I’m sorry if this is a stupid question, but I’m new to the sub. Has anyone used this booklet before? Is it effective? I’m currently using memrise. I was thinking of waiting till after Kanji to do Kana but I was thinking it . On the back cover of one of Heisig’s Remembering the Kana books it. James W. Heisig – Remembering the Kana – Part 1 – Hiragana LINKED – Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.

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Remembering the Kana

There’s a good chance that you’re in the minority by learning Kanji first and then moving on to Kana. For most, it’s the other way around. While you said you just ordered the book on Amazon, if you can still cancel, I’d go with that. Truth be told, if you’ve made it as far as you have in RTK without getting frustrated, then I’d definitely say you could learn both Hiragana and Katakana over the course of a single weekend.

There are plenty of free resources out there as well. When I first started, I used the one here: You can learn kana for free. Use this as a supplement. The mnemonics helped for me cuz I can sorta place a story to each of them. Advertising Register to hide. It feels kind of surreal. But then that is exactly what Heisig-sensei recommends, isn’t it?

I’d agree with Raulsen-san here. Kana really aren’t a big thing and there are a ton of free worksheets and things online. Though maybe Heisig-sensei has some good mnemonics, and if you want a bit of help memorizing them, why not go for it.

Remembering the Kana

In my experience no two people seem to like the same kana mnemonics, and mnenonic books for kana tend to fall by the wayside.

But I don’t know Heisig-sensei’s kana books at all. If you don’t like those remebering I listed, Tofugu made their own as well. Like read sing along as the song plays. If there hiesig kanji, that is what Rikaisama is for. Just took a look at the Tofugu hiragana page. I thought it was my own discovery!

Lucky I didn’t try to kaba it! There are only a few confusables, but it really makes life easier. Actually, even though I am a bit notorious for saying you don’t necessarily need to write kanjiI did learn kana in conjunction with writing them and, unlike Koichi-san whom I respect I do think it is a good idea to do so. And with that skill in hand, you will be ready to face the study of the kanji with full confidence.

I haven’t seen the kana rememberjng so I wasn’t aware of this. So it seems, as you say, that Heisig-sensei is recommending learning the kana first.

The question that immediately arises in my mind is: I always recommend starting to use the kana immediately after learning them. But once you have them, use them. Now admittedly this is in line with my whole philosophy of learning Japanese by using itbut remembeeing if one wasn’t using our overall approach I would strongly recommend this. The best way to consolidate hfisig is use them. The best way to forget them is hdisig to use them. So why exactly would one learn the kana remeembering then spend the next several moths learning or however many kanji without a single readingthus having no use at all for the kana one has just learned.


To my unpractised eye and I admit I have never tried the Heisig method so I may be missing something hereit seems that, however surreal it may seem, if you are going to learn the kanji before starting Japanese, then Dudeist-san’s approach is in fact the rational one. Surely it makes more sense to learn the kana at the point when you are going to start actually using them.

Kana are syllabaries, strictly speaking they have nothing to do with readings. Heisig addresses in RTK’s preface why readings shouldn’t be learned at the same time as kanji. It’s also possible to maintain kana without using them in context. It’d make sense to me to start studying the Kana and practice reading and writing simple words and sentences now, so that when you finish RTK, the Kana will be in your long term memory. While I think it does make some sense to learn kana first so you can use it immediately and all the things cure dolly said I don’t think it makes much difference one way or the other.

Dudeist seems to be going at a pretty good clip and will be done with RTK in a few months. It seems like he’s front loading Reme,bering, so he won’t be reading heisug in kanji or kana until he’s done learning both. I think that’s a reasonable approach and if there’s a reason for remwmbering it another way, the effect will be small. Regarding OP’s exact question, I remenbering believe there is much practical difference learning kana first, last or in parallel.

The only problem I see is that he could occasionally have some confusion between kanji and kana while learning them in parallel. It’s pretty easy to tell them apart, so even if there is some confusion I believe the effect would be small. I’m talking about a split second indecision wether a character should be understood phonetically or pictographically. But I can conceive the possibility that this could create some friction. I would caution against learning katakana and hiragana in parallel to each other however as they are easy to get confused with each other.

When I say confusion, I’m speaking specifically about deciding if a character is katakana or hiragana, although there are a few katakana that look similar to hiragana characters but make a different sound. It’s inevitable that there will be some confusion between them, but learning them in parallel is sure to exacerbate the situation. No, there are no issues, at all, whatsoever, considering learning to read and recognize the kana can be done in a weekend, up to a week. Writing it from memory takes longer.

But just being able to read is incredibly useful. I learnt the kana before RTK and it was incredibly useful.

If I looked up kanji in a dictionary, I could read the pronunciation. Remembfring could also start searching by pronunciation in eg. I felt like I was a wizard, and already somewhat familiar with Japanese even before I could formulate a sentence. Makes no sense whatsoever to postpone the kana if you are going to learn Japanese. In fact it makes no sense whatsoever to postpone all Japanese study for after you finished RTK. And so if you are not learning the kana already, why are you even studying Japanese?

Don’t you want to read at least something? Play some Japanese games and make out a bunch of imported words? Go to Japan and read the whole Mc Donalds menu? Learn kana, both hiragana and katakana. At the very least make or buy flashcard sets for the kana, and practice them throughout the day don’t waste time with Anki for the kana seriously, I myself just spend quality time with pencil and paper and got the gist of it in a weekend and I’m far from a genius. Plus, if you already started RTK and ehisig the value of mnemonics, you’lll probably want to make heieig few.


The book has already been sent along with a copy of English Grammar for students of Ermembering. All RTK and no anything else make a Dudeist go something something. So too late for that. I’ll have a look at the links though.

I slightly considered doing Kana first heisg as others have pointed out, it doesn’t hejsig too long so might as well put it closer to when I am ready to use it rather than learn it up front and sit on it for a few months.

Also the first 12 chapters of Kanji are available as a free sample so I was able to try before I buy, I’ve failed so often at language in the past, I didn’t want to spend any money still I had some evidence I could stick to it and do it. I write everything down even with reviewing mature cards with the Anki. Yeisig find there is great value with actually trying to recall something vs kan writing stuff down over and over.

Japanese Journey

I’d assume the remejbering would apply for Kana. As for making sense or no sence. I don’t consider myself to be studying Japanese. I tell people that I am simply learning rememberingg write Kanji with seemingly random English words attached and that is it. The way I see it, it is like spending the summer lifting weights and jogging before hockey season.

You are not doing hockey but doing so heisif put you miles ahead of those who spent their summers fishing and playing golf as was the NHL style before heiaig 60’s. Based on recent studies it seems that doing multiple sports over the year results in better players than the one sport wonders at least for kids. Not that this point applies here. Much of the advice I’ve read about RTK is that you “waste” a few hundred hours up front but it really pays off in the future.

Much like those Chinese people who don’t have those WTF moments because they are used to dealing with the Hanzi and have a much easier time of it then us Anglos. If you look at the JLPT wiki page, there is a significant time difference between what people who know a character based language need vs the rest of us.

At least part of that I’d guess rekembering that they are used to dealing with characters. Also the order of RTK builds up from a base, I’d assume Kanji in textbooks are present in order of word usefulness regardless of complexity. It would seem to make no sense to even bother with RTK if you heeisig just going to dive into Japanese.

I have nothing to read. Probably the only person here it seems who has no interest in Anime or Manga. Nowhere near going to Japan and by the time I do I should be far beyond kana. I don’t know a single Japanese person. If it wasn’t for tones I’d be doing Chinese, if it wasn’t for sizable numbers of letters that in English sound just alike and a script which is both complex and lacks memory games to help I’d be doing Hindi.

So waiting a few months to start learning Japanese isn’t a huge thing for me.