Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 20

As with other posts in this series, this is the results of a test I took today, July 9th, 2021.

kanji test row 20

用 家 泊 約 宿 回 験 予 紙 館 起 済 無 遅 昨 末 書 別 千 旅 若 助 取 経 外 民 熱 階 兄 変

I got quite a few wrong on this test including the embarrassing 千 (meaning thousand). I kept drawing ケ over and over again. But I'm counting it because I got all the current row correct (取 I got before and can do, I just missed it like I do on many other tests). I cheated by looking at the list of kanji I need to remember 40 minutes before the test, which means that 2 or 3 of the last 6 kanji I memorized are not actually in my long-term memory. But that is true of the last 3 or 4 kanji of every row. Kanji I fail to memorize easily do not stick in my long-term memory evidenced by my approx 80-90% average success rate on tests that are not biased toward the current row. If we do the math, that translates to just 1.5-3 kanji forgotten per row (assuming a row is 15 kanji, which is it approximately). For 用 I had it in my mind and was going to draw it but didn't feel like it because of the ambiguity of 使. I consider that a correct draw. For 家 I drew 客 because I think of 客 and 宅 interchangeably (which I shouldn't) and 家 and 宅 are synonyms, in kanjidic: {house} {home} vs {home} {house}. I drew the right reading, たく which is better than nothing. I started drawing 読 (read) for 書 (write) and stopped because I knew I was doing something wrong. I was thinking 課 or 語. For 変, I was drawing a variant of 究 with the top of 赤 because that is what my mind was thinking it looked like. I understand the confusion. How did I learn 20 new difficult kanji in 3 days? Good question! First off, let's qualify this with I have not drawn most if any of these kanji in my life before July 6th. On July 6th, I drew all the kanji in Gimp in order they were presented, reading the lesson that the row came from (which contains the kanji, the readings, the English meaning, a mnemonic if applicable, and a few usages. For example, see figure 1 below. Then throughout the day I tried to recall some of the kanji. It didn't go very well on July 6th because I had other things on my mind.

Printed form:
previous; preparatory
マ and ア. Say "Ma!" [野(の)"field"]
Usage Examples:
天気予ほう (てんきよほう) weather forecast
Figure 1: MIT OCW 21f.504 Lesson 21 予

On July 7th I did a test and did quite well. Because the English meanings in kanjidic1.txt (used for the tests) are different from the lesson by a substantial margin for some kanji, there was no hope to recall some, so that was against me. Kanji I got correct: 旅 (because I practiced it), 昨 (because I remember it from 昨日 [きのう] yesterday), 取 (because I remember the mnemonic: Ear 耳 and hand 又 symbol. Don't pull my ear!), and 無 (because I've seen it many times). 階 I got all but the 白, which is quite good. I've seen the kanji many times in person, which helps. For 末 I drew 夫 which is absolutely not 末. For other kanji I was able to remember the reading, which is good. I did the divide and conqueor method that I found on the hottest day in my region. I picked 5 kanji and memorized them using their readings, which turned out to be: かんとよやくまつべつみん. By the end of the day I had learned them. My July 8th test shows this. This left the last kanji that I learned yesterday: 熱, 宿, 経, 済, 験, and 助. Instead of using the readings, I just went about randomly which caused me to forget one or two of them. That's why I cheated, looking at the list 40 minutes before I took the test. That said, there's no guarantee that not cheating will produce long-term memories, I didn't cheat on the previous 15 rows, and I have a retention of 80-90% (writing, not reading by the way). How many hours did it take to learn these kanji? Probably about 5-8 hours. It's unclear how much time I spent on it because it was integrated into the normal day except for the tests, which only take about 15 minutes and the initial practice which takes about 45 minutes.

So... stress is mounting in my life. My inconsiderate roommate woke me at 3:00 in the morning meaning I am sleep deprived. I got a nice long swim yesterday which really helped. I also was able to eat one of my specialties last night, peanut noodles. It was a bit dry, but was enjoyable. I watched the first two episodes of Irresponsible Captain Tylor. I decided to translate the banner in the pension episode (episode 2):

20:36 < Javantea> 戦争反対!
20:36 < Javantea> 宇宙に愛と平和を!!
20:36 < Javantea> 戦争 [せんそう] /(n,vs) war/(P)/
20:36 < Javantea> 反対 [はんたい] /(adj-na,n,vs,adj-no) (1)
opposition/resistance/antagonism/hostility/objection/dissension/(n,vs) (2) reverse/opposite/vice
20:36 < Javantea> 宇宙 [うちゅう] /(n) universe/cosmos/space/(P)/
20:36 < Javantea> 愛 [あい] /(n,n-suf) (1) love/affection/care/(n) (2) (Buddh) attachment/craving/desire/(P)/
20:36 < Javantea> 平和 [へいわ] /(adj-na,n) peace/harmony/(P)/
20:37 < Javantea> So a simple translation of the sign in the pension episode, episode 2 is: Opposition to war! In space,
wage love and peace!!

That episode really resonated with me. The spies pretending to be revolutionary pacifists taking hostages and threatening to blow up 4 innocent civilians. Both being very two-dimensional in their character. They attempt to damage the morale of their enemy by terrorism but then decide that the whole thing was bullshit and giving up when their plan doesn't go well and their bluff is called. The two highest ranking military officers not reaching an executive decision (in fact the exact opposite) and leaving it up to the Lieutenant, a fool who is brought in to be the scapegoat when the inevitable tragic conclusion is reached. All this episode is heavy lifting for what is about to occur and certainly be explained in complete detail in a few episodes. How did a recruit in episode 2 become the captain of the Soyokaze (そよ風) in episode 3?

So what stress is currently on me? I can't go on vacation because I have to move out this month (preferably sooner rather than later) and I have to collect money from my irresponsible and inconsiderate housemates. If you've ever lost thousands of dollars to assholes, you know what has been on my mind for the past year. A friend I talked to about it was telling me that I should figure out how to defend myself and my property during this mess. My response was that catastrophe looms over us our entire lives, and focusing on catastrophe just because I am under a mountain of stress isn't going to prepare me any better.

I accidentally pressed F5 and Ctrl-R while writing this blog, which shows how attentive I am right now. I should be writing this in a text editor instead of a browser. Who thought that browsers were a good editing system? I guess there's the popup that should save me but because this site doesn't use it, I lost a few minutes of this blog post to sleep deprivation.

I've been doing lessons from JapanesePod101.com (I am subscribed, this is not an advertisement) and I've been doing fairly well on the beginner course. I did the math and realized that the 80 remaining lessons from beginner will take 20 hours, which is not a short amount of time. I reasoned that 4 lessons per day (1 hour per day) would get me where I want to be in 20 days, then I can do lower intermediate for 20 days after that. Since I've been learning Japanese for 8 weeks (56 days), 1 hour per day for 20 days is pretty easy. The thing is, my listening comprehension is not where it needs to be and my vocabulary is limited despite learning hundreds of kanji, my vocabulary is around 700 words (I suspect I'm at N5 level). So not only can I not pick out words as they are spoken at a reasonable speed, I don't know those words. Example of words from the most recent lessons I didn't know: 真面目 [まじめ] serious, 貰って [もらって] receive, and 通って [かよって] to go to. Note that 通 is from row 18, just two rows back but I didn't learn the reading かよう. To me that kanji is 通り [どおり] avenue/street/way/road. This is a pretty easy sort of thing to learn comparatively, but like the JapanesePod101.com lessons, there is a time investment required. So far my review of these lessons is that they are pretty good. They are going through the important grammar stuff that a person has to learn. They aren't teaching vocabulary much, so you have to do that on your own (or use their handy youtube videos). How do they make such incredible high-quality learning videos? I suppose their website and youtube channel is profitable enough to support these teachers, video editors, and artists. Do I recommend getting their course? If you don't find something that looks excellent, I would say that it's a good replacement for a grammar book and compliments book learning, spaced repetition, and kanji study fairly well. It has shortcomings, but for the price I paid (~$66 for 6 months) it was well worth it. Since all the lessons are MP3 and PDF, you can download them (they actually provide the link, no hacking required) to learn on your phone, computer, or what have you. This specifically is an excellent value. What it lacks is a quick grammar summary. In Lower Intermediate Lesson 6, they review grammar that you should have learned before you went into Lower Intermediate (spoiler, I didn't) and they provide a reference for which lessons you should have learned each thing, but no links, so you have to actually go look. Links to each season of the podcast help here, so Beginner Season 5 and Beginner Season 6. Let's write them down so we know what I don't know (or maybe didn't know until I made this list).

ーてから (Example: 出てから映画に行きます) S5L12
ーみたい (Example: 申みたいないです) S6L24
だろう (Example: 良いだろう) S5L1
言われた (passive form) (Example: あの人に呼ばれた) S6L22
によると (Example: ジョンによると、サーリが結婚をする) S5L23
ーそうだ (Example: 美味しそうだ) S5L23
ーんです/ーんだ (Example: 日本は有るんです) S5L3, S5L4
かも知らない (Example: サーリが結婚をするかも知らない) S5L1
ーようになる (Example: 三百漢字が知るようになる) S5L17
ーて仕舞う (Example: 詐欺師会って仕舞いました) S6L4

Does that make you want to buy their course? Since the links I provided only show content for members, this is an example of how I would make their site better for members.

I nearly finished my book report for Bill Nye's Undeniable. Look forward to it in a future blog when I finish it. I apologize for not finishing it right away. I hope that the above suffices as a look into my brain.

In case you're curious about my Latin studies, I have completely stopped learning Latin. It took a few weeks of missing one day per week for me to give up completely. I've found a book (Thebaid in English, Thebaid in Latin) so that I can start learning real Latin, but I haven't started. The first sentence:
"My spirit is touched by Pierian fire to recount the strife of brethren, and the battle of the alternate reign fought out with impious hatred, and all the guilty tale of Thebes."
Fraternas acies alternaque regna profanis
decertata odiis sontesque euoluere Thebas
Pierius menti calor incidit.

Until next time!

I'll hopefully post all tests as I pass them. Wish me luck.

Previous episodes:
Learning to Read and Write Kanji
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 5
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 6
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 7
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 8
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 9
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 10
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 11
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 12
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 13
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 14
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 15
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 16
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 17
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 18
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 19

Javantea out.


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