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Kanji Learning - Heisig or Basic Kanji Book vol 1/2?

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Kanji Learning - Heisig or Basic Kanji Book vol 1/2?

Postby LegendsEnd » Sat 05.31.2008 3:34 pm

Looking at these two; Heisig seems to be somewhat odd as it feels unnatural to begin by memorizing it's meaning in english and none of the readings. Basic Kanji Book seems to take the classic approach of writing the kanji down - a lot. Which book is the shorter method to becoming literate in Japanese? I don't mind if I can't remember how to write any of it, I just want to be able to read. Or should I try to plow through http://www.kanjisite.com on my own?
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Re: Kanji Learning - Heisig or Basic Kanji Book vol 1/2?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 05.31.2008 3:50 pm

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Re: Kanji Learning - Heisig or Basic Kanji Book vol 1/2?

Postby nukemarine » Fri 06.06.2008 11:39 pm

LegendsEnd wrote:Looking at these two; Heisig seems to be somewhat odd as it feels unnatural to begin by memorizing it's meaning in english and none of the readings. Basic Kanji Book seems to take the classic approach of writing the kanji down - a lot. Which book is the shorter method to becoming literate in Japanese? I don't mind if I can't remember how to write any of it, I just want to be able to read. Or should I try to plow through http://www.kanjisite.com on my own?


If you want just ONE book to become literate in Japanese, it does not exist. However, for the quickest route to Japanese Literacy, I'd advocate Heisig (even though I've not looked at the Basic Kanji Book). It may seem unnatural (ie not the way a majority of students do it), however you get the ability to recognize and write virtually any Kanji you come across. Now, if you follow it up with a book like Understanding Basic Japanese Grammar, then a book such as 2001.Kanji.Odyssey, you'll find that your literacy is sky rocketing.

PS: Since we're in the internet age, you can goto a website such as kanji.koohii.com, utilize a plug-in called "RTK lite" which uses the kanji upto JLPT 2 (~1100), which you could finish up in 1 month assuming ~2 hours of study/review per day (RTK normally takes 3 to 6 months for ~2000 kanji). Armed with those 1100 Kanji, you can begin the formal Japanese study. Granted, I do the sentence method/SRS which RTK compliments VERY WELL.
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