I haven’t posted in a little while, because the last few weeks have been pretty fuzzy. One day, I’ll put it in a book…either way, I must say that I’m really starting to “get” Heisig and I’m doing my best not to jump into sentence mining or any other Onyomi/Kunyomi related systems too early.
This blog is really a blog about starts and stops, not a blog where I have consistently done anything. What continues to amaze me is that in my delinquency, or regardless of how “badly” I have implemented AJATT, or other systems, that I keep learning.
After I hit 1200 Kanji, I was recognizing Kanji everywhere. They were leaping out at me in tweets, in text messages, on bus signs, on posters, on magazine covers. I was starting to process the data.
Not only that, but I started reading Kanji by default. When I learned 教 the kanji for “teach”, I immediately knew it as “おしえる“, also several other Kanji I keep seeing pop up in tweets, in the same order. I can read several Japanese tweets now, and I am amazed at this fact.
Most of the time I get stuck because I don’t know several readings for common words yet., but when I started this blog in November 2009, it was this feeling… this idea that I would one day sit and be able to read Japanese that made me start in the first place. For me to be able to read most of a Kanji-heavy tweet and get a basic understanding of it, especially how BADLY I’ve been studying various systems, it is a massive eye-opener.
I keep stopping and starting Heisig, but learn passively through listening and speaking occasionally. Ladies and gentlemen, I have been learning Japanese over the last year without really
a ) Being consistent
b) practicing speaking or writing
c) following a regular routine
I am not saying people should do this. In fact, don’t. I’d be at a seriously high reading level now if I had hit my Heisig finish time, which was projected at April 2010. Imagine me with 7 months of Kanji reading and sentence mining in my system? But as I mentioned in a previous post. I am not judging myself anymore in regards to that. Stress has affected me strangely in Japan, and that’s that.
That said, I am totally itching to finish Heisig like a maniac now. I still have another 700 or so Kanji to go, but now I am “seeing the light”. I can see a complete sentence eand know every Kanji in it, I just don’t know the exact words yet.
A lot of people complain about this, but I’m not worried because if you have ever read Japanese manga, magazines or articles in a certain context you see the same words over and over. I am a big proponent of “learning in context” and I really want to see where I’ll be in the next few months.
So bad habits aside and me moving at a snail’s pace, disappearing and not really doing what I planned to do, I am slowly approaching my goal of being able to read in Japanese. I can read many sentences now, and I see exactly why knowing a large number of “common sentences” say, 5,000-10,000 you can read pretty much anything.
The AJATT site has recently pushed something new, called “Massive Context Cloze Deletion” which sounds a bit like an autobot’s favourite sexual position, but I digress. I’m not ready to mine sentences hardcore yet. Another few weeks and I’ll be done with Heisig and diving into Manga and so on.
I will start posting videos on my thoughts as well. I want to record my progress through video as well, to maybe see how my Japanese speaking improves over time. I will record myself attempting to say things (probably with a Japanese speaker there) and then track it.]