Remembering the Kanji in 58 Days (Day 3)

Highlighted kanji have been learned.

I just finished with day 3 and am up to 172 Kanji with a very high retaining rate. I also have them all reviewed in Anki and highlighted on the Kanji Poster.

I am a bit ahead of schedule, but I am doing it on purpose. I figure I will study as many as I can in these early stages while it is fun and exciting. That way I won’t have as big of a workload as the reviews get longer.

Today I studied about 70 Kanji in about 30 minutes and then reviewed 74 cards in 11 minutes with Anki. All together less than one hour.

I look forward to your comments and hearing about your own progress.

I should mention that studying the kanji won’t teach you any Japanese words or grammar along the way. It will however, teach you the basic meanings of the kanji and how to recognize and write them.


Learning 2042 Kanji in just 58 Days

Is it possible? Many of you are probably thinking no! However, there are others who have done it. I won’t be the first. I should point out that I wouldn’t recommend this method for everyone. I have a lot of experience with kanji, I studied Japanese in the US, attended Waseda University in Tokyo, and currently live in Japan. Unfortunately, I haven’t taken the time to learn all 2042 kanji and make sure that I can recall and write them whenever I want.

I’ve decided that NOW is that time!

I calculated that to reach my goal of 2042 kanji in 58 57 days that I need to study at least 36 kanji per day. I actually started yesterday, and studied 52 yesterday and 52 today. So two days and I am now at 104 Kanji. For the first couple hundred I will probable keep this pace to give myself a little leeway at the end.

So what better time than to learn the kanji than to study along with me!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Remembering the Kanji 1: I did a full review on this book and was really impressed with the method it uses to teach kanji. You can get it here. (Purchasing using this link helps support this site.
  • Anki: We will be using this to review the kanji and make sure we are remembering them correctly. The full set of RTK cards can be downloaded from their site.
  • Reviewing the Kanji: I recommend an account here so that you can check out different stories for help (This will make more sense to you once you start). The downloadable card set in Anki already contains the links.
  • Kanji Poster: Recommended if you want to see the kanji all in one place. Cool to have, but not really necessary to reach our goal. (Link also helps support this site).
How to Study Kanji for this project
  1. Choose your finish date, and then divide the number of kanji by the number of days you have left. In my case 2042 kanji/58 days=36 kanji per day.
  2. Study the Kanji using the Remembering the Kanji book.
  3. Review the kanji you have learned in Anki. I usually wait at least a couple of hours before reviewing.
  4. Mark off or highlight kanji you know on the kanji poster (not necessary, but will help give me a visual of my progress)
  5. Rinse and repeat, until you have conquered all the kanji.
  6. Make sure you continue to study Anki and also use your learned kanji to read Japanese.
So, in order to stay motivated, lets do it together! I will be posting about my progress, and please feel free to leave comments or questions about yours.




Rikaikun (Rikaichan for Chrome)

I have written about Rikaichan before and how it is one of my favorite tools for reading and learning Japanese. It allows even a someone with a basic understanding of Japanese to read like a pro. Well, for all those who use Google’s chrome, a port has been made called Rikaikun.

Since the current release of Chrome doesn’t handle plugins you will need to install the beta. It will ask you to do this if you try and install the plugin.  Give it a try and let me know what you think. I’ve got it downloaded and it seems to work just fine. In fact it was easier than Rikaichan because all I needed to do was one click.

Rikaikun Plugin

Reading Japanese Words in Style

close up on keys of old  typewriter

So you finally figured out how to read and write Japanese on your computer (if you haven’t, do this right away). The problem is that the standard fonts for Japanese aren’t very good. In addition to just being plane bad looking or difficult to read, there may occasionally be characters that don’t show up. Since you will see Japanese words written in all different kinds of fonts and handwriting, it is also a good idea to get used to lots of different ones. But don’t worry. This post is all about choosing a new font.

Michele Romanini (the same person who turned the 1000+ common Japanese words into an SRS list) has found a great list of fonts that can be downloaded. Since there are quite a few different kinds of fonts, you should be able to find something to your liking.

Installing fonts will vary depending on the OS you are using, but there is a a lot of documentation on the web. Simple type “installing fonts in (name of your OS)”.

You can find the Japanese Fonts at the link below

Japanese Fonts

Watching YouTube In Japanese

Since the weekend is almost here, there is plenty of time to sit in front of the computer watching YouTube videos. Why not turn this little activity into Japanese learning time as well. Setting up your YouTube page to easily find Japanese videos and even read Japanese is very simple and can easily be changed back at any time.

1. Open up YouTube

2. In the upper left hand corner you should see a language and a region setting.  The left is the region (where you want to see videos from) and the right is the language you want to view the page in.

youtube screenshot.png

3. To view videos from Japan, simply click on the left link (it probably reads “wordwide” or has your specific region) and change it to Japanese. If you want to get a little more Japanese practice, then you can also switch the page language to Japanese as well.

Japanese YouTube.png

4. Don’t forget to use Firefox and to turn on Rikaichan to make reading the page easy!