I'm studying Kanji from the book "Kanji de manga", In the book they present manga written in hiragana/katakana and replace one word with the Kanji they showcase on that page. However, when I'm reading it, I notice that everything is squashed together with no spaces in between.

Here's an image of what I mean:

enter image description here

How can you tell when the next word starts? I understand everything in the book, except when the next word starts.


  • I'm actually pretty confused as to what you mean. If you know what each word means, then why is it so hard for you to determine where the next one begins? You do know that real-life Japanese doesn't have spaces either, right? Seriously, if you know what each word means, figuring out where one ends and the other begins should be simple. – Pleiades Feb 13 '16 at 20:30
  • @Pleiades I think the problem is that most of this book is written in kana. It's one of those perversities of Japanese that even though kanji are a swine to learn they nicely delineate words and make it easier to read once you have learned them. – user3856370 Feb 13 '16 at 20:47
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    @user3856370 The silly thing about that book is that it uses no kanji in its dialogues except the one it's teaching on that page. Not even the ones it's previously taught. Even the jukugo end up written as 学こう ... It doesn't really reinforce a "good kanji balance" for the learner. – oals Feb 13 '16 at 20:57
  • For example, I don't know if は is the particle "wa" or a bit of a word I don't know, I chose that page as an example because it is a page which I managed to decode. It makes it VERY hard to learn the vocabulary used on some other pages when it's all squashed together indecipherably. @Pleiades – Daniel Cann Feb 13 '16 at 20:57
  • As Pleiades says, that's how Japanese is. There are no gaps. That particular problem is not the fault of the book. All you can do is persevere or try learning from a different book. I think every learner struggles with this at first. It will get easier though. – user3856370 Feb 13 '16 at 21:04

There are three things that can help you here:

  1. They're being nice and breaking words cleanly at the end of each line. The start of a new line is always the start of a new word here.**
  2. Speak the lines out to yourself. Hearing yourself speak will combine your listening comprehension with your reading comprehension. However, this is moot if you don't:
  3. Learn more words. My brain is used to the various parts of speech, and thus immediate splits apart the text (from the first bubble) into:

べんきょう・なんか・して・どう・した・の? めずらしい・わ・ね

Regardless of the presence of Kanji. Kanji is meant to assist in that splitting process. The full text is:


Notice that the real text is mostly Hiragana anyway. Reading enough manga and novels will get your eyes used to this.

** Novels won't always be nice like this. Mid-hiragana-stream splits from line to line are quite common.

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    Thanks, this solved the problem, I understand better now – Daniel Cann Feb 14 '16 at 6:43

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