As with other posts in this series, this is the results of a test I took today, July 19th, 2021.
涼 似 借 系 厚 念 庭 呼 六 役 赤 時 神 起 業 市 夜 弱 考 対 後 味 反 来 届
Row 23 didn't go well this morning. I got 似, 借, 役, 起, 市, 夜, and 届 wrong. Three of these are from this row, so why am I counting this row done? As with a few previous rows, I'm deciding to learn the last few on the day I switch to make sure that every day is full of learning. If I finished a row on the day I posted a blog, I'd be forced to practice on that day, which I don't normally do. Learning 3 kanji in one day is pretty easy. In this case, two of the three I've learned, I just unlearned 似 yesterday and drew 役 in the wrong spot (incorrect English translation). I forgot the reading of 役 also, which is not great. For 借 I was off by one radical, the lower right should have been 日 instead of 又. This is likely because of 役 having that radical in that spot. For 起 I drew the left hand side, but put it on a road instead of putting it next to a backwards 5. For 夜 I drew 晩 which means nightfall/night, which is very similar, but not a synonym. For 市 I drew 村 because they are almost synonyms. I don't remember 市 from my studies indicating a strange gap in my memory. It was in row 19. This row is done a day sooner than the last row, which is good because these rows are supposed to be double speed (two rows in one week). Since today is the seventh day since I started the last row, I am on schedule rather than ahead of schedule. Considering I have to use today to learn the last 3 kanji, I feel bad about this. That said, learning something on one's own allows for one to choose the pace at which they learn. There is no rule that says that I have to learn these kanji in a certain number of days or I fail.
Thinking about how the traditional university system works it seems almost absurd that a student is expected to learn Quantum Mechanics in 2 quarters, split into content for each quarter, or else they have to retake the same class. Oh and because of lack of students they have to wait a full year to retake the class they failed. Because of lack of professors and books, if a certain professor or book is especially difficult for a student, they just have to go for the non-graduate track course in order to complete their degree. It seems almost silly to me that the university system has somehow convinced a lot of people that a degree is necessary to get a good job. I'm not ready to get into this debate because my Physics degree may have given me indirect advantage in the jobs I've had. Who knows because it's impossible to say what would have happened had I gone directly to self-teaching -- something I had to do for any topic that was not offered in a way that would advance my goal of a degree. The only obvious problem that I see with going directly from high school to a career is the chicken and egg problem. This is a problem I had directly out of university, so it actually doesn't just affect people who skip university. So either way a person would have to find a way to convince employers of their ability. Similarly internships (which I completely failed to get into) require some experience to start even if the job is really easy. Suffice it to say that these problems affect college graduates and people who teach themselves.
- Row 8 Test July 17, 2021 85%
五 上 待 少 英 女 作 当 事 八 本 使 同 店 去 飲 男 困 左 外 知 仕 子 林 焼 慣
- Row 9 Test July 18, 2021 88%
一 店 会 弟 母 主 社 男 週 困 姉 明 食 内 両 親 事 仕 家 思 妹 父 屋 兄
- Row 10 Test July 19, 2021 83%
黒 姉 申 図 字 号 四 番 地 時 屋 来 言 漢 勉 駅 用 銀 学 読 強 中 飲 雨
I did poorly on row 8 because I hadn't looked at it for quite a while. I got 事 使 知 and 仕 wrong but I was close on each. For 事 I drew 書. For 使 I drew the right hand side as a sort of 風. For 知 I drew 和 which I knew I was drawing wrong. For 仕 I drew 使 because I get those two mixed up. 使う is use, spend, consume, while 仕える is to serve, to work for, to attend. Each was a mistake caused by moving on and not relearning these kanji, which is what this practice is for. Also this practice will provide me a list of kanji that are troublesome. So far the list is in figure 1.
I made the same mistake as last row on row 9. I got 弟 姉 and 仕 wrong. For 弟 I remembered the structure, but not the horns, the vertical line, or the last stroke, so I didn't draw it. I forgot the right side of 姉 because it's been a while since I drew it. For 仕 I drew 使 because I get those two mixed up. See above paragraph. Note that I learned these kanji in row 8 on May 20th, 2 days from 2 months ago. So this has come up multiple times and won't be solved until I focus.
On row 10 I made a lot of mistakes. I got 番 and 号 backwards and drew each incorrectly. I looked at row 10 once yesterday which is not enough apparently. I got the left side of 漢 wrong and the top of the right side wrong. I put a 又 instead of 儿 for 読 which is sad. I made minor mistakes on 駅 and 銀, both of which don't change the meaning of the kanji or make it unreadable. It just shows approximately how I learn these kanji. For 駅 I remember the bird and R-shaped radical. the line I missed is not the central feature in 鳥 or any other kanji that uses that radical. For 銀 I remember gold 金 and eat 食 without the hat. Note how 食 has the line I drew that is not part of 銀. If we think about it, 食 without the hat is good 良, which also has the line I drew.
話 書 紙 曜 行 友 半 事 使 知 仕 弟 姉 仕 号 番 漢 読
Figure 1: Kanji I missed row 2-10
I missed two days of JapanesePod101.com lessons and walking. It was bound to happen eventually. This time it was caused by going to the grocery store and playing a lot of tetris. I'll have to figure that one out eventually. I started watching a Let's Play of Yakuza Kiwami. It seems really familiar, considering I've played Yakuza 3. The player is really bad at the fighting part of the game but every once in a while they have really good streaks of high quality play. The fight with Futoshi Shimano (嶋野 太) really highlights this issue. It makes me want to learn to play the game. Perhaps I'll get Yakuza Kiwami when it's really cheap. The Japanese that it uses is really rude for quite a lot of the game. You learn all kinds of forms that they don't teach in Japanese class. What's a good example? "行け！" and "止せ！" These are simple single verb sentences, so what conjugation is going on here? Japanese Verb Conjugator calls this the imperative form. In its polite form, it would be 行って下さい (translation: Please go). But in Yakuza Kiwami, there's no need for politeness in a situation that is rapidly devolving and needs quick action. According to JapanesePod101.com, it's introduced in Beginner S5 L14 and Lower Intermediate S3 L4, neither of which I have gotten to yet. What other nouns, adjectives, and verbs does one get? For verbs, there's a lot of やる. According to JapanesePod101.com, やる"is an extremely common, extremely flexible Japanese verb." Suffice it to say they use it to talk about more than just your average tea ceremony. For nouns, I immediately think of 己 [おのれ] interjection expressing anger or chagrin which someone says when they are going to fight. These type of long, voiced, and translated games are wonderful for a Japanese learner. That said there are definitely some issues with learning Japanese from people who mangle the language because they are native speakers. This is one of the reasons why I think my learning Japanese is on a rough road. Assuming I learn hundreds more kanji, being able to converse in Japanese still requires three difficult skills that I am not training very well and have never been great at -- verbal recognition, rapid forward and backward translation. This is the sort of thing that children do really well and it's the sort of thing that I am using the JapanesePod101.com lessons to gain. Hopefully years of watching anime and playing Japanese games will help.
Until next time!
I'll hopefully post all tests as I pass them. Wish me luck.
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
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