You may remember from a previous post that I’m not particularly found of flashcards.
I might have come across as bitter.
Well, yesterday I passed the first of ten tests in Nazotte No Oboeru (なぞってのおぼえる大人の漢字練習), and, happy as I am to finally win something, I’m getting even giddier thinking about the new kanji I’ll now be able to add to my Anki deck. The cockles of my heart are enjoying a toasty sensation, I believe is the phrase.
I was not thinking this kindly towards なぞってのおぼえる a few weeks ago. I got it around the beginning of September, but was busy “vacationing” with Theo and didn’t really look at it. After she left I sat down and vowed to pass a test a week.
Three weeks passed.
Part of the problem was that I just didn’t play it, so of course I wasn’t able to learn the kanji properly. You know, repetition, repetition, repa- *yawn*. I was avoiding it because
I’m a bad sport I seemed completely unable to tell when 石 should be read as “ごく,” as in 加賀百万石, when it should be read as “せき” (偉人の石像), and of course, when it was finally used as “いし” (石焼き芋). Even if I could remember that 石 had all three of those readings, figuring out which one the program was asking for was taxing my brain to an embarrassing extent. For each question that tested my ability to write a kanji based on a given reading, I was reduced to guessing which of the 80 or so characters I was studying could be read the way they wanted.
Obviously this was the wrong way to go about things. The game (I use the word without sarcasm now) was meant for Japanese adults who want to brush up on their kanji readings. When this target audience goes to read “春のなな草,” they will know what the sentence means (the game provides furigana over all the kanji, so they really have no excuse). Knowing what it means, do you think they will be trying to match kanji readings to find out what “なな” is? Of course not, they’re going to think “what is the kanji for seven?” and then plug it right in. My vocabulary is worse than my kanji reading*, and maybe that’s why it took me a while to realize that I was going about the whole thing wrong. But I did, finally, about two weeks ago, and now I’m putting sentences from the game into Anki with their translation. Doing this, it makes sense that “石” is read differently when in the compound 加賀百万石. Normally it’s the kanji for stone, but here it’s being used as an ancient unit of weight, a “こく.”* Suddenly, I’m not failing when this question comes up.
So yes, I’m happy now that I’ve passed level one with a 92%, missing 4/50 kanji. I’ve got about seven more weeks to get through the rest of the levels if I want to beat the game before the JLPT in December. Buy hey, I figure with Anki I’ll not only be able to read the kanji by that time, but use them too.
_____________________________ Socks’s Off _________________________________
* I may know more words than kanji, but the way I look at it, I have way more words left to learn than I have kanji to study.
* How funny is it that stone has been used to measure weight in both the west and the east? Seriously though, look this compound up and then google the bits that still make no sense and you’ll see why I’m now motivated to study. The phrases they use in なぞってのおぼえる range from mundane, to colloquial, to archaic. Translating them often feels like opening the door on an advent calendar. 49 more days to Christmas . . . .