Posts Tagged ‘Kanji


My Game Idea

    I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a game to help people learn Kanji.  See, here’s the general idea.  You pull up the game, and sign in.  The system asks you the highest Heisig RTK Kanji frame number that you know.  You then drop into the game with all the other players.  You are given a Kanji meaning and given 10-15 seconds to write that Kanji on a little drawing pad on the screen using your mouse (or a stylus if you have a touch screen).  Once the time is up, everybody’s drawings are shown to everybody else next to the Kanji they should have drawn, and everyone commences rating the accuracy and penmanship of the other players.  Once all ratings are in, the system shows the winners for the round in 3 categories: accuracy, penmanship, and speed. (The system handles the speed rating.)  The points in each category are added up and the players are ranked according to score for the round.  When a player leaves the game, the system saves their accumulated points.  Each day, week, and month the rankings are updated so a player can see how they fare in relation to other players.  At the end of the month, the “Kanji Champion” is determined.  His or her name go down on the Champion’s list, and everybody’s stats are cleared.

I am so tempted to write this.  It sounds like it could be a LOT of fun.  I *am* a programmer, but my web programming skills have slipped a bit due to disuse.  Perhaps it’s time to dust off the ol’ Perl, PHP, or Java cap and go to work…  I’d be interested to hear your comments, suggestions, and ideas on the game.  Speak up man! (or woman!)


Progress, But Will It Work?!

    So… Despite having the new child and being much shorter on time, there has been progress.  I am approaching 200 Kanji memorized!  Heisig’s RTK philosophy is interesting.  Learning the Kanji in English IS easier than learning them in Japanese, I believe, but I’ve been taking a bit of flack from friends and co-workers who doubt that this new way of learning Japanese will work.  Of course, these nay-sayers have never really checked in to “the program”, so they really don’t understand what they are criticizing.

I’ve told several people this, and I’ll say it to all of my happy readers who chance upon the site.  MARK MY WORDS!  In 2 years I will be speaking Japanese, and not the broken Japanese of someone who’s taken a few courses.  REAL Japanese.  I’ll be reading books and fluent.  You just watch.  If after two years I’m not much further than I am now, I’ll eat crow.  Heck, I’ll eat my shoe.  Seriously.  I’ll post pics too.  On the other hand, if all goes well, not only will I be fluent, but my wife, my two sons, and myself will all be living in Japan. (This latter part may take a little longer as I’ve got a lot to learn about what work will be available to me in Japan, and how to go about getting that work.)  So.. on with the show!


What I’ve Come Up With

    Alright… So I’ve been messing around with things a little bit more, and I think I’ve come to a decision. For now. =) I’m actually surprisign myself with this. I’m going to use JUST the PalmOS portion of Stackz (PalmStackz) for my standard drilling. I’ll also use Anki for Palm OS, which is a flashcard program I’ve used for years. It can do multiple choice, which I think helps a lot when first learning stuff. Finally, I’ve installed and played around with KingKanji and I’ll be trying the 30 day trial of that out. I like not having to carry around pencil and paper to practice my Kanji writing, and KingKanji actually gives me feedback on my Kanji.  I’m planning on doing at least a little pencil work with each Kanji, bujt I’ll do that at home.  My PDA  is where I’ll be doing most of my learning.  Very nice if I do say so myself.  As usual, let me know if all none of you who are reading this have any better ideas.  =)

Once I get through the Kanji phase of the program, I may mix things up again as far as software goes, but this works for me.  So… I’ve done the first lesson of Remembering The Kanji(RTK). And by done I mean I’ve read through it, and I can identify each character on site.  I’m now working on going the other direction.  (See the meaning and write the character.)  I should be moving on to lesson 2 tomorrow.

At this point I’m planning on just seeing how many I can do in a day.  the first 15 were a breeze.  If this keeps up, I think I could do 40-60 a day, given enough time.  And that just may be the deciding factor.  Time.  20, at least, should be no problem, and I can probably pick up the slack during the weekends.  I guess we’ll see.  Assuming I can keep a pace of between 20 and 60 Kanji a day that works out to roughly 1-3 months to learn all the Kanji.  I don’t plan on taking shortcuts to “get it done”, so I’m leaning toward the 3 month figure, but we’ll see if I can keep up a quicker pace or not.