Japanese Kanji Learning: Short-Cuts to Rapid Mastery (Part 2)

Written by Stephen Munday

In Part 1, we looked at mnemonic methods devised by James Heisig and Kenneth Henshall to speed-up kanji acquisition. We saw how their techniques activaterepparttar imagination by assigning different meanings individual elements of each kanji. But perhaps these methods do not work so well for you. If you are more of a visual learner, what are your options for rapid kanji assimilation?

Visual learners, you are so lucky! If your are a visual learner, you may well find kanji easier to learn than most other people do because of their pictorial nature. However, there is a way that even you can accelerate your existing kanji-learning advantage:

Michael Rowley's book Kanji Pict-O-Graphix presentsrepparttar 146403 reader with just over 1,000 kanji in a visually memorable form. Taking each character, he first breaks it down into constituent radicals. However, in contrast to Henshall’s academic approach (see Part 1), Rowley uses a visual cue for each element to produce beautifully-drawn illustrations that both carryrepparttar 146404 meaning and hint atrepparttar 146405 shape ofrepparttar 146406 kanji. He also provides a brief mnemonic phrase to provide additional reinforcement, although this is notrepparttar 146407 core of this method. It isrepparttar 146408 clear, high-impact illustrations that give his approach its effectiveness.

This is a beautifully laid out and illustrated book that even has people who are not studying Japanese browsing through it simply for pleasure. With this book, you can have a pleasant moment of kanji study while relaxing on your sofa and not even feel like you are studying. Takingrepparttar 146409 pain out of studying while simultaneously increasing retention has to berepparttar 146410 main advantage of Rowley’s approach.

Japanese Kanji Learning: Short-Cuts to Rapid Mastery (Part 1)

Written by Stephen Munday

What? Kanji can be learned quickly? This seems an impossible dream to many students of Japanese who come from a non-kanji language culture. Even hiragana and katakana seem impossibly hard torepparttar average beginner, so remembering kanji, with all their intricate strokes and multiple readings, can appear to be beyondrepparttar 146402 abilities ofrepparttar 146403 human mind.

But don’t give up hope just yet! There are tools that can transform you from a kanji klutz to a veritable genius. That does not mean that it will take no work, sweat or tears. (I would be lying if I told you it would completely pain-free.) But you can gain a good grasp of kanji with a lot less these than you would think.

So let’s look at two approaches that can have you gobbling up kanji like there is no tomorrow. In Part 1, I will talk you through mnemonic methods, and then in Part 2 I will focus on methods that can benefit visual learners.

Mnemonic Methods

“Mnemonic” simply means a device, formula or rhyme used to assist memorization. An example of a mnemonic embedded in my mind from childhood is “Never Eat Shredded Wheat”. As a rhyme it has nothing to do with navigation or geography, but it helped me learnrepparttar 146404 points ofrepparttar 146405 compass.

So let’s have a look atrepparttar 146406 mnemonic approaches that can speed-up kanji learning.

James Heisig's Rememberingrepparttar 146407 Kanji Series

Heisig's mnemonic-based approach is not only famous forrepparttar 146408 claims its practitioners have made of rapid kanji assimilation (1,000 kanji in 29 days, for example), but also forrepparttar 146409 critical flack it has attracted from traditionalists.

Undoubtedly,repparttar 146410 method has flaws: The student being encouraged to associate a single, very narrow and sometimes non-standard meaning with a particular kanji being a major one. However,repparttar 146411 fact that Heisig's approach is geared to Westerners also has advantages: Focusing onrepparttar 146412 meaning beforerepparttar 146413 pronunciation is of more practical value torepparttar 146414 adult Western student, since while meaning isrepparttar 146415 key to understanding,repparttar 146416 pronunciation ofrepparttar 146417 kanji is of little value unless reading aloud.

I came to this approach late, having usedrepparttar 146418 good ol' rote memorization and drilling method of most traditional textbooks, so it has not been such a boon to me as it would be to someone starting from scratch. However, while using a computer to write Japanese at work has made my mind lazy when it comes to writing, Heisig's method keepsrepparttar 146419 shape ofrepparttar 146420 kanji right in front of me when I do pick up pen and paper. And I am hoping to use book 3 to go well beyondrepparttar 146421 standard 1,945 character kanji set inrepparttar 146422 future - something I would not even consider attempting without using this technique.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use