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Primitives on User-made Stories

#1
Hello friends!

I have just realized that I like the user-made stories on Kanji Koohii more than the RTK stories (I also own the book).

The only thing that makes me stop using Koohii stories, is the absance of primitives on user-made stories. Even though that I like the user-made stories more, I have the impression that RTK stories are designed (throughoutly planned) with the primitives to make the learning easier on more complicated kanjis at further stages of the book.

Am I wrong? I will be glad to hear that I am wrong because I find the user-made stories more simple and easy to remember and usually more fun.

In other words, I fear that I will have difficulty at further stages if I start learning with user-made stories.
Edited: 2017-03-23, 12:47 pm
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#2
What do you mean? A lot of the early kanji has bad stories (for example "one") because people are new to RTK.

But in general stories shared on Koohii mention primitives, or some other custom primitive like "Mr T".

Not everyone uses formatting however. Primitives should be enclosed with * stars * (italic formatting).
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#3
When I check RTK1, the first stage of the book teaches about primitves along with the Kanji. However, the user-made stories do not teach about primitives. That's why I had the impressions that primitives are not used in user-made stories (because they are not introduced at the early stage of user-made stories like RTK1 does, right?).

If primitives are used, then I am wrong with my assumption. However, I wonder how people learn about the primitives without the introduction of them in Koohii. Am I missing something Fabrice?
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JapanesePod101
#4
You're right in that primitives alone are not introduced in the indexed lists of the site (unless they're also standalone kanji also present in Heisig's works). But when they are used for the first time as part of a kanji, some of the user stories tend to have explanations on mnemonics for the primitive or new creative meanings that are gonna be assigned to them from that point on. Sometimes, they even put links to the study page of a kanji outside Heisig, for instance, that's one of the constituent parts, so you can share there your ideas.

Edit: You may find this lists by Katsuo highly valuable ;-).
Edited: 2017-03-23, 1:27 pm
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#5
(2017-03-23, 1:10 pm)ShotOkan Wrote: Am I missing something Fabrice?

Not really except the implicit fact that my agreement with James Heisig involves no explicit coverage of primitives. So the website purposely does not have an index of primitives, and there is no explicit hyperlinking or breakdown of kanji in such primitives.

Of course I could bypass this by using *radicals* instead, which have a lot of overlap with Heisig's primitives.

I think WaniKani does that? I only very briefly looked at it. Probably a few other online methods have a full course with kanji and the "building blocks".

Koohii's purpose was never to be such a full online kanji course. I'm just one guy, and hardly an expert at Japanese. Koohii enables the community to share value through mnemonics. But when you make a "course", now you are writing a book it's a completely different beast.
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#6
It makes sense to use the site alongside the book. For each group of kanji with a new primitive, I would suggest seeing what the book says first, and then checking Koohii for stories. That way, you learn about the new primitive from the book, and can then pick your favourite story from Koohii.

The stories in the book stop part-way through, and the Koohii stories become more important at that point.

Some Koohii stories use the same primitive meaning as in the book, and some change it to a custom primitive meaning (which the story's author found easier to make memorable stories with). Sometimes, a custom meaning catches on (like using "Mr T" for "person") and lots of people post stories using that meaning.

You can name a primitive anything you want, and this shouldn't cause any problems later, as long as the new meaning doesn't clash with any other primitive meaning that appears later. If you pick a primitive meaning that's not very popular, then you might find there are no Koohii stories with your chosen primitive meaning for later kanji with that primitive, and need to make your own stories for those kanji. But this is not a major problem, and sometimes it's worth it.

If you look through the Koohii stories for the first kanji in which a new primitive appears, you can usually find an explanation of where people have changed the primitive's meaning.
Edited: 2017-03-23, 7:12 pm
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#7
(2017-03-23, 3:47 pm)ファブリス Wrote:
(2017-03-23, 1:10 pm)ShotOkan Wrote: Am I missing something Fabrice?

Not really except the implicit fact that my agreement with James Heisig involves no explicit coverage of primitives. So the website purposely does not have an index of primitives, and there is no explicit hyperlinking or breakdown of kanji in such primitives.

Of course I could bypass this by using *radicals* instead, which have a lot of overlap with Heisig's primitives.

I think WaniKani does that? I only very briefly looked at it. Probably a few other online methods have a full course with kanji and the "building blocks".

Koohii's purpose was never to be such a full online kanji course. I'm just one guy, and hardly an expert at Japanese. Koohii enables the community to share value through mnemonics. But when you make a "course", now you are writing a book it's a completely different beast.


Here's one vote for using radicals. Same goes with unique kanji that are used in other kanji. You can give a blanket term "kanji elements" for both. If necessary, you can ask for a group source to provide terms for the "elements" that do not use Heisig's primitive name. 

If nothing else, the Radicals will help for those that study for the Kanken tests especially if it includes the Japanese terms for these.
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#8
(2017-03-23, 3:47 pm)ファブリス Wrote:
(2017-03-23, 1:10 pm)ShotOkan Wrote: Am I missing something Fabrice?

Not really except the implicit fact that my agreement with James Heisig involves no explicit coverage of primitives. So the website purposely does not have an index of primitives, and there is no explicit hyperlinking or breakdown of kanji in such primitives.

Of course I could bypass this by using *radicals* instead, which have a lot of overlap with Heisig's primitives.

I think WaniKani does that? I only very briefly looked at it. Probably a few other online methods have a full course with kanji and the "building blocks".

Koohii's purpose was never to be such a full online kanji course. I'm just one guy, and hardly an expert at Japanese. Koohii enables the community to share value through mnemonics. But when you make a "course", now you are writing a book it's a completely different beast.
I don't understand...the "primitives" are parts of kanji...Heisig didn't invent the kanji or the "primitives."  They existed long before he came along.  He doesn't own them.  Same with the RTK2 "primitives".  Just because he pointed them out to people doesn't mean he has the exclusive right to talk about them.
Edited: 2017-03-23, 10:52 pm
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#9
Actually interestingly there's quite a few user created primitives in later kanji. They're quite useful. Unfortunately, yes, this site does not introduce the primitives individually like Heisig. I think that would potentially move this site over the line for copyright though, as many are distinctly Heisig's creation.
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#10
(2017-03-23, 11:01 pm)NinKenDo Wrote: Actually interestingly there's quite a few user created primitives in later kanji. They're quite useful. Unfortunately, yes, this site does not introduce the primitives individually like Heisig. I think that would potentially move this site over the line for copyright though, as many are distinctly Heisig's creation.

How are the primitives Heisig's creation if they always existed before Heisig came along?  I don't see them as being his creation.
Edited: 2017-03-23, 11:14 pm
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#11
(2017-03-23, 11:13 pm)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-03-23, 11:01 pm)NinKenDo Wrote: Actually interestingly there's quite a few user created primitives in later kanji. They're quite useful. Unfortunately, yes, this site does not introduce the primitives individually like Heisig. I think that would potentially move this site over the line for copyright though, as many are distinctly Heisig's creation.

How are the primitives Heisig's creation if they always existed before Heisig came along?  I don't see them as being his creation.


It's the names and stories he gave to the primitives that are copyrighted. The kanji 自 likely was likely never viewed as "nose" before Heisig. The 'happy graveyard' or whatever likely was not a term for that primitive of flower/sun/dog. He does not have a copyright on the symbols, just his unique (at the time he created them) English interpretation of them. Translations and academic works like that can be copyrighted as anyone that's read Beowulf may have noticed. 

However, as noted, techniques cannot be copyrighted (maybe patented, but not the case here) so using Heisig's techniques and applying different terms to kanji elements unique to Heisig's book is more than doable. If not, the works like KKLC would have been sued.
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#12
Sure a large portion of the "primitives" are radicals.

However Heisig also tried to bring method to madness. His term "primitives" references one or more radicals, together. So he create blocks out of smaller blocks, to help remember characters. So that you don't have to make a mnemonic with 10 keywords in it. Instead you have 3 keywords, one of which itself you memorized earlier.
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#13
(2017-03-23, 11:13 pm)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-03-23, 11:01 pm)NinKenDo Wrote: Actually interestingly there's quite a few user created primitives in later kanji. They're quite useful. Unfortunately, yes, this site does not introduce the primitives individually like Heisig. I think that would potentially move this site over the line for copyright though, as many are distinctly Heisig's creation.

How are the primitives Heisig's creation if they always existed before Heisig came along?  I don't see them as being his creation.

He doesn't break them up exactly the same as radicals are broken up.  Common combinations of multiple radicals are given names and called primitives.  His names and stories are unique for these as well, some are not related to the actual meaning of the primitive at all, just a memory tool.  

Just buy the book to support Heisig and work through them together.
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