hungryhotei wrote:Qbe wrote:
I needed a quicker way to cram 2000 kanji in my head.
I know, this is going off here and not adressing any points raised so far but...
Everyone would be doing themselves a favour if they just forgot this number of 2000 Kanji that you supposedly need to know. I metion it partly because some people seem to put Kanji targets in their signature. Trust me, its nonsense. It's not the number you need before you can be set loose on Japanese texts, the number needed to read comfortably, or enough that you would know every Kanji commonly used.
In the first place, putting it in a number like that seems to give equal weight to each Kanji. The vast majority of Kanji don't need to be written by hand, only recognised - even Japanese people need to look them up. 'recognise from context' requires a completely different level of knowledge from 'write swiftly by hand'.
Now it also suggests that if you know 2000 Kanji then you are done. This number probably comes from rounding up the jouyou kanji, so lets take that list, and for fun even add the 285 characters used in names to give all of those in the 'Kanji learners dictionary'. Well, I come across Kanji that aren't in that dictioanry just about everyday. Some really common like 捉 and 訊. Because some used coffee in that example eariler (perhaps forgetting its a katakana word?) the Kanji for coffee aren't in that list either, but the book I read the other day used them (with no furigana), 珈琲. Other examples include kanji for kitune, tanuki and sushi. We all just have to accept that this 2000 is just some random number, not any kind of target.
Now, the last reason I ask everyone to give up on 2000 is that it is far too high. I would suggest that the number for "Kanji you need to learn" is closer to 1000. At about this number its possible to begin reading, especially if an appropriate text is chosen. It is also at about this point that you know enough Kanji to be able to learn to recognise new Kanji much more easily. You don't need to sit down and study any more, you can beign to pick them up as you go along. And trust me, once you pass 1000 you aren't going to be counting Kanji anymore.
The real point is that the number of Kanji you need to know depends on what you want to read. The naruto manga for example would need a much smaller knowledge of Kanji and of different Kanji from say the asahi shinbun. And a novel would be somewhere in the middle.
So forget about 2000, its just a random number. If you want a target just take 1000, it seems much easier to reach too.
Actually, the reason I placed a kanji target in my sig was not to push myself to learn the required kanji as quickly as possible, but it was to remind myself of how far I've gotten since I started learning japanese. For me, learning kanji is no easy task and when I am finally able to recognize and learn a certain kanji it feels good to be able to know that I am actually getting somewhere and that I'm slowly advancing in my japanese studies. That's why I feel proud to add another kanji to my list because it reminds me of how far I've gotten, not how little I've done. Plus, I like adding comments to it too, just for the fun of it, you know