A new book to learn Japanese kanji through real etymologies

Hi there.

I've been studying kanji for more than 7 years and I've come up with a book to teach kanji through real etymologies, which I think is pretty relevant to this board.

In order to publish the book I've launched a Kickstarter campaign and we are on track but still there is a long way left. Many people have shown very good feedback but the project doesn't get much exposure outside the Kickstarter community, so I'm sharing it with people that may have interest in such a book.

Feel free to check the project page here and see if you like the book and think it's for you!

In case you wonder, I'll sum up what's different compared to other kanji learning books out there:

The foundation of the book is the deep etymological research I've made. The basic (indivisible) compounds used in the Chinese character formation are actually pictograms, and we have access now to those pictograms in their bronze script and oracle-bone script forms. I include this glyph besides each component in order to show the real (original) form and how they suggest a meaning and work in relation to other characters. This way you can depict quite clearly a quite comprehensive system of character formation: you start to naturally learn characters and see the logic behind it. The compound characters are deductible from the components you've learn before (although in each new entry the character is entirely explained through its components one more time). You can see an example of this in the Kickstarter page itself.

In addition to that and related to it, it’s the order in which the characters are learnt. I'll explain with an example:
  • First you learn 145 radicals at once (although they are already grouped by topics)
  • Then the book gets divided in levels of difficulty based on school grades, from level 1 to 6 and then secondary school. Each level is a different chapter.
  • We go with the chapter 1 (level 1). The chapter first gets divided into topics (human world, natural world and man-made world).
  • Lets start with the human world. There we have the first phono-semantic compund: 交 (garde 1), then we have the character 校 (also grade 1), and then the character 効 (grade 5)
  • The characters 絞 and 郊 also share the component 交 but they are of the secondary school level, so they will appear in the level 7 (secondary school grade chapter)
This way you can learn the 2136 joyo kanji in a very efficient and smooth way. I think the book not only makes a good learning system but also a valuable academic resource.

If you are skeptical and think the examples on the page are cherry-picked or don't show the whole system you can ask for any kanji's etymology (within the joyo list) and I'll explain it to you here according with the content of the book. I have not gone further with examples in the page because kanji are teaching gradually and you need to know some components first in order to smoothly learn new kanjis, in any case, in a board like this I have more room to write at length.

I'm also up to any suggestion!

A sample of the book:

[Image: 9f7d7d1e65b87d90e9dc85cf9addc6e2_origina...6265448ff6]
Edited: 2017-03-16, 2:25 am

Messages In This Thread
A new book to learn Japanese kanji through real etymologies - by alexadler - 2017-03-16, 2:22 am