RTK progress report, 1/4 done.

I know I said I’d do a report when I was half-way, but now that I’m right before a huge change in the book I figure it is a good spot. (though tbh since I use RevTK stories rather than Heisig’s the change will not be so important).

I’m trying to do a lesson per 2-3 days. Small lessons I can pull in consecutive days, but it takes a while for them to sink in properly and after noticing that my retention rate was low with consecutive lessons I decided against daily study. I also focus at one-lesson-at-a-time rather than given-number-of-kanji-at-a-time since the primitives really make a difference.

I’ve switched my keyword makring a bit, as in I’m all reading+common word having the kanji for all kanjis now. Most of my failed cards are not because of not remembering the kanji, but rather because I am unfamiliar with the word I’m being tested on. So despite knowing how to write, remembering the story&knowing the English keyword for 寛, for example, I have failed it 24 times. I have about 20 words(out of 540 so far) for which this happens, and it is a bit frustrating, but I’ve learned that it is not such a big deal. I use J-home-made keywords only on RevTK.

I recently restarted with the JRTK anki deck, english keyword+japanese keyword version. My retention rate is through the roof, but I feel as if I am cheating because of the english keyword =).

I find it kind of pleasing how core 5k is full of the kanjis in this section. Just this week I had 灯油、脂、冒、脱 and many others show up in me new words pile on Iknow, which is mighty convenient. Mighty convenient indeed =).

So yeah. Slow and steady. I’m liking this.

P.S. My Kanji classes in school now feel ridiculous thanks to RTK. What I once thought were extremely hard kanjis to master, like 議, feel very intuitive, and it is much easier to diferentiate similar-looking kanjis. I actually cheated a bit and looked up the kanjis I was tested on this exam session on RevTK, despite not being there yet with Heisig’s book… I scored almost 100% on all my tests.

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2 thoughts on “RTK progress report, 1/4 done.

  1. You always hear a lot about people doing RTK and having remarkable results. I’m always so curious. Kanji has never really been a weak point of mine, but it is definitely very useful to break them down into radicals instead of trying to tackle the whole thing by itself. Are you going to try to get through the whole book in a year?

    • I was actually aiming at about 3 months when I started, but I ran out of free time and had to take a break from it :).
      Heisig doesn’t use radicals, but primitives. English name for them, and especially made to aid you in understand other kanjis which use it(e.g.攵 is taskmaster, and the community goes a step further by calling it Hitler or Snape. Why? Because it shows up in kanjis like 政、牧、改 and it’s easy to build related stories. Also Hitler makes everything memorable).

      I’m not sure of how much help Heisig will be to you at your current level, though. I think at this point the only help he can be is helping you learn how to write(which is what this book’s original purpose is, actually). I do find that even Kanjis which I haven’t gotten around to with Heisig yet have gotten easier since it’s formed my eye to look for the primitives, and RTK does go up to 3000 kanjis, so that may be another plus.

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