Kanji Day 85 and Jumping Feet First into Phase 3

Here’s the Anki image:

anki-stats-2015-09-09@09-55-49Continuing through Phase 2, and “unseen” is now down to DOUBLE DIGITS!  There are only four days to go, and day 4 won’t even have the full 22 new characters.  Now that the end is this close, I don’t feel any inclination to rush it, so I will not add any extra characters on any of these last few lessons.

What I have done, however, is jump into Phase 3, by which I mean I opened up the vocabulary deck from Nihongoshark.com and dug in.

Now, truth be told, I opened up that deck a couple of months ago with the idea of just learning a handful of words each day, but I couldn’t make head or tails of it.  Oh, I could get the words all right, but each word also pops up in a sentence written in full on Japanese – Kanji and Kana, and it was just so much gibberish to me.  With some sense of dismay, I closed it up, deleted the deck and said, “I’ll check you out again when I finish the Kanji and hope that helps!”

I opened the deck up again last night and did 20 or so cards, and here’s what I learned – learning the Kanji REALLY WORKS.  The sentences were no longer gibberish.  Yes, they contained words I didn’t know, but I recognized so many of the Kanji that I could break the sentence down and get the meaning and I really learned some vocabulary.  Now, I am not officially in Phase 3 yet, so my daily “must” list is to review the Kanji.  Next on the list is to learn the new ones if at all possible.  Vocabulary is not on the “must” list but only on the “I’d like to” list until this coming Monday when I go full on Phase 3.  But it was really fun being able to break those sentences down and get them to make sense.  It also made individual words easier to learn.

Typical example:  見る

Now, I know that 見 mean “see” because I learned that one long enough ago that it is firmly fixed in my brain, and I know that る is the common ending for verbs in the dictionary (less formal) form.  In English I suppose that would be the infinitive when the verb is standing alone, so I figure out right away that 見る is “to see”.  Learning that is it pronounced みる is just the last step in the chain.

(Before anybody leaps in, yes, I know that it could be “I see” and various other things as well, but I’m not trying to give a Japanese grammar lesson here, just to explain that spending three months learning the Kanji was time well spent.)

That kind of thing kept happening as I started learning the vocabulary.  The difference between now and two months ago is dramatic.  If you are struggling through learning the Kanji, know that IT REALLY DOES HELP when you settle down to actually learn the language.  All that work WILL pay off in the end.

Kudos to the Hacking Japanese Supercouse!  It is really working for me.

Now, I don’t know how much new vocabulary I will learn before the end of Phase 2, since that simply isn’t the priority, but every little bit helps, right?




2 thoughts on “Kanji Day 85 and Jumping Feet First into Phase 3

  1. I know you probably don’t expect too many random readers of your blog, but I really appreciate your suggestions and encouragement while learning Japanese. You helped me decide to take the plunge and purchase the full “Supercourse” from your (ongoing) review; while I’m still just starting, I’m excited for what the next several months of work will produce! Thanks for the chronicle and candor! がんばって!


    • Go for it! The trick in the beginning is to get your study time set up and just be consistent with it. I’m really having fun with Japanese, and this system is really working for me. Just hang in there and work consistently and you will absolutely get there. Feel free to check in and let me know how you’re doing or ask questions, keeping in mind that I’m still in the early stages of learning, too, so I may not know the answers!


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