Japanese goal

I have thus far not mentioned this but I have a goal in learning kanji.  I’ve currently been working my way through the great Remembering the Kanji.  By “currently” I mean for the past 6 months.  In theory this actually isn’t that bad, over 2,100 kanji learned in 6 months.  However, I could have done much better. 

Well, anyway that all stops this year.  By the end of December I will be done with the book.  I’m currently hovering just above 1,500 which means I have just over 600 more to learn by the end of the month.  By “currently” I mean I was at between 1,400 and 1,500 for about 5 weeks. 

This is all completely doable, I just need to be a little disciplined.  I’ve already bought myself some non-furigana manga to attempt to enjoy reading after finishing the book.  Furigana are the little hiragana (think “alphabet”) above the kanji so that kids who haven’t yet learned that particular kanji can read it.  It’s a great help to students of Japanese.  I found one without the marks.  I tried to read it a few weeks ago and found it’s too hard even though I’m only missing 600 standard kanji.  For the record most adults in Japan know over 3,200 at least.

I’ll be quite happy when I’m finished and can get to some more complex Japanese reading.  It will also mean I can ditch the flashcards and start farming Japanese sentences for vocab practice.  This is something I could do now but it would involve the extra step of adding furigana.  I’m too lazy for all that.

So, kanji going great, vocab drilling not so much.  I’ve been slacking on drilling my vocab and am currently about 200 words behind.  By “currently” I mean I’ve been behind for about 4 months now.  This doesn’t sound like quite so much but if you consider 1,000 words brings you into “I can talk to someone about something” mode, 200 is a lot.  I have no idea how much I know now, it’s over 1,000 but under 2,000.  Also, many of those 200 words are high usage words.  This is really something I need to get back into the habit of doing.  I used to drill vocab for an hour or two every day.

I’ve also been slacking on listening practice and conversation pattern practice currently.  By “currently” I mean for approximately 2 years.  I have a subscription to a popular Japanese learning website and I should really put more effort into utilizing that.  I think 5 days a week would be fine. 

Right now, however, the main thing is getting this kanji stuff finished.  I will be happy when it’s over.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Keith
    Jun 17, 2012 @ 23:00:05

    How are you doing with that Kanji now?


    • roaminsticka
      Jun 18, 2012 @ 17:21:47

      Well.. I changed my goals. There’s a post coming sometime about it once I get a bit more into it.

      Basically, I stopped the RTK book at about 2,000 kanji and switched to a different book. So now I’m working on learning all the readings of kanji and how they are used together to form words. I’m really glad I did RTK first as it creates HUGE paths to learn the real usage of kanji later on. Trying to learn how to write them and remember them without RTK would be murderous.

      So, I’m actually behind on all my goals but I don’t feel quite so bad about it because I have a better plan laid out ahead of me. Before, I just wanted to finish RTK to get it done with but had no idea how to proceed from there. Now I know exactly where and how to proceed. I imagine 8-12 months from now and I’ll be at a level where I can read the newspaper or a Japanese novel.


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