This tutorial was last updated on 25/12/17.
Warning: You shouldn’t yet create any essential entries because I am likely to change some small parts in the database which would require me to delete existing user entries. Anyhow, if you want to try today’s version I am happy to show you how it works. The general flow and design may also change in the future but I’ll keep this post up-to-date.
Started already and want to continue? Here are a few links to jump down to:
So let’s get started 🙂.
Create / Set goal
We start from the the dashboard. Simply go to www.kanji-book.com/login and login with your account. In case you do not have an account yet, go to www.kanji-book.com/sign-up and create one for free.
In the top bar you see the main navigation of Kanji Book. There are 3 main entries:
Please click on the Goals entry and select Vocabulary Sets.
In this view you can your current vocabulary goals. If you just created your account, there will be 3 predefined sets:
- JLPT N5
- JLPT N4
- Simple Set
Let’s click on the link JLPT N5.
You will be taken to JLPT N5’s detail page. Due to the fact that the set is very large, it may take a few seconds to load.
After all entries have loaded, you see each vocabulary’s translations and the corresponding pronunciation. For instance, for the first item 今月 we can see that it means this month and that its reading is こんげつ (read: kongetsu).
Please go back to the previous site by pressing the back button in your browser.
In order to learn this set, you have to enable it. Simply click the the checkbox in the same row as JLPT N5. Next we will learn our first vocabularies or should I say kanji from this set. To do that, please click on Learn in the top menu.
So finally arrived on the main site. You will probably spend 20%-30% of your time here. On the left you see the current learn item. It’s kanji 口 for mouth. On the right you see a text box. There you will enter your mnemonic. A mnemonic is a device that helps you remember a piece of information more efficiently. Mostly they are humorous, physical or intriguing. You can read more about mnemonics here: Mnemonics on Wikipedia.
So let’s come up with a simple mnemonic for 口:
This kanji looks kinda like a mouth. Take for instance this emoji 😮. You could imagine a person making an expression with a squarish mouth.
Enter it into the text box and you will notice that the translation mouth is highlighted on the right hand side. You should try to include most of the meanings in mnemonic. Sometimes there are various synonyms listed as well but it suffices to use only one of them. To continue press the Next button.
Now we are on the mnemonic editor to associate words with single strokes of a kanji. In this case, the association is very trivial and we can connect the words mouth by first clicking on them. They should now be highlighted pinkish.
Next you will select the corresponding strokes of the kanji. Simple click on one of the lines/strokes and you will notice that it will turn pink as well.
Select the stroke on the bottom.
Select the stroke to the left.
To save your selection you have to click the Add button within the right box. The respective selections of the strokes and the words should turn gray to indicate that they have already have been assigned. To undo all your previous association click Clear all and to undo only the not yet saved selection click Clear. Because we are happy with our selection, we will press Next to continue.
We now have arrived at the editor for creating a reading mnemonic. On the left you see the on’yomi and kun’yomi readings. For the kanji 口 they are:
- On’yomi: コウ, ク
- Kun’yomi: くち
If you just started studying japanese and still have problems reading hiragana or katakana, you can click on the on’yomi reading to reveal their romanized counterparts.
The same applies for the kun’yomi readings.
I like to create mnemonics for readings which rhyme with the japanese pronunciation. For instance for 口, I came up with the following mnemonics:
コウincidentially while have your mouth wide open, someone put a くち (read kuchi for cookie) in your mouth. What a nice treat.
Here I tried to include one on’yomi reading and a kun’yomi reading.
In order to save everything, we now have to press Remember.
After clicking on Remember, the next item will be loaded. We got the kanji 目 for eye.
I came up with the following mnemonic:
Look! This person’s pupil has turned completely white. The pupil is part of a peron’s eye. Experience tells us, he is probably blind.
As before, words which are meaning of the kanji 目 will be highlighted on the right side in pink. To continue press the button Next.
We arrived back at the mnemonic editor.
Let’s connect the pupil with the inner two strokes of the kanji to make the connection clear to other potential user if they wanted to comprehend your mnemonic. It may help you in the future as well, if you want to revisit it. So let’s click on the word pupil.
Let’s select the inner top stroke.
And the one beneath it. To make the selection stick, press Add. The word pupil and the selected strokes should turn gray.
Next, we will highlight the outer boundary of the eye. Click on eye.
Select the line to the right.
Select the line to the left.
Select the line on the bottom.
Make sure to press Add now. Because we selected all strokes, the kanji has turned gray completely. Looking to the right, we see that the two parts pupil and eye are gray as well. To continue, please press Next again.
We are back the mneomnic editor for the readings. The kanji 目 has the following readings:
- On’yomi: モク, ボク
- Kun’yomi: め, ま-
Clicking on the on’yomi readings will reveal the romanized readings.
The same works for the kun’yomi.
I came up with the following menmonic:
You know what also looks kind of like an eye? The hiragana character for: め. It seems to モク(read mock) his bigger brother め.
To save the mnemonic for the translations, the associations and the mnemonic for the readings, click on Remember.
After you have learned a few kanji or vocabulary items, they will be queued for review. This happens just a few minutes after learning them (righ now about 5 minutes).
We are back on the Dashboard. To check if there are any reviews, please click on Review in the top menu.
Reviews are queued randomly. We are asked for one of the readings of 口.
So let’s enter コウ in katakana to enter the on’yomi reading.
Pressing on check, we will be notified by a green border that our answer was correct. If we had entered こう in hiragana, the answer would have been wrong. To continues, click Next.
Now we are asked for one of the possible translations for 口. That’s an easy one because the kanji looks like an open mouth.
So let’s enter mouth and click on Check.
As expected, our answer is correct. In order to continue reviewing, please click on Next.
Now we are greeted by the kanji 目 which we just learned. We are asked for one of the readings again.
So let’s enter モコ because as we remember the kun’yomi reading easily because of it’s similarity to め. Therefore we want to verify if we remembered the on’yomi reading correctly.
Unfortuntely we were wrong. Below we see the correct writing should have be モク instead of モコ. Let’s continue by pressing Next.
What’s left is the translation for 目 which we are asked for here.
Easy, that’s eye. Correct!
やった! We made it. Now you know how to use Kanji Book. Happy learning 🙂. Incorrect reviews will be queue sooner than before and correct answer will be queue for review at a bigger interval. Make sure to check for reviews everyday 😉.