As with other posts in this series, this is the results of a test I took today, Aug 10th, 2021.
夏 押 引 曲 倒 距 十 輩 合 拾 落 離 性 親 答 議 二 才 混 覚 棚 職 洗 床 奥 就
This row is my first real disaster row. 5 wrong makes it 81%, but 3 are from this row. It was mostly because of DEF CON coinciding with the second day of this row that it took about a week to learn to this state. The kanji in this row are especially difficult and that just sucks. unlike 着る these won't be seen in manga or visual novels very often. Let's go through specifically with the ones I failed on this test. I drew 夏 wrong because it's been a while. I forgot the translation of 距, but remembered the kanji just moments earlier meaning that the kanji is there, just not the association with distance. I forgot the reading of 落ちる which is a little silly. I didn't attempt to draw 離れる because I was quite confused. Pick up 拾う, fall 落ちる, and detach 離れる are jumbled in my head, which doesn't help. I made a minor mistake on 議 which I am pretty happy with. I consider it possible to communicate because it has the talk 言, pike 戈, and king with horns 王. I misdrew 才 but it's readable just barely. I forgot 混じる again despite having a pretty good idea of it in my head minutes before. I drew 職 slightly wrong, but good enough for communication. Now you can see why I messed up both 議 and 職, they both use pike 戈. I drew 奥 without the 大 at the bottom and the first stroke at the top. I consider that almost readable, but I can do better. I remember this, I just didn't draw it.
So I went over what went wrong in this test, what went wrong yesterday? Yesterday I decided not to take a kanji test. DEF CON was over and so I didn't have an excuse other than I had a weird day and didn't study on Sunday (fell asleep early). What ones were still wrong on Monday? 距 離 議 混 職 and 就. Note how similar the list is to the list of kanji I got wrong. That's right, I learned part of the two pike 戈 kanji, enough to count them correct even though I drew them wrong. The only one I actually learned from the list fully is 就く which is unfortunate. Again I don't blame DEF CON as much as I do this list of kanji. Let's find out how difficult these kanji are to children.
夏 G2 押 G8 引 G2 曲 G3 倒 G8 距 G8 十 G1 輩 G8 合 G2 拾 G3 落 G3 離 G8 性 G5 親 G2 答 G2 議 G4 二 G1 才 G2 混 G5 覚 G4 棚 G8 職 G5 洗 G6 床 G8 奥 G8 就 G6
As one might expect, two of the kanji I got wrong are G8 (middle school) 距 離 and the other I got wrong is G5 (Grade 5) 混. You might think, but that's no excuse. The thing is.. After 2.5 months of intense study, I have not yet learned all the kanji from G2 or G3. MIT's Japanese 1-5 does not teach all the G2 and G3 kanji. Why? Because they have prioritized kanji that a grad student or employee might encounter over kanji which makes the lives of second graders and third graders more easy. Which kanji specifically were left out? I'm glad you asked.
G2: 鳴 原 角 形 絵 丸 船 記 算 里 光 弓 汽 太 毛 牛 矢 谷 羽 星 歌 点 刀 走 組 麦 岩 計 黄 馬
G3: 界 緑 畑 族 追 宮 県 等 列 区 局 注 指 委 身 箱 皮 秒 庫 放 笛 荷 品 深 幸 湯 想 羊 投 炭 根 感 昭 豆 息 返 筆 向 坂 命 短 血 暗 他 皿 登 流 柱 整 岸 勝 意 級 央 期 第 苦 美 悲 板 章 福 進 倍 負 詩 波 童 路 球 農 氷 帳 油 鼻 祭 昔 陽 由
Note that these kanji are frequently used in Japanese. There's no sensible reason to leave out all of them except for the limitation of time. Another decision is to find kanji that have difficult radicals, like 戈 and 巨. This idea of giving difficult kanji just because a student will have to learn a kanji with that radical in the future boggles my mind a little bit, so I'm not confident that is the reasoning behind this row's difficulty.
What else is going on other than DEF CON? My mouse is breaking. It's still usable enough to visit websites, do kanji with my tablet, and such, but my normal routine of double clicking, single clicking on stuff is not working like I want it to. Does that mean I'm finally going to get a new mouse? Probably. I've fixed this one dozens of times and it's great but middle click has been in awful shape for a long time and now that single click is falling apart I think that signals the end despite this mouse still being functional after so many years and so many clicks. This sort of malfunction reminds me that the devices we buy in this age are not supposed to last forever.
They can. My room thermometer (27.2°C outside 26.6°C inside), my Nexus 5, my car, my desktop, and my previous desktops are all examples of long term complex machines that have survived a long time. I have plenty of other examples of complex machines that have lasted >10 years. These are the type of things I want to have in my life. A can opener that lasts 5 years, a pair of headphones that I've fixed 5 times over 10 years, a pair of monitors I've had for 10 years, and a multimeter I've had for 15 years. Definitely I am happy to upgrade things that need to be upgraded. That's a sensible tradeoff. Definitely when things break from use, I'm okay with letting them go. But if it's functional except for needing repair once per 5 months, I'm okay with that.
I added opensearch support to xjdic2, so that I can search from the search bar in Firefox. Small things like this will improve my life ever so slightly. I haven't pushed, but if you'd like the code I can push a branch just for you.
Until next time!
I'll hopefully post all tests as I pass them. Wish me 運.
Learning to Read and Write Kanji
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 5
Learning to Read and Write Kanji Row 6
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