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January 16, 2007



Wow - great interview and lots of references/ideas for my own Japanese study.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the unicom books not the best - although to be fair there were some grammar questions on things I'd read in there the night before the test.


Yet another person who refuses to see the value of the Heisig method. A dedicated learner can finish the Heisig book in 3-6 months, after which they can approach learning readings and compounds for any joyo-kanji character with complete ease. There's no equivalent for that.
A person who studied the same amount of time using traditional methods would still probably have no idea what 屋 is, and would certainly not know how to read 千家茶屋 unless they had learned it for some specific purpose.


Nice insights, good tips. LOVE the sushi video and hope for more!

I completely disagree with the Heisig assertion though. An understanding of the pedagogy involved should convince anyone why it is THE single best method for serious adult learners. Coal obviously either 1. doesn't understand the book, or 2. didn't try it. Heisig's method produces results no other method can: solid memorization of 2042 kanji in a matter of months. I learned the meanings (and was able to reproduce with ease) more kanji in one week with Heisig than 18months of prior study. With Heisig as my foundation, every bit of further Japanese study I do is a cinch. It's changed my life.


Thanks for the comments. I did indeed try the Heisig method, but as I mentioned in the interview, learning nearly 2000 characters before you can even start to learn anything with practical application requires an enormous amount of dedication and motivation that I and many like me simply didn't have at that stage. It sounded great in principle which is why I bought the book, but I couldn't get past the first couple of hundred characters without getting bored and giving up, having effectively learned nothing I could use. That being said, I do appreciate that some people find it very useful, but they and those that don't seem pretty evenly split into their respective camps from experience.

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