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'Remembering the kanji' question...

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?

RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 12.04.2007 5:00 pm

Heisig assumes you will be doing some Japanese study, just not kanji study. Also I agree with you that he's not saying you can never use RTK once you begin studying kanji.

I think what Heisig is probably primarily warning people against is trying to (1) jump around in the book and study by frequency, (2) learn the readings at the same time as the writing/meaning, and (3) ignoring the writing aspect of the book and learning only the meanings.

All I am personally asking for is enough for me to feel comfortable recommending the book to people. If I could see the testimony of a few people who have attained functional literacy in Japanese and made the Heisig method a cornerstone of their study (and who would concretely describe how Heisig helped them reach literacy), I would have much less trouble telling people to try it. Of course anyone can try RTK any time they want without my say-so.
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby morph » Tue 12.04.2007 6:29 pm

Or, looking at it from the other end, are there students who give up on "functional literacy"? Could they benefit by taking a different approach?
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby HarakoMeshi » Tue 12.04.2007 7:15 pm

Its also worth noting that in the information age you can get more help than just what is in the covers of the book. The tools and community at "Reviewing The Kanji" can help to start off on the right foot, and dramatically improve your chances of completing RTK and putting it to good use asap.
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby HarakoMeshi » Tue 12.04.2007 8:01 pm

Sorry, what you have quoted is not from Edict, it's from Kanjidic. I know, because I just ran a search on both Kanjidic and Edict.

The problem is that Kanjidic includes all the Heisig keywords. Therefore, it doesn't confirm that "climax" is a valid meaning for 至.


Actually Kanjidic doesn't include all the Heisig keywords. By way of example 末 {extremity} is not in Kanjidic.


HarakoMeshi wrote:
The dozen Japanese words I pasted confirm it.


They confirm nothing, because the meaning of compound words do not necessarily reflect the meaning of the individual characters. In any case, I dispute that the compound words you quoted are necessarily associated with the word "climax". I do not see the word climax in any of the descriptions. Also, the descriptions are non-authoritative. Plus, it's an academic argument, as one poster pointed out. The real point is not to associate Japanese with English.


The 'accurate' meaning of individual characters is of little use. With the exception of the most trivial like 'mizu' or 'ki' there is not going to be one single direct translation. The meanings that are listed in dictionaries are derived from the compounds in which the kanji appear. This is why there is not just one meaning listed for each kanji in a dictionary.

I see a lot of associations to 'climax' in the compound words that I listed, and in the 'free standing' (not really free standing but modified by hiragana) kanji words too, but there's not much point to argue about this. It is academic.

The thing about associating Japanese with English however is a flawed one. Many concepts are the same the world over. Water is "water" or "mizu" or "aqua" or whatever the world over. A weekend is a "weekend" in English or a "shuumatsu" in Japanese.

For reading we should learn 週末 is read "shuumatsu", but hopefully we should also know that means "weekend" on some level until we know enough Japanese to be able to fully read and understand a Japanese dictionary entry for 週末.

Also you have to bear in mind that free standing kanji are a miniscule part of the words in Japanese vocabulary. Even with 2042 kanji keywords we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of Japanese words. Any kind of English word 'corruption' is minimal.

In my own experience, when I read Japanese compounds it is the Japanese word that sticks. The English translations of the individual kanji are interesting and helpful in the beginning, for example 週末 {week}{extremity}, that's interesting and common sense. But reading out "week extremity" is at best cumbersome and slow; reading "shuumatsu" is much easier, so that is what sticks for me and the keywords take a back seat until the next unknown word.

I would maybe like to get Kanji in Context to study from after RTK1. However it seems hard to find.

I am thinking of to try 2001.Kanji.Odyssey. Has anyone else tried it?

http://www.coscom.co.jp/ebook/e-2001kanji.html
http://www.coscom.co.jp/ebook/2001kanji ... xt1-r.html (sample)

HarakoMeshi wrote:
Browsing is not learning. You said Heisig is not conductive to learning. I was wondering how many did you actually *study*?


I don't understand what you mean. The answer could range from "all the ones with stories" to "none". I actually prefer to say "none." In terms of characters that I compared with Halpern, it's around 500, as I said before.

I think you need to understand that for me, browsing is learning, since I have a good memory (it's not actually "photographic", or more properly "eidetic", but I can remember most things after reading them, if I wanted to). In the case of Heisig, I had to consciously choose NOT to remember his stories (even then, some of the stories still stick to my brain, much to my disgust).

In my youth, I once shocked my Economics teacher by regurgitating his lecture notes, word for word, on demand. I also once shocked my English teacher by quoting extensive passages from a novel verbatim in an exam. Even numbers are easy, for example pi is 3.141592653589... (i just typed this without looking it up).


Well, that is great for you. For me I don't easily remember everything that I read first time. And certainly for learning kanji, for me it is much more than just reading the story. I don't consider any kanji memorized until I can recall them from memory after a long period of time. That means doing reviews to test that I can remember the kanji and keep remembering them.

If I just browsed RTK then probably I could remember some percentage of kanji with stories for a while. In fact I did; I went through the first 250 or so in a weekend and remembered most of them. But in order to really get a lot of them to stick (up to 1650+ that I have covered now) it is necessary to focus my mind on the story for each one for a minute or two, and then to review.

That's why if you just say you browsed, I say you didn't follow the book. If you have a natural ability to memorize kanji by browsing then that's another story.

Its funny you say you have trouble forgetting Heisig's stories. That's the whole point! :D
Last edited by HarakoMeshi on Tue 12.04.2007 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby HarakoMeshi » Tue 12.04.2007 9:27 pm

saraLynne wrote:
nukemarine wrote:

So let's make sure this is your hypothesis:

Someone who learns Kanji prior to Japanese using Heisig or a similar method (ie Native Language keywords, visual and mnemonic clues) will NOT attain fluency or literacy in Japanese.

Is this your hypothesis, or do you want to change it to something more vague.


This can't be summed up so shallowly, particularly since it is too broad a statement.

Let's take this away from "learning Japanese" for a moment and move to "learning a new language". People get romantic ideas about how great it would be to learn a new language. They dabble in it, toy with it, fantasize about what they might one day do with it. But when it comes to learning more than some token phrases, they realize how much work what was originally intended to be a fun hobby or pet project is going to be.

With latin-based languages, there's really no visible barriers at the outset. All one must do is conquer the grammar. Japanese and other non-latin languages have alien elements (kanji, arabic script, etc) that make excellent targets for thoughts like, "If only I could learn those quickly, learning the language will be EASY."

The people who come to this forum tend to be young, living outside Japan, and still in the romance stage with Japanese. They also still have misconceptions about how learning a foreign language works. They are likely to attribute their lack of success to the fact that they don't know kanji. When these people ask about Heisig, what you must really answer is, "Will it be worth this person's (or their parents') money and time to invest in RTK?"

People who live in Japan, people who -need- to know the language (for work, for family, and the like), and people who have significant previous study of Japanese have concrete, demonstrable commitments to the language. They are notably NOT miracle-seekers. They are NOT likely to be derailed, and ARE able to make an educated decision about the value of RTK to their study. This eliminates people like Heisig, Khatsumoto, and others from the pool of relevant examples.

You are right in that finding a "beginner" who used Heisig with success would be rare. None the less, finding a true beginner who wants to know if they SHOULD use Heisig is NOT rare, and it's in those threads where you find the opposition (and, of course, the champions).

In the case of THIS thread... there is no indication that even over 15 years, the OP has moved out of the romance. He even sounded skeptical as to the value it would have for him and his study, and the wink after "to varying degrees" implies to me that it was an on-again off-again 15 years, with little progress.


I see what you mean saraLynne. Great post.

I think I said in a previous post, I think RTK is for "serious learners only".

On another angle, I might also suggest RTK for "wandering learners". If you have been 'studying' Japanese for a while without a rudder and not getting anywhere fast, RTK might be the kind of fuel you need to start learning seriously.

RTK is not a romantic book. Sure the ease of the first 250 kanji and their stories may seduce someone into thinking kanji learning is a walk in the cake. But, even though the method is simplicity itself, to actually finish the book would really take an iron will and dedicated, organised study. The kind of will and study skills that could help someone learn a language.
Last edited by HarakoMeshi on Tue 12.04.2007 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby nukemarine » Wed 12.05.2007 6:39 am

Wakannai wrote:
Gonna have to say that's not what was being asked.


There is nothing vague, there is no moving target. The conditions cannot be more clear or specific.

To vouch for this method with authority someone, ANYONE, must
1. Use the system as outlined in the course without deviation. If Heisig says "don't do this" then you don't do that.
2. After using the system without deviation, go on to attain literacy. Literacy simply being the ability to read and write following normal writing conventions. Knowing a kanji isn't enough. You have to know when to use it and when to not use it.


Ah, so without deviation is a loaded term. See, even Heisig allows for deviation and encourages creativity, he just warns against some issues. You quote as much later on. For now, I'll consider that without deviation is: Using the Heisig Order, Using the Heisig Keywords, Using the method describe to get the ability to recreate all Jouyou Kanji from memory when given the keyword. I claim to have pretty much accomplished this step.

I will whole heartedly agree with Number 2, otherwise anyone literate in Chinese could claim Japanese literacy (and that's FAR from the case). I now will go onto this step, which is definately a long path.

No one that vouches for the system went through all the books and followed his method without deviation. And you MUST NOT DEVIATE because according to Heisig,
"What may not be so apparent is that using it to supplement the study of kanji in the classroom or to review for examinations has an adverse inμuence on the learning process. The more you try to combine the study of the written kanji through the method outlined in these pages with traditional study of the kanji, the less good this book will do you. I know of no exceptions."


So now it's all books? Not just book 1? Care to define the target here. I thought Step one had it defined, but now it seems you're adding more stuff. I'll assume you're satisfied with Book 1. The rest of the quote is a warning, and not applicable to me as I did not do traditional study of Kanji.

Finally, note that each key word has been carefully chosen and should be not tampered with in any way if you want to avoid confusion later on.


And if this is not the problem, then, taking care not to add any new words or focal points to your story


Once you start making exceptions for characters you “know” or “have no trouble with” or “don’t need to run through all the steps with,” you are headed for a frustration
that will take you a great deal of trouble to dig yourself out of. In other words, if you start using the method only as a “crutch” to help you only with the kanji you have trouble with, you will quickly be limping along worse than ever. What we are offering here is not a crutch, but a different way to walk.

end Heisig quotes.
As you can see, We are not the ones that determine what "properly" following Heisig's course entails. Heisig set the conditions:
The crucial question for pedagogy, therefore, is not what is the best way to qualify at some intermediate level of pro³ciency,
but simply how to learn all the kanji in the most ef³cient and reliable manner
possible.


There you go, I've "learned" all the Kanji according to book 1 (English Keyword elicits proper stroke order). Still don't see what issues are being spouted here? He's warning you against problems he's seen from first hand experience. You can still do it, just be wary that you probably will experience difficulties later on. For example: for Keyword "annexed" I used "Tears (water) from Heaven, eric clapton song as a valentine to his dead son that was Annexed as a love song.", unfortunately, Tears came up as a later keyword creating confusion in the writing of the proper Kanji for that keyword.

--------
Gonna have to say that's not what was being asked. Heisig was offered up, but he was dismissed because he lived in Japan.


Heisig didn't use his system the way he tells others to, that's why heis discredited. He developed the system and used it partially, but he did not only use his system the way he instructs others to. He says so himself,
The first few days I spent pouring over whatever I could find on the history and etymology of the Japanese characters, and examining the wide variety of systems on the market for studying them. It was during those days that the basic idea underlying the method of this book came to me. The following weeks I devoted myself day and night to experimenting with the idea, which worked well enough to encourage me to carry on with it.
End Heisig. Note the bold, he did what he explicitly told others not to do.


Wow, so he started out a method he developed differently than the eventual end product he found to work. So your complaint against him is he self admittedly spent about a WEEK gathering information (in ENGLISH no less) about the Kanji to develop this method that in one month allowed him to memorize the recognition and stroke order of over 2000 Kanji? You're complaining about a few days? See, I read the same passage and came to conclude he found what worked after researching what others had developed. Oh, but the method may have been refined in the intervening 30 years.

I even went so far to list what my current situation is so that LATER when I achieve literacy you don't go back and dismiss me because of whatever excuse you grasp at. You couldn't even figure out that was what my post's purpose was.


Sigh. A reader shouldn't have to "figure out" what a writer's purpose is. If the reader misunderstands a point that wasn't explicitly stated then it's the writer's fault, not the readers. You should have learned that in English 101.

Besides, This is a scholarly forum, If someone comes on and says they followed the instructions as outlined, and then goes on to describe exactly how they were carried out properly, then we will give them the benefit of the doubt. Providing your credentials now, as that is your stated intent, adds nothing to the discussion at all. And since this thread will be long dead and buried by the time your "intent" comes to fruition, it's absolutely pointless. And that's not even taking into consideration that I probably won't remember your name in a few years when you do become literate. So, with all this unde rconsideration, why would I assume that was your point again?


You're right, I was being sarcastic. My post was obvious and your reading skills were lacking. The credentials provided were to see if I qualified as a test subject according to your standards. Now, if your memory is lacking in a year or two, or this forum dies an early death (thus preventing a fairly simple bump) I would agree with your pointless statement. In reality, you want a loaded no win experiment.

So let's make sure this is your hypothesis:

Someone who learns Kanji prior to Japanese using Heisig or a similar method (ie Native Language keywords, visual and mnemonic clues) will NOT attain fluency or literacy in Japanese.


Don't be willfully ignorant. Cite one place where anyone said, implied, or in any way indicated something like that.

Someone who learned kanji prior to using Heisig cannot follow the Heisig method as outlined, because their mind will be already be influenced by other concepts. Making them unable to follow his course properly.


Ah, is this another moving target? We've established that there are those (such as the Kanji Clinic author and another Amazon book reviewer so readily dismissed) who knew at least 600 Kanji via traditional means before using Heisig to learn 2000+ Kanji. So YOUR theory above is disproven by anecdotal evidence. The Heisig method CAN be used by those with prior Japanese and Kanji exposure.

So which are you looking for: Someone that started out with Heisig, or someone that started with Heisig later? Or is it going to change based on which gets provided?

More Heisig.
And just as obviously, one needs to know all the general use
kanji for them to be of any use for the literate adult.


The assertion that you must know all of the kanji before any can be of use is proven false in any sentence, paragraph, page, or book that does not utilize all of the general use kanji. The fact is that all kanji are not of equal value.


Here, I agree with you and disgree with Heisig. Granted, I posted as such above. Here we're talking about completeness. A person with 2000 may have better time at reading books than one with only 1000 though. I will call both literate. One just is probably at a 9th grade level. Heck, even 2000 may not be enough for some people, hence the 3rd book.

More Heisig:
One has only to look at the progress of non-Japanese raised with kanji to see the logic of the approach. When Chinese adult students come to the study
of Japanese, they already know what the kanji mean and how to write them. They have only to learn how to read them.


This is just making an assumption. It's false however and he would have realized it if he had actually talked to Chinese students of Japanese. Chinese students continually complain that their prior knowledge of kanji both readings and sounds actually makes it more difficult, not less to learn them in Japanese. Not only are the associated sounds different, but many of the meanings are different as well. The only advantage they have is being able to write them, but they have greater difficulty because they must spend their time un-learning their previous associations.

>>>I copy and pasted all the Heisig quotes directly from the free PDF sample. Any misspelling in the quotes were not in the copied text, but were introduced by added by Adobe. I tried to clean most of it up, re-adding critical words, and replacing weird symbols with proper letters.
[/quote]

Ah, now here we have some means of debate outside my range. I just happen to work with two people fluent in Chinese (one Mandarin, one Cantonese). Since it's the one fluent in Cantonese that is learning Japanese, I will ask him. Granted, that's only one sample. I'm sure you can only provide a few samples too.

So, you disagree with Heisig that prior knowledge of Kanji will be of benefit to learning Japanese. Nay, it would be more of a hindrance. Hmm, how to go about determining that. We could look at completion percentages from Universities that keep some form of records about nationality. Would be of interest. Oh, wait, you already have that information. Kindly post the data so that I can be enlightened.

For now it's a matter of:

1. Use the system as outlined in the course without deviation. If Heisig says "don't do this" then you don't do that.

2. After using the system without deviation, go on to attain literacy. Literacy simply being the ability to read and write following normal writing conventions. Knowing a kanji isn't enough. You have to know when to use it and when to not use it.

Granted, you dismissed Heisig and I assume you dismissed Khatzumoto from All Japanese All the Time. Granted, Khatzumoto used Heisig's method to learn 4000 Hanzi characters (English Keyword to get proper stroke order) prior to learning Japanese. We'll assume literacy is the ability to transcribe some dialogue in Japanese and have a native speaker read it aloud to see if it matches the original dialogue. In addition, it'll include reading aloud from a length of text.
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby nukemarine » Wed 12.05.2007 7:00 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
HarakoMeshi wrote:
Wait, so for what we say to be worth anything we have to be total beginner learners who followed the book to a T and then went on to reach proficiency in Japanese literacy


Not at all. The thing I hear over and over again is that you shouldn't use Heisig the way that Heisig himself suggests you use it. So it doesn't seem unreasonable to ask how it *should* be used, by someone who has used it successfully -- and to me, the only possible definition of success in a language is functional ability, not what books you have completed or what frame of Heisig you have reached.


That is completely reasonable. Would you agree there were those LITERATE in Japanese (but only 600 or so Kanji) that went on to use Heisig with success (I'm hoping the answer is yes)?

It's legitimate to wonder if it's useful to a beginner or an intermediate student to help obtain literacy. I'm obviously not able to answer even for myself seeing as I'm only a beginner. I think in the next few years, more and more will be beginning with Heisig early in their studies so we'll get better feedback. There are those that have started and stopped, but I think it's EQUALLY fair to ask only for those that have started and stopped Heisig, then went on to obtain full literacy (the opposite extreme).

Let's face it, it's easy to find anyone that has started and stopped many and things. Much more difficult to find someone that hit a bump, took a different path and arrived at the destination. Just as difficult as the one who arrived at that destination along the path the other avoided.

Tell you what, I'll start a "Congratulations, I just obtained Japanese Literacy" thread in the RevTK forum. There, I'll ask for input from those that used Heisig then went on to obtain literacy. It's a logical location and likely to have very few posts with success stories. However, the success stories should be relevant to these forums.
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 12.05.2007 9:28 am

Please do. I tried to register for that forum a few times but got 404'ed on the registration page every time.

Basically what I want to know is:
- What had you studied before you started using RTK 1
- How did you use RTK 1
- What did you do after RTK 1
- How do you think that RTK 1 helped you in the long run?

Basically I would like to see these questions answered by someone who is able to read Japanese with some degree of fluency (i.e. not picking through a text bit by bit with a dictionary).
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby Wakannai » Wed 12.05.2007 9:43 am

Ah, so without deviation is a loaded term.


If a subject deviates, then they are not using the system outlined, they are using a variation, therefore any claims about the system really only apply to their own personal variation, not the system that it was based on. That is all, it's a matter of accuracy, not a loaded term at all.

Ah, is this another moving target? We've established that there are those (such as the Kanji Clinic author and another Amazon book reviewer so readily dismissed) who knew at least 600 Kanji via traditional means before using Heisig to learn 2000+ Kanji.


More deliberate misunderstanding on your part. Our position has always been that any newbie that picks up the Heisig books and uses them as a primary method of study will reach the end of the book and believe they "know" all of the kanji, then, when they realize how little value that knowledge is, they get discouraged and quit studying Japanese. Someone that already knows many kanji or injected themselves into Japanese society is therefore not a valid candidate to show the negative effects completing the Heisig books have on newbie moral because they have already given a level of commitment beyond that of a "beginner".

That's why we want someone that started as a beginner to finish the system and come back. Heisig is the one that specified all of the other reasons why other systems will interfere with his. We also have issues with a system that basically forces the student to un-learn much of it as they progress onward, again, mostly because forcing a student to un-learn stuff crushes their motivation and leads to them giving up. Not because it makes it impossible for someone to become literate.

That is why we keep on saying that no one ever starts as a beginner, goes through the Heisig books then comes back to tell about it. Someone that already knows 600 kanji is already significantly committed to learning Japanese . They've already faced and overcome many roadblocks and are prepared to tackle even more. A newbie finishing the Heisig books, however, is expecting a downhill ride, and the rude awakening when they find themselves still at the bottom of the hill tends to destroy their motivation.
Wow, so he started out a method he developed differently than the eventual end product he found to work. So your complaint against him is he self admittedly spent about a WEEK gathering information (in ENGLISH no less) about the Kanji to develop this method that in one month allowed him to memorize the recognition and stroke order of over 2000 Kanji? You're complaining about a few days?


I didn't just quote the bold part for a reason. There was more about experimentation and such in the following weeks as the system was developed. The problem with Heisig, besides his exposure to other concepts and no it wasn't just in the first few days, is that he created the system, it was not laid out in a pre-fabbed book as it is for anyone now. He experimented and naturally, much of his experimentation didn't make it into the book. Heisig is not a user, he's a creator. The very act of creating his system was a deviation from his advice to others not to experiment. When he chose a keyword for each kanji, he had to expose himself to the other meanings every kanji he laid out. And he very likely remembered many of the secondary meanings even though only one meaning is listed for each kanji in his system. In short, the system he provided is not exactly the system that he used. And once again, he describes himself as already highly committed, so he was never in danger of getting discouraged and quitting just from one major roadblock.

You're right, I was being sarcastic. My post was obvious and your reading skills were lacking. The credentials provided were to see if I qualified as a test subject according to your standards.


I'd like to hear if one other reader "got" your point since it was so obvious.

Once again, I'll offer myself up as a complete beginner that started with Heisig


Your post about your "credentials" came completely out of the blue and there was nothing upthread inviting it. Nowhere did anyone ask for someone to "prove their credentials" as being a complete beginner. We've asked for someone that is NOT a beginner to vouch for the system.

Notice that I wasn't the only one that gave you a negative reply, look at Chris's post right below yours. And lastly, how again was your point germane? This is now, anything you might be in the future is only pertinent in the future. You don't go to a job interview and tell them that "one day" in the indeterminate future you will qualify, but for now you don't. And then insult the interviewer.

Now, if your memory is lacking in a year or two, or this forum dies an early death (thus preventing a fairly simple bump) I would agree with your pointless statement.


You're a mighty vain person to expect a complete stranger to remember you in a year or two and phrase your statement as if it's some kind of deficiency on my part if I do not. You are a faceless internet person.

Oh, and since your reading skills are lacking, there is a big forum move planned in the near future. There are actually several mentions of it on the main page. So I highly doubt this thread will be available for bumpage.

In reality, you want a loaded no win experiment.


No, I want facts. Nothing is loaded, there is no moving target, because all the conditions are stated clearly. But that seems lost on you. I want to hear how a newbie used this system from the beginning and then moved on to become literate. Because as we've said so many times, the number of people that use the other system and then quit seems disproportionaly large.
Last edited by Wakannai on Wed 12.05.2007 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby HarakoMeshi » Wed 12.05.2007 1:48 pm

No, I want facts. Nothing is loaded, there is no moving target, because all the conditions are stated clearly. But that seems lost on you. I want to hear how a newbie used this system from the beginning and then moved on to become literate. Because as we've said so many times, the number of people that use the other system and then quit seems disproportionaly large


Didn't Nukemarine say he was a beginner who started with RTK?

Anyway, I think the impression we got was that people here flat out panned RTK for everyone, not just for absolute beginners. I see now that when someone comes in with their Pokemon badge and gets the wrong impression about language learning because of RTK's supposed *ease*, they have to be warned of the problems.

The way the advice is given here though is not conductive to what its trying to achieve. Blanket trashing the book is not what newbs need. They will read your trashing, then they will read all the positive Amazon reviews and "Reviewing The Kanji" forums and may just ignore your advice thinking you're just a "hater".

You guys do know that some people that joined RevTK called you guys "trolls" right? That's because to someone who misunderstands your intentions, you may sound like trolls, at least until you make your intentions clear.

I am very curious to find out how many *newbs* actually started RTK1, and FINISHED RTK1, and then gave up on Japanese? I don't know of any, so if you could point at some past posters that would be interesting.

RTK1 is not easy to finish, so if a newb does finish it that means they are pretty darn determined to study. Getting discouraged when they started a basic study of Japanese would seem to be out of character for a person like that.

I think most people that you say do give up on Japanese, probably never finished RTK1. One good piece of advice to give to newbs is that its hard to finish so unless they have an iron will they should not start it. There are easier things to start with that give better results in the short term. RTK is a long term commitment.
Last edited by HarakoMeshi on Wed 12.05.2007 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby morph » Wed 12.05.2007 2:55 pm

I came across this article while Googling the other day:
http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/RFL/April2006/k ... brown.html

This is from the abstract:

Major findings are that:
a) reading comprehension ability and kanji knowledge have direct associations with self-perception of Japanese reading ability, perceived difficulty in learning kanji, and the intensity of motivation for reading Japanese;

b) self-perception of Japanese reading ability is correlated more strongly with demonstrated kanji knowledge than with reading comprehension ability;

c) students who are more determined to learn Japanese in general seem to have higher intrinsic or extrinsic orientation for reading Japanese, but only those with stronger intrinsic orientation for reading Japanese are more likely to work at reading Japanese; and

d) intolerance of ambiguity and disengagement from the analytical study of kanji may be signs of lack of intrinsic orientation and motivation for reading Japanese.


Relevant?
morph
 
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby richvh » Wed 12.05.2007 3:22 pm

If we were going to the Reviewing the Kanji forums and trashing the book, we'd be trolls. Since it's the RTK advocates who are coming here, aware of the reaction they are likely to get... who is the troll?
Richard VanHouten
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby HarakoMeshi » Wed 12.05.2007 3:59 pm

richvh wrote:
If we were going to the Reviewing the Kanji forums and trashing the book, we'd be trolls. Since it's the RTK advocates who are coming here, aware of the reaction they are likely to get... who is the troll?


Well, I didn't realize this was the "Anti RTK forum". Is it trolling to be on the positive side of RTK in a discussion of RTK on this forum?

The term troll is highly subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial. The term is often erroneously used to discredit an opposing position, or its proponent, by argument fallacy ad hominem.
Last edited by HarakoMeshi on Wed 12.05.2007 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby yukamina » Wed 12.05.2007 4:06 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Please do. I tried to register for that forum a few times but got 404'ed on the registration page every time.

Basically what I want to know is:
- What had you studied before you started using RTK 1
- How did you use RTK 1
- What did you do after RTK 1
- How do you think that RTK 1 helped you in the long run?

Basically I would like to see these questions answered by someone who is able to read Japanese with some degree of fluency (i.e. not picking through a text bit by bit with a dictionary).

I'll try to give my input here... I was in school when I started RTK1, and I had other hobbies, so I was only studying off and on.

- I had studied some basic Japanese on my own, but I wasn't very organized. I continued studying Japanese while using RTK1.

- I used a mix of methods, since I sometimes get bored with one method after a while. I basically followed Heisig's instructions(except for studying kanji I thought I knew, which I regret). I studied about 1600, before I stopped again to focus on school... I hadn't reviewed enough and the kanji I hadn't made cards for caught up with me, so I switched methods and quickly drilled through all the kanji meanings using a flash card game. So I didn't go through RTK from start to finish, but the other method I used was similar enough.

-After I learned the kanji meanings, I used RTK2 to deal with on-yomi. I don't know how I could have gotten by without those phonetic groupings, repetitive on-yomi was a problem for me. Anyway, I used the example words to learn the on-yomi until I got the hang of on-yomi and used other sources to increase my vocabulary. I also studied grammar and read Japanese as practice(I still do all this)

-RTK(and similar methods) helped me in the long run because aside from demystifying the written language("I still have to learn 1800 kanji, I'll never finish! I've never even seen these kanji before, I can't read this") RTK made it easy to learn large amounts of vocabulary in a short period of time. RTK can be finished in a relatively short period of time(1-6 months, 3 is a good estimate for intense study), which makes any kanji word within your grasp. So you can easily study any words you need for your goal...not just ones that use easier or more common kanji.
Vocabulary and grammar are what's important for reading, but for vocabulary, you need the kanji used in those words for it to be of any real use.

Okay, I hope that makes some sense.
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RE: 'Remembering the kanji' question...

Postby HarakoMeshi » Wed 12.05.2007 4:46 pm

morph wrote:
I came across this article while Googling the other day:
http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/RFL/April2006/k ... brown.html


Nice find.

This was an interesting conclusion...

Second, the data show that, between the two reading ability measures used in this study (i.e., comprehension test and kanji test scores), the kanji test scores more strongly correlated with the Self-Perception of Japanese Reading Ability variable than the reading comprehension scores were. This is interesting because, in Clément's motivation model (1980), self-perception is conceptualized as a component of self-confidence, which directly influences the learner's motivation to contact in the target language indirectly contributing to L2 achievement (Clément and Kruidenier, 1985). If Clément's model can be applied to L2 literacy development, it may follow that students who demonstrate better kanji knowledge perceive themselves as better readers, and therefore, become more active readers. Previous cognitive research dealing with Japanese L2 reading suggests that kanji word recognition and other forms of lower-level processing influence efficiency of comprehending Japanese texts (e.g., Everson and Kuriya, 1999; Horiba, 1990; Koda, 1992; Y. Mori, 1998). The present study suggests that the lack of adequate kanji knowledge may not only decrease efficiency in reading but also significantly reduce motivation to read. Thus, again, careful attention to kanji usage in the course reading materials is highly recommended.


So increasing self confidence in Kanji has a positive effect on the learner's motivation to read, which has a positive effect on the ultimate ability to read.
Last edited by HarakoMeshi on Wed 12.05.2007 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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