Wow! This is a great topic. I am very surprised how many older members we have in the forum! I guess I just always thought that it's mainly high school, college, and people in their early 30's or so. Show's what I know! Let me ask, what motivated you to start learning Japanese after things like college, career, etc.?
Started RTK in May 2006
Feels a bit absolute to say I'm finished with it though.
What got me into Japanese was Aikido. I studied that off and on for a few years, and I just got curious. Then I took the first two semesters of Japanese in summer of my last year of grad school after a few failed attempts to learn it on my own. I audited 4 more semesters after that, graduated, then took a year and a half off (big mistake) before coming back to the language last year.
I'm one of those people who love to learn new languages. I took 6 years of French from 4th-10th grades, took a semester of Russian in high school, then took 4 semesters of German in college. Once I get a better grip on Japanese, I really need to go back and resuscitate my German. My family will be upset if I don't. Well, the ones who live in Germany will, anyway.
As for dealing with the distractions of Adulthood (i.e. life after college), well, it's really just a matter of desire/focus. If you really want to do something, you'll make the time for it.
I have to say that stumbling upon this site and AJATT really rekindled my interest in trying to go for full fluency, as well as inspiring me. And if I hadn't found RTK in the first place... well... yikes. I wish I had done it before I took Japanese at Uni. The way they taught kanji there was just... ugh. Naaasty.
I too originally became interested in Japanese through anime, then manga, then jpop. Now I enjoy the language itself more than anything, and I have little time for other hobbies as I strive for fluency. I'll be trying my JLPT 4 luck this year. Maybe some day I'll have time for those other hobbies again. I'm hoping I'll be able to enjoy them in a richer, more fulfilling way some day, once I've learned Japanese. No more subtitles or translations! \o/
12 months (finished after 9)
2042 (+16 others encountered during reading)
46 yrs. Finished RTK1 when I was 45. Currently have 2015 cards in the final stack.
I'm 33 years old,
using RevtK and making up dirty stories for about a month now,
currently at frame 666.
This is my second attempt at using the Heisig method, though; during the first one I used those old-fashioned paper flashcards. Due to a stupid mishap I lost a few hundreds of them which was quite frustrating... Now that some time has passed and my anger has calmed down I'm giving it a try again using this great site. I'm glad to notice that I remember most of the kanji I learned at that time and feel quite confident that I'll complete this time. Virtual flashcards are much more convenient, and using other members' crazy stories when my own fantasy is burnt out is helping as well...
19 years old.
frame # 830, but I can't remember the turkey/state of mind kanji radicals and their kanjis very well, so I'm debating just a bit to fix them now or to continue...
22 years old.
2 years. *gasp* so long already...
finished, almost a year ago...?
but still struggling remembering all of them... *lazy reviewing*
I am doing this as a team with my homeschooled son: I am 47, and he is 11 years old,
so I guess he counts as the youngest member so far!
We've both been at this just a couple of weeks, and I'm up to 56 kanji. He has done fewer, which is OK with me (I expected that we wouldn't keep up the same pace).
We are also working on flooding our brains with the sounds of Japanese, by watching movies with Japanese sound tracks, and finding stuff in Japanese on the Web. He's enjoying the Kids Web Japan site.
We have just been away for the weekend, and I discovered just how hard it is to review without the structure this site provides! I'm glad to be back!!
Reading through the pages, it would seem that I am not the oldest. I will not reveal my age though. It is interesting to see all the older people that are learning Japanese. I did not think so many of the elderly devoted time to learning new languages.
Edited: 2008-03-02, 9:09 pm
Is elderly the wrong word to use? If someone is older than you, they are your elder, correct?
"Elder" does mean someone older than you, but "elderly" specifically refers to someone quite advanced in age, perhaps in their 70s or 80s.
EDIT: omitted verb!
Edited: 2008-03-02, 11:33 pm
I would think "older" students would be appropriate. Elderly students gives me images of Homes for the Elderly, everyone huddled together with their walkers and O2 tanks, studying Japanese a la Heisig. :O
Oh, I see. However, if these were the old days, living to age 40 would be quite a feat. (A joke)
I'm 42. I'm at frame 975 -- been doing RTK for four months. I started learning Japanese about 5 months ago. RTK has been great, this site makes it easier. And I'm making relatively good progress in other areas (spoken, written, etc.).
With regard to the age debate: I speak two other languages fluently and have learned both as an adult. I don't think children have a a great advantage learning a language in a classroom environment or learning Kanji via RTK etc, but it is true that younger children especially have a true advantage acquiring (not studying, learning) a language in a native, spoken context. After a year or so of immersion in Japan, a six-year old would be close to native, a 42-year old like myself, alas would not be.
That said, immersion in a native context goes a long way to helping anyone acquire a language faster. Thus, I believe in AJATT too, as it helps approximate that experience.
Edited: 2008-03-03, 2:35 pm
2 and a half years (2 years using this site but lots of breaks - is it me or does life keep getting in the way of study?)
2042 (but loads of failed kanji in the last couple of hundred, so not sure I've technically finished yet)
Not sure there's any age limit on learning languages though. I had a student in his 80s in one of the conversation classes I taught in Japan, who was one of the best contributors to discussions and not afraid to try out new words or expressions. That's something I've a lot of respect for - never to think you're too old to learn something.
25 years old.
"Finished" (still do the occasional review..) RTK 1 about a year ago, pushing for kanken level 4 now.
I'm 32 and up to #560. It took seven weeks to get here, as this is a college class I'm taking. We're doing 80/week, and that has wound up being an easy enough goal with the rest of my homework.
At least, this has been my experience.
I heard of Heisig last semester in Japanese 102. Someone did a survey to see if there was interest in holding a class based on his method.