Kanji in English

I mentioned in my last post that one of the things I find to be very helpful for me is a good routine. And one of the ways I’m reaping a benefit from that is my renewed (over and over again) push to learn Japanese. Currently I’m working on learning the Kanji in English. It’s an interesting system put together by James W. Heisig, which associates the Kanji characters (the hardest part of learning to read Japanese) with a language I already know (English) to make it easier to memorize, only then to associate them with the actual Japanese renderings of the words.

It’s really amazing actually how quickly you can learn the Kanji in English. I’m trying to convince my friend to learn it with me. Then we can write notes to each other in Kanji, but in our English understanding. Then learn Japanese afterward.

Now, the Heisig system goes through 3000+ Kanji characters, which is a ton. And I don’t plan to learn them all in English before learning the Japanese counterparts. In fact, Once I’ve done a few hundred characters, or that is when I know for sure that I’ve learned, in English, the Kanji equivalent of the first 150 characters that need to be memorized for the JLPT N5 exam, then I’ll start learning them in Japanese, too. I think that will take probably 2.5 months or so, based on the pace I am going right now. Which is pretty good, actually. I’ll definitely be able to write the N5 exam next December. I may even be able to be so advanced, so as to get a really good grade in it. Then I can write the N4 exam in July of the next year.

Oh but those are my dreams of course… for now on to learning more and more Kanji…

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