Friday, October 31, 2008


Again, I have nothing but respect for Heisig, and I love his system for learning and remembering the kanji. But how this many errors managed to make it into a fourth edition book is far beyond my comprehension. Perhaps newer editions are more refined, but I can count about a dozen glaring errors from the beginning of the book to where I'm now up to.

Case in point: the book clearly shows 干 written with a hook at the end of the final stroke, and several kanji later introduces a new primitive which, lo and behold, is identical to the aforementioned kanji, but - get this - contains a hook at the end of the final stroke! Time to go back and try and unlearn these seven kanji before that hook comes back to poke me in the future.


Honestly, it may sound as though I'm going through another frustration phase, but I'm actually having a pretty smooth and enjoyable time with my studies lately. Unfortunately, progress has been slow, so I'm still a few hundred kanji behind my goal of a November 1st finish, but ahh well. I'll be breaking 1700 tonight, and from there it's only going to be a matter of days, assuming momentum holds up -- and it will. Oh, how it will.

On an unrelated (yet related to Japanese) note, I'm dying to play through some of my old favorite RPGs in Japanese once I'm a bit more accustomed to the language. I started a game of Chrono Trigger the other day (a game I always get cravings to play around this time of the year) and was able to understand a surprising bit more than I expected; part of the beauty of an immersion system such as this. I'm still at least a few months away from being able to really play and understand dialogue, but each passing day brings more and more knowledge of the language and it's really quite incredible how rapidly and transparently I'm learning.

But enough talk! Back to RTK, let's hope these silly errors stay at bay (no rhyme intended, sigh).


Bellthorpe said...

If you're referring to character 1648, I have the first edition of Heisig's book, and the 'hook' is no more than the slight impression left by the pen leaving the paper. In any case, the 'formal' version of the character is there in the frame, so there shouldn't be any confusion.

Burritolingus said...

Hello, bellthorpe!

I understand what you mean, but when the written forms of 1648 and the "potato" primitive look identical, I think it's relatively easy to trip up a bit.

That being said, I'm (as usual) mostly nitpicking with the details! It's the perfectionist in me, I swear.