Nice…. I’m 3/4 of the way there to my first 1,000 Kanji and I’m starting to get antsy about a view things. Firstly,it is true: the study of Japanese requires a lot of patience and dedication. The Heisig system is supposed to be learned in its entirety BEFORE you learn any readings, which is a little tricky. I often try to figure out the best way to learn vocabulary or grammar while I’m doing my mixed learning system, and often it takes more effort than I realize. I’ve been doing RTK1 on an off for about four months now, many times with two weeks breaks bewteen learning points (though I still SRS). The last 4 days have been quite productive, pushing me from 600-750 Kanji. Sometimes its like, that sometimes its not. Regardless, I am learning more and feeling more of an achievement from it.
So the big question is, how do I mix in what i already know with the Kanji I am currently learning? i’ve lived in Japan for almost a year now, I have an okay vocabulary (I know a good bit of the words i’m learning in RTK1) and I’m seeing that if I want to, I can squeeze in the memorization of a few 音読み (onyomi) and 訓読み(kunyomi) readings so I don’t have to start from scratch. I haven’t seen many sites with opinions on this,b ut I think the prevailing opinion is to just learn ALL the RTK1 and then start mining sentences.
For example, Kanji number 749 is 窓 which is Window. The hiragana is まど．So if I am reading I can probably see a sentence like
窓のそばに二ホンがあります。 (mado no soba ni, ni hon ga arimasu) ( beside the window are two books).
What this tells me is that my current knowledge can help me to ALREADY read basic sentences, but on top of the regular SRSing and grammar study, early mining will only ensure that I don’t finish RTK1 within the time frame I want. So I’m thinking that if I meet some Kanji that i knwo the vocab for, I will just write the meanings I know and keep it in my memory, but not force the mining. I mean, by the time I hit the coveted 2,045 I should be able to recognize the English for many sentences and a good bit of Japanese and start mining. However, I don’t want to get too deep into this, because after RTK1 there are different approaches to take, which I will blog about when i am finished. But for now, I am just saying that if I can recognize 750 Kanji in English and probably 200 of those in their English/Japanese equivalents, I could do a little sentence practice with what I know. (Write a few just to solidify it, then move one. ) Okay, that’s it. Off to 800 Kanji…