Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hobbling my way toward the halfway point

By tomorrow at this time, I should be halfway through with the jouyou kanji. Sweet.

However, I've been getting frustrated far more frequently lately, particularly at what I perceive as flaws in Heisig's system, some of which I've already written about.

Another problem I have with Heisig's method is that his keywords just don't always seem to cut it, especially for the more particularly ambiguous words he chooses to associate, often with no note as to the word's specific meaning. I've found myself consulting Japanese dictionaries quite frequently so that I could get a better handle on the actual specific meaning of a kanji; more than a few kanji with ambiguous meanings have already led to confusion, so if at all possible, I'm trying to eliminate or reduce further confusion.

One more peeve - did he really just keyword -sama as Esquire? I suppose it makes sense, but I'm willing to bet that 95% of kanji learners already have enough basic knowledge of Japanese to know the meaning of the sama honorific. Again, no note given to avoid future confusion; then again, maybe it's not such a big deal.

It ain't perfect, but for all the complaints I have about this method, I can't imagine another way to effectively memorize over 2,000 kanji in two months. As long as I keep up my pace of 50 kanji a day, my goal is well within my grasp.

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