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Remembering the Kanji (Manoa) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

James W. Heisig
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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 460 Seiten
  • Verlag: Eurospan; Auflage: 5 (15. Mai 2007)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0824831659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824831653
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,4 x 15,5 x 2,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 219.981 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Synopsis

The aim of this book is to provide the student of Japanese with a simple method for correlating the writing and the meaning of Japanese characters in such a way as to make them both easy to remember. It is intended not only for the beginner, but also for the more advanced student looking for some relief from the constant frustration of how to write the kanji and some way to systematize what he or she already knows. The author begins with writing because - contrary to first impressions - it is in fact the simpler of the two. He abandons the traditional method of ordering the kanji according to their frequency of use and organizes them according to their component parts or "primitive elements." Assigning each of these parts a distinct meaning with its own distinct image, the student is led to harness the powers of "imaginative memory" to learn the various combinations that result. In addition, each kanji is given its own key word to represent the meaning, or one of the principal meanings, of that character. These key words provide the setting for a particular kanji's "story," whose protagonists are the primitive elements.

In this way, students are able to complete in a few short months a task that would otherwise take years. Armed with the same skills as Chinese or Korean students, who know the meaning and writing of the kanji but not their pronunciation in Japanese, they are now in a much better position to learn to read (which is treated in a separate volume).



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5.0 von 5 Sternen Link zum Buch 19. Januar 2010
Von Hamburger
Format:Taschenbuch
Das Buch ist für mich eine echte Offenbarung--eigentlich bin ich recht lernfaul, habe es aber jetzt schon geschafft, knapp 1800 von 2042 Kanji schreiben zu lernen. Schon jetzt kann ich sagen, dass das einen Unterschied wie Tag und Nacht macht. Für Japaner ist das am Beeindruckendsten, teilweise kann ich Kanji schreiben, die sie mittlerweile "verlernt" haben.

Es stimmt zwar, dass Lesungen und Vokabeln nach dem Studium des Buches noch fehlen. Der Vorteil ist aber, dass die Zeichen einem nicht mehr "alle gleich" vorkommen, sondern, dass man beim weiteren Lernen die Lesungen und Vokabeln sehr einfach den im Kopf abgespeicherten keywords zuordnen kann und ein extrem schnelles Vokabellernen erreicht.

Einen wichtigen Link möchte ich noch für alle Leser dieses Buches teilen, unter [...] gibt es ein Lerntool und eine Community, die nach Heisigs Methode Kanji lernt. Insbesondere das digitale Karteikastensystem macht das Lernen und Wiederholen sehr einfach. Darüber hinaus kann man seine eigenen Geschichten pro Kanji speichern; zu jedem Kanji sind zudem mittlerweile eine Vielzahl von Geschichten vorhanden, die einem die eigene kreative Arbeit erleichtern. Außerdem ist die Seite kostenfrei und mittlerweile Open Source. Sehr zu empfehlen!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Ein sinnvoller VORKURS für Kanji 11. März 2009
Von Andreas
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Wer dieses Buch kauft, sollte wissen, dass er danach keine Kanji "kann", denn dieses Buch lehrt nur die Grundbedeutung und das Zeichen an sich (für die Lesungen wird Band 2 benötigt), ABER:

Nach dem Studium dieses Buchs kann man den offiziellen Kanji zumindest die grobe Bedeutung zuordnen, so dass man in der Lage ist, Texte mit Kanji grob zu verstehen. Und man schafft eine Grundlage, um die eigentliche Arbeit, das Lernen der Lesungen, wesentlich stressfreier zu gestalten, da man sich auf die Aussprache und Vokabeln konzentrieren kann, ohne noch zusätzlich Stress mit dem Zeichen an sich zu haben. Eine enorme Erleichterung!

Das setzt natürlich ein enormes Maß an Disziplin voraus, werden die meisten Hobby-Studenten der japanischen Sprache doch bis zu einem Jahr mit diesem Buch verbringen. Aber: Es ist eine schöne Zeit, denn Helsig lässt die anfangs unbegreiflichen Strichmuster mit Geschichten lebendig werden, bei denen man vor Lachen auf dem Boden liegt. Je absurder (und stellenweise auch gewalttätiger) die Geschichten, umso leichter bleiben die Zeichen in Erinnerung. Beispiel gefällig? Ein "GROSSER BRUDER" ist ein MUND auf MENSCHLICHEN BEINEN, also nichts anderes als eine laufende große Klappe. Und die KÖRPERÖFFNUNG ist einfach erklärt: Ein KIND hat große Angst, wenn der Zahnarzt mit seinem FISCHHAKEN (dem Bohrer) loslegt.

Ich kann daher jedem, der es mit dem Lernen das japanische Sprache ernst meint und gerne in Assoziationen denkt, nur empfehlen, neben seinem Japanisch-Kurs sofort nach dem Erlernen der 2x46 Kana direkt mit diesem Buch anzufangen.

Unter [...] findet sich im Internet eine Website von Fans des Buchs, das beim Wiederholen hilft und für Zeichen, wo Helsigs Geschichten ab und zu doch mal schwächeln, alternative Geschichten anbietet.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Biggest Investment 27. März 2009
Von E. Frias - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Anyone who states that the Heisig method for learning kanji does not work, says so because they have not tried it. I, myself, was Anti-Heisig for a good 5 years after I saw it on the bookshelf. I remember picking it up and saying "Ha, this book is a joke! It ONLY teaches you the meaning? WHAT A JOKE!!", and I also remember putting it back on the shelf and walking away from it not knowing what a gold mine I had just passed up on. After finding about the AJATT method for learning Japanese (you MUST google AJATT if you really want to learn Japanese), I completed Heisig's Remembering the Kanji book 1 + 3 and in 6 months I was able to learn 3,000 kanji perfectly! I could recognize every single kanji in books and instead of drawing blanks when I would see kanjis, I now see meanings. After the 6 months of studying the kanjis, I started learning to read real Japanese kanji in context through sentences found in the Yahoo Jiten (Yahoo online Japanese Dictionary). After about a year of studying sentences with learning to read the kanji in context like a real Japanese person, I am able to communicate with online Japanese friends, have a normal conversation in Japanese, and read fiction books.

After Heisig, this is how you will learn Kanji readings. After looking up a word, let's say "Sunshine" you'll see that it is pronounced as "youkou" and it's kanjis are Sunshine+Ray. That's it, you're done. It's that simple! Now whenever you see Sunshine+Ray together you know it's read "youkou". After graduating from Heisig, you won't waste countless hours writing out the kanjis to memorize them because you HAVE ALREADY MEMORIZED THEM. That is a such a gift. Genius.

I used to HATE Heisig, I used to think that it was the stupidest way of learning kanji, but now after graduating from Remembering the Kanji, I bow my head in humility to Heisig because Remembering the Kanji and the AJATT method of learning Japanese have blessed me with the gift of fluency. I did it, and you can too.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Bottom line: it works. 20. September 2010
Von Micah Cowan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Bottom Line: It works

Okay, so here's the bottom line. It _works_. It does precisely what it sets out to do. I've been studying the Japanese language since I was 13 years old; it's now been about 20 years of studying the language. It hasn't been entirely consistent; it has often been a few months on (full-bore), a few months off (after burnout). Before I worked through RTK, I was probably familiar with around 300-400 of the most frequently-used kanji. I could never seem to get much past that hump, it always felt very much like an uphill battle, and even though I'd hit the foot of the hill running full-bore, I'd never quite make it to the top before, exhausted, I'd start to slip downhill again.

I'd beat my head against a Japanese Reader (A Japanese Reader: Graded Lessons for Mastering the Written Language (Tuttle Language Library)) for a while, which, though organized in such a way as to intrudce a few characters at a time, instead of leaving you to deal with whatever characters you may happen to find in other reading materials, still progressed fairly rapidly, and was also fairly outdated. Then I'd beat my head against some "real" reading material for a while. Then I'd try to ramp myself up on gradeschool-level texts, so there'd be fewer kanji to deal with; but this doesn't necessarily help so much, since kanji can often be a key to understanding a compound word's roots, and help a good deal in learning the words from which they're built.

The problem is, every time I came to an unfamiliar kanji, it would put a hard stop to the flow of my reading. I don't know the meaning, I don't know the pronunciation, I probably don't know the next couple of characters after it, and I don't know the word in which it's appearing. I can't continue reading until I've spent a while studying each individual character, how they're pronounced in this context, and what the word means in which they appear.

Since finishing volume one of RTK (about a week ago), reading is dramatically easier for me. I still don't know how to pronounce many of the characters, but since I'm already familiar with the character (which at this point has become like an old friend), it's easier for me to attach a pronunciation to it, since I'm no longer having to learn the pronunciation, _and_ the writing, _and_ the meaning (maybe - sometimes it's necessary to attach new meanings to old friends). Progress moves _much_ more quickly; and often, even if I haven't learned how to _pronounce_ a string of kanji, I can tell right away, from the Heisig keywords, and from surrounding context, what the word's meaning is. The first time I encountered '''''["okotte iru"] in some text after Heisig, I knew instantly what word it was (''''''roughly "is angry"), because I was already familiar with the Japanese word (but not its writing), and the Heisig keyword associated with that character was "anger". Similarly, words like ''["kantan"] (''''simplicity + simple/not complex = easy) and '''["tojiru"] (''', to close) are immediately clear at first encounter, without having to look them up (though doing so to learn the pronunciation is advisable).

Even words whose meanings don't happen to match the particular keywords I learned, such as ''["settei"] (''''establishment + fix (in place) = "preferences/settings" (for computer programs)?), or ["sakujo"]'' (''''plane + exclude = delete/remove?) are easy to remember, and deepen my understanding of the characters' true meanings ('["saku"] = plane, but also "to whittle"). Even learning ["'tama"] as "bullet", and then later discovering its use as ["hiku"] "play (an instrument)", isn't a problem: I already know how to write it, and one of its meanings, so it's easy to add the new meaning. Easier than learning it without context and without familiarity with its primitives ('bow + 'simple), and trying to learn it amidst a sea of other graphically unrelated characters surrounding it. Basically, just having something that takes away about one and a half (how to write + an approximation of the meaning) of the three or four things I usually have to study at once when learning a kanji - how to write it, what the character means, how to pronounce it in this specific context, and the meaning of the whole word or compound in which it appears - eases the process for me tremendously.

I wish I'd found and studied this book years ago, as I'd be much much further along in my understanding of Japanese at this point if I had.

What it does not do

But let's be clear: completing this book (or even this series) is not the end of your journey--not by a long shot. Having completed this book, you can't claim (or at least shouldn't, though many do) to "know" ~2,000 kanji characters. You do not. You _do_ know "how to write" about 2,000 kanji characters, and you know a meaning for each one (not necessarily the only meaning, or even the most usual meaning). You don't know how to pronounce a single one of these newly-learned kanji in a single context, unless you already knew beforehand. (If you proceed to volume 2, you will find a system to organize your learning of the "on'yomi" of the various characters, primarily based on signal primatives that give a strong clue to characters' pronunciation--I've heard many people say you don't need volume 2, and this is true, but I personally find it useful enough to have. Just take what you can use from it, and ditch the rest; don't feel obligated to do it exactly as laid out.)

So you've learned the kanji ' as "life". Good for you. But how about its meanings of "student", or "fresh", or "birth", or "breathe", or "grow"? Is it pronounced '' or ''', or maybe it's '' or '.''' or '.'' or '.''? Well, if you haven't learned what it means and how to say it in each of a variety of contexts (all commonplace), you can hardly claim to "know" it, can you? (If you're panicking at seeing how confusing it can be to know what a single character means and how to pronounce it, please relax: ' is a bit of an extreme example; while there are several characters that have a wide variety of meanings or pronunciations, most have only a couple, and in fact, many "kun'yomi" are shared across multiple kanji--which one should be used depends on the nuance intended, or context.)

Completing RTK vol. 1 is not the end or even the middle of your kanji-learning experience (unless of course, like me, you were already middle-ish in your kanji-learning journey). It is the beginning: it serves as an _excellent_ foundation (but _only_ the foundation) for proceeding to learn _real_ meanings and pronunciations in a variety of contexts, which is something you can only really get by reading plenty of material.

Note: The majority of complaints I've seen about the Heisig system seem to be that it doesn't do various things it's not trying to do in the first place--possibly because some of the people who complete the system claim that it does... "Now I know 2,000 kanji characters!" ...no, you don't. The other common complaint I hear is that no one who finishes this book goes on to gain an intermediate-to-advanced understanding of Japanese. This is silly, as in order for this to be true, the book would actually have to have some property that _prevents_ you from further study. Pssht. In any case, nearly every time this challenge is issued, someone steps forward as a counter-example.

Do not kid yourself that all you have to do is read and visualize each of the kanji in order, and you'll have learned to recognize 2,000 characters at the end of the book, without ever spending any time to review the ones you learned before. A few reviewers have complained that by the time they got to the end of the book, they'd forgotten all the previous characters from the rest of the book. Well, I mean, duh? Heisig not only never said you wouldn't have to do any reviews, but he outlines a specific system for you to use in reviewing them. So, um... review 'em.

Actually, I recommend ignoring his system for creating (and using) flashcards, and using a Spaced Repetition System (SRS) such as Anki, or [...] instead. Anki has several sets of flashcards for RTK that you can download right from within the application, and koohii is geared specifically for RTK. You will not only need to review, you will need to review a lot. You will become frustrated at how quickly you can forget kanji, or at least pieces of kanji, and how certain kanji (fortunately just a handful for me) keep slipping from your memory over and over (tip: if the "story" you're using isn't working, use a new one--however, some keywords may be inherently difficult to make associations for). The point isn't that RTK eliminates the need for repetitive review (he _does_ state that repeated _writing_ of kanji is unnecessary for learning, but that's different; either way, though, take that advice with a grain (or more) of salt), but that it significantly _reduces_ that need (you need to review, but instead of reviewing entire character forms, you're mostly reviewing stories, plus infrequent idiosyncratic changes to primitive forms, or unusual primitive positions).

Things it does poorly

Alright, now for some complaints about the book. Honestly, RTK sucks (it just happens to suck way less than any other method I've tried). The keywords chosen for kanji are frequently very poor choices (IMO). I imagine I'll never have a clue as to why the keyword "junior" was chosen for '. In several cases, the English keywords themselves are obscure, and I have to look them up in a dictionary. "Decameron"? Seriously?

Likewise, not enough effort is made to ensure the student chooses a helpful connotation of the keyword (Okay, the keyword is "mould". Is that "mould" as in "there's mould on my bread", or is it "mould" as in "to shape"? Is it "gain" as in "he's gaining on me", or as in accquiring something?) Effort _is_ made, but usually for keywords I didn't actually need much help with, and for far too few of thsoe I really did need. Using the keyword in an example sentence for each character (or something) would have been appreciated.

Also, the "stories" used in the book are frequently very, very poor for visual association. Often they are obscure and rambling monologues with only light connections to the elements in the kanji. I very frequently replaced them with my own visualized connections, and was quite happy when Heisig finally stopped providing his own clumsy narratives.

Wait, didn't I basically criticize the implementation of every one of the _key_features_ of this system? Why yes, yes, I did. Why do I still recommend this book, then (you may ask)? Because in the end it doesn't matter so much that he didn't do any of these things _well_; in the end, that he _did_ them is really all that matters. He provided unique keywords to associate with each primitive and each character, so that you can easily review from keyword-to-kanji. If you don't like 'em, you can swap 'em with your own (just be sure to check that they are unique - use the index at the back of the book to see if your keyword is already taken). He teaches the characters only after all their component pieces have been learned, which _vastly_ improves the learning experience--instead of learning character forms, you're learning character components, and just putting them together. As for the stories, you can always substitute your own (and, for the majority of the book, are required to in any case).

Of course, substituting your own keywords would require you to already be familiar enough to realize that the one chosen for you isn't helpful. But the truth is, even if you learn a keyword that has nothing to do with the most common meaning (or even really any meaning) you're going to see this character used for, you _have the character in your arsenal_. Once you've learned ["to"]' as "junior", even if "junior" has little to do with anything, you still recognize the character, are comfortable and familiar with it. If you should then learn to think of it as "disciple" (["kirisutokyouto"]'''''' = Christian, ["isuramukyouto"]'''''' = Muslim, ''["seito"] = disciple/adherent), it's not remotely hard to replace the keyword you learned with a new meaning (which is what you'll have to do anyway for many characters, even when the keyword you've learned is an actual meaning of the character).

Basically: the primitive keywords suck, and the stories suck, but you don't need the stories, and the keywords are only a temporary association anyway that you'll later either expand on or replace outright. The book does a good job of teaching you how to write the characters properly, and illustrates the differences between printed and written forms; and most of all, it presents everything in an order that streamlines learning.

Shortcomings to the system

The system itself has a few disadvantages which are worth mentioning, even though in my opinion they are crushingly outweighed by the advantages of this system.

First, a significant portion of your energy in reviewing and associating the characters with keywords, is that many of the keywords are confusingly similar. This is an unavoidable consequence of trying to map each character to a unique and individual keyword, since many kanji have very close meanings (which are often used to reinforce eachother when they are paired to make a kanji compound word). "Exam", "examination", and "test" are separate keywords. "Admonish", "criticize", "rebuke", and "censure". "Shoulder" versus "shouldered". "Marriage", "matrimony", and "marry into". Some keywords differ only very, very slightly. During review (per Heisig, always keyword-to-kanji, never the reverse), I'll sometimes get mixed up and write the character for a similar but different keyword. I'll then have to devote some time into focusing on what connotations the different words have that I can add to my stories to better distinguish them. This is energy I would not have to spend in learning kanji "normally"; I would learn the characters just from the contexts in which I see them used, and be able to distinguish them just on that basis, even when they have essentially the same meaning. I wouldn't have to concentrate to think which character was associated to some specific meaning; instead, I'd just know which of the similar characters I "meant", and use that.

Additionally, this system comes with a condition: it only really works if you work through it all at once, to the exclusion of other study methods. I don't think you can effectively combine this with other systems simultaneously, and Heisig himself says this at least once in the introduction. This means that you have to work through all 2,000+ characters before you can begin making any use of any of them. This can be a daunting task to contemplate, and this is only for the worse since as far as I know, this system will not be effective if it is interrupted. If you drop it partway through, you can't pick it up again where you left off, unless of course you've been dilligently reviewing those keywords that you had learned up to that point the whole time you were away.

For my part, I had beat my head against other methods for quite long enough to be motivated to work all the way through without stopping, and I've been rewarded with an excellent foundation for continuing my kanji studies.

Comparison to Kanji ABC

It's worth pointing out a similar system for learning the Kanji: Kanji ABC: A Systematic Approach to Japanese Characters. It takes a very similar approach to learning the kanji, and in particular focuses on the same key concept behind RTK: learn the primitives first, and build your knowledge of the characters from that. In my opinion, it also has a tendency to choose more useful keywords for the primitives than RTK does. However, it suffers from two shortcomings that really prevent it from being as effective as RTK, in my opinion: first, it does not teach unique, reviewable keywords for the characters themselves; only for the primitives, so you really can't use it in isolation; you'd have to study each character thoroughly (using external means) in order to really retain any information about them. Second, it only demonstrates the printed forms of kanji, which can differ significantly from the written forms, and doesn't really provide great coverage in general on how to write the characters.

Conclusion

I would love to see someone completely rework this system, and perhaps choose better keywords, and address some of the other problems I mentioned above. However, it still remains at this time, the most effective system for quickly gaining a solid repertoire of characters, and at the end of it, you really can read Japanese much more effectively. You obviously can't read without effort and further study, but the difference in ability is well worth the 2 to 4 months you will have spent in study with RTK.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen For students without a kanji-based primary education, this is the only way to go. 15. Oktober 2007
Von Peter P. Parisi - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Several reviewers have downgraded this book because it wasn't what they expected. You should know up front: the book teaches nothing beyond the kanji. You will not learn a single Japanese word from this book. This is the book's strength! With a little exertion of the imagination, you learn the Japanese characters in a rational way, through a technique called "component-analysis." That is, Mr. Heisig has broken the characters down into elements that combine with each other to produce more complicated characters.

Heisig's motto is "Divide and conquer." He isn't kidding. If you manage to get through this book--and I grant that it is not easy, just easier than the way the average Japanese child does it!--you will have overcome the greatest obstacle to fluency in Japanese. The grammar is not complicated and the vocabulary no harder than that of any other language. It is the task of learning about 2000 intricate ideographs that defeats most students.

Don't take my word for it: go to a website called "Reviewing the Kanji" and see for yourself. Check out another site called "Kanjiclinic." The book has strong partisans because it works.

Finally, while some students have had remarkable success, learning all 1945 kanji in as short a time as three months, don't be afraid to take your time. Consider: if it takes you 4 years to complete this book, learning 1-3 kanji a day in your spare time, you will have completed the task in less than half the time it takes a Japanese child, studying an hour or two every school day.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Fast Kanji Learning. Faster still with Online Resources 21. Dezember 2008
Von B. Vazquez - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This book delivers on it's promise. Learning in a few months the core meaning in English of over 2000 Kanji and how to draw them in proper order. The later stories in the book require the reader's active imagination, though. I would recommend the website "Reviewing the Kanji" at [...] Users post their own stories for particular Kanji, and some are truly memorable. Plus a community forum of fellow Heisig Method students for advice and encouragement. I would also recommend the Firefox add-on Moji, on: [...]
Very good for underlining and looking up Kanji, their roots, pronunciation, meaning and reference no.in a number of dictionaries.
Finally, a good Flashcard program, like Anki, with a deck in Heisig cards included, and you're good to go!
Try Heisig for a month. Give it just an hour a day and you'll be recognising over 300 common Kanjin in the Japanese press and amazing yourself. After that, you will not want to give it up.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen This is a valid method- for some 9. September 2009
Von Michigoon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Most of the positive reviews you see for this book seem to be from people who are excited to memorize so many kanji so quickly, but who don't yet realize how much work is still ahead of them. Most of the negative reviews are from people who learned or tend to learn language in a way different from this method. What neither side realizes is that this is *a* good method for introducing the kanji- it's not only one, and it might not even be the best one, but it's a good one, to the tune of a 5-star review.

The positives. Would you like to be able two write over two thousand kanji in under six months, while everyone else around you will have probably tried and failed to get even a few dozen of them down at the same time? Would you like an environment that's so fun and intuitive that it feels more like play than study? Would you like to flat-out amaze yourself with your incredible progress day-to-day? (I swear I wasn't paid to write this). Heisig's method is IN-CRED-I-BLE at making the normally daunting task of learning the kanji an absolute blast! I sat down with the sample chapter, and had over 30 kanji memorized inside of an hour. I am completely comitted to Japanese literacy now- what once seemed like the most difficult task of beginning the language (familiarizing the kanji) now feels more like educational recess. I practice my kanji on work breaks becuase it's so refreshing to immerse myself in it.

The negatives. You will recognize the kanji after this course of study, without actually knowing anything about using them. The book only gives you one very basic interpretation of a stand-alone kanji, and this is nearly useless in real literacy (even if it is a boon to memorization). Most students familiar with the traditional all-at-once method of learning will point and scoff at how ridiculous it is to have to learn so many characters twice when you could do it once.

But forget the foreign language for a second. Are you the sort of person who can sit down and read a dictionary in your own language, right now? There are some people who can do this, who can just absorb pronunciations and definitions and usages of words all at once. This book is not for them- they need to grab something like P. G. O'Neill's "Essential Kanji" and tackle it head-on. Personally, I could sit down and read the entire English dictionary, and struggle to remember a single thing. Why would I expect any different results rote memorizing a Japanese dictionary?

There's one other aspect of this course that needs some thought. Here, you learn to see a symbol and instinctively put information to it. This very closely mimics how you know your own language- you don't have to trace out stroke order for every character and piece together meaning. You just see "the" and "next" and "word" and "in the sentence" as blocks. Learning via this method allows you to be much more naturally fluent in recognizing your characters. You just see "four" and think "four". Once you know "four" as a concept, I think that makes it easier to heap on "yottsu" than the traditional method, where you learn "yottsu = a certain squiggle" and have to map "four" onto that just to create one concept (even though the result is the same). The author compares this to Chinese-fluent persons learning Japanese, who are familiar with many of these symbols already, and just need to learn the Japanese readings and usages. These students do show faster progress gaining literacy than students totally unfamiliar with the characters, and the end result for you should be the same.

So, as others have noted, the first chapter is online for free. Try it, and see if this style of learning is for you. For a lot of people, this style will be a very refreshing take on what will ultimately be a difficult and perhaps years-long journey no matter how it's sliced.
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