From: Chicago Registered: 2011-12-24 Posts: 224 Website
I know there is a difference between Heisig's older volume and the new edition that was updated for the 2010 jouyou kanji. I have the new version and it has 2200 kanji in it but I think the older edition it went to 2042?
Anyways, I'm using the pre-made Anki deck with the top 2 stories from this site. Cards go up to 3007, in your opinion where should I stop to complete "RTK1"?
From: Mountain View, CA, USA Registered: 2009-11-08 Posts: 255
You will need to stop at the old limit, 2042, and add the new characters to the list. I think most of them are in the deck some place. There should be a list somewhere. So I'd suspend everything after 2042 and work from there.
Yup, stop at 2042 and there is a list somewhere. Worst case you could possibly look at the list of additions to the jouyou and look them up on this website? At the very least the RTK3 ones will show up.
I think there may also be a list of the alterations in the main RTK website? I'm not sure on that though. Or at least the ability to add them.
From: The Unique City of Liverpool Registered: 2011-06-03 Posts: 572 Website
My personal advice would be to learn about 3000 "really well" and then write down new kanji as you see them and flip through these notes once in a while. There are a lot more than 2500 kanji in Japanese.
I was going to post "Just don't stop. Problem solved." as a comedy answer, but then I realized it's not actually a comedy answer. I think when all is said and done there's a few dozen or something missing that were added in the revised and remastered version of the jouyou list. If you wanted to make sure you were getting proper coverage you could insert those long lost kanji between RTK1 and RTK3. Then you could move along and have the rest covered in the canonical order in RTK3.
It may not be a comedy answer, but I think it's a little too simplistic -- of course there aren't only 2500 kanji in Japanese and you will never "stop" learning kanji, but there does need to be a point where you move from RTK to learning actual Japanese. Everyone will differ on their speed, but I think there are much more productive things you could be doing than learning and reviewing the 1000 extra kanji in RTK 3, especially if you are doing the "recommended" method of completing RTK before doing anything else.
I've said this in other threads, but one of the main things RTK is supposed to do is teach you how to learn kanji, not just to teach you a list of kanji. If you are using RTK correctly, it really shouldn't matter whether you learned 2000 or 2200 kanji.
The more kanji you learn, the less useful each new one is. There is a set of kanji that is common to any writing (maybe 800-1200) and then the rest of the kanji will vary widely in frequency depending on what you are reading. There comes a point where it's much more efficient to learn new kanji from reading something that interests you than to learn them from a list.
I'm with yudantaiteki on this. By doing more than those 800 kanji you procrastinate learning Japanese.
You may ask "But which are those 800 most useful kanji?" Well, why not get a textbook and find the answer there?
I will also quote Kanji in Context: "According to a study by the National Language Research Institute, the 500 most often used kanji represent roughly 80% of the kanji found in newspapers, and 94% of newspaper kanji can be covered by 1,000 characters."
Although newspapers are a particular kind of writing and the kanji common there won't necessarily be common in what you want to read. RTK Lite is my favored approach but even if you decide to do the whole RTK, don't worry about the lack of the new Joyo kanji or whether you should do RTK 3.
if you've started RTK, you may as well finish it, but don't be too fussed about remembering them all perfectly. Don't worry if you rush through and do it in a somewhat half-arsed manner. It'll all be reinforced later. RTK3 kanji and beyond can be learned as you encounter them
Oh, I never considered that people would do RTK on it's own separate from studying Japanese or put off their Japanese study in order to do RTK. I realize that Heisig talks about that in the preface, but it seemed like bad advice that few people here end up taking.
If the question were phrased as, "when should I start studying real Japanese instead of just Heisig," then I would say as soon as possible. Since the question was phrased as a kind of "when should I quit?" my stock answer was "never." I probably should have read more carefully.
I agree that you shouldn't put off studying real Japanese in order to finish RTK3. I studied both at the same time. There were some weird holes in my knowledge that didn't get plugged until kind of late, but I think as long as someone doesn't copy me in taking like 6 years to finish RTK then they should be alright.
I would start Heisig and Genki at the same time, and prioritize the kanji that come up in Genki out of their usual order in Heisig. By the time you hit the chapters in Genki where kanji start showing up I think you'd have a few hundred Heisig kanji under your belt. Some of those would cross over with Genki, and so they would kind of reinforce each other.
I really think doing RTK on it's own without studying Japanese is asking for trouble. RTK gets so much easier when you start developing your own sense for and relationship with the kanji in the context of the actual language. There's too many synonyms in RTK1 for me to keep straight without using Japanese keywords and adding more English keywords for certain kanji.