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Re: [SCA-JML] Re: Re: Heisig's Method for Learning Kanji

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  • 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 1 of 26 , Jan 2, 2005
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      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

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    • 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 2 of 26 , Jan 2, 2005
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        >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 3 of 26 , Jan 2, 2005
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          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 4 of 26 , Jan 2, 2005
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            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

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            | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
            | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
            | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
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          • 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 5 of 26 , Jan 2, 2005
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              > 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 6 of 26 , Jan 3, 2005
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                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 7 of 26 , Jan 4, 2005
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                  > 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 8 of 26 , Jan 6, 2005
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                    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@... |
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                    | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to the |
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                  • 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 9 of 26 , Jan 6, 2005
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                      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
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