ok, so 8 hours 30 minutes to be exact.

I’m really stuffed re. this kanji test in the morning. Just tested myself and there are so many compounds I could’t remember. Just try and console myself with the thought that this test is worth very little really, and in the grand scheme of things means virtually nothing. Still, I really hate doing badly, I get really dissapointed (with myself). I’m a perfectionist… but when it comes to kanji, I still find it really tough to face studying them. My plan for next year is to learn all the basic ones, 1,800 of them or whatever it is. We’ve covered about 750 so far. I can’t decide whether to opt for the Heisig method, which I started with several years back and have found to be of lasting benefit, or stick with the more traditional (yet dull) Basic/Intermediary Kanji Book style.

I loathe learning kanji. If only they weren’t so damn useful in everyday life in Japan.


5 Responses

  1. I hate learning kanji too, but I love being able to read them. I’m personally going to try out the Heisig method this summer and see if that gets me anywhere, because I find the other way I learn things and will know them really well for a few days, and then everything just flies out of my head again. Hmm.

    Yay for Kanji.

  2. yay indeed!!

    Yeah, like I said, I did start learning using Heisig a few years back, but only got as far as 300 for reasons of laziness. Still, I’ve found myself on numerous occasions thinking of the mad tales that he came up with to help remember the kanji. One of my favourites was that for “Utensil”. It’s a particularly cruel description, more warbadger style, but anyway: basically, you have a big St. Bernard dog strapped down to a table with four children around holding their UTENSILS to eat it with!!

  3. oh and I meant to say, I think that the “Note the the 4th edition” on pages 8 – 12 of that book is an absolute MUST-READ for anyone who is feeling depressed about learning kanji. It is so inspirational.

    It tells the story of how the author learnt the meaning and writing of the 1900 or so basic kanji in the space of a month – and didn’t forget them.

    His Japanese teachers trashed his new method (he’d devised it himself as he arrived in Japan later than planned and missed the first part of his language course), saying that he just had a short-term photographic memory etc, one couldn’t learn kanji unless you used the japanese method (drilling etc).

    How wrong they were. James Heisig went on to write three books. The first teaches you the meaning and writing of the kanji, the second addresses the readings, and the third develops both of those skills.

    I personally think they are fantastic, and intend to devote myself to them this summer. I really want to not be plagued by kanji nightmares in my fourth year.

    The isbn is 5-88996-075-9

  4. I got really excited when I got the books and quickly devoured the first few chapters (and can still remember stuff from it, which I think is probably a pretty good indication that it actually works!), but then realised that in order to work through the books whilst also doing all work that I needed to do for classes would require a complete absence of any kind of social life, which I think would actually have driven me even madder than I already am. Hehe. This summer though, definitely, as long as shiny things don’t distract me. Ooh, shiny things…!

  5. Actually Uncle Jo, there’s something i’ve been meaning to ask you since you mentioned it months back. You were mumbling on about how last year you were incredibly inefficient at learning kanji, but then last term came up with some wonder method, that completely transformed your kanji learning experience. Any chance you could let the secret out? I refuse to be fobbed of with bathroom door stories!
    Thank you.