Adventures in Heisig • day 3

…in which I persevere.

But I wonder if it’s truly worth it.
I find the kanji character can be memorised fairly quickly, and I can produce them when prompted by keyword. But what I’ve learnt is of no immediate use. Even when I look up the kanji a lot are fairly obscure.

The “stories”. The ones in heisig are almost useless to me. I’m not great at coming up with new ones and think my energy might be better spent in other ways.
If I’m going to use this memory method or trick it’s best to have vivid personal images. ie. not “pen” but a particular favourite wood effect fountain pen that writes in black ink and is wonderfully smooth. That image is more likely to be hooked onto something else than a generic “pen”.

As memory techniques are the core of the method are there prehaps other ways? How much of it really is memory? I use 行く、見る、日、月etc all the time. And it’s not a feat of memory; they’re just there. I also think of them with their Japanese meaning and the language free concept. No tortuous story. I wonder what the process was to get to that point?
The BBC had a program about memory, The Memory Experience that has some interesting ideas and articles.

I’m contemplating revising the keywords to something more useful. And maybe the order. And learn the Japanese as well. I’ve abandoned Heisig completely by that point.

Can I stick with it to 500? never mind 2000

via Google I found a thoughtful piece on how Heisig is snake oil.
Although his thought experiment with two twins doesn’t quite ring true to me. I don’t think you can learn 1000 kanji successfully the traditional way in 6 months. However it does raise the point that there has been no study into Heisig’s method. I’d like to see what can be achieved in 3 months by two cohorts using each method. And their respective progress following a standard course over 3 years.
(coincidentally he also translated the Japanese Apple ads featuring the Rahmens.)

Tae Kim (of Guide to Grammar netfame)also has little time for Heisig. And amusingly ranks number 1 on Google for a particular search term. But ends up writing a thoughtful piece about RTK.

I suppose I must try to find someone writing positively about Heisig but without a fanatics gleam in the eye.

Lesson 4 18 kanji.
5 components, 3 are radicals 儿、几、勹、

I think these entries will be weekly from now until completion or surrender…
I have better things to occupy myself with.

peeves du jour
Only the student is wrong never the method or the teacher.
Don’t think too much or analyse.
More religion.

09. February 2008 by ロバート
Categories: other • 残り | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Adventures in Heisig • day 3