Learning vocab without learning Kanji meaning

Hi all,

I have been learning Japanese for about a year now and have tried many times to go through Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji book . Ultimately, I decided to just completely stop it and just learn vocab without learning the meaning through exposure. I was wondering is this a good way to learning vocab or is it not feasible?

Personally I think the Heisig system is overrated. Knowing the “meaning” of kanji is basically useless if you can’t read them or don’t know any of the relevant vocabulary. And studying the shape and meaning of kanji before you have a decent vocabulary/understanding of the language is simply a recipe for frustration imho.
I would recommend focusing on getting more exposure, while using tools like rikai-kun and lingq to help you with the readings. You can keep studying kanji as a supplemental activity. The site Wani-kani is good for beginners.

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Kanji is extremely important when you write in Japanese, but sentences in Japanese are not composed of Kanji letters only. Reading ordinary Japanese texts with kana-scripts is better. You can consult a dictionary if you check the kana scripts for Kanji characters you cannot understand. I completely agree with Apop567’s advice.

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You don’t have to use Remembering the Kanji if it’s not working out for you. I would recommend studying new kanji at least a little as you come across them. You can copy-paste them into a dictionary, or use Rikaikun/chan/sama.
Japanese will be even harder to learn if you look at the thousands of kanji as meaningless.