Kanji Day 55


Click on the image if you want to see it larger.

When I comment on my progress at learning the 2,200 daily use kanji, I make it a point to include my anki progress, so I’m doing that now even though I haven’t reached any particular landmark.  There’s one on the horizon, though.  In a few days, my unseen stack will be smaller than my mature snack.  That’ll be worth a party right there.

I have been using the method for learning the kanji from Nihongoshark.com using the anki deck that Niko set up, and it is definitely working for me, so I recommend it  100%.  Cruise on over and check it out.

Here’s the new thing, though.  I actually finally got a copy of Remembering the Kanji by Heisig, which is the book that NIko’s flashcard deck is based on.  As I mentioned in a previous post, which also details my own lack of cleverness, I originally saw this book in a store but didn’t buy it.  When I finally realized that I would like to have it, I couldn’t find it in any store and ended up getting it online, which meant that I had to wait impatiently for it to arrive.  Oh, well.

Now, do you need this book if you use Niko’s anki deck?  No

Is the book helpful to you if you use Niko’s anki deck?  Yes

Here’s why.

I know this will come as a shock to you, but some of the kanji look rather similar to each other.  Having the book lets you flip around and compare them to each other so that you can notice the differences.

Some kanji descriptions refer to other kanji, and it is handy to have the book to look back (or, sometimes, ahead) at them.

I don’t use anki on my phone – too small – and I can carry a book into places and at times when a tablet isn’t quite so handy.

I like to have the book to look through, because sometimes I like to look over big chunks of the kanji that I already know just to get them more firmly into my head.

Niko’s basic schedule is 22 new kanji per day.  Depending on how the day goes, I add anywhere from 0-5 new kanji, rather haphazardly.  With the book, I can look ahead.  Heisig groups the kanji according to their building blocks (called primitives).  If I finish my 22 and the last few use a primitive that also pops up in the next 7, then I’ll go ahead and learn the next 7 right then as well, turning something haphazard into something organized.

And, anyway, Heisig a lot of work to write the book, and the book has certainly helped a lot of people learn the kanji, so I have no objection to helping him earn some royalties.

I am also posting today because yesterday and today required some stubborness.  For reasons that I don’t imagine would interest anyone else, my schedule was shattered this weekend, and the only way I could study was in little bits and pieces throughout the day, which (1) I absolutely hate and (2) requires a lot more effort to get the kanji to sink in, but, I made it.  Here’s hoping things are back to normal tomorrow.


By the way, I know enough kanji to recognize that the first two characters in 頑張って are 頑 which, according to Heisg, means stubborn – a mere coincidence which I noticed after writing the paragraph above.  There’s a message in there somewhere.


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