I was so close to the end today that I had to push through and finish. My schedule is normally 35 new Kanji per day, but today I did 78.
And what a sweet victory it is.
The system teaches the 1945 basic "Joyo" kanji as well as another 97 useful kanji for a grand total of 2042 characters. They range from one stroke (for the number one) to twenty three strokes for the character for specimen
The system, called Remembering the Kanji by James Heisig, is totally ingenious and easy to follow. It's based around identifying primitive elements and making stories around them to remember.
For example, take specimen. The left hand side of it means gold or metal. The right side means oversee. So to remember specimen I think of someone overseeing me giving a urine specimen, since it's gold, for a drug test. Kind of weird, but weird stories stick.
Gold was learned by combining easier words, and so was oversee. Oversee is made up of slave, reclining, floor, dish. So I imagine a slave reclining on the floor of the kitchen, overseeing the other slaves cleaning dishes.
That sounds a bit complicated, but once you get into it it's very easy.
Like Emergency said, it can be done. Two thousand forty two characters in two months means that you have to average 34 a day. I don't remember exactly when I started, but it was within a day or two of my two month goal.
You don't just learn new ones, though, you also review old ones. The best software to do this with, by far, is Anki. You start out with very few review cards, but eventually you have 200+ per day.
One day I did nothing and was welcomed with 400+ cards the next day to catch up. Three days I waited until it was too late and only did review, no new cards. Three or four days I did way more than the 35 (stupid idea, in general), up to 120.
Anki says I worked for 165.37 hours total. Rescuetime says it's only 72 hours. I have no way to account for that disparity, but to me it seems like somewhere around 140-150 hours, not counting time spent reading the book and memorizing (maybe another 30 hours total).
I flipped over 14,647 virtual flashcards.
Besides the 2042 kanji, I learned a lot. First are some lessons ONLY applicable to other people wanting to learn Kanji, next are lessons that translate to other areas,
FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DO THIS:
The journey is far from over. I'm going to do a month of review, which means 100-200 cards per day. I want to make sure that I have all of them solidly committed to memory, and I know for a fact that I probably only have 80-85% really well in there.
The system teaches you the meanings of the words, but not how to pronounce them, and not the multiple meanings or compound meanings. Months after the review months will be spent on that.
Still, knowing the meanings is a huge start. I could probably make sense of any sign, menu, or map. I have the framework now to learn vocabulary properly.
Above all, this experience reinforced the value of getting to the finish line. It was hard, though not as hard as I expected, and it feels great to have finished it. More than anything this post is a cathartic marker of having finished something tough.
I, too, would love to try out this method, as memorizing kanji can be an onerous and evasive beast.
Does anyone know where it's detailed?
Wow, that's kind of an achievement, one I would like to make too.
But unfortunately, the blog Sushi and Seduction dissapeared. Does anyone knows somewhere I could find the method or a copy of the post ? Thanks in advance :3
Anki is an SRS program...It's used for all kinds of things you want to remember...I assume what you want to ask is what's the equivalence to RTK...if it's the case, the answer would be RTH [aka Remembering the Hanzi]..
yesterday i spent around an hour flipping through heisig's second book.
The method that books tells (at least for first 700 kanji's) is same as something i already know.
So i dropped the idea of spending another 3600 yen on book.
But I would recommend it to anyone who think that 3600 yen is worth the price for learning pronunciation of roughly 700 kanjis.
Learning kanjis require a lot of practice and practice. Somebody made a poster of heisig book, that is all the kanjis in two pages.
I take a marker and mark all the kanjis i know. So in the end, the few those i do not know i go back and try to learn them again.
Anyway good work.
When are you going to spill the beans on your travel money saving secrets as promised on your twitter?
Glad to see that you stuck with the plan, and completed the project in incredible time! From here, learning Japanese is a really easy, subconscious trip.
Like what Iachian said, check out alljapaneseallthetime.com, and start inputting the sentences. It's easy, and I'll post on my blog on how to do it soon.
Emergency Ã§·Å Ã¦â‚¬¥Ã¦²»Ã§â„¢â€š
You going to input the sentences now ala www.alljapaneseallthetime.com ?????
great stuff tynan.
You should repost the stuff on Live Nomad.
No, I only finished the first volume. One month or so of review, and then I move on to the second. That's a tentative plan, though. RTK1 seems to be the definitive first step, but RTK2 doesn't seem to be as widely viewed as the best thing ever. I may do the Tanaka corpus of sentences if that's appropriate for my level.
Whenever people link to me it shows up in my stats, so I always go visit the site to see why I got linked. A couple weeks ago I followed back to a site called Sushi and Seduction.
The guy who runs the site really has a knack for finding pictures of gorgeous Japanese girls, so of course I started scrolling down looking at the pictures. Then a headline of an article caught my attention.
Many, many people have mentioned to me that they have used the Heisig method to lean the Kanji, Including @Tynan The creator of Sett.com, who is so graciously hosting this blog for free. So I ordered:
Remembering the Kanji: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters
It was a little pricey at $32.30 but if what people have said is true, it will be more than worth it. Every review I have read on it has been great. So I think I am in for a treat. I will let you know when it arrives tomorrow on Amazon prime :) .