Sunday, June 14, 2009

1362 Kanji Characters

1362 might not sound like significant number but that is 2/3 of the way through the 2042 characters of Remembering the Kanji. It has become a bit of a slow slog but the progress is fairly steady. I thought I'd get more done while Midori and the kids were away but so far I haven't done anything amazing. In fact 54 in the last 7 days is less than 10 per day - I was occasionally able to beat that with the family around. It's way off the pace from my first 4 weeks but I had 2 weeks of rest before that and I was excited and motivated by the discovery of a sure-fire method of learning the kanji.

It's nice having a fixed goal of 2042. This covers the standard high school kanji and some extras that are too useful to leave out or necessary for the method. It also allows me to set motivational targets. Without a fixed goal, I could set targets of doubling my kanji count and meet the pretty easily to being with. Going from 128 to 256 in about a week was possible. After that, doubling gets harder and harder and doubling 600 to 1200 took a very long time because of lack of free time. But with a fixed target, now I'm on the down slope. The next target is 3/4 (1531), then 4/5 (1633) and so on.

The first hint of trouble begins when I finish number 2002. That's when I go across the 49/50 mark. The trouble is that I also cross the 50/51 mark which makes kanji number 2002 twice as exciting, that might not seem like trouble but more is to come. Kanji 2003 only crosses 51/62 and Kanji 2009 only crosses the 60/61 mark but from there on in every kanji crosses at least 2 marks. Kanji 2041 crosses 1020 marks! All the way from 1020/1021 to 2040/2041. But the real problem is the last kanji. When I complete that I will cross an infinite number of motivational markers, presumably resulting in infinite excitement, that can't be a good thing.

To avoid danger to myself, my family and small animals near by I have already ordered the follow on volume which covers a further 1000 useful but less common kanji. I will deploy that as soon as I feel the excitement is getting too much. Mr Heisig sure is a devious man.

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