Monday, December 1, 2008

I’m dreaming of a Kanji Xmas

I started Heisig’s ‘Remembering the Kanji’ on 5 October and at 25 kanji a day (the recommended target) it would mean by a complete coincidence I would finish on our lord Jesus’ birthday, Christmas day. Praise the lord!

Counting the kanji down to the magical 2042 figure has been the only thing keeping me going at late. And as I flirt with the possibility of reaching the home straight having just crossed the half way mark, I have to admit there have been some dark moments of doubt, self loafing and dam right laziness.

But after a somewhat slack start I have stepped up my kanji game to try and drag myself back onto the 25 kanji a day target. With gods help and a convenient lack of friends I will win this battle.

To mark my progress I will be updating my ‘Kanji Counter’ every week which you can find on the right hand side of this enthralling blog. I’m sure it will become apparent over the next few weeks whether it is going to be a winter wonderland of kanjiness or a depressing and miserable disappointment of scrooge like proportions.

Fingers crossed for a kanji Xmas.

Question: If you are studying kanji the Heisig way what number are you at? If you are finished how long did it take you?


Anonymous said...

Good work! That is an impressive pace at which you are blazing through Heisig. I'll be finished in less than two weeks (I'm at 1850), but started back in June. Hah.

Keep us updated.

Kerubin said...


Thanks for the encouragement...I think I'm going to need plenty of it over the next three weeks.

Please let me know when you finish. I would be interested to know how you are going to approach the next 'phase' of your learning. I will be posting something on how I am going to start sentences nearer the time.

Burritolingus said...

Hey Kerubin - always nice to read up on the progress of other fellow learners.

Keep up the pace and you'll have yourself quite the Christmas gift!

As for myself, it took roughly two months of pretty darn intense studying to clear through RTK1 - looking back, I'd have settled for 25 a day rather than the 50ish per day I was aiming for, honestly. Near the end, I seriously began neglecting my Anki repetitions, which didn't exactly benefit me (for the record, I still have a couple hundred unreviewed, "new" cards in my RTK1 Anki deck - ugh).

I'm currently spending most of my Japanese time working through my remaining kanji reps, doing the occasional sentence or two (which was really sort of awkward at first - I'm interesting to see what you're planning, sentence-wise), and uh... watching a lot of Japanese dramas (without subs). What can I say, Bloody Monday is a really addictive show!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Just finished up RTK1 this morning :)

Kerubin said...


Thanks for the heads up on the JDrama, I will look out for it. Have to admit that I haven’t really found any dramas I like yet so I tend to watch a lot of the Japanese variety entertainment shows like Lincoln and SMAP*SMAP (this probably warrants a post in itself).

Completing RTK1 in two months is hardcore and a great, great effort.

On the subject of sentences, I think they are a potential minefield which you need to get right from the start otherwise you could find yourself in all sorts of trouble further down the line. I’ll be posting something up on sentences shortly as I’m nearing the end of RTK1 and I would appreciate your advice, thoughts and experiences with sentences so far.

I’ll definitely be passing by your blog soon. Thanks.

Burritolingus said...

I totally hear ya on the subject of minefields... I've still not added many sentences to Anki yet, but I've already managed to set off a few nasty explosions, particularly with sentences that were too long, or otherwise complicated. A good upper-limit of characters per sentence is 10, early on, I think.

I've had the most success mining sentences from Kanji Odysesy's example sentences, however! On its own, KO is extremely useful as it is, but its supplemental example sentences are tough to beat as far as beginning sentence material goes. Lots of practical material and common kanji to start with. I'm probably going to stick with that for some time, and eventually, when I'm more comfortable with my reading abilities, mine the heck out of 2channel, various RPGs and whatever else I can find for more colloquial, slang and diverse Japanese.

But first, a little more time with these blasted kanji!

Joshua said...

I am studying the Heisig book...and I downloaded the "Reviewing the Kanji" applet...and bought a pen tablet to help me along. I'm not very far yet. I don't know what the Anki repetitions are? (Anki means memory) Is that a supplemental tool from RTK1?
I just took the JLPT 4 (no prob). Now I hope to master JLPT 3. Anyone pass it yet? Peace ~ josh