How i’m getting through “Remembering the Kanji” vol. 1

February 1, 2010

My review deckAbove is my deck as of today. I started doing RTK seriously in November of last year, I’ve tried it before while in school but didn’t finish. When I started on Nov. 1 my plan was to quickly go through the first 1000, which I knew fairly well. After I went through those I added 500 cards to the deck, I wanted to do more than 20 kanji a day but that wasn’t working out very well. AJATT said in one of his posts that it’s good to increase the failure rate, and it’s true a fail will eventually turn into a success. However, too many failures in one day can leave one feeling not very successful.

The Reviewing the Kanji site has had a few tweaks made in the past few months that have been very helpful to me. The #1 thing is the “Study” section of the site, where you can review the Kanji that you have failed / forgotten. Before when you looked at a card and pressed “Learned” the card would go back into the first deck and would show up again soon to be reviewed along with many other cards. But now when you click “Learned” the card is placed in the section that says “Learned” and it won’t go back into the normal deck until you review them and pass them. Everyday I try to put at least 10 failed cards into the “learned” deck, then review them at night, then add 10 more before I go to sleep and review those in the morning, and so on. In the review section of the site I do what I can, if it’s 5, 10, 20, 25, whatever I feel like doing, but I try to do something. In December my reviews due was in the 800’s because of this method. But as you can see in the pic above it’s  a lot less. Why? Because i’ve been getting more of those 5, 10, 20, or 25 cards I decided to do, correct. I was failing less. Before I was trying to make a sculpture with a sledgehammer, instead of a small hammer and chisel (I suck with metaphors). So instead of trying to do whatever review the site told me to do, whether it was 200 or 800 due, I wouldn’t do more than 50.

At first it will seem like you’re not getting anywhere but I can see this has paid off, and i’m getting close to knowing 1500 of the 2042 in vol. 1 of Remembering the Kanji. After I feel like I know these 1500 I will add the rest and hopefully finish them in the next couple of months. I’ve read several blogs that don’t like the Remembeing the Kanji method, they want to learn 音読 (on-yomi, Chinese reading)、and 訓読 (kun-yomi, Japanese reading) right away and I understand that, I’ve been studying that way for a couple of years. But learning how to write and recognize all these Kanji has made reading much more enjoyable, I though I recognize many Kanji already from my previous studies, if I don’t know what a certain 熟語 (Compound) means I have fun trying to figure it out, I put the word in a deck and find sentences later to add to Anki, which i’m only doing passively until I finish the RTK.
As a side note I am on Vol. 5 of Kenichi right now and i’m really enjoying it. Some other Manga I am reading are Beck, Yotsubato!, and Hitman Reborn. I like to read manga as a reward for doing my Kanji reps, and it also gives me a chance to see the Kanji I have reviewed “in the wild” as some have put it, and seeing a Kanji you’ve been studying in manga, novel, or internet site makes you remember that much beter.

One Response to “How i’m getting through “Remembering the Kanji” vol. 1”

  1. Lan'dorien Says:

    This is interesting to me because it’s such a different approach than I’m taking. Maybe it’s a bit of OCD but seeing that red “restudy” button makes me allergic 🙂 (and the “due” button is almost as bad)

    I add only as many new kanji as I intend to learn that day, anywhere from 15-30 (I did about 80 one day, but that was far too much). Do the study, pick or make stories, and test myself on my Kanji LS Touch program on my phone. Then the next morning do the new cards review, and sometime during the course of the day do the expired cards review. So by the time I get home from work I have no new cards and no expired cards and can add another new batch. This way I never have more than thirty or so expired cards in a day. Failure rate usually doesn’t go above 5%, 10% if I get some with stories that just didn’t work. Up to bit over 700 now.

    However I am a relative beginner and decided to learn all the kanji first to make vocabulary acquisition easier, so I don’t do all that much else. Some vocab on, some japanesepod101 lessons, some anime.

    Keep at it!

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