January 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm #37977
Also, for anyone that isn’t aware, if you’re a TextFugu member you can use the code on the TextFugu dashboard to get a discount on a yearly WaniKani membership. The real price of WaniKani for non TextFugu members is meant to be $100 a year, at the moment it’s $80. Using the code reduces the cost to $50 which is half of what a real membership will eventually cost for a non TextFugu member.January 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm #37979
Ah ok, thanks for the info guys!January 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm #38210
I finished Textfugu a few months ago and can tell you it is like swimming in the kiddie pool. It will get you just far enough to jump in the deep water, but you definitely can’t swim. However, the course teaches you how to teach yourself. By realising it is going to take a couple of years to be good at Japanese if you study everyday, then you will get the full benefit of Textfugu. Looking back, the time I spent on the Kanji section was a waste of time. I needed to learn to write them in order to read them. They are just far too complicated and similar looking to learn by reading only. My advice would be to bang through the lessons as fast as you can. Then learn kanji full time with grammar on the side.January 24, 2013 at 8:34 am #38215
I’m still halfway through S06, but I have not found that I need to write kanji to learn them: when I learn kanji with Anki I usually get to know 60-75% of them pretty well within 2 days, and about 90% of them within a week. The really similar kanji I’ll mess up with some frequency, but I have a specific cram deck so I can practice them (夫・失・矢：ugggghhhh), and not all similar kanji give me trouble. As such, I’m certain that it depends on the person, which all comes back to Koichi’s warning that all/some of TF may not be suitable for each person. But knowing these things helps you to adapt your studies to your particular needs.
I do agree, though, that one of the great features of TF is learning how to learn.January 24, 2013 at 11:06 am #38216
I’m nearly done with Textfugu, but I have to admit the thing that slows me down the most is the kanji. It’s not that I have a hard time with it, but it just eats up the most time.
I found writing kanji was very helpful in that it gave me a sense of stroke order which made looking up unknown kanji, and words, a lot easier. It did help with recall a little, but probably not enough to justify the time by itself. I think it’s important to spend some time learning to write the most common kanji, as soon as you start kanji, but other than that I would wait till you are closer to advanced before trying to learn to write more kanji. Understanding stroke order, and being able to guess it, is an invaluable tool. Knowing how to read kanji is a must, even early on, so in that sense I can’t imagine how it’s a waste of time, unless you’re not learning it effectively.
That’s my two cents based on my experiences at least.January 24, 2013 at 11:09 am #38218
Oh I must confess, I didn’t take this into account when I made my previous post. I am a visual learner. Perhaps similar looking kanji doesn’t give me the same trouble that it gives others. That said, I will sometimes mess up similar kanji, but that’s only if I’m reading in a hurry.
I have a much harder time with words that sound similar in Japanese.January 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm #38224
I agree with both of you. As Ben said, it depends on the person. We all learn in our own way. Now that I have learned to write about 700 kanji I find I can learn vocab and reading much quicker. That was really my biggest complaint. The time it takes to learn 2000+ kanji the Textfugu way isn’t efficient enough for my taste. I like to do things quickly then focus on improvement.January 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm #38225
What’s your system that is faster than Textfugus? I’m always open to new ideas.January 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm #38227
Hi hey, it isn’t really a system per se but I use a lot of apps for iPhone/iPad. First I skim through a chapter of Heisig’s RTK book. Then I use the RTK app to confirm the stroke order. Then I goto the kanjikoohi website to get the stories or make my own for each kanji. Any strange words I look up using imiwa or other apps. Then I start Anki and review, review, review by actually writing each kanji until I get them right every time. I also in my spare time use other apps, especially Kanjibox. Sometimes I copy sentences that use the kanji I know. This improves my hiragana and katakana writing too. I try to read and reread a chapter of Tae Kim’s grammar guide or Textfugu too. I am very focused now on getting through the kanji. It is definitely time consuming and I often want to quit. However, I spend a lot of time in Japan and feel very stupid not being fluent. So I need to hurry up and learn Japanese. Without kanji I can not self learn the language. Thats why I am focussing on kanji already.January 25, 2013 at 2:12 am #38231
Why is the stroke order so important? I tried to learn some difficult kanji by writing them using the stroke order and I felt it was too time consuming, I was spending so much time and effort remembering each stroke that I completely forgot about the kanji itself haha
For now I am doing TextFugu and Wanikani at the same time and it’s working pretty well, I don’t really need to know how to write kanji right now so I feel the SRS method that Wanikani uses is perfect for me. Maybe after I’m done learning to recognize the kanji and being able to read them I’ll try to write them, but for now I really think that’s in the way of everything else :/January 25, 2013 at 8:20 am #38237
@mtb812 – That’s a good reason to learn kanji. I have to admit my understanding level continues to rise the more kanji I learn. That’s why I think it’s important to learn reading it sooner rather than later. I’ve heard some say it’s more important to learn the words with the kanji first, and the kanji will just naturally follow. That makes sense, but I suspect that’s just another valid style for different learner types. I’m not certain which is best for me. It’s a shame someone doesn’t have a test to tell you which style will likely work better for you. ;)
@Carlos – Good question on the stroke order. I found, before I learned stroke order, that it would take me wayyyyyy too long to look a kanji up using radicals or any other method. However, Windows has something called IME Pad that lets you draw a kanji, and it’ll guess at the one you want. I believe most, if not all, electronic dictionaries have the same thing. My Android phone has an app called Kanji Recognizer which is an incredible tool for practicing, learning, and looking up kanji by stroke order. Any one of these tools is an incredible time saver. However, their accuracy on guessing the kanji you want goes down dramatically if you don’t do the stroke order correctly. IME Pad is the most forgiving, by far, that I’ve seen, but that’s partly because it’ll display a lot more guesses at once. You might ask why there aren’t kanji OCR apps, and the answer is that there are. However, they all seem to be terrible. I’ve yet to see one that even comes close to guessing very simple kanji. With so many messy things about the real world, lighting, fonts, angle of the shot, kanji OCR has a long long ways to go. Also, it would only be an option for a device with a decent camera. Plus, from a learning point of view spending 30 seconds to look up a kanji helps build a memory. Writing the stroke order in the process helps build a memory. Taking a photo, and looking at an answer really doesn’t. It’s kind of like Rikaichan. It’s a great tool, but most things I look up using it never stick in my memory, so I try to keep that to a minimum.January 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm #38239
I became very good at looking up kanji by radicals from just doing it over and over again (reading a Japanese book). Takes a few seconds now. Recently started on stroke orders using iKanji touch, and so far the stroke orders for each radical seem consistant. I got 95% on all the N5 and N4 kanji first time around, just from the basic rules + remembering stroke orders of the radicals (only when it deviated from the basic rules). Are there any cases where the stroke order for a radical changes depending of what kanji it’s used in?January 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm #38240
Hi Astralfox, there definitely are many cases. Just look at right 右 and left 左. Also, heart 心 and certain 必.January 26, 2013 at 1:37 am #38249
Just finished Season 2! I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m pretty chuffed at my progress. ^_^January 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm #38262
@mtb Wow so there are. I wonder why I didn’t notice ‘right’ and ‘left’, still got them correct somehow ?_? Thank the all powerful unconcious once again I guess. The second example should be easy to remember because they cross over, so it can be taken as a seperate ‘thing’.
Keep it up Hana, Hannah? Just wondering.
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