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The "I just finished RTK1, please congratulate me" thread.

#51
Well done man.
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#52
Unfortunately I didn't find this site until few weeks after I finished story 2042, but in a way, I found it just in time. As many people can surely attest, it is quite lonely to study the Heisig books without this site, thinking you're the only one in the world going through it at any one point in time. For me, bursts of progress followed by months of recess made finishing this book a two year task. If I had known about this site earlier, there would have perhaps been no recess, since not a day goes by that I don't log in and check my review stacks.
At the end, it's encouraging to see just how many people are with me on the same journey. Even though I had the motivation to get to the end of the first book on my own, I'm certain that I wouldn't have the right tools or motivation to retain the kanji in memory, let alone start the third book without this site. After using it for a month, I still think this site is almost too good to be true. Thanks to it, I am now able to recall the kanji with over 90% accuracy, and going through RTK3 is a lot less of a chore than RTK1. This site is a brilliant idea.
3007, here I come.
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#53
rgravina, inuki, Pauline and ziggr: hurrah! Congratulations on sticking through and completing your goal!

mantixen, welcome and congrats on completing RtK! Good luck with RtK3! Well I think you're going to have a bunch of stories in case of writer's block thanks to astridtops's 拓 "clearing the land" of RtK 3 territory Wink
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JapanesePod101
#54
Quote:mantixen, welcome and congrats on completing RtK! Good luck with RtK3! Well I think you're going to have a bunch of stories in case of writer's block thanks to astridtops's 拓 "clearing the land" of RtK 3 territory Wink
Well, at least for the first 500 or so Smile I'm still trying to find energy to resume, but I've been drawning in repeating old stuff for a while.
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#55
Me too. I missed a day or two, and since then I've had 200 and 300 every day to review. I just couldn't get all the way thru the expired cards. Sad.
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#56
CharleyGarrett Wrote:Me too. I missed a day or two, and since then I've had 200 and 300 every day to review. I just couldn't get all the way thru the expired cards. Sad.
I feel your pain. I also had similar 200-300 reviews a day to do when I was initially learning the 2042 kanjis this summer. It was rough to do.

However, be glad that your not in my position...
I haven't had time to review the cards in my 4th stack. The "review" section counts that there are 1999 cards expired >.<
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#57
Just added card 2042. I started studying with this homepage on 13-09-2006. So it took me something like 3+ months. I had done the book before with paper flashcards and a different software program but it didnt stick. I can read novels, translate, and speak but I couldn't write for a damn so I picked the system back up in september. I'm eager to slowly begin switching all of my cards over to japanese only cards so I can simultaneously polish my reading abilities and maintain my writing. (as a matter of a fact a couple of us are working on that [for different reason], check out rtkjukugo at yahoo groups, we can use all the help we can get). I love Heisig's system but I think it is very artificial. Sometimes forced keywords and kanji standing alone ;which is the exception, not the rule, in actual Japanese. I think that I would have given up on it completely if it hadn't been for this site and the community that revolves around. I guess I just want to say that I really care about you guys and I hope you care as much about me as I do about you... Oh sorry, got weepy. I must be coming down after the emotional high of finishing the book... Anyway, best of luck to everybody.
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#58
Hyland1 Wrote:Just added card 2042. I started studying with this homepage on 13-09-2006. So it took me something like 3+ months. I had done the book before with paper flashcards and a different software program but it didnt stick. I can read novels, translate, and speak but I couldn't write for a damn so I picked the system back up in september. I'm eager to slowly begin switching all of my cards over to japanese only cards so I can simultaneously polish my reading abilities and maintain my writing. (as a matter of a fact a couple of us are working on that [for different reason], check out rtkjukugo at yahoo groups, we can use all the help we can get). I love Heisig's system but I think it is very artificial. Sometimes forced keywords and kanji standing alone ;which is the exception, not the rule, in actual Japanese. I think that I would have given up on it completely if it hadn't been for this site and the community that revolves around. I guess I just want to say that I really care about you guys and I hope you care as much about me as I do about you... Oh sorry, got weepy. I must be coming down after the emotional high of finishing the book... Anyway, best of luck to everybody.
Heh, interesting. So there is some benefit to being able to actually write (as opposed to read IME suggestions in a word processor) in contemporary Japan? Smile
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#59
Benefit? Maybe a little, hard to say. If "knowing how to write" means having completed RTK1 (only) then no, very little. You need to be able to use compounds, have the nuance of a kanji, etc. Like I mentioned earlier RTK is very artificial. Maybe an analogy would be best here. If you wanted to learn how to paint and so decided to build an easel, well, that would be analogous to learning the kanji the RTK way. Having an easel is necessary for all painters, it will greatly ease future studies, and being able to build one yourself will surely impress all the painters who just inherited their own easels from their painter fathers, but just having an easel doesn't make you a painter. Did I push that analogy too far? haa. Anway...
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#60
Hyland1 Wrote:Benefit? Maybe a little, hard to say. If "knowing how to write" means having completed RTK1 (only) then no, very little. You need to be able to use compounds, have the nuance of a kanji, etc. Like I mentioned earlier RTK is very artificial. Maybe an analogy would be best here. If you wanted to learn how to paint and so decided to build an easel, well, that would be analogous to learning the kanji the RTK way. Having an easel is necessary for all painters, it will greatly ease future studies, and being able to build one yourself will surely impress all the painters who just inherited their own easels from their painter fathers, but just having an easel doesn't make you a painter. Did I push that analogy too far? haa. Anway...
no, what I meant is that you mentioned that you were already able to read --
Quote:I can read novels, translate, and speak but I couldn't write for a damn
reading novels surely means that you were able to recognize most kanji and type in Japanese on a PC with no difficulty, yet you still felt a need to do RTK, whose main benefit in this case I guess was to enable you to write by hand.
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#61
Well thanks to this unbelievable site and the contributions of everyone involved in this community, I have 'completed' RTK1. While it feels really damn good to have added that final lesson, I know there's still a lot of work to be done before I can honestly say I have learned all of the material in this book. I had a copy of RTK1 for the past year or so, but didn't decide to dive into it until I saw a link to this site 45 days ago. I really can't express my appreciation for everything this site enables an individual to do, but just let me say thank you once again for all of the hard work and thought that was put into it so that we could utilize this amazing resource. Now it's off to try and learn some actual Japanese sentences =)

どうもありがとうございます
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#62
I just added the last cards to the untested stack. I actually finished frame 2042 two days ago, but haven't had the time to review since then. Although I can't read and know only very little japanese, it feels good to have finished the book Smile I took almost 4 months, began the 4th of september, already using the site. It was hard, I had many things to do and, at times, it was overwhelming. I strived to keep going even in the bad days, and although some days I didn't manage to learn a single kanji, on most days I did, and so it went.

This site was an incredible resource from day 1. Not only for the planned reviews, but also for the times I got stuck with coming up with a story, I would look here and take inspiration in some of the shared stories. Also, as people pointed out, being part of a community that is doing the same thing feels better, you don't feel so lonely. So, a great many thanks to Fabrice for this site. And thanks to everyone who shared their stories, they helped a lot. Now it's "Infinity, and beyond!"
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#63
Congratulations, tautologico!

What a great way to finish up the year.

Recognizing and being able to write 2042 kanji will surely make it a bit easier as you learn more Japanese.
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#64
Seeing ziggr's comment about finishing by the end of the year, I just added 110 unstudied cards so I can hit the magic 2042. I know I've not properly done it yet but for the last few months I've not been adding at a consistent rate so getting them it there means I'm going to have to study them.

Don't have my figures at hand but after starting in June did something like: June (400); July (500); August (300); September (400); October (100); November (100); December (100); today (the rest). My original aim was to finish in 4-5 months... that bombed!

I slowed down in August coz of the birth of my son, robust true. Then again in October coz of the JLPT. By this time I was about 3/4 finished so I knew finishing wasn't a question of if, rather when.

It's taken me about 7 months to get to where I am now with RTK. One good thing about taking my time over it is that I'm sitting with over 1800 in the final stack which I feel pretty solid on.

Since October I've been dipping into RTK2 as well as learning readings for the JLPT. While totally agreeing with Heisig's divide and conquer rule, I think it's pretty straight forward to learn readings of kanji you've studied in RTK1 even if you've not finished the book.

This site has definitely been instrumental in my success. Regardless of whether I added cards or not, I reviewed (and still review) orange cards every day. For the first 1000 or so cards I didn't follow the Leitner approach of the site and just reviewed like crazy to get them as far to the right as possible. Even though I thought that was a good idea at the time, I asked Fabrice to remove all my cards so I could start "properly".

For me, over-reviewing was good in that I almost drilled the first half of the book into my head (the stories as opposed to the characters themselves) but this obviously takes much more time than just using the Leitner method which I found has given me almost as good results.

Also to begin with I would take a while crafting a story or really trying to visualise one I took off the site. But now I think that's a waste of time. For me if a story is going to work I shouldn't try to force an image, just let it happen. So say I was using a story off the site, I'd usually check stories from the members I "get", pick one that I think suits me, then go to the next frame. I'd usually only do about 10 frames in one sitting but this could take as little as 15 minutes or so. While studying I wrote the keywords down on a scrap of paper that I would carry around with me at work and try to recall the stories a few times then later that day add the cards into the blue stack for first review the following day. "Good" stories would stick by virtue of being good leaving others that would end up in the red pile that I would have to think about again perhaps spending longer imagining my chosen story.

Thanks to Fabrice and the community.

Cheers,
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#65
Woohoo! Congratulations, synewave!

Your posts and stories have been a defining part of kanji.koohii.com. I knew you'd finish 2042 soon. Congratulations on your new son, too. Sounds like 2006 has been a big year for you.
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#66
As it's customary to say something here when done with RTK 1, I'm doing so too :-) Just added #2042 to Mnemosyne. Phew. At least soon (after enough repetitions) I can brag that I can write all of jouyou and more. Many who can read them can't say the same, and I have to keep reviewing to keep the ability, but at least a good amount of the work is now behind.

And then starts the work to include the 300+ ones not in RTK 1 that I can read but not yet write to the review set... I wonder what it feels like to be able to write all kanjis one can read.
Edited: 2007-01-08, 11:05 pm
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#67
Congratulations, raulir!

That was indeed a lot of work. It seems to me that the fun part is just beginnning for you. Of course, it probably feels this way to me now because I still have 700 or so to learn (sigh) and I am getting tempted to sidetrack my studies.

My hat is off to you and everyone else who stuck with it through #2042... Well done!
And thank you for the marvelous stories.

raulir Wrote:... I wonder what it feels like to be able to write all kanjis one can read.
I, too, wonder what this will feel like. It will be great, eh?
Edited: 2007-01-08, 11:19 pm
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#68
*****. It's done...

And to think I started this because I was bored.

Thanks to all of you guys and gals. Not only for stories but those who've finished earlier, proving that this is possible to get through.

And of course, Fabrice: you sir, are a saint.

Dave.
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#69
aircawn Wrote:to think I started this because I was bored.
You must have been properly bored! Well done on getting through.
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#70
Yatta! I just finished RTK1. All 2042 kanji's meaning and stroke orders set in my head.=D

It has been a true joy studying RTK. And I couldn't, and probably wouldn't, have done it with out you Fabrice, and all of the members and your stories. 本当にお疲れ様でした!

(I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I'll be using a lot of this to preach to the unconverted).

Some points:
1. RTK works.
2. RTK works FAST. And it's FUN.
3. RTK has changed my life in Japan. As of now I may not be able to pronounce everything around me, but I understand what it means. My confidence to continue learning Japanese after RTK is immeasurable.

After a year and a half in Japan, my Japanese was so-so. I progressed, but it was laborious, and things were muddled and easily forgotten or confused, especially kanji. Learning Japanese appeared a grueling mountain. But after hearing about Heisig from a couple people, I checked it out and was stunned that no one had created this method earlier. The learning concepts it's based on are solid. RTK is the single best way for foreign adults to learn kanji. And, it should be THE foundation for serious students of Japanese to build on.

I finished RTK in 8 weeks of study (with a month break during Christmas/school starting). I averaged ~50 kanji per (week)day over that time. I've had consistent ~90-95% correct reviews. Basically the only ones I miss are ones I confuse with similar concepts.

Kanji is my new party trick. Foreigners who studied Japanese for years to get fluent are dumbstruck at my new found knowledge and thoroughness. They, and every Japanese person I know, cannot believe 3 months ago I barely knew the meaning of ~200, and could write maybe half of those, and now know 2042 almost flawlessly.

Studying kanji is FUN! For the first half of the book, I had to force myself to go to bed at night because I wanted to study longer.

Finally, like I said, RTK has changed my life. Every day I finished a new lesson was like scales falling off my eyes. My entire world opened before me. Signs, products, places; everything suddenly had meaning and significance. Instead of being a jumble of useless symbols, everything I see is now a little word puzzle to figure out. One of my first; Burnable garbage: able to-burn-thing. One I learned at a glance on the bus the other day; Emergency Exit: not-usual-use-exit. Every kanji compound is like a litte word puzzle; vocabulary is a breeze now.

I am excited to continue learning Japanese. I'll come back to RTK2 to pick up less common kanji, but for now I'm off to vocab and sentences to learn readings in context. I'll keep reviewing at RvTK every day though.

Good luck everyone!

Daniel
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#71
Congratulations for you, Daniel. For only 8 weeks you finished RTK, it is marvelous things. How many hours do you usually spend for day? I am hoping that that day will come to me too.
Arman
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#72
~4 hours a day. I have lots of down time at work. Plus any free time I have on the trains or whatever I try to review paper cards.
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#73
daniel, congrats mate! and well done! i really envy you though. the receipt for my rtk 1 book is dated 21/06/2005 and i've only completed ~850. I've had a few breaks and a few restarts but i'm back into it now. hopefully i'll be able to complete it soon. thanks for the inspiration though..
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#74
Congratulations Daniel! Completing the book in 8 weeks is impressive. I've had RTK1 for 2.5 years and am still only at 1150 or so; I'm tempted to give up, but your words are inspirational. I think I'll have to restart yet again and try to make a little more progress.
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#75
Well done mate. At that rate, you'll only need another four weeks to hammer through RTK3! Big Grin
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