It was first published in , with the sixth edition of the book released in There is no attention given to the readings of the kanji as Heisig believes that one should learn the writing and meaning first before moving on to the readings in Volume II. Each kanji and each non-kanji primitive is assigned a unique keyword. The method requires the student to invent their own stories to associate the keyword meaning with the written form. This is to encourage the student to use the stories as practice for creating their own. However, in cases where the reader may be easily confused or for difficult kanji, Heisig often provides a small story or hint.
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This becomes all the more true when you start piling up a bunch of keywords with similar meanings. If you want to keep these unruly mobs in check, or just help your retention in general, one of the most reliable ways to accomplish this is to make your stories as vivid as possible.
How do you do that? The more obnoxious, the better for your retention. I will caution you not to overuse any particular association too much, though. Not good. Tell your story dramatically. Raise your voice and add in gestures. Slap your knee and smack your forehead gently, please. Sigh loudly. His comedy routines about kanji are sure to give you something to strive for. Strong memories from your past or things that are important in your life are great memory anchors. References to your favorite movies, books, shows, games, etc.
This is because he chose keywords that were meaningful to him, in the context of his experiences and contemporary culture at the time the book was written. Many of these keywords are very uncommon in 21st century mainstream English. It can be incredibly frustrating trying to craft a memorable story using a word that has no meaning to you.
Who has the time or patience for that? Fortunately, there are ways to tackle this problem as well. In reality, you can use this on a much broader basis and benefit greatly by doing so.
You may want to keep a record somewhere for reference. Guess what? You can do that, too! You can also use wordplay to give a single keyword multiple meanings. None of your ideas make sense. Your frustration over this impossible kanji is holding up your study and sapping your motivation. What do you do? Another option is to run it by a friend or family member. Not only does this make them feel good, but you may be surprised by some of the clever suggestions they give you.
No idea. I just made it up in desperation, and thankfully I remembered it. But what about the catastrophic effects of skipping this kanji? You have to learn it, right? Yeah, eventually. Some day you will own this kanji. The best thing you can do for your progress right now is Suspend that character in Anki and immediately stop worrying about it.
You can always come back for it later. Maybe you want to do a specific number of lessons per week? One thing I will suggest, though, is to be flexible with how many you do in a given day. Your motivation levels will shift from day to day, and life circumstances play a role as well. My daily progress varied anywhere from 5 to 50 new characters depending on how I was feeling and what I had going on.
The sooner you slay the RTK boss, the sooner you get to enjoy the benefits! Leave a message in the comments! The following two tabs change content below.
How To Survive Remembering The Kanji (RTK)
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