learn each reading within a context (sentence or phrase). Makes it easier to remember. Straight rote memorization of every reading of one kanji is just difficult. I get my context through experience or learning books. Imo, learning Japanese is all about exposure. Later on it just becomes 2nd-nature / natural to you.

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