Saturday, November 29, 2008

More Japanese notes

So, i pretty much set aside the whole day for studying, but, relative to days at school, I didn't get much done. I got some other stuff done, which is fine, but i guess the studying got pushed to last. Its weird, like on days when I'd put studying first, it goes last, but on days when work should be first, sometimes work seems to come last. I don't intend to do it that way, it just kind of happens like that. hmm... action + intention have a very interesting relationship.

My studying today was to go through last year's JPLT. I haven't graded it yet. Some stuff was easier, mostly the vocab part, but the reading was still pretty fushigi.

umm what was i gonna write? About mnemonics... well i should ask the forums at RevTK, but anyway, going through the test today I saw a bunch of kanji i had learned in RTK. Some of the older ones i kind of glanced over.. not really noticing them, or taking into account their "meaning" or trying to actively remember the keyword. Some, the keyword came out and it was the same kind of "synasthetic" type of understanding that I hadn't ever really felt with Japanese before - i.e. some shapes on a page have an image-a story-meaning linked to them like never before. That, i think, is the ultimate goal of RTK. But then, with a bunch of newer characters, either the stories wouldn't come at all, and I may only recall the primitives. Or, I recall the primitives and the story, but not the keyword. I have a suspicion, that if I had seen the keyword first, i could have gotten the character. I guess I'm still fighting against the Keyword>kanji only study method. Well, i suppose its part of the process

So, I just wonder what makes a good story? I think one reason i have trouble with some characters is with weaker stories. I think, when I'm making my own story, i tend to shortcut it, and just come up with an image that links all the elements of the kanji together- the keyword and the primitive all kind of jammed together in a single idea. I think it may be important that each primitive has an image-and that each image is linked together with the story. That's a little abstract, but what makes a good story?

And maybe more concretely, how much of my reviews should be aimed at producing the story, in addition to producing the character? I guess the book is called "remembering the kanji" not "remembering the mnemonics" but it seems like if I want to remember from Kanji>keyword eventually, I should focus on remembering the story more. That is to say, with Kanji I'm good at, I'll just skip the story entirely during Keyword-kanji review. But that seems to lead to less recollection when I see the kanji in context.

ok thats all

well its well past bedtime and i still haven't done a single review.

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