Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Heisig's Method for Learning Kanji

Expand Messages
  • Otagiri Tatsuzou
    Greetings! Are there any here who are familiar with Heisig s method/course for learning kanji? If so, do you have any comments you could share? What book would
    Message 1 of 26 , Dec 28, 2004
      Greetings!

      Are there any here who are familiar with Heisig's method/course for
      learning kanji? If so, do you have any comments you could share?

      What book would you suggest for beginning kanji which includes a
      stroke guide?

      Onegaishimasu!
      (the someday literate) Otagiri
    • Maria
      ... Otagiri-dono, First question: have you learned hiragana and katakana yet? If not, learn those FIRST before hitting the kanji. Makes life a lot easier.
      Message 2 of 26 , Dec 28, 2004
        Otagiri Tatsuzou wrote:

        >
        > Greetings!
        >
        > Are there any here who are familiar with Heisig's method/course for
        > learning kanji? If so, do you have any comments you could share?
        >
        > What book would you suggest for beginning kanji which includes a
        > stroke guide?

        Otagiri-dono,

        First question: have you learned hiragana and katakana yet? If not,
        learn those FIRST before hitting the kanji. Makes life a lot easier.

        I'm just learning kanji myself (self-taught--I don't live near a school
        that teaches Japanese). The books I've been using are : _A Guide to
        Writing Kanji and Kana_ by Wolfgang Hadamitzky and Mark Spahn (it has
        strokes numbered). There are two volumes covering 1,945 basic
        characters. _Let's Learn Kanji_ by Joyce Mitamura and Yasuko Mitamura
        teaches 250 basic kanji and has the strokes broken down. I've been
        using it for extra practice. _A Guide to Remembering Japanese
        Characters_ by Kenneth Henshall doesn't have the strokes broken down,
        but does have tips for remembering the differences between the
        characters. Personally, I've not used it much yet, but I think that's
        more to do with me not being advanced enough to take advantage of the
        information.

        Hope that helps. I can look up and get you ISBN numbers if you need
        them. I think all of these books can be found online.

        --Ki no Torahime
        Riverwatch, Calontir

        Wishes she lived closer to a place that taught Japanese!
      • Solveig
        Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... Just buy a Japanese kanwajiten. I recoomend the one put out by Kadokawa. Any good Japanese kanwajiten will give you a
        Message 3 of 26 , Dec 28, 2004
          Noble Cousin!

          Greetings from Solveig!

          >What book would you suggest for beginning kanji which includes a
          >stroke guide?

          Just buy a Japanese kanwajiten. I recoomend the one put out by Kadokawa.
          Any good Japanese kanwajiten will give you a suggested stroke order.
          Contrary to what some English sources tell you, some kanji have several
          alternative stroke orders. Your dictionary will give you one, however
          another dictionary may occasionally give you a different one.

          As for learning the things. The simple ones are the hardest. Complex
          kanjii are often composed of several simple kanji. The simple ones
          have to be learned by rote memorization. Just write the things reptitively.
          Also make falsh cards for yourself to deal with different readings.

          As for learning hiragana and katakana, you can learn those in a week.
          Just write them out in a-i-u-e-o order a whole bunch of times each day
          for a week or so.
          --

          Your Humble Servant
          Solveig Throndardottir
          Amateur Scholar

          +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
          | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
          | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
          | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
          +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
          | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to the |
          | trash by my email filters. |
          +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
        • John Lyon
          Well I don t know if this will help but I have found a Kanji Dictionary online. I won t claim to know anything about Kanji but it has helped me fake it.
          Message 4 of 26 , Dec 29, 2004
            Well I don't know if this will help but I have found a Kanji Dictionary
            online. I won't claim to know anything about Kanji but it has helped me fake
            it.

            http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/jwb/wwwjdic?1B

            If anyone knows if this site is good or not please let me know.

            Thanks



            "You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I
            thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible
            things that happen to us come becuase we actually deserve them? So, now I
            take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."
            -Marcus to Franklin in Babylon 5

            John Lyon
            aka The Ugly Dragon




            ----Original Message Follows----
            From: "Otagiri Tatsuzou" <ronbroberg@...>
            Reply-To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
            To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [SCA-JML] Heisig's Method for Learning Kanji
            Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 20:16:34 -0000


            Greetings!

            Are there any here who are familiar with Heisig's method/course for
            learning kanji? If so, do you have any comments you could share?

            What book would you suggest for beginning kanji which includes a
            stroke guide?

            Onegaishimasu!
            (the someday literate) Otagiri
          • James Eckman
            ... Yes. ... It did help me memorize a fair number of characters for meaning, which I then remember words containing them for sounds. ... Heisig has stroke
            Message 5 of 26 , Dec 29, 2004
              >From: "Otagiri Tatsuzou" <ronbroberg@...>
              >
              >Are there any here who are familiar with Heisig's method/course for
              >learning kanji?
              >
              Yes.

              >If so, do you have any comments you could share?
              >
              >
              It did help me memorize a fair number of characters for meaning, which I
              then remember words containing them for sounds.

              >What book would you suggest for beginning kanji which includes a
              >stroke guide?
              >
              >
              Heisig has stroke order.

              >From: Maria <tace@...>
              >
              >
              >Otagiri-dono,
              >
              >First question: have you learned hiragana and katakana yet? If not,
              >learn those FIRST before hitting the kanji. Makes life a lot easier.
              >
              >
              Oops, forgot to ask that, yes learn these first. It means you can read
              subway station signs and the like since young children travel these on
              their own.

              Jim Eckman
            • Otagiri Tatsuzou
              Thanks for the replies. I decided to go with the Heisig method after I found an online resource which includes testing and interactive practise based on his
              Message 6 of 26 , Dec 29, 2004
                Thanks for the replies.

                I decided to go with the Heisig method after I found an online
                resource which includes testing and interactive practise based on his
                lessons.

                http://www.evisa.com/e/top_jp.htm

                I have a six week stretch of hotel time coming up so I'll find out how
                many I can memorize in that time.

                Oh. And I did learn both kana once, but I will need to review. It has
                slipped away with non-use. To avoid that problem again, I have another
                request:

                Does anyone have access to Japanese books written in hiragana with
                accompaning CDs?

                I am looking for something like children songs or a Japanes Dr Suess.
                If you can direct me to an http://amazon.co.jp link or if you can
                accept paypal and are willing to act as a middleman, I would
                appreciate it much.

                (Hop on Pop) Otagiri
              • Solveig
                Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! I think that you may hurt yourself with this method. The problem is that you will attach the kanji to English words which
                Message 7 of 26 , Dec 29, 2004
                  Noble Cousin!

                  Greetings from Solveig! I think that you may hurt yourself with this method.
                  The problem is that you will attach the kanji to English words which will
                  stand in the way of learning Japanese.
                  --

                  Your Humble Servant
                  Solveig Throndardottir
                  Amateur Scholar

                  +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                  | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
                  | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                  | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
                  +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                  | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to the |
                  | trash by my email filters. |
                  +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                • Ii Saburou
                  I ve used Jim Breen s WWWJDIC for some time--it appears to hold up (although it doesn t always give an in depth translation, so if an English word has two
                  Message 8 of 26 , Dec 30, 2004
                    I've used Jim Breen's WWWJDIC for some time--it appears to hold up
                    (although it doesn't always give an in depth translation, so if an English
                    word has two meanings, don't expect that the Japanese one does as well.
                    E.g. 'Grave' and 'grave'--one is an adj. and the other is a noun, and in
                    Japanese they won't be the same word as they are in English).

                    -Ii

                    On Wed, 29 Dec 2004, John Lyon wrote:

                    > Well I don't know if this will help but I have found a Kanji Dictionary
                    > online. I won't claim to know anything about Kanji but it has helped me fake
                    > it.
                    >
                    > http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/jwb/wwwjdic?1B
                    >
                    > If anyone knows if this site is good or not please let me know.
                    >
                    > Thanks
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > "You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I
                    > thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible
                    > things that happen to us come becuase we actually deserve them? So, now I
                    > take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."
                    > -Marcus to Franklin in Babylon 5
                    >
                    > John Lyon
                    > aka The Ugly Dragon
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ----Original Message Follows----
                    > From: "Otagiri Tatsuzou" <ronbroberg@...>
                    > Reply-To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                    > To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [SCA-JML] Heisig's Method for Learning Kanji
                    > Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 20:16:34 -0000
                    >
                    >
                    > Greetings!
                    >
                    > Are there any here who are familiar with Heisig's method/course for
                    > learning kanji? If so, do you have any comments you could share?
                    >
                    > What book would you suggest for beginning kanji which includes a
                    > stroke guide?
                    >
                    > Onegaishimasu!
                    > (the someday literate) Otagiri
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > UNSUBSCRIBE: E-mail sca-jml-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • James Eckman
                    ... It s great. Jim Breen s website is the best online source for learning Japanese. ... Hiragana Times has furigana and is aimed at adults. Another source is
                    Message 9 of 26 , Dec 30, 2004
                      > From: "John Lyon" <ugly_dragon@...>
                      >If anyone knows if this site is good or not please let me know.
                      >
                      >
                      It's great. Jim Breen's website is the best online source for learning
                      Japanese.

                      > From: "Otagiri Tatsuzou" <ronbroberg@...>
                      >
                      >Does anyone have access to Japanese books written in hiragana with
                      >accompaning CDs?
                      >
                      >
                      Hiragana Times has furigana and is aimed at adults. Another source is
                      books for children, I have several junior high books which are good once
                      you have learned some kanji. Nihongo Journal has CDs and many articles
                      have furigana, it is aimed at Japanese learners at many levels.

                      >From: Solveig <nostrand@...>
                      >
                      >Greetings from Solveig! I think that you may hurt yourself with this method.
                      >The problem is that you will attach the kanji to English words which will
                      >stand in the way of learning Japanese.
                      >
                      >
                      Since Heisig deliberately set up his method to separate the meaning from
                      the sounds, you will not be able to immediately use it until you learn
                      some Japanese except in the roughest way. Book 2 tries to associate
                      sounds with kanji, I don't think this works as well as his first book,
                      still if you somehow get through all three volumes, you will be fairly
                      good with kanji. As for associating English meanings with individual
                      kanji, I see nothing wrong with this since kanji have raw meanings that
                      have nothing to do with the language that you are using them with. North
                      is north is north, no matter what the pronunciation is. I know there are
                      exceptions to how the Chinese and Japanese use the kanji, running comes
                      to mind, plus there are the made in Japan kanji. These are fairly rare.

                      A fun exercise is to imagine England being next to China and to write
                      English with Chinese characters with the English characters used for
                      conjugation and connectives. It would work, but thank god it wasn't the
                      case!

                      What method did you use to learn kanji?

                      Jim Eckman
                    • Solveig
                      Noble Cousins1 Greetings from Solveig! Quite appart from not learning the readings which is bad enough, many kanji actualy have a cluster of meanings. Futher,
                      Message 10 of 26 , Dec 30, 2004
                        Noble Cousins1

                        Greetings from Solveig! Quite appart from not learning the readings which
                        is bad enough, many kanji actualy have a cluster of meanings. Futher, there
                        is no reaon to expect Japanese to divide up the universe of meaning in the
                        same way that English does. What I looked at online was pretty much restricted
                        to single word equivalences. Thus, for example, how are you going to master
                        the several different kanji with kunyomi "hakiru" all of which deal with
                        measuring something or other?
                        --

                        Your Humble Servant
                        Solveig Throndardottir
                        Amateur Scholar

                        +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
                        | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                        | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
                        +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to the |
                        | trash by my email filters. |
                        +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                      • Takematsu Toshiro
                        http://kanjistep.com/ is useful for the veriest beginner, but if you re working with a small monitor some of the text is a little hard to make out. The stroke
                        Message 11 of 26 , Dec 31, 2004
                          http://kanjistep.com/ is useful for the veriest beginner, but if
                          you're working with a small monitor some of the text is a little hard
                          to make out. The stroke diagrams are animated, tho' (whee!
                          Technology!).
                        • Solveig
                          Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! When I looked at the Heisig webpage, some of the characters were too small to make out and they were not animated. --
                          Message 12 of 26 , Dec 31, 2004
                            Noble Cousins!

                            Greetings from Solveig! When I looked at the Heisig webpage, some of the
                            characters were too small to make out and they were not animated.
                            --

                            Your Humble Servant
                            Solveig Throndardottir
                            Amateur Scholar

                            +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                            | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
                            | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                            | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
                            +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                            | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to the |
                            | trash by my email filters. |
                            +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                          • Otagiri Tatsuzou
                            ... Greetings for Otagiri! Yes ... this can be a problem at times. But I use the evisa.com site only as a supplement. You can download for free a portion of
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jan 1 10:28 AM
                              > Greetings from Solveig! When I looked at the Heisig webpage, some of the
                              > characters were too small to make out and they were not animated.
                              > --

                              Greetings for Otagiri!

                              Yes ... this can be a problem at times. But I use the evisa.com site
                              only as a supplement.

                              You can download for free a portion of Heisig's book from the
                              following site. This is what I am working from for now. I have ordered
                              a copy of his book to be delivered to my hotel.
                              http://www.ic.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/miscPublications/pdf/RK4/RK4-00.pdf

                              You made two points against Heisig's method. One is that the kanji are
                              learned with English meanings and without Japanese pronounciation and
                              the other is that the kanji are learned with only one meaning. I
                              understand his method is considered somewhat controversial, probably
                              due to these reasons. I believe that Heisig has delibrately sacrificed
                              completeness for simplicity in an attempt to help the student cram
                              enough of them to begin reading (kanji as English) as soon as
                              possible. It's not a complete method. I know I will have to go back
                              and learn the multiple meanings and Japanese pronouciation. But it's a
                              start. I am on lesson 5 today. And with the evisa site for
                              reinforcement, I think I will do okay.

                              New Year Resolution - complete the memorization of all of Heisig's
                              kanji in Book 1 this year. I hope to begin reading practise in a few
                              months. I am currently paging through my few kanji books to identify
                              the kanji as I learn them. Next year, I can start to learn to read out
                              loud.

                              My New Year's haiku:

                              A thousand kanji
                              A thousand bottles of beer
                              I cannot finish!

                              Ichi sen kanji
                              Biiru no ichi sen pon
                              Kore de owari

                              (ten kanji a day) Otagiri
                            • James Eckman
                              Akemashite omedetou gozaimsu! ... True, but every other kanji class I ve ever taken or book I ve read that is not a complete reference like Nelson s only
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jan 1 12:41 PM
                                Akemashite omedetou gozaimsu!

                                >From: Solveig <nostrand@...>
                                >
                                >Greetings from Solveig! Quite appart from not learning the readings which
                                >is bad enough, many kanji actualy have a cluster of meanings.
                                >
                                True, but every other kanji class I've ever taken or book I've read that
                                is not a complete reference like Nelson's only initially teaches one
                                meaning and a couple of pronunciations as well when they introduce a
                                character. So every other kanji instruction book has this one
                                shortcoming as well. Even Nelson's and many of the Japanese equivalents
                                are inadequate because they don't show actual usage.

                                Heisig's theory is that trying to learn meaning, shapes and
                                pronunciation at the same time is too much for most students, volume #1
                                leaves out pronunciation deliberately. It is covered in volume #2.

                                >Futher, there is no reaon to expect Japanese to divide up the universe of meaning in the
                                >same way that English does.
                                >
                                No, but there are English equivalents for every common kanji meaning.
                                The Chinese and Japanese are people from well developed societies, they
                                have concepts and thoughts very similar to their Western counterparts.
                                I'm not a subscriber to Nihonron or any of that silliness.

                                The few like samurai require some cultural references just like knight
                                would in English, but you could use knight and get some of the meaning
                                of the character anyway. The Victorian translators are still readable
                                with their substitutions of knight for samurai. Also anybody subscribing
                                to this list, probably has a far better understanding of such references
                                than even many Japanese. Most of the younger Japanese I've met are not
                                into history in any big way, just like their American counterparts.

                                >What I looked at online was pretty much restricted
                                >to single word equivalences. Thus, for example, how are you going to master
                                >the several different kanji with kunyomi "hakiru" all of which deal with
                                >measuring something or other?
                                >
                                >
                                Once you get to the level that you are worried about which kanji for
                                "hakaru" to use, you have far outgrown any kanji course I've ever
                                experienced or heard about. You need a real reading and writing course
                                and access to a good Japanese dictionary for Japanese with serious
                                examples of usage. Which means at that point you MUST have a basic grasp
                                of kanji.

                                > From: "Otagiri Tatsuzou" <ronbroberg@...>
                                >
                                >Greetings for Otagiri!
                                >
                                >New Year Resolution - complete the memorization of all of Heisig's
                                >kanji in Book 1 this year. I hope to begin reading practise in a few
                                >months. I am currently paging through my few kanji books to identify
                                >the kanji as I learn them. Next year, I can start to learn to read out
                                >loud.
                                >
                                >
                                A very worthy goal. Gambaroo!!!

                                Jim Eckman
                              • Anthony Bryant
                                ... That s one reason I object so strongly to many of the learn kanji books. They all seem to focus on individual kanji, and this mysterious thing called
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jan 1 3:14 PM
                                  Solveig wrote:
                                  > Noble Cousins1
                                  >
                                  > Greetings from Solveig! Quite appart from not learning the readings which
                                  > is bad enough, many kanji actualy have a cluster of meanings. Futher, there
                                  > is no reaon to expect Japanese to divide up the universe of meaning in the
                                  > same way that English does.

                                  That's one reason I object so strongly to many of the "learn kanji" books. They
                                  all seem to focus on individual kanji, and this mysterious thing called
                                  "readings." I really abhor the concept of this Heisig Method. It's totally the
                                  wrong idea.

                                  If people would only learn them in CONTEXT, as WORDS, that wouldn't pose the
                                  problem. Too many textbooks treat kanji as strange animals to be avoided until
                                  the second year. If I had my way, we'd be doing kanji from the second week,
                                  after everyone has learned their kana. When you learn a new word, you should
                                  learn its kanji as PART of that learning of the word. That's how Chinese works.
                                  <shrug>

                                  Effingham
                                  --

                                  Anthony J. Bryant
                                  Website: http://www.sengokudaimyo.com

                                  Effingham's Heraldic Avatars (...and stuff):
                                  http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/avatarbiz.html

                                  Grand Cross, Order of the Laurel:
                                  http://www.cafepress.com/laurelorder
                                • Ii Saburou
                                  ... That s actually how my class went: learn hiragana, and then start on learning katakana, words, and grammar. Learning a word almost always included the
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jan 2 6:31 AM
                                    On Sat, 1 Jan 2005, Anthony Bryant wrote:

                                    > If people would only learn them in CONTEXT, as WORDS, that wouldn't pose the
                                    > problem. Too many textbooks treat kanji as strange animals to be avoided until
                                    > the second year. If I had my way, we'd be doing kanji from the second week,
                                    > after everyone has learned their kana. When you learn a new word, you should
                                    > learn its kanji as PART of that learning of the word. That's how Chinese works.
                                    > <shrug>

                                    That's actually how my class went: learn hiragana, and then start on
                                    learning katakana, words, and grammar. Learning a 'word' almost always
                                    included the kanji, unless that word is rarely written with kanji (e.g.
                                    'kore'--although there is a kanji, I don't think I've seen it used in a
                                    modern context).

                                    -Ii
                                  • Solveig
                                    Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... What Japanese equivalents are you talking about? Every kanwajiten with which I am familiar shows usage and gives
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Jan 2 7:44 PM
                                      Noble Cousin!

                                      Greetings from Solveig!

                                      >is not a complete reference like Nelson's only initially teaches one
                                      >meaning and a couple of pronunciations as well when they introduce a
                                      >character. So every other kanji instruction book has this one
                                      >shortcoming as well. Even Nelson's and many of the Japanese equivalents
                                      >are inadequate because they don't show actual usage.

                                      What "Japanese equivalents" are you talking about? Every kanwajiten with
                                      which I am familiar shows usage and gives multiple readings. Many give
                                      historical development of the character and identify the dynasty associated
                                      with each of the on'yomi readings.

                                      >No, but there are English equivalents for every common kanji meaning.

                                      No there are not. This is patently false. The canonical and well worn
                                      example is aoi.

                                      >The Chinese and Japanese are people from well developed societies, they
                                      >have concepts and thoughts very similar to their Western counterparts.
                                      >I'm not a subscriber to Nihonron or any of that silliness.

                                      I am not a subscriber to nihonron either, but the notion that Japanese and
                                      English are equivalent is laughable. There are things which are easier and
                                      more natural to express in each of these languages. Even if something can
                                      be easily expressed in both languages does not mean that you will see a
                                      1:1 word mapping.

                                      >Once you get to the level that you are worried about which kanji for
                                      >"hakaru" to use, you have far outgrown any kanji course I've ever
                                      >experienced or heard about. You need a real reading and writing course
                                      >and access to a good Japanese dictionary for Japanese with serious
                                      >examples of usage. Which means at that point you MUST have a basic grasp
                                      >of kanji.

                                      The amount of prior kanji knowledge required to use Kadokawa Kanwa Jiten
                                      is quite minimal.
                                      --

                                      Your Humble Servant
                                      Solveig Throndardottir
                                      Amateur Scholar

                                      +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                      | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
                                      | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                                      | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
                                      +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                      | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to the |
                                      | trash by my email filters. |
                                      +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                    • Solveig
                                      Baron Edward! Greetings from Solveig! ... At Harvard, you start learning kanji from about the first month. What they do at Harvard is not quite as radical as
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Jan 2 7:47 PM
                                        Baron Edward!

                                        Greetings from Solveig!

                                        >If people would only learn them in CONTEXT, as WORDS, that wouldn't pose the
                                        >problem. Too many textbooks treat kanji as strange animals to be avoided until
                                        >the second year. If I had my way, we'd be doing kanji from the second week,
                                        >after everyone has learned their kana. When you learn a new word, you should
                                        >learn its kanji as PART of that learning of the word. That's how
                                        >Chinese works.

                                        At Harvard, you start learning kanji from about the first month. What they
                                        do at Harvard is not quite as radical as you propose, but you do learn a
                                        pile of kanji during the first semester even in the night school program.
                                        --

                                        Your Humble Servant
                                        Solveig Throndardottir
                                        Amateur Scholar

                                        +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                        | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
                                        | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                                        | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
                                        +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                        | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to the |
                                        | trash by my email filters. |
                                        +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                      • James Eckman
                                        ... I think one advantage of a course that concentrates on shapes, especially as short term as Heisig s is supposed to be is that it helps you recognize what
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Jan 2 8:54 PM
                                          >From: Anthony Bryant <ajbryant@...>
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >That's one reason I object so strongly to many of the "learn kanji" books. They
                                          >all seem to focus on individual kanji, and this mysterious thing called
                                          >"readings." I really abhor the concept of this Heisig Method. It's totally the
                                          >wrong idea.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          I think one advantage of a course that concentrates on shapes,
                                          especially as short term as Heisig's is supposed to be is that it helps
                                          you recognize what the hell a kanji is. It's really nice to be able to
                                          look at a bunch of marks and break them up into the right units.
                                          Especially when written horizontally, this can be a real problem for
                                          beginners. Also having a rough idea of the meaning when it's used by
                                          itself is not bad either.

                                          >If people would only learn them in CONTEXT, as WORDS, that wouldn't pose the
                                          >problem. Too many textbooks treat kanji as strange animals to be avoided until
                                          >the second year.
                                          >
                                          Hell, some of the older textbooks treat KANA as strange animals which
                                          really sucks. Most textbooks I've run across don't have enough reading
                                          material unless you go out and buy kiddy books which until recently was
                                          only an option in a few US cities. One very positive effect of the
                                          internet is it's easier to get Japanese books and the number of sites
                                          keeps increasing. It's very easy to check meanings and pronounciations
                                          online, especially good if there are specialist words that are not used
                                          in normal conversation.

                                          >If I had my way, we'd be doing kanji from the second week,
                                          >after everyone has learned their kana. When you learn a new word, you should
                                          >learn its kanji as PART of that learning of the word. That's how Chinese works.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          Possibly why Madarin conversation classes are so popular as opposed to
                                          the other.

                                          Of course none of this helps Otagiri-dono who wants to spend some
                                          serious time self-studying Japanese. Which books would you recommend as
                                          an alternative? I really haven't run across any really good ones myself.
                                          I've just been very lucky to have had good teachers who supplement
                                          mediocre textbooks with lots of extra material. For those in the SF Bay
                                          area I highly recommend Soko Gakuen, they have a wide selection of
                                          beginner and intermediate classes and they are cheap.

                                          Jim Eckman
                                        • Anthony Bryant
                                          ... Excellent. I really wonder about the folks whose texts are in romaji through the first semester. That s severely crippling. Effingham -- Anthony J. Bryant
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Jan 2 9:17 PM
                                            Solveig wrote:

                                            > At Harvard, you start learning kanji from about the first month. What they
                                            > do at Harvard is not quite as radical as you propose, but you do learn a
                                            > pile of kanji during the first semester even in the night school program.

                                            Excellent. I really wonder about the folks whose texts are in romaji through the
                                            first semester. That's severely crippling.

                                            Effingham
                                            --

                                            Anthony J. Bryant
                                            Website: http://www.sengokudaimyo.com

                                            Effingham's Heraldic Avatars (...and stuff):
                                            http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/avatarbiz.html

                                            Grand Cross, Order of the Laurel:
                                            http://www.cafepress.com/laurelorder
                                          • Solveig
                                            Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! I hope to come out with a leaflet entitled Bunka sometime around SEP 1 of this year. Which name should I put on it?
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Jan 2 9:46 PM
                                              Noble Cousins!

                                              Greetings from Solveig! I hope to come out with a leaflet entitled
                                              "Bunka" sometime around SEP 1 of this year. Which name should I put
                                              on it? Why or why not?
                                              --

                                              Your Humble Servant
                                              Solveig Throndardottir
                                              Amateur Scholar

                                              +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                              | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
                                              | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                                              | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
                                              +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                              | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to the |
                                              | trash by my email filters. |
                                              +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                            • Otagiri Tatsuzou
                                              ... Ah ... there is no help for me. My swords are set in the obi as are the extra sandles. Foolish or not, I have already begun this journey. But if the
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Jan 2 10:14 PM
                                                > Of course none of this helps Otagiri-dono who wants to spend some
                                                > serious time self-studying Japanese. Which books would you recommend as
                                                > an alternative?

                                                Ah ... there is no help for me. My swords are set in the obi as are
                                                the extra sandles. Foolish or not, I have already begun this journey.
                                                But if the learned on the list can provide references to alternate
                                                approaches/books that can be used by rogue students, I am sure that
                                                others might benefit (as will I if this path ends prematurely).

                                                I have little doubt that an immersion method is superior in many
                                                respects, but I don't see how to accomplish that alone and on the road.

                                                (Tune of Green Acres)
                                                Rote memorization is the way for me.
                                                to learn two thousand Japanese kanji
                                                Filling notepads,
                                                with so many
                                                Endless Repitition,
                                                gives me the language key.

                                                (now ... Live! in VA!) Otagiri
                                              • Ii Saburou
                                                ... E.g. To Kiss --in Japanese you can say Kuchi(d)zukeru but it is not the same as to kiss , and when used in the English sense I ve most often seen the
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Jan 3 3:40 PM
                                                  On Sun, 2 Jan 2005, Solveig wrote:

                                                  >> The Chinese and Japanese are people from well developed societies, they
                                                  >> have concepts and thoughts very similar to their Western counterparts.
                                                  >> I'm not a subscriber to Nihonron or any of that silliness.
                                                  >
                                                  > I am not a subscriber to nihonron either, but the notion that Japanese and
                                                  > English are equivalent is laughable. There are things which are easier and
                                                  > more natural to express in each of these languages. Even if something can
                                                  > be easily expressed in both languages does not mean that you will see a
                                                  > 1:1 word mapping.

                                                  E.g. 'To Kiss'--in Japanese you can say 'Kuchi(d)zukeru' but it is not the
                                                  same as 'to kiss', and when used in the English sense I've most often seen
                                                  the English ('kisu') used.

                                                  -Ii
                                                • James Eckman
                                                  ... I seem to remember period Japanese didn t kiss like Westerners, chalk up another one to corrupting Western influences ;) Most of our ancestors would not
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Jan 4 8:31 PM
                                                    > From: Ii Saburou <logan@...>
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >E.g. 'To Kiss'--in Japanese you can say 'Kuchi(d)zukeru' but it is not the
                                                    >same as 'to kiss', and when used in the English sense I've most often seen
                                                    >the English ('kisu') used.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    I seem to remember period Japanese didn't kiss like Westerners, chalk up
                                                    another one to corrupting Western influences ;) Most of our ancestors
                                                    would not understand many of our practices either. Hollywood, tourism
                                                    and everything else has radically changed the modern Japanese in a very
                                                    short period of time.

                                                    > From: Solveig <nostrand@...>
                                                    >
                                                    >Greetings from Solveig! The Japanese were doing a very good job of nibbling
                                                    >away at China until the U.S. intervened in the late 1930's early 1940's.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    Even afterwards. The current government had really lost the mandate of
                                                    heaven!

                                                    > From: Solveig <nostrand@...>
                                                    >
                                                    >Invading Korea and China was quite rational and a far better alternative
                                                    >than trying to follow the example of the Minamoto following the Genpei War.
                                                    >Basically, the Japanese had raised huge armies which expected loot. Not
                                                    >to mention the large number off defeated soldiers who needed someplace to
                                                    >go.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    I agree, this is a very important reason. They really didn't do so badly
                                                    except that the Japanese naval forces stunk, this is not good for over
                                                    the water invasions.

                                                    >Remember the Iberians were there! The Japanese constructed fairly modern
                                                    >(for the time) vessels toward the end of the sixteenth and the begining
                                                    >of the seventeenth centuries.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    Japanese merchant vessels (at least to 1619) were limited to 250 koku
                                                    capacity (approx. 52.25 cubic meters). So probably about 30 feet (10
                                                    meters) long max. Adequate but not very impressive.

                                                    It is also known that at least one of the ships Will Adams constructed
                                                    for Ieyasu was of "more than 100 tons" (G. Sansom, _History of Japan,
                                                    1334-1615_, n. p. 403). A bit more impressive but later!

                                                    According to my book on Japanese Merchant Shipping, Date Masamune
                                                    (1566-1636) built a ship in his own fief to send to Rome. I suspect it
                                                    was at least a partial copy of Chinese/Korean or European vessels. It
                                                    apparently reached Mexico also! It was probably quite decent sized.

                                                    >From: Ii Saburou <logan@...>
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >If you look, there aren't easier pickings.
                                                    >
                                                    Especially for a folk who weren't really great sailors.

                                                    >Then Perry comes in his Black Ships and forcibly requires Japan to open
                                                    >its doors. Up and coming Japanese come to the realization that the world
                                                    >will come to them unless they learn to keep the world out, and they build
                                                    >up a Navy and Army that are able to dominate their section of the world,
                                                    >defeating both the Chinese and the Russians.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    In a very short period of time too! In the mid 1880's they are about on
                                                    par with the US, which is less impressive than it sounds.

                                                    Jim Eckman
                                                  • Solveig
                                                    Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... The Korean take on things is not so much that the Japanese naval forces stunk, but that the Korean naval forces were
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Jan 6 8:40 AM
                                                      Noble Cousin!

                                                      Greetings from Solveig!

                                                      >I agree, this is a very important reason. They really didn't do so badly
                                                      >except that the Japanese naval forces stunk, this is not good for over
                                                      >the water invasions.

                                                      The Korean take on things is not so much that the Japanese naval forces
                                                      stunk, but that the Korean naval forces were really good. They do have a
                                                      point there. They had several turtles.

                                                      >In a very short period of time too! In the mid 1880's they are about on
                                                      >par with the US, which is less impressive than it sounds.

                                                      It's still doing fairly well. Shortly afterward, the Japanese take on the
                                                      Russians and win. The imperial navy mas modeled on the British navy and
                                                      the imperial army was modeled on the Prussian army. At the time, the
                                                      British was about the only real global navy. The Spanish were of course
                                                      in serious decline by this point and were dispatched by the Americans in
                                                      the Spanish-American War. The French Navy's fangs were pulled during the
                                                      Napoleonic Wars and the Germans were always a primarily continental power.

                                                      Equaling U.S. naval power during a period of projecting "manifest
                                                      destiny" overseas is significant. U.S. expatriots in Hawaii stage a
                                                      Coup d'Etat in 1893 and the Spanish American War was fought in 1898.
                                                      --

                                                      Your Humble Servant
                                                      Solveig Throndardottir
                                                      Amateur Scholar

                                                      +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                                      | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
                                                      | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                                                      | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
                                                      +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                                      | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to the |
                                                      | trash by my email filters. |
                                                      +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                                    • Ii Saburou
                                                      ... Which is fairly well substantiated by the history of the region: The Korean kingdoms were the ones that seem to have been doing much of the coastal trade.
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , Jan 6 3:47 PM
                                                        On Thu, 6 Jan 2005, Solveig wrote:

                                                        > The Korean take on things is not so much that the Japanese naval forces
                                                        > stunk, but that the Korean naval forces were really good. They do have a
                                                        > point there. They had several turtles.

                                                        Which is fairly well substantiated by the history of the region: The
                                                        Korean kingdoms were the ones that seem to have been doing much of the
                                                        coastal trade. It was Korean ships and crews that piloted the Mongols
                                                        over to Japan. I seem to recall it was even Korea that helped furnish the
                                                        tributary ships which made it down around the tip of Africa (and possibly
                                                        farther).

                                                        In fact, the Japanese invasion only really seems to have worked because
                                                        they caught the Koreans sleeping--they had no idea that an invasion was
                                                        coming, and after the Japanese landed it was too late. Once they realized
                                                        it, though, they played terrible havoc with the Japanese supply
                                                        lines--attributed as one of the main reasons for Japanese defeat on the
                                                        penninsula, iirc.

                                                        -Ii
                                                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.