Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Starting to Remember the Kanji

The introduction and first part to Heisig's much famed book can be read here. I read through the introduction, absorbing his explanation. It opened my eyes a little. I then did the first two parts that are covered, with their primitives and key-words.

After covering the 15 primitives and 18 key-words covered in those two parts, I then explained each one briefly to Michael and told him what the meanings were. I just wanted to prove to myself that this method of visualisation through story-telling recognition worked. And I'm happy with the results so far.

It will be great to get hold of this book and start putting into practise the learning of kanji writing in earnest. Reading will come later. So long as I can associate kanji with what they actually mean, I will have the advantage of learning to read and pronounce them when the time comes.

My brain works in a certain way. As a writer, I have a rather vivid imagination, and so associating an explanation to ideograms such as Japanese kanji will work very well for me. It will also help me to develop my memory a lot more for learning vocabulary, and eventually Japanese grammar.

I will, of course, move at my own pace. My Japanese studies will continue as they have been, but the learning of kanji has taken on a new meaning for me. I look forward to seeing how much I can get into this and whether I actually can learn 2,042 kanji - at least their meanings - in less than a year. And whether in practise and review I will be able to sear the meanings into my long-term memory.

That website is really going to come in handy, too.


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