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Do You Feel Learning to Write Kanji By Hand is Still Useful

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One of my friends spent years in Japan and is now taking a Japanese class in the USA.  Evidently, writing Kanji is a very important part of learning the language and academia in America but she never learned in Japan.  Do you think it is necessary that people learn to write Kanji by and nowadays or do you think this is an antiquated custom?

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I don't know if it's useful, but I'd feel really stupid if I wasn't able to write in the language I'm studying. My college teaches handwriting kanji too (well, after all they need to have a way to do kanji tests to see if we remember kanji) and writing kanji is honestly no more difficult than learning the meaning and reading.

I see no reason not to study writing kanji. But is it necessary? I don't know.

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Well, it depends.

With the advent of technology, you can type out kanji using roman letters and there are programs out there which will translate kanji for you.

However, you can't do this on paper. Some publications will include furigana to help you read them, but some of them don't.

I think you can get by without learning kanji, but if you wanted to work for a Japanese company and wanted to be equally considered as native speakers, you would need to learn kanji.

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I don't know if it's useful, but I'd feel really stupid if I wasn't able to write in the language I'm studying. My college teaches handwriting kanji too (well, after all they need to have a way to do kanji tests to see if we remember kanji) and writing kanji is honestly no more difficult than learning the meaning and reading.

I see no reason not to study writing kanji. But is it necessary? I don't know.

Agreed. I see no reason not to learn. I understand handwriting isn't done as often, but I'm sure you'll need to do it in some cases in Japan. If you want the full experience of learning the language, you should become fully literate in it - reading, writing, and speaking.

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Its still useful though, its hard to write. When learning language, one should also learn how to write it.

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I never really thought about it, but I guess you have a point. As long as you can understand and read the character, then is it really necessary to know how to write it? Especially with so many things being typed nowadays, hand-written work is becoming more and more rare.

Personally, I'd still study it. Technology is great, but sometimes they break down. In cases like that, at least I'd still be able to get the job done by hand-writing.

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By the way, recently I've learned that there is an expression "ワープロ馬鹿 " meaning  "someone whose kanji-writing ability has suffered due to overreliance on the kana->kanji conversion systems used to input Japanese text on a computer"... :D Harsh, but I guess it is a problem nowadays.

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Well, according to one of my Japanese students, if they see a person not able to read / write Kanji, it is as if they were children. :) So I guess, you really have to learn reading and writing kanjis :)

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The problem is that my iPhone touch screen jisho app is quite sensitive to stroke order so if you forget which stroke comes first then the system might not recognise the word.

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It is a fact that Kanji are best learned\memorized by writing them down again and again. No other learning method can replace this process. Research has shown several times that handwriting wires the brain for learning. So, to give an answer to the initial question: YES. Handwriting is important when it comes to learning\memorizing\recognizing Kanji.

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I don't know in what other ways learning to hand-write kanji might be useful but I often use it as a way to quickly write down what I'm learning. I'll use paper to do definitions and the old 5X each technique my English and Spanish teacher were always fond of. In that regard, it's helped me out a lot.

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Our elementary Nihongo class has yet to study kanji, but from what I can tell kanji is still an integral part of the Japanese language together with hiragana and katakana.  While technology allows us to simply input the kanji on our iPhone, it would still mean a lot if we could write it manually.

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Disclaimer: I self-study so I don't know if this has any basis in anything; please take with a grain of salt, haha.

I've found writing kanji by hand pretty useful because it greatly helps with memory retention. The act of writing kanji in the correct stroke order makes the actual kanji easier to remember because memorization is needed in the stroke order itself. I've always found that writing kanji over and over again makes it easier to understand other people's handwritten kanji because I get used to the small differences made when a similar looking kanji is written in a different stroke order. Even with simple katakana, it was always so annoying how similar looking ン is with ソ and シ with ツ sometimes even ノ if the handwriting is small/messy enough. But writing it out has helped me and I hardly get confused by them anymore.

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I think it's useful, if not for the preservation of history or even for the art or beauty of the writing, then at least for easier learning because it's much easier to learn the language when you have a firm grasp of how they are spoken and written due to the fact that they both contribute to how well you can memorize and understand the language.

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I think it comes in very handy to know how to write with the proper stroke order when you're trying to decipher someone's handwritten note. Think about it, wouldn't it just suck to be fluent but not to understand a note on your fridge?
Natives are often so used to writing kanjis that they scribble them instead of writing them clearly, which of course makes the reading trickier...
Besides, you'll have to write to take the test, right?

My Japanese professor in university used to have us redo entire exercise pages if we got the strokes wrong on an answer, he always said he could tell.
He said that once we'd get good at it we'd start scribbling too, and then having the stroke order down properly would be crucial.

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