Help in starting RTK2

I finished RTK1 and ready to start the 2nd. I decided I am going with RTK2. Now I just need help in starting it. I do I need to memorize each word used in compounds? Also what's a helpful way of reviewing?
Here you go.
Hahaha this service is funny.

Well to be fair I'm not sure there was a generic RTK2 topic.

I think the concensus is that not many people here have followed through RtK2 exactly as Heisig suggested. Most people after RtK1 understandbly seem to want to get down to the tasty stuff like movies, anime, books, sushi recipes, whatever is your fancy. And then they add flashcards with words on one side, and reading and/or definition on the other side, or just learn them through sentence flashcards. Some people use sites like, or other sources for pre-made "decks". You can find many premade decks with Japanese vocabulary for Anki, Mnemosyne, and other Palm/PocketPC based SRS software which I don't remember the name right now.

The point being that you know the character writing now, so you can directly learn from Japanese written form, and even practice writing those; that is you don't really need a RTK 2 deck as such, but you could benefit from one if you want to review RTK 2 as it is.

Also note that in RtK 2 Heisig explains the layout of the pages is so that you can hide one part with a sheet to test yourself on the readings. He also explains how you can set up your flashcards, most likely you'll want to find existing RTK 2 decks, you'll find a topic in travis's search link above.

Basically use RTK 2 if you'd like the structured approach, or if you are unsure what to study next. Or go straight to something you love, be it books or movie scripts, or blogs or magazines, copy some text, lookup the words, create flashcards and learn "on the fly". This is more enjoyable but takes more effort to setup your cards.

Does allow to do a simple idea such as that I had implemented in (now defunct) Trinity? => Just type in compound or part of, search, pick any results and make flashcards from it automatically ?
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Can I get a direct link to an existing pre-made RTK2 deck? I could not find the topic and travis's search link.

I am using RTK2 because I personally prefer a structured approach and I don't have the initiative to experiment other methods even if more effective.
Like you, I also preferred a more structured approach. I made my own RTK2 deck. Also, in addition to the word Heisig provided, I tried to find one or two more words for each reading. In the end, I had about 4500 words. I really wasn't in a big hurry, so I would take 50 readings at a time, drill them until I knew them pretty good, and then add 50 more. Unfortunately, I used Twinkle on an old Palm Treo, so I doubt my deck is of any use to others.

Good luck!
tiger10x Wrote:Can I get a direct link to an existing pre-made RTK2 deck? I could not find the topic and travis's search link.
I think there's one in the list of Anki shared decks. File-download-shared deck. I don't know what it's like though. Do you have the book? You will want to read through the book's descriptions of the various groupings. There's some overlap which might otherwise be confusing. Also, I'd ignore the first? chapter on kana and the chapter on kunyomi.

Check out the kanji_vocab plugin to import other words into your deck (taken from 2001KO, JLPT, Core, etc). (Don't recall the exact name - it's one of the big list of plugins on the wiki which cangy wrote)

Sounds like you have your mind set, but my advice would be to use RTK2 only for the pure groups. Other resources offer a better order to learn the kanji, imo. And some context and variation in exposure makes learning easier. good luck
to OP:
there`s more than just structured approach in RTK2. This book expands your knowledge of what a given kanji means and forces you to learn other meanings (not covered by RTK1 keywords). It seems to me that in RTK2 Heisig in many cases purposely selected such compounds, in which applying keywords from RTK1 wouldn`t make much sense. If you are going to go through RTK2, my best advice is to thoroughly check other meaning of a kanji and incorporate it in your kanji stories. Personally, I am using Henshall`s "Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters" to check etymology and primary meaning of many kanji. It helps a lot to understand compounds meanings.
I believe that it`s counterproductive to construct stories for compounds as you did it for learning how to write kanji. If you enhance your kanji understanding, compound`s meaning will seem obvious in most cases.
In short, the main difficulty of RTK2 lies not in memorization of on-yomi, but in constant shuffle of kanji meanings, so that most of the time you can`t rely on keywords from RTK1. So be prepared for that!
I am using Anki and I found the RTK2 deck. But I couldn't find the kanji_vocab plugin Thora suggested. I'm still trying to figure fully how Anki works. This is all new to me; all in only 1 day.
I think the mixed groups in RTK2 are useful too(some of them have a lot of kanji with the same reading).
When I got to the pure groups that only had 2 kanji, I found it helpful to make paper flash cards with the 2 kanji on the front and the reading on the back. Drilling these cards is different from SRSing since it's for learning not reviewing.
@ Yukamina: Yeah, I was too lazy to look up the proper chapter titles. I was thinking of the chapters at the beginning which have the largest number of the kanji with a given reading/shared phonetic component (pure, semi-pure, mixed?) As you get into the small, truly mixed groups, I think there's less value in learning kanji by on-yomi groupings.

There are also distinct groups of 'the only kanji having a particular reading' and 'kanji with no on-yomi.' But the remainer of the book is a hodge podge, so people wanting some kind of system will be disappointed.

@Tiger10x - It looks like there are 2 different ones:

Kanji words: in the anki plugin list by guillaume.viry. "This plugin will search some JLPT vocabulary lists for words containing the current kanji, and display their reading and meaning" in your deck. I've never used this, but it might be simpler if you're new to anki and trying to use it with a premade deck. See the instructions in the description.

Kanji-vocab: is a text file created by cangy with words from jlpt and other learning material. It includes the kanji, a vocab prompt with the target kanji missing, and the vocab. With this one, you could (a) create a spreadsheet as reference, (b) create a new anki deck with it, or ©or use his Overwrite Fields plugin to add the fields into an existing deck.

There are other vocab lists, other decks and other ways. I just thought of these because they are designed for kanji decks and would offer more choices than RTK2 as gibosi suggested.
I got it now. Thanks for your help everyone. I will start RTK2 now.
Yeah, by the way I have an idea.
If during your RTK2 quest you run into particularly difficult compound (I mean, if you don`t understand how a given combination of kanji produces its meaning), you can ask in this thread and hopefully someone will help and explain.
Edited: 2010-03-20, 3:23 am
LazyNomad Wrote:(...)hopefully someone will help and explain
Everyone is welcome to ask help about any vocabulary or grammar point , but please post it in The Japanese language category. Let's keep this topic on the subject of RTK2 as it is a "Sticky" topic. Thank you!