Kotoba will now be tweeting a few more kanji every day with the aim of better aiding Japanese learners. In particular, Kotoba will begin to tweet kanji based on their JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) level, 1 through 4. Hopefully this will prove itself useful to those who want to focus on characters more specific to their current level of study.
Additionally, Kotoba originally tweeted kanji randomly selected from its rather large database of said characters. While this could prove interesting for those wanting to stumble upon new Chinese characters, it could at times prove itself to border on useless expect for deep Japanophiles. In order to help better target the randomly selected characters, Kotoba now selects from a pre-filtered set of kanji that include frequency ranking. This frequency ranking is based on the number of occurrences the character appears in modern literature; the smaller the number the more it is used. Again, this will hopefully help refine the utility of our tweets for Japanese learners.
As always, you can still go to http://kotoba.wardosworld.com/character_of_moment to get a random character selected for you if you do not want to wait for the daily tweets.
Kotoba’s base set of information is nearing another milestone: radicals （部首【ぶしゅ】or ‘bushu‘）. Radicals are the base components that can be used to describe an ideogram, often most strongly associated with Chinese characters （漢字【かんじ】or ‘kanji‘).
We have used the source from RadicalKanji to provide the relationships between our Japanese characters. This information allows us to more easily to discover kanji when we do not know one of its readings. The next step is to build a visual search that allows users to select radicals to the search until the desired kanji is found. Till then, discover the many interesting relationships between Japanese characters.
There are now a few more refinements to Kotoba’s interface.
Of some note is that the character filter is now available from the characters page directly. Just click on “Character Display” in the upper-right to select what type of character family you want to view. This functionality used to be available on all pages even though it only impacted characters.
A more subtle change has been to both the Character and Word of the Moment. Whereas before multiple, common values were shown individually, we now aggregate them by common type. Additionally, the reading of the character includes better styling that should make it easier to read and understand.
It is now possible to add comments to words and characters on Kotoba. This feature allows you to write your own comments about a specific word or character that can be viewed by other users. Ultimately, I hope this facilitates you to share your linguistic nuances or insights that you feel might be appreciated by other language learners and lovers. You can see the latest comments here, or add your own to your favorite word or character.
In an attempt to generalize ourselves, we have moved vocabulary lists to study lists. This is in recognition that our vocabulary lists can now include characters, not just words. To boot, in the future we would like to add grammar and example sentences to our study lists thereby making them as complete as possible for learning a language.