This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Elenkis 12 years, 3 months ago.

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    Hello guys
    So I have been thinking of taking JLPT 5 this summer, and JLPT 4 in december(next year). After being done here at TextFugu I will need something to steer after, and taking a test seems to be an excellent goal.
    The only thing I am not sure about, is if it will be worth studying towards JPLTs, or if it will be better to study for fluency, and learn kanji in an easier order as opposed to learning important kanji first.
    Though one thing is for sure, I am tired of learning 1,2,3,4,5 & 6 stroke kanji, I want to learn some kanji that I can actually use insted of learning kanji like 冗.
    I know I should be doing turtlemath, and that tests are short term thinking, but I am intrestred to hear your oppinion:
    Steer towards ultimate fluency, learn kanji in a more organised way?
    Do the JLPT, reach fluency slower, but be able to use the language more effciently while learning?
    Thanks :)


    Wanna learn harder kanji? RTK.

    Why not just work towards JLPT level anyway, but instead of sitting the actual exam, do a past paper under exam conditions. No money spent, no travel needed, and no worthless certificate! :D I might attempt JLPT when I get good enough for level N3, but that’s only because they’ve started holding the exams at my uni now (for the longest time, it was only once a year in London, but now it’s twice and in Edinburgh too :D).



    Yesss do RTK.

    Also I’d probably just study for N3 or higher. I’ve read countless times that it’s not worth the money to do N5 and N4. If you want, do practice exams online or better yet try to get a hold of past JLPT exams.

    But honestly do RTK, it makes you pwn noobs who study kanji any other way.



    But honestly do RTK, it makes you pwn noobs who study kanji any other way.

    Wanna bet?

    Honestly, I manned up and tried RTK for 2 weeks, and I still don’t like it. I can already guess most of the meanings of the kanji before I even started RTK. By the way, what does this mean by study kanji? Exactly what are we studying? Meanings? Onyomi and Kunyomi? Ability to write? All of this but recalling how to write it can be done by just simply learning words.

    Ever since Bbvoncrumb said that RTK is for being able to write kanji (I guess from memory), it made sense so thats why I tried it. Still a total waste of time in my opinion so I made my own method and I like mine much better.

    So what I did is I know you obviously cant remember how to write words from rote vocabulary memory, so I specialized the front and back formats so that it would force me to recall how to write the kanji and whole words. How that exactly works, is something you will have to figure out or buy my idea if you’re feeling like investing :D



    Read the Kanji has JLPT1-4 decks. I like it a lot. I think most people are referring to Remembering the Kanji when they say RTK, that’s the mnemonic approach right? I really don’t like that way of doing things.

    and the book missingno recommended is fantastic. I would pick that up ASAP.

    • This reply was modified 12 years, 3 months ago by  Luke.
    • This reply was modified 12 years, 3 months ago by  Luke.

    RTK is so misunderstood…

    It’s always produced very divided opinions. Some have had great success, but some gave up because they were babies just didn’t like the method. It’s not just about learning how to write the kanji – though that’s a fantastic thing on it’s own – it’s about becoming “used” to seeing kanji. I can’t quite describe it, but when you’re “used” to kanji, it makes everything much easier. I’ll admit I’m not great at remembering which kanji some words use, but I definitely would still do it if I was given the choice again :) It’s much better when you have bugger-all to do every day and can just focus on kanji; I doubt it would be as good if you did it over a year inbetween studying/work.

    Just give it a go and see if you like it. You might find it awesome like I did, or find it sucks like missingno15 did. If that works out to be your preferred style of doing things, then awesome :) Let us know how it goes.



    It’s definitely a good idea to at least try rtk, but like missingno15, i didn’t like it. I was not learning On, Kun. I was not learning any words, single or multiple kanji words. Sure, there are the keywords, but some of them aren’t all that great and more or less related to the words used with the said kanji. Other than that, I really prefer to learn Kanji in context, you have a better feel for them I believe.

    But most of all, I just disliked it and I couldn’t put the time into it.



    @MisterM2402 That sounds fair, I might try it out when I finish the bulk of TextFugu content


    I think I will finish with 5 stroke here on TextFugu, I only need 1 group more :P
    I have however taken a look at the free PDF, and I don’t know if it is me :/ It would be awesome to actually know all kanji and what they mean, but RTK only teaches the meaning and nothing else. It could be a great thing to start to immerse more, so that I will see kanji that I know what mean, insted of just skipping through everything I have no clue what means :) I will give it a try after finishing 5 stroke here! Who knows, maybe I will like it?
    As for books, I ordered The book recommended by Missing, as well as 1 other, though it will take some time to get them delivered from amazone UK :P I should however be receiving them this week :)
    But I think I will go ahead and do JLPT5 & JLPT4 :D It will be a good thing to steer after, and give me motivation. The cost dosen’t bother me, and it is only 1h travel from where I live, so it is pretty easy to get there :) Copenhagen <3
    Thanks for the advise everyone!



    RTK is difficult to explain because it can be hard to see the benefit until you’ve actually done it for a while. But the principle of it is that it’s a simple divide and conquer strategy to learning. You break the learning up into separate processes that in theory makes things easier to remember. Think about seeing a Japanese word for the first time and trying to remember it; you have to remember the meaning, how it is read, then you also have to remember whichever complex new characters it’s using that you’ve not yet learned. That’s a lot of information for your brain to memorise at once, just learning the kanji alone is a task.

    Wouldn’t it be easier if you already knew the kanji in that word so you didn’t have to deal with that at the same time? Then your brain would just have to focus on remembering the pronunciation and meaning of the word, and associating it with the already known kanji should be easy and pretty natural. So you’re not also having to learn new characters at the same time as a new word. Just like learning words in most other languages.

    It’s a bit like the way Textfugu breaks down kanji into radicals that you learn first, in order to make learning the bigger kanji easier. RTK breaks it down so that you learn the characters first, in order to make learning whole words easier.

    Now that isn’t going to work for everyone, no learning method does. If you’re the kind of person that has no problem learning 20 new words every day with full kanji and have a good 90% retention of those words, then RTK may be of little benefit to you (or it may let you learn 40 words instead of 20!). But some people find it to be a very effective method, perhaps especially for some of us older guys whose brains no longer store new information as easily as they once did :)

    For me, RTK made words quite a lot easier to remember and retain.

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