What is K-Flash?
K-Flash is a flashcard program for Windows that teaches anyone from beginners to experienced learners the meanings of kanji—a set of characters used to write Japanese. It does this efficiently by breaking down kanji into discrete elements (building blocks), and providing a mnemonic phrase (memory aid) based on those elements that includes the kanji's meanings. K-Flash's "disciplined" system of mnemonics, focused interface, and speed of control provide a powerful tool for remembering the meanings of the kanji over long periods of time.
Short, easy-to-remember mnemonic phrases
- Unless otherwise noted, the words in the phrase always match the stroke order;
- The meanings are always on the end; and
- "Filler" words (ones that do not correspond to the kanji's element or meanings) are kept to a strict minimum.
For example, compare the mnemonics for the kanji 停 'stop.' Which one might you more easily remember three months from now?
|停 'stop'||[He] stops that unreliable guy who, with a Mexican hat, a big mouth, and a tutu, wants to open another bottle to keep the party going.
Unique, cumulative ordering leverages previously-learned kanji
The typical order in which kanji are taught is advantageous because it based on prevalence—the most often used kanji are taught first. However, it is not a cumulative ordering; that is, kanji acting as components of other kanji are not necessarily taught before those other kanji. But why learn the word "abacus" before learning the letters a, b, and c? K-Flash starts with the standard ordering, and makes adjustments where necessary to ensure that it is also cumulative.
|Standard order||First learn 常, then learn 巾, and finally learn 尚|
|K-Flash order||First learn 巾, then learn 尚, and finally learn 常
Optimized for learning the meanings, also includes readings
Learn stroke order almost automatically
Once you learn the basic rules of stroke order (top before bottom, left before right, etc.), it's mostly just a matter of knowing the order of the elements in the kanji. With K-Flash, you learn that automatically when you learn the meanings, because the elements and corresponding words in the mnemonic phrases appear in stroke order (exceptions noted).
|←||The four elements of the kanji 潔 'clean, pure' appear in stroke order from left to right|
Uncluttered screen helps you focus on one thing at a time
Extraneous information can be useful for reference, but distracts from focus on the meanings.
Attention flows naturally from the kanji to its meanings. If desired, any piece of information can be hidden for even greater focus.