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Learning kanjis the AJBryant way

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Learning kanjis the AJBryant way

Postby cod2 » Sun 08.09.2015 10:05 am

I found Anthony Bryant's tips on learning kanjis to be really inspiring, because they take away all stress and the need for Heisig.

I have a question for anyone in the forum who has learned kanjis the AJBryant way. I am aware that Mr Bryant has sadly passed away, so I can't ask him any more.

The method, as I understand, is as follows:
1. Do not learn kanjis separately.
2. Expose yourself to native material.
3. Learn words as you encounter them.

My question is around the third step, where I am failing. My Anki deck has Japanese sentences on the front, and transliteration and English translation on the back.

Let's say I have a sentence that contains the word 健康. It comes up for review, I can't remember what it means or how it's pronounced, so I fail the card. I also add one or two more sentences that contains the word 健康, hoping that now it'd stick to memory. Initially it does, but then again it fades. After about two weeks, it's just gone. There is a limit to how many sentences I can add with a given word. Every sentence I add will of course introduce new words, so I am just compounding the problem. I feel I am not making any real progress.

Do I write the word a few times? (tried that too - doesn't help a great deal).
Do learn the meanings of individual kanjis 健 and 康 at this stage?
What can I do to move words to my long-term memory?

How do AJryant-ers actually execute the 'learn' step?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Learning kanjis the AJBryant way

Postby richvh » Mon 08.10.2015 8:22 am

I think what Tony meant by "Expose yourself to native material" was not "Learn sentences in isolation in a card deck" but "Read native material."

If a particular author is using a compound frequently, it will be repeated often enough in his works to stick, plus having it in context will help reinforce it. If he uses it infrequently, it isn't important enough (in that author's body of works) for it to be memorized.
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Re: Learning kanjis the AJBryant way

Postby Ongakuka » Tue 08.25.2015 11:15 am

I second that. Richvh is totally on the mark here. It must be almost a decade ago that he helped me in my Japanese training on our first chat server. That happy time has slipped through my fingers...

Anyway, yes. Don't be idle in picking up a Japanese manga that takes your interest. I say manga because, although there is a lot of zany language that isn't used in real life, manga are a good starting point since they have furigana and give you context for the kanji you learn. Simple novels are great too. Preferably something that takes your interest and isn't completely overwhelming, but still challenging.

Tony was well versed in Japanese and English literature, and there was so much I wanted to learn from him with regards to Classical Japanese. I share his dream of popularizing what we feel (or at least suspect) to be one of the most poetic forms of language that exists. It warms my heart to be reminded that he remains a great inspiration for us to this day.
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