1500 Kanji, 73% done with RTK1

1500 Kanji

I’m burning through my last 500 Kanji now. I’m at frame 1512 and I’m
starting to feel as if I am achieving something. I mentioned in a
previous post that I am not getting too hung up on using SRS ( Spaced
Reptition Systems ) to remember all the Kanji. Lately I’ve been
thinking that there is a reason the book is called “Remembering the
Kanji” not, “Memorizing the Kanji”. What I’ve found is that when
learning large groups of similar Kanji, say, 150-200 Kanji, ther are
usually about 30 that are “reasonably difficult”, but only because I
didn’t make strong stories for them. Most Kanji I have no trouble
remembering as long as the stories are visual. I’m also quite ready
for my next step, which is transitioning into reading sentences.

So far I’ve looked at a few different methods, and it seems that
people transition from RTK1 (Remembering the Kanji 1) to a system
called the Core 2000 sentences, or something called Kanji Odyssey to
learn the readings. At present, I think I’m going to go for the Core
2000, and mix that with something else (maybe the Movie Method) to get
the ball rolling on On Yomi and Kuyomi readings.

This is pretty cool man, at this stage. Now I am not worried so much
about Kanji, as I am about just learning readings. After I hit the
first 1,000, I started seeing Kanji I knew everywhere. Then, after
1,400 I noticed that stuff at train stations, lots of things in
advertisements and literature I could recognize ALL the Kanji on the
signs. I can’t read most of the readings yet, but after learning 2000+
Kanji, I don’t feel it will be horribly difficult to learn only 300
readings for them all. I’ve also heard that several Kanji are grouped
with readings, with as many as 60 Kanji having the same reading, which
should make the process smooth.

I’m thinking of learning the readings in groups with sentences using
my stories. Now I definitely don’t want to stop and I’m going really
fast with my Kanji, taking about two minutes maximum (sometimes less)
per Kanji to just get it over with. Once I finish Heisig, I will do
some basic reviews for Kanji I haven’t checked in a while, but I am
not going to become a slave to Anki and try to get 99% recall on the
Kanji with English words. The point for me now is to get the readings
going, and I will post a video about what I am trying to do as time
passes.

I’m starting to see that it is not impossible to ge a handle on the
reading, though I still get pretty frustrated with grammar and
vocabulary I don’t know so well. Either way, once you can “read” text
and “read the readings”, vocab and so one will be simply a matter of
exposure and time, versus starting from scratch. As I said before,
Rosetta Stone and several other programs help to boost your vocabulary
at a decent rate. I’m not sure what the exact figures are, but I know
Rosetta stone has three language levels.

Each level has four parts that have their own grammar and vocabulary.
Each part takes about an hour and a half. So roughly, it should take
you no less than twelve hours to complete each Level of Rosetta Stone,
clocking you in an about 36 hours to do the entire program. From this,
I am not sure how much vocabulary you can learn, but I am certain it
is several hundred words.

I’ve found that simple to KEEP going is a part of this learning
process. This is why many people emphasize
“fun” as an aspect of learning Japanese. It can be quite frustrating
if you are a solo learner like me. You hit a snag and it feels like
the end of the world. Either way, I think my next step will be the
Core 2000 sentences, tackling Tae Kim’s guide to Japanese grammar
fully, while using practice apps on my iphone during my free time.
I’ll see what these results bring over the next few weeks as I try to
get ready to go to language school.
腕ーlearned this today from Rosetta stone, coincidentally after doing it in RTK, it means “arm” so I learned 腕時計(hand watch)
cheers till next time.

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About marcusbird

Writer, Designer, Filmmaker
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One Response to 1500 Kanji, 73% done with RTK1

  1. Paul Nogas says:

    “there is a reason the book is called “Remembering the Kanji” not, “Memorizing the Kanji”” – exactly!

    “several Kanji are grouped with readings, with as many as 60 Kanji having the same reading, which should make the process smooth.” I can see it going both ways.

    I still haven’t decided on how I am going to tackle readings yet… I guess I better pick on soon.

    がんばって!

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