Pressing on

My quest to learn Japanese was interrupted by weeks of 12 hours shifts at work that decimated my concentration and energy. I am back however and I am continuing my pursuit of mastery of the kanji.

So far, I’ve learned 500 kanji. About 300 of them I know actively, meaning I know them well enough to use them at will. The other 200 I only know passively, that is, I can recognize them and know them when I see them in text. I am wayyyy past my 3 month limit to learn Japanese but I realize now that it was too ambitious of a goal so I’ve reset my timeline. I have now set the end of the year for me to know how to read Japanese and maybe even write it fluently. I will then tackle speaking Japanese fully.

Using Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji, I can usually learn anywhere from 30 to 50 kanji a day. However, much to my dismay, there are days when I don’t get to touch my kanji flashcards so the going is slower than I wanted.

Still, the die is set. I will learn Japanese and then I will learn Arabic. Other languages will follow. Of this, I am sure.

Thank you for stopping by!

Completed my first 200 kanji pack

When I began to learn the kanji in earnest, I decided that I would make 10 packs of 200 kanji each. I figured that way I would have 2000 kanji at my disposal for review at any time.

For starters, I made actual physical flashcards. It’s kind of medieval I know, since most everyone uses a computer for their flashcards but I wanted the ability to take my cards everywhere and I also like the feel of the cards in my hands. So far I’ve completed 600 flashcards and have learned the 200 kanji in my first pack.

I think I have enough flashcards made to keep me busy until next Monday. During the weekend I’ll try to make another 600 flashcards. It is time consuming I tell you but it will be worth it when I can read the Japanese novel I bought last month.

kanji flashcards

Labor intensive but worth it

I am using a really cool pen that I bought God-knows-when (Faber-Castell PITT artist pen). I was rustling through my art supplies when I found it. It does ok for now. My calligraphy is horrible but I hope it will improve over time.

As I said before, I also want to learn the kanji actively. To do this, I want to start with the English word and then write the kanji for that word from memory. This, I feel, would be best accomplished if I can generate a list of words and after I successfully write all the kanji for that list, re-order the list of words or even change some or all of the words on the list. I need to find a word-list randomizer or write my own.

Thank you for looking!

130 kanji learned

I began Friday evening and stopped just now, Sunday evening. Using the techniques in the book Remembering the Kanji by J.W. Heisig, I managed to learn 130 new kanji. In between adding new kanji to my set of flashcards to learn, I also practiced the kanji from English to Japanese, that is, I turned the cards over and drew the kanji for each English word. I did that in an effort to add the new kanji to my active vocabulary.

I am very excited. I am going to be super busy this coming week with work but I may manage to add another 100 or 200 new kanji during the week.

I bought a Japanese novel when I was in Kansas City for a Japanese Festival a few weeks ago and I believe I am a few weeks away from being able to read it. I am aware that there will be kanji in the novel that are not part of the 2000 or so kanji in Heisig’s book. I am not worried however, because Heisig wrote  two more books and volume 3 of his series adds 1000 or so new kanji to the original 2000.

I am stoked!

Thank you for stopping by.