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Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

The test - experiences, questions or comments

RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Mukade » Wed 11.08.2006 3:16 am

Man, I didn't even look. I just typed, hit the spacebar, and went on my way.

Is it just me, or do Japanese cell phones and Macs select the appropriate kanji more often than IME?

I feel like the IME is always selecting completely wacked out characters for totally ordinary words...

In fact, entering 準2級 into my cell phone, I get the correct kanji on the first try.

I've also noticed that I rarely have this problem on my Mac.


Then again, maybe I'm just being a Windows playa-hater.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby chchan45 » Thu 11.09.2006 4:24 pm

I disagree that radicals are useful. We now have the Jim Breen dictionary where you can look up a kanji by the "multi-radical method". If I want to tell people a kanji, I just say "it is 'bai' of 'baiyou'", "it is the kanji in 'tsuchikau'" or "'it is like 'bai' of 'bairitsu' but its left hand side is earth". I cannot be bothered to learn the names of radicals and learn which kanji has which radical, but I get along fine.

Actually 準2級 is not as difficult as you think. You "only" need to be able write all the kanji up to 4級. Like 4級 and 3級, you also need to know the kun/on readings studied by Japanese students in lower secondary school (e.g. 福音=ふくいん not ふくおん). There are no trick questions and "multiple choice" questions make up 30% of the score.

Passing 2級 would be much more difficult because of the higher pass mark (80% rather than 70%), no easy multiple-choice questions and the need to learn all the kun/on readings studied by Japanese students in upper secondary school. I had no problems with 準2級 but I would be a lamb to the slaughter were I to take 2級 now.

I agree that 1級 is for geeks, but can see why 準1級 might make sense for some people. A book I am reading at the moment has so many non-jouyou kanjis that I wish I had known more.
Last edited by chchan45 on Thu 11.09.2006 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 11.09.2006 8:05 pm

Actually 準2級 is not as difficult as you think. You "only" need to be able write all the kanji up to 4級.


It's actually 3級 -- for levels 4, 3, and jun2 you only need to be able to write kanji at one level lower than the level of the test. The actual level 2 makes you be able to write them all. (I do not expect Jun-2 to be particularly difficult -- 2, on the other hand, seems quite challenging.)

I actually find the multiple choice questions some of the hardest on the test; they'll all those damn radical and "word construction" questions -- I much prefer the write-the-kanji sections, personally.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby chchan45 » Thu 11.09.2006 9:34 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Actually 準2級 is not as difficult as you think. You "only" need to be able write all the kanji up to 4級.


It's actually 3級 -- for levels 4, 3, and jun2 you only need to be able to write kanji at one level lower than the level of the test. The actual level 2 makes you be able to write them all. (I do not expect Jun-2 to be particularly difficult -- 2, on the other hand, seems quite challenging.)


Please refer to this site: http://www.kanken.or.jp/frame/f06.html
常用漢字の大体が読める。特に中学校で学習する音 ・訓を身につける。 学年別漢字配当浮フ漢字およびその他の常用漢字300字程度を身につけ、文章の中で適切に使える。
It says you have to be able to use all the kanjis learnt in primary school, as well as 300 others. This is exactly the number of kanjis you have to learn for level 4. I have just taken the test last Sunday and confirm that none of the questions ask me to write kanjis above level 4.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Mukade » Thu 11.09.2006 9:48 pm

chchan45 wrote:
I disagree that radicals are useful. We now have the Jim Breen dictionary where you can look up a kanji by the "multi-radical method".


Well, that's fine if you always have access to a computer with an internet connection. But that isn't always the case.

Personally, I'd like to have the knowledge in my own head, rather than constantly rely on other sources and other people.

chchan45 wrote:
If I want to tell people a kanji, I just say "it is 'bai' of 'baiyou'", "it is the kanji in 'tsuchikau'" or "'it is like 'bai' of 'bairitsu' but its left hand side is earth". I cannot be bothered to learn the names of radicals and learn which kanji has which radical, but I get along fine.


I agree, you can get by this way. But for me, there's something bothersome about not knowing something that the average, (not even highly) educated Japanese person knows.

Although they don't know every single one of the 214 radicals, they certainly can rattle off the most common, such as tsuchihen, kusakanmuri, madare, nobun, etc.

Like you said, they will typically describe kanji by saying "it's the bai from baiyou." But when that sort of thing fails, they fall back on the radicals. "It's tsuchihen, plus stand and mouth." If you can't even recognize that when you hear it, then you will always be less than fluent, in my opinion.

I mean, this is stuff junior high-school students know. Doesn't it bother you to be speaking less eloquently or educated than a 12-year-old? I know it bugs the hell out of me, which is why I've made a point to study it.

-----

To put it another way, I was reading Tae Kim's blog recently, and he was talking about the Nintendo DS Brain-training program. He mentioned that his Japanese friends said that learning the four-character-compounds was probably not too important for a foreigner. And yet when they sat down with the program, they would write 90% of those four-character-compounds correctly, and without hesitation.

If it's not that important, why do they know it?

I guess it's the difference between being satisified with 'enough to get by,' and striving for real mastery.

I may never be as eloquent and well-spoken in Japanese as in my own language, but there's no reason I can't try.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Fri 11.10.2006 2:09 am

Mukade wrote:
Matsumoto_hideto wrote:
I beg to differ. I dont know any of those ticks or tricks you talk about and A lot of Japanese people tell me how beautifully I write in japanese.


maybe its just because i have to be more careful that japanese ppl are when writing.


Or that this experience is not that different from:

You - こんにちは!
Japanese Person - わああ!日本語が上手ですね!


I got a lot of the same types of comments on my writing back when I was doing my study abroad in '97. Now that I look back at my old notes, however, I realize that my writing actually looked like a four-year-old trying to write like a computer printout. There's no way Japanese people found my writing good.

What they were saying was "wow, your handwriting is really good."

What they really meant was "wow, your handwriting is good for a foreigner."

Those are two very, very different statements.


日本語が上手ありません。
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All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Fri 11.10.2006 2:09 am

Mukade wrote:
Matsumoto_hideto wrote:

You - こんにちは!
Japanese Person - わああ!日本語が上手ですね!


日本語が上手ありません。
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Tensai Bakabon » Sun 11.12.2006 8:33 pm

Matsumoto_hideto wrote:
[
I beg to differ. I dont know any of those ticks or tricks you talk about and A lot of Japanese people tell me how beautifully I write in japanese.


maybe its just because i have to be more careful that japanese ppl are when writing.

Could you show us a sample of your writing?
Last edited by Tensai Bakabon on Sun 12.24.2006 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Tensai Bakabon » Sun 11.12.2006 8:41 pm

Mukade wrote:

I agree, you can get by this way. But for me, there's something bothersome about not knowing something that the average, (not even highly) educated Japanese person knows.

Although they don't know every single one of the 214 radicals, they certainly can rattle off the most common, such as tsuchihen, kusakanmuri, madare, nobun, etc.

Like you said, they will typically describe kanji by saying "it's the bai from baiyou." But when that sort of thing fails, they fall back on the radicals. "It's tsuchihen, plus stand and mouth." If you can't even recognize that when you hear it, then you will always be less than fluent, in my opinion.

I mean, this is stuff junior high-school students know. Doesn't it bother you to be speaking less eloquently or educated than a 12-year-old? I know it bugs the hell out of me, which is why I've made a point to study it.

All Japanese people learn things like kanji radicals and yojijukugo in middle school kokugo class, and questions on these topics appear on high school entrance exams, so it's a pretty good bet that anyone who has attended high school will know these sorts of things.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Tensai Bakabon » Sun 11.12.2006 8:46 pm

chchan45 wrote:
The Kanji Aptitude Test will be held next Sunday and I am going to take it in London. I am just wondering how many of you have taken it in the past?



Good luck with the test.
Last edited by Tensai Bakabon on Sun 12.24.2006 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Tensai Bakabon » Sun 11.12.2006 8:49 pm

Matsumoto_hideto wrote:


日本語が上手ありません。

If you put quotes it actually works:
「日本語が上手」ありません。

However it's better to say 日本語は上手ではありません。
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby chchan45 » Thu 12.21.2006 7:11 pm

Just a quick note to say that I received the results today and it was a pass with a comfortable margin.

When it is time to take level 2 (hopefully next year), I suspect that the margin will be much tighter and I will need to grab every single point. 2級 is much tougher than 準2級.
Last edited by chchan45 on Thu 12.21.2006 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Zounoko » Thu 12.21.2006 7:53 pm

I don't know if I would ever want to take the test (I'm not a big fan of standardized exams), but I would love to find the study materials for this. I adore kanji and want to learn all the bits and pieces, so I'd like to start from the very beginning level (even if it is like grade one stuff). Does anyone know how to get the materials?

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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 12.21.2006 8:24 pm

I'm not sure they're easily available outside of Japan. I did a little cursory searching on on-line stores for some jun-2 materials a while back and couldn't find anything. Japanese bookstores have whole shelves, though.
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RE: Kanji Aptitude Test (kanken)

Postby Zounoko » Thu 12.21.2006 8:28 pm

That's what I thought, unfortunately. My teacher had a study book for that test and it was wonderful -- but a bit advanced for me. I haven't seen this stuff in Japanese bookstores here, either (but I don't have access to a great variety of Japanese bookstores.)

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