Remembering the Kanji 1: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters

Category: Humanities
Author: James W. Heisig
This Month Reddit 6


by tarkonis   2019-11-17

Buy this instead: Seems like more effort at first but it helps so much to be able to recognise the characters.

by Evil_Roy   2019-11-17

Hi, I'm fairly new to learning Japanese too, here is what I know so far: At first it seems like there is a brick wall that you have to break through. But hindsight is 20/20 as they say. If vocab are the bricks.. grammar (particles, canjigation etc.) Are the morter that hold everything together. Its more like having to build a house by yourself then it is breaking through a brick wall. It requires hard work, sacrifice and dedication. First thing is to learn kana, then focus on grammar and reading. Don't study kanji starting out and when you do start learning kanji, make sure to learn it in context. At first you will be focused on each character, then you will start to recognize words, and then you will begin to see sentences and then have to get used to keeping track of what the topic is (は).

SRS is good but won't help you learn well unless you are reading native materials also (such as graded readers or manga). At first I studied as much as possible for the first 4 months to get past most of the absolute beginer grammar. Also, after the first 3 weeks of learning vocab and honing kana skills I started wanikani. Now there are a lot of people who push RTK but having memorized 350 kanji from the book before getting serious about learning.. if I knew then what I know now, I would have gon straight to wanikani. (Anki is ok too if you're on a budget). RTK is good for overcoming fear of kanji and for learning correct stroke order (which comes in handy when looking up kanji that doesn't have furigana). This to me doesn't justify using RTK though in my mind.

I will say that it is better to go at your own pace instead of burning out like I did at first. To me, studying is what you must do in order to achieve your goal. Learning is enjoyable and even leisurely. Finding a good balance is important.

Also, I was in a class that was being taught on discord for a while. Now I'm learning on my own. The internet is full of resources that can help you.

Here are some good resources:

Takoboto (android or windows)

WaniKani (I know there are wanikani decks for anki for free too if your watching $$$)

Anki (Free)

Japanese Graded Readers (level 1-2 I hear will get you high enough to start reading manga, but I cant confirm this as fact.)

Level 1

Level 2

RTK (1st book is the only one worth using)

Genki 1 & 2 (more for in class but can be used to study on your own too)

by no1youknowz   2019-08-10
I'm currently learning Japanese and I've only been at it for a month. My tools are :-

1) Pimsleur Japanese [0]

2) Michel Thomas Japanese [1]

3) Creating my own Anki decks [2]

4) Genki Textbooks [3]

5) Remembering the Kanji [4]

Firstly, I know it's going to take at least 2 years to be good at Japanese and I'm intent on just enjoying the journey. I have absolutely no need to rush.

Right now I'm only concentrating on my speaking and listening skills. I'm not at all fussed about pitch accents and will improve that when I get a tutor (think year 2).

My methodology is going to consist of:

- Doing each CD of Pimsleur (there are 5 in total, with 30 lessons each).

- Actively listening and speaking for 30 minutes in the morning, just after lunch and just after dinner. Thus doing 1 hour and a half a day.

- Write down all the newer words for each lesson into a notebook for review later.

- Writing down all the sentences in an excel spreadsheet for the anki deck. So far I have around 900 words and sentences.

My progress is that I have completed the first CD and I have memorised into my long term memory up to lesson 20. Unfortunately my memory starts to fade when reviewing the anki deck past lesson 20 and I get the sentence order incorrect even though I know the words. Of course, I want to get to 100% before moving onto the next CD.

To switch things up a bit. I've now started to do Michele Thomas CDs and listen passively in the background. Michele Thomas isn't as demanding for your attention as Pimsleur.

When I have finished both groups of CDs. I'll go through the Genki textbook and after that start to focus on my writing skills with Remember the Kanji.

After that, that's when I'll go on italki [5] and get a tutor.

Oh and when watching Anime (with Japanese Subs). I understand around 10% so far, in just a month. I do start to laugh though when the subs are not correct.

I can only imagine what I understand, when I have finished all CDs. I hope to get to at least 75% and then start to watch Anime with the subs removed.

Finally, if anyone wants to go the immersion route. Highly recommend Matt vs Japan [6]. I'll be doing this once I finish the CDs and books.





by Sadimal   2018-11-10

Remembering the Kanji

by raze2012   2018-11-10

I've tried

I got through Kana pretty easily. Only took a few weeks

Never got over the Kanji barrier. used the RTK method to get the kanji in my head while studying grammar/vocabulary. Have the bare basics of the latter, but I only got ~700 Kanji/2000 or so the book has. School can be a dickens to something that requires daily, constant study.

I've been on/off the kanji for some 4 years now, so it kinda sucks knowing I could be fluent enough to play games by now if I wasn't so undisciplined. Raring to try and get over that hump again soon though (no college to worry about).

>Would you consider it worth it?

maybe it's not the best use of your time if you are just gonna use it to play one game, but I can't imagine (here or "mainstream") anyone saying it's a waste to learn a new language. It's like learning an instrument: one of those life tricks that will pop up in unexpected ways and open doors you didn't know existed.

by ajfoucault   2018-11-10

Follow this guide:

Use this deck:

Read this book as you progress through the anki deck that I linked to above:

Do 25 new anki cards a day. With the stories in the deck (either Heisig story, or the ones from Koohi Kanji) you should be able to recognize them.

I'm working with the deck going from Kanji => Keyword (recognition)

After I'm done, I'll probably do production (Keyword => Kanji) since it'll force me to learn how to write them by hand, but since right now my end goal is to learn how to read, speak and listen to Japanese (writing Kanji by hand is at the bottom of my list of priorities right now) I'm not focusing on that.