Page 1 of 1

Remembering the Kanji

Posted: August 17th, 2008 11:34 pm
by jkid
Today I purchased Vol. 1 and 2 of Heisig's Remember the Kanji. I am really hoping these books work for me. I know a number of Kanji but lately I have been finding it difficult to study and remember the more complex Kanji that I am encountering so I have abandoned the text book way of learning Kanji to test drive Heisig's book. What he says in the introduction to the book I completely agree with and his description of the difficulties in learning Kanji using traditional methods I agree with. Everyone seems to have a different opinion about these books but from the sample chapters I read and the bits of the books I had glanced at previously before buying it lead me to believe it will allow me to at least begin to overcome what I see as my biggest hurdle in being able to function at an advanced level in Japanese. Obviously through studying text books I have attempted to learn as much as I can but right now I feel like I've hit a brick wall with the traditional text book methods. It seems like the right time to seriously see if Heisig's method will work for me.

Posted: August 18th, 2008 4:28 am
by Taurus
This link has been posted elsewhere on the forum, but it's really, really useful, so:

http://kanji.koohii.com/

Posted: August 18th, 2008 5:08 am
by Psy
Aye, this topic has been done to death on the forum here. However, there's one thing I want to mention: I spent a considerable amount of time studying RTK2, and found that beyond the "pure groups" (the one-reading-only and semi-pure groups, though less, are still useful) the book has too many exceptions to be genuinely helpful. I recommend that you learn the first 700 or so readings and then abandon the book for real reading practice, as beyond that it comes down to using brute memory to learn a long list of words outside of any useful context. Your mileage may vary, but if you find yourself getting frustrated, be aware that you're not the only one.

Good luck!

Posted: August 18th, 2008 1:07 pm
by jkid
Thank you both for your responses. I realise this book has been discussed on the forum extensively. This thread was just a way for me to get my thoughts down. The website linked looks very helpful.

Posted: August 18th, 2008 11:28 pm
by Javizy
I think I mentioned this before, but if you don't have Anki, I'd recommend getting it ASAP. It comes with a complete Heisig deck in the sample decks, and coupling the technique with SRS memorisation makes it even more effective. I feel a lot more confident writing the characters than I did but for.

One tip I would give is to pay extra attention to the simpler characters that appear as radicals in others; the image you make needs to be easily merged with others later on. Some of Heisig's suggestions are terrible for this, so don't feel you need to use his ideas, feel free to use whatever works for you.

Posted: August 19th, 2008 11:33 am
by jkid
I think I mentioned this before, but if you don't have Anki, I'd recommend getting it ASAP. It comes with a complete Heisig deck in the sample decks, and coupling the technique with SRS memorisation makes it even more effective.


What is the difference between Anki and the SRS system on Reviewing the Kanji's website?

On a side note, how soon after reading a chapter do you review using the website or Anki? I have been reviewing the previous days Kanji and then reading the next chapter and reviewing again. Is 1 chapter a day too slow? I read that 50 kanji a day is how much some people study but to me that sounds like overloading.. I would rather be confident with all Kanji from the book by the end than studying 50 a day and forgetting some.

Posted: August 19th, 2008 1:09 pm
by Psy
When I did Heisig, I had a CD case full of index cards that I wrote out manually. On an average day I would do 20, some days more and other days only 10. Typically I would review in groups of 20, and after writing out 5 sets of these I would review a full 100. After I was satisfied with my progress, I would proceed to the next set.

Personally, I'd say 50 a day is asking a bit much. You should only do as much as you're comfortable with.

ImageImage

Posted: August 19th, 2008 5:40 pm
by Javizy
jkid wrote:
I think I mentioned this before, but if you don't have Anki, I'd recommend getting it ASAP. It comes with a complete Heisig deck in the sample decks, and coupling the technique with SRS memorisation makes it even more effective.


What is the difference between Anki and the SRS system on Reviewing the Kanji's website?

On a side note, how soon after reading a chapter do you review using the website or Anki? I have been reviewing the previous days Kanji and then reading the next chapter and reviewing again. Is 1 chapter a day too slow? I read that 50 kanji a day is how much some people study but to me that sounds like overloading.. I would rather be confident with all Kanji from the book by the end than studying 50 a day and forgetting some.


I'm not sure to be honest. perhaps it is the same. Anki is a desktop program, so you don't have to visit a site and login. Naturally, you can add any other kind of deck you want (doing recognition of entire sentences is great reading practice), and you can also study anywhere through a browser or on your mobile thanks to the online synchronisation feature.

As for the review method, that's probably up to you. After learning about 10 new characters, I'd open Anki, try writing out the characters, and press 1 for each of them so they would come up again in 10 minutes or when I next opened the program.

I found it a good way to fine tune stories, because if you can't remember them 5-15 minutes after making them, they obviously need some work. Same if you can't remember them the next day.

Posted: August 20th, 2008 8:20 am
by jdproulx
Psy, I'm doing almost the exact same thing! I'm not even CLOSE to that many though. Wow.

My pile only consists of about 400 right now. I'm reviewing all of them at about 50 per day. Once that's done, I'll probably start learning new ones at about 10-20 per day, depending on how comfortable I am.

It's painful how many hours you have to devote to kanji in order to learn them all. It's tough for me because I'm the only white person in my 301 class, and the rest of them all have at least an elementary knowledge of kanji from Chinese. Damn the bell curve!