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Heisig, RTK Experiment

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

Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Infidel » Wed 12.31.2008 12:16 am

jcdietz03 wrote:
Please, let's not turn this into a theory thread. We've already seen many many theory threads. This thread is supposed to be an experience thread. Let's not muddy the water and encourage the thread to lose its focus.
Could someone please post a link to one or more of these memory threads? I am having trouble finding them.


Theory not memory.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Dustin » Thu 01.08.2009 3:36 am

Tonight I am right under 1400 Kanji ( I'm at 1354 but finished my reviews, relearns and have time to add 40 of the next lesson putting me at 1390 ish )

Learning to remember the writings for Kanji in groups definitely is making learning new kanji much easier. Right now I am on the lesson using the "thread" primitive. There are just over 60 of these Kanji in this lesson. Learning them this way and only building up with parts I already know, really is a great method for building up your knowledge of how the kanji are made up, though it definitely may not work for everyone. I will reach the two month mark of working through the book soon.

Unfortunately seeing the end in sight, and looking at my standings on the revtk website, it looks like over half of the current users are at about 500 kanji or lower, and the latter half is anyone above that, including people that have finished the book and continue reviewing, and people that either have worked, or are currently working through RTK 3.

Seeing this huge drop-off and just using my own experience, it seems that a lot of people do not make it through the complete book, and many will come back to it 2-3-4 times before finishing or giving up for good. This is not for the light of heart, it is not a "read this book over a month or so and you're good" type of book. It takes a strong motivation to work all the way through the book, and even moreso if you are using a good flashcard program, the reviews and relearns i do every day take up a rather significant chunk of time out of my day.

Over the last week, I was unable to add ANY new kanji simply because of the amount of reviews I had to do, since I am going through the book as quickly and efficiently as I can, while my days are taken up with my girls that are both about 20 months old. Having them running around and my wife wanting me to help out ( rightfully so ) really eats up possible Japanese study time.
Finally I got my recently learned pile under control and whittled down to a size that is fairly manageable, though I can see many people hitting this "wall" and giving up.

To think I have about 700 left in this program, and then I will have to keep reviewing these indefinitely ( until I come across them enough in context that I don't need the additional input from flashcards to remember them ) and all I really get out of it is a single keyword ( sometimes not related to the definition whatsoever ) as well as being able to write the desired kanji from memory is fine with me. That has always been the most daunting part of learning any Kanji for me, as well as mixing up similar Kanji.

This is getting a little long winded and I probably have said a lot of this already.
It's going great, I can't wait til I start learning Kanji in context and can actually READ something, putting this RTK to USE :D
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby bry0000000 » Thu 01.08.2009 4:40 am

One of the reasons that most users may be under the 500 mark is because I think the site only shows how many kanji that are being reviewed on the RTK site by users, not the ones those users have stories for. For example, I use the site to store my stories and to look up stories for old kanji that I might have problems with, but I use Anki for all my reviews.

I will admit that I've been going a little slower than most, but it keeps the reviews at bay. And considering that I'm a full time student who is working and planning a huge event, this works out perfect for me. What I'm trying to say is that this method works for people who want to rush through the book AND people who take it slow/don't add any new characters for a few days, so long as reviews are taken care of each day. For the first group, this may mean letting the reviews pile up a bit with new cards.

Dustin, I wish you the best of luck in your studies. It looks like you're going to finish this book no problem. :D
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Dustin » Thu 01.08.2009 4:50 am

bry0000000 wrote:One of the reasons that most users may be under the 500 mark is because I think the site only shows how many kanji that are being reviewed on the RTK site by users, not the ones those users have stories for. For example, I use the site to store my stories and to look up stories for old kanji that I might have problems with, but I use Anki for all my reviews.


I did think about this to a point, but the list that I get my information from is only people actively reviewing on this site within the last 30 days, so there is a number of people that decide to use anki or other software instead, but not enough right at that number for this kind of dropoff. Either way, i do know there are a lot of people that don't have the motivation to finish the book, and having to make stories on your own ( or rip off stories from others that may or may not work ) tends to be one milestone that trips up a lot of people.

bry0000000 wrote:I will admit that I've been going a little slower than most, but it keeps the reviews at bay. And considering that I'm a full time student who is working and planning a huge event, this works out perfect for me. What I'm trying to say is that this method works for people who want to rush through the book AND people who take it slow/don't add any new characters for a few days, so long as reviews are taken care of each day. For the first group, this may mean letting the reviews pile up a bit with new cards.


No problem with going slow, I have a little more free time right now thanks to recently moving, and my line of work has a good window of free time around christmas ( I currently have a Residential home painting business ) So I am trying to get through it nice and quick before starting to work, that way when my time is limited I can concentrate on "Real Japanese" ( vocab, grammar, etc. )

bry0000000 wrote:Dustin, I wish you the best of luck in your studies. It looks like you're going to finish this book no problem. :D

Thanks! Good luck to yourself as well :D
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby bry0000000 » Thu 01.08.2009 12:35 pm

Dustin wrote:I did think about this to a point, but the list that I get my information from is only people actively reviewing on this site within the last 30 days, so there is a number of people that decide to use anki or other software instead, but not enough right at that number for this kind of dropoff. Either way, i do know there are a lot of people that don't have the motivation to finish the book, and having to make stories on your own ( or rip off stories from others that may or may not work ) tends to be one milestone that trips up a lot of people.


That's probably true. I've stopped doing RtK for about a year (big mistake on my part, should have at least been doing reviews every day), and I'm sure there are many more who do the same thing.

Just out of curiosity, about what percentage of the stories you use are stories that you write, and what do you feel are the advantages and disadvantages of writing your own stories?
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby jcdietz03 » Thu 01.08.2009 1:37 pm

Right at the beginning of Part 3, heisig gives a chapter with like 6 kanji in it. It's the shortest chapter in the whole book. I don't usually write my own stories, instead opting to shamelessly steal those of others. I wrote six stories (for six kanji) and found that I had come up with six totally new stories not listed on Kanji.koohi.com. I think you can remember it better if you write your own stories, but it is not worth the time investment to do so. If I want to add 50-70 new kanji/day, I need to steal the stories of others - it just takes too long to come up with your own story in my opinion.
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Dustin » Thu 01.08.2009 1:54 pm

For me it really depends on the kanji.

Sometimes as soon as I see a Kanji and it's primitives the story is very obvious, and I am usually not the first person to think of this story, so I look on the site and can find something already written out fitting what I already thought for the kanji. Other times people that have more experience than me were able to come up with alternate primitive names that keeps the original in mind, while making stories easier, Such as Spiderman for the "thread" primitive or Mr T for the 2 stroke "person" primitive in kanji such as 休 This can make much more memorable characters to use for your stories, and I am fully willing to use these as well.

It's somewhat more rare for me to come up with a 100% original character for a Kanji, but it happens quite a bit more on the more obscure Kanji that are difficult to make any kind of coherant story for. I am sharing any stories I make on my own, and have recieved a few stars so far ( people that like my stories )

Making your own stories tends to make the Kanji stick better, but using similar stories to my first thoughts and primitive alternates really helps, and draws upon the experience of others that have been through the book and know more than I do.

Also, sometimes even for the Kanji whose parts are obvious for a story, when you see a keyword you draw a blank every time, these are the ones requiring special attention that need tobe re-worked, and the great thing about using an SRS such as on the kanji.koohii.com site, or anki is that you will know right away, whether a story stuck, or you need more work on it. If not for the advent of of these great programs then your own stories would be much more important.
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Christine Tham » Sat 01.10.2009 11:16 pm

Just a suggestion. You could mine a Japanese Kanji dictionary for stories, or, more properly なりたち. An authoritative book used by schoolchildren is 例解学習漢字辞典 by the widely regarded 藤堂 明保.

Another source is to consult the Kanji section of 広辞苑 (widely regarded as the most authoritative single volume 国語辞典).

As an example, the other day, someone remarked to me that she found writing 歳 difficult to master. A quick consultation of the 6th edition of 広辞苑 offers the following explanation:

会意。「戉」(=まさかり)+「歩」(=あゆみ)。鎌【かま】などで作物を刈り取ってから次に刈り取るまでの一めぐりの意。

As you can see from reading the above explanation, the character is a semantic composite of a battle ax and walking/plodding, hence signifying harvesting crops using a sickle. Since this is an annual event, the character represents the passage of time between harvests, and hence used as a suffix for denoting someone's age in years (or harvest cycles!)

Once you've read the explanation in Japanese, it's pretty easy to remember how to write the character.

Another benefit is that you are learning the characters using the same stories that Japanese schoolchildren use to remember the characters. Try describing a character using one of these stories to a Japanese schoolchild for example, and you'll find more often than not they also recognise the story.
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Dustin » Sun 01.11.2009 3:54 am

Good news, I have reached frame #1531/2042

That is the 3/4 milestone, maybe not as quickly as I had hoped, but you can only push so much information so quickly.

I may go full throttle for the last 500 ish Kanji and be done with this book, and just review in my srs and then start on the "REAL Japanese" I am looking so forward to studying.

The etymology and true meanings could be sometimes far from the keyword, but as long as something acts as a sort of "placeholder" until I attach it to vocabulary, and I know not to look too far into the keyword ( this is all explained in the intro of the book anyways ) then I can slowly get off the heisig and onto real language. That will be the day, when I can look in my SRS and the last of heisig is gone.... :D

Thanks for the input I have recieved and the readership of my Progress Thread Much Appreciated :mrgreen:
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Sairana » Sun 01.11.2009 12:59 pm

Christine Tham wrote:Just a suggestion. You could mine a Japanese Kanji dictionary for stories, or, more properly なりたち. An authoritative book used by schoolchildren is 例解学習漢字辞典 by the widely regarded 藤堂 明保.

Another source is to consult the Kanji section of 広辞苑 (widely regarded as the most authoritative single volume 国語辞典).

As an example, the other day, someone remarked to me that she found writing 歳 difficult to master. A quick consultation of the 6th edition of 広辞苑 offers the following explanation:

会意。「戉」(=まさかり)+「歩」(=あゆみ)。鎌【かま】などで作物を刈り取ってから次に刈り取るまでの一めぐりの意。

As you can see from reading the above explanation, the character is a semantic composite of a battle ax and walking/plodding, hence signifying harvesting crops using a sickle.


Pardon if I am terribly obtuse, but isn't this advice a bit unrealistic? If someone is capable of reading etymological explanations in a J-J dictionary, would they really need Heisig's book? It would work great, I'm sure, for someone who can already read Japanese fairly well and who only has a problem occasionally with specific characters, so I'm not criticizing this as BAD advice. It's just directed at the wrong audience.
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Christine Tham » Sun 01.11.2009 5:29 pm

Sairana wrote:Pardon if I am terribly obtuse, but isn't this advice a bit unrealistic?


Why would it be unrealistic? I did it as a beginner (straight after learning hiragana and with only basic Japanese grammar under my belt). Sure, it's hell at first (I ended up looking up just about every character and grammatical point). But it's a great way to *learn* Japanese at the same time.

I think I probably learnt more Japanese looking up definitions in a dictionary than perhaps via traditional means.

And are you not aware that the current trend amongst Japanese educators (at least, from the articles I have read in the Japan Foundation library) is to advocate teaching Kanji only after a basic level of Japanese has been reached (minimum JLPT4, more realistically midway through JLPT3).

That's the way I was taught at the Japan Foundation classes that I attended - we did not really learn Kanji until midway in the second year. In the first year, we were told to just memorise the 80 or so characters for JLPT4 but don't worry about them.

If one follows this advice (of delaying learning Kanji until mastery of JLPT4), by the time one starts learning Kanji, one should have enough skills to read the なりたち in a dictionary (with the help of lookups for any characters that one does not already know).
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Sairana » Sun 01.11.2009 11:55 pm

Christine Tham wrote:
Sairana wrote:Pardon if I am terribly obtuse, but isn't this advice a bit unrealistic?


Why would it be unrealistic? I did it as a beginner (straight after learning hiragana and with only basic Japanese grammar under my belt). Sure, it's hell at first (I ended up looking up just about every character and grammatical point). But it's a great way to *learn* Japanese at the same time.

I think I probably learnt more Japanese looking up definitions in a dictionary than perhaps via traditional means.


I'm pretty sure that your formal classes that you allude to later in your post had a whole lot to do with that success. That, and you are perhaps particularly gifted with languages. Your advice is the linguistic equivalent to, "Well honey, if you'd like a piece of the moon, just fly there and get one!" It seems flippant. ((After all, you really can charter a private expedition to the moon, for a tidy sum through Space Adventures, but that doesn't make it a VIABLE OPTION for 99% of the world because of the cost.))

And are you not aware that the current trend amongst Japanese educators (at least, from the articles I have read in the Japan Foundation library) is to advocate teaching Kanji only after a basic level of Japanese has been reached (minimum JLPT4, more realistically midway through JLPT3).


Are you not aware that most of the people using an internet forum like this for help in their study are not under the guidance of a Japanese educator, or in fact, any sort of organized program at all?

If one follows this advice (of delaying learning Kanji until mastery of JLPT4), by the time one starts learning Kanji, one should have enough skills to read the なりたち in a dictionary (with the help of lookups for any characters that one does not already know).


You have basically just said that if you learn JLPT 4 grammar and vocabulary, you can just plow through a J-J dictionary (with etymologies!) to learn kanji. I try to take people at their word. Things like this make that difficult. This is one issue I would only believe if I witnessed it personally.

If it is, in fact, true, then I imagine that the market will be flooded very soon with materials and study how-to's promoting this method. After all, when someone has found the "magic wand", they will most certainly capitalize on it.
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Christine Tham » Mon 01.12.2009 2:21 am

Sairana wrote:Are you not aware that most of the people using an internet forum like this for help in their study are not under the guidance of a Japanese educator, or in fact, any sort of organized program at all?


Actually, no I am not aware. Do you have any evidence to support your statement? I have not seen a poll where people disclose their learning approaches. Remember, if you are following a textbook (and as far as I know, most people are following some sort of textbook) then that is an "organised program" of learning.

In any case, I fail to see why the presence or absence of a Japanese tutor materially impacts a recommendation to delay studying Kanji until JLPT4 level.

Not everyone agrees with this recommendation. I didn't. I willfully ignored my teachers' recommendation and plunged headlong into studying Kanji straight after studying hiragana. In hindsight, I would say my teachers were correct, I should have just waited - I could have saved a lot of time and avoided a lot of misunderstandings.

I remember a year after I started studying Kanji, one of my teachers asked me "By the way, how many Kanji do you now know?" I replied (truthfully) "Actually, I don't know. I think I have probably forgotten more than I have learnt." He then beamed and said "Good. You are finally beginning to really understand Kanji. Congratulations!" After that we both cracked up because we just realised a Zen moment had just passed between us.

By the way, just in case you think I am really good in languages, I am not. Despite my mother being a Chinese language teacher and fluent in half a dozen Chinese dialects, I can barely speak Chinese and completely illiterate in Chinese - I can barely spell my own name.

And I have studied Japanese for less than 2.5 years - I would say I am still at beginner level in Japanese.

Sairana wrote:You have basically just said that if you learn JLPT 4 grammar and vocabulary, you can just plow through a J-J dictionary (with etymologies!) to learn kanji. I try to take people at their word. Things like this make that difficult. This is one issue I would only believe if I witnessed it personally.


Well, I did say it was from personal experience. I am only giving advice that I have practised on myself. In the specific example that I gave, I don't think there was any grammar usage beyond JLPT4 capability (correct me if I'm wrong).

This advice was actually given to me by a Japanese woman who saw me studying Kanji (using an English book) on the train. She was the one who strongly advised me that it's better to study Kanji completely in Japanese. I was probably initially as skeptical as you, but she said try it! I did, and haven't looked back since.

I think you should probably try it out a few times yourself if you are skeptical. I am assuming you have at least JLPT4 competency. If you don't, then wait until you do. It's not as intimidating as you think.

Of course, you don't need to restrict yourself to something like 広辞苑. In fact, 広辞苑 would probably be my last resort, I was only using it as an example to show it's not as scary or as difficult as you may think.

I would suggest starting with a Japanese 漢字 textbook. I have found a set that I really like:

新@一年生のかんじ (for Grade 1, obviously similar names for Grades 2-6)
Author: 友野一著 (Hajime Tomono)
Publisher: さ・え・ら書房
ISBN 4-378-00508-5
First Published: 1991
Approx price: around 1000円

If you want, I can send you a few representative scanned pages from the Grade 1 textbook, and I think you will agree anyone with JLPT4 proficiency should have no problems reading this book, which contain なりたち. And if you get stuck, it has pictures!

Sairana wrote:If it is, in fact, true, then I imagine that the market will be flooded very soon with materials and study how-to's promoting this method. After all, when someone has found the "magic wand", they will most certainly capitalize on it.


Actually, the market is flooded with exactly with these kind of books. Most of them are not intended for foreign learners, they are targeted to Japanese schoolchildren. I personally own at least 3-4 different sets and have browsed through a few more sets. If you peruse a Japanese second hand bookstore, they literally fill up bookshelves.

I know of at least 2-3 Kanji books (in English) that appear to be nothing more than English translations of the なりたち in 例解学習漢字辞典 by 藤堂 明保 (a popular reference book used by Japanese schoolchildren - I bought the Doraemon edition!) - from memory one of them is called the First Step to Kanji, another is called Basic Kanji and I can't remember the third (check my blog for more details).
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Sairana » Mon 01.12.2009 7:42 pm

Christine Tham wrote:
Sairana wrote:Are you not aware that most of the people using an internet forum like this for help in their study are not under the guidance of a Japanese educator, or in fact, any sort of organized program at all?

Actually, no I am not aware. Do you have any evidence to support your statement? I have not seen a poll where people disclose their learning approaches.

All the evidence you need are in the considerable backlog of forum posts available with the handy-dandy "next page" button at the bottom of your thread listing. Go ahead and peruse back up to years and years back. Don't strain yourself, though. Once you've been around as long as some of us, you'll see the recurring patterns for yourself.
In any case, I fail to see why the presence or absence of a Japanese tutor materially impacts a recommendation to delay studying Kanji until JLPT4 level. Not everyone agrees with this recommendation.

Ahh, I see the crux of your problem; you lack reading comprehension. You think my problem is about when to learn kanji. That, or you're trying to misdirect the conversation. Considering you don't seen like a stupid person, I guess it's the latter. In that case, knock it off. This is not about "how long to wait before learning kanji".
I remember a year after I started studying Kanji, one of my teachers asked me "By the way, how many Kanji do you now know?" I replied (truthfully) "Actually, I don't know. I think I have probably forgotten more than I have learnt."
[snip]
This advice was actually given to me by a Japanese woman who saw me studying Kanji (using an English book) on the train.

Interesting. So you already knew a great deal of kanji before you picked up this method? Details, details... how important can they be?
Sairana wrote:If it is, in fact, true, then I imagine that the market will be flooded very soon with materials and study how-to's promoting this method.

Actually, the market is flooded with exactly with these kind of books. Most of them are not intended for foreign learners, they are targeted to Japanese schoolchildren.

Do you know what it means when speaking about a market for a product? It refers to a specific criteria of consumer for which a product is created. In this case, I -thought- we were discussing studying Japanese as a foreign language, not native Japanese speaking children. If you're taking the stance of "We should learn Japanese the way Japanese children do," then I'll be bowing out of this conversation. There are more qualified people than myself to tell you all the reasons why that's a load of... something unpleasant.
I know of at least 2-3 Kanji books (in English) that appear to be nothing more than English translations of the なりたち in 例解学習漢字辞典 by 藤堂 明保 (a popular reference book used by Japanese schoolchildren - I bought the Doraemon edition!) - from memory one of them is called the First Step to Kanji, another is called Basic Kanji and I can't remember the third (check my blog for more details).

What does the existence of English-language kanji study books have to do with me thinking your idea to study from an all-Japanese etymology source is unrealistic? I'm not quite making the connection, here.
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Re: Heisig, RTK Experiment

Postby Christine Tham » Wed 01.14.2009 12:27 am

Sairana wrote:All the evidence you need are in the considerable backlog of forum posts available with the handy-dandy "next page" button at the bottom of your thread listing. Go ahead and peruse back up to years and years back. Don't strain yourself, though. Once you've been around as long as some of us, you'll see the recurring patterns for yourself.


So, in other words, you have no evidence. I don't think asking someone to "peruse back up to years and years back" is "realistic", especially since it was *your* claim, and I'm asking you to justify it. Why don't *you* look and then tell me the answer?

Sairana wrote:Ahh, I see the crux of your problem; you lack reading comprehension. You think my problem is about when to learn kanji. That, or you're trying to misdirect the conversation. Considering you don't seen like a stupid person, I guess it's the latter. In that case, knock it off. This is not about "how long to wait before learning kanji".


You seem to be very aggressive in your response? Why? I didn't suggest you had a "problem".

I originally said "And are you not aware that the current trend amongst Japanese educators (at least, from the articles I have read in the Japan Foundation library) is to advocate teaching Kanji only after a basic level of Japanese has been reached (minimum JLPT4, more realistically midway through JLPT3)."

And then you replied "Are you not aware that most of the people using an internet forum like this for help in their study are not under the guidance of a Japanese educator, or in fact, any sort of organized program at all?"

So my point was I'm not quite sure why self study vs guided study would impact the "recommendation" that I quoted earlier, which is "to advocate teaching Kanji only after a basic level of Japanese has been reached." Obviously, if one is a self-learner, then substitute "teaching" for "learning by one self."

By the way, I also originally said "If one follows this advice (of delaying learning Kanji until mastery of JLPT4), by the time one starts learning Kanji, one should have enough skills to read the なりたち in a dictionary (with the help of lookups for any characters that one does not already know)."

So why are you now saying I'm trying to "divert the conversation"?

Sairana wrote:Interesting. So you already knew a great deal of kanji before you picked up this method? Details, details... how important can they be?


All up, I have studied Japanese for less than 2.5 years. How many Kanji do you think I would know around a year or so ago?

When I met the woman on the train, it was probably 6-9 months into my study, and my Japanese level was probably around JLPT4 level (or below). The amount of Kanji I knew was minimal - numbers, days of weeks, etc. Definitely below Grade 1 level (80 characters).

I started learning 漢字のなりたち about a month prior to that, initially in English (using the textbooks in English that I mentioned). After receiving advice from the woman, I started learning the なりたち in Japanese. As I mentioned, initially it's hard, but one gets used to it quickly. I consult an electronic dictionary ALL the time, so my reading is really slow.

I actually don't know how much Kanji I know right now, definitely less than 1000, probably less than 500. By "know" I mean being able to recognise with no problems and write with no problems. As I mentioned before, that doesn't stop me from reading 国語辞典 (Japanese-Japanese dictionaries). I can also read things like manuals for camcorders, computers etc. (because they also have simple grammar, around JLPT3-4 level, and their use of Kanji is very restrictive). Manga is a bit harder, but I managed to go through a few film comics successfully. I'll probably try and tackle a novel in the next few months.

But the point I was making is that anyone with JLPT4 knowledge could have read the 広辞苑 extract that I quoted, since the grammar was simple. Just look up every word or character that you don't recognise in a dictionary. If you have an electronic dictionary with 広辞苑 loaded on it, just use the dictionary itself to look up any words you don't recognise.

Sairana wrote:Do you know what it means when speaking about a market for a product? It refers to a specific criteria of consumer for which a product is created. In this case, I -thought- we were discussing studying Japanese as a foreign language, not native Japanese speaking children. If you're taking the stance of "We should learn Japanese the way Japanese children do," then I'll be bowing out of this conversation. There are more qualified people than myself to tell you all the reasons why that's a load of... something unpleasant.


Actually, I am interested. Why would "learning Japanese the way Japanese children do" be "a load of... something unpleasant?"

Because that's the way I am trying to learn Japanese, outside of class hours. From children's books, and textbooks intended for grade school children. As I've mentioned, I have bought a few sets of them. If there are disavantages and pitfalls to this method, I would sure like to know about them.

So for me, the "market" I was referring to was the market for anyone who is learning Japanese. I personally think books intended for Japanese schoolchildren are superior to books intended for adult foreigners, simply because the people doing it have been doing it for a long time, and they know what works and what doesn't. The book that I recommended (that I gave the ISBN number to) is a real joy to read. Everything is explained so well, with nice pictures, and written so simply even a child can understand it (no surprises there I guess).

And they don't hold back on explaining difficult concepts, like phonetic-semantic composites (草 is introduced in Grade 1, around the middle of the book, and the authors explain how the radical is the semantic component, and how the phonetic component 早 provides the reading そう). Since this is a concept that even some people on this forum seem to have a lot of trouble grasping, I marvel at how well they have done it for a Grade 1 schoolchild.

Sairana wrote:What does the existence of English-language kanji study books have to do with me thinking your idea to study from an all-Japanese etymology source is unrealistic? I'm not quite making the connection, here.


Well, you were asking a question "If it is, in fact, true, then I imagine that the market will be flooded very soon with materials and study how-to's promoting this method."

By method, I assumed you mean "studying なりたち as an aid in remembering 漢字" Obviously one can study the なりたち in any language. I advocate Japanese, but there are also books in English. At least one of the books I mentioned (I think it's "First Step to Kanji") gives the なりたち in both Japanese and English, so you can have your choice. As far as I know, these books are also meant for foreign students learning Japanese.

So I am not sure why you are unhappy with me giving examples of books in Japanese in intended for Japanese schoolchildren, and books in English (with some Japanese) intended for foreigners, all of which are examples of books that encourage the learner to remember 漢字 by understanding the なりたち. Obviously, the existence of these books are evidence that the "market" which you were asking about is indeed well established.
Christine Tham
 
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