Friday, February 18, 2011

Latest project: learn Kanji

Learning Japanese is a goal that many people have set before me. I have to be honest and mention that I am not a very serious student, but I enjoy practicing the kanji and expanding my vocabulary. The language is very interesting and it intrigues me.

Tools that I use

Other online resources include NihongoUp, and Smart.FM to train my vocabulary(**).

(*) Mnemosyne is easy to install under Debian-based Linuxes: sudo apt-get install mnemosyne (30MB) and off you go!

(**) On January 27, 2011, Cerego Japan, Inc. announced the planned closure of the free service for March 31, 2011. The service would be replaced with a paid subscription-based language learning site, iKnow! [1, 2]

This is extremely regrettable as the open community from was extremely stimulating and helpful for learning any new language (or other subjects). Edit: I am now trying Livemocha


  1. If some of the Kanji look like a square (囗) in Mnemosyne, you should change the Q&A font to WenQuanYi Zen Hei.

    Go to "Settings", "Configure Mnemosyne" and click on "Set Q/A font" where you can scroll down to WenQuanYi Zen Hei.

    If that doesn't help, you can install the Cyberbit-font:
    download cyberbit.tff (font).

    Fire up a terminal and give the following commands:
    unzip Cyberbit.ZIP
    sudo cp Cyberbit.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype
    cd /usr/share/fonts/truetype
    sudo chown root:root *.ttf
    sudo mkfontscale
    sudo mkfontdir
    sudo fc-cache -fv
    sudo xset fp rehash

    Sources: 1, 2. 3

  2. In case you don t know all the kanji yet by watching the 10minutes-video, I d suggest this method:, you can download part of the book: For me it s the only method that works.

  3. Hello Susanne,

    Thank you so much for the useful links!

    Let me make them clickable for you, Remembering the Kanji:
    * Wikipedia
    * Downloadable PDF sample


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