TIL: Pimsleur 1-10, Kanji thoughts

I hadn’t managed to get to the gym Thursday or Friday, but I managed to squeeze in a session tonight after 妻と赤ちゃん went to sleep. That means I was able to get in not only a little bit of muscle exhaustion, but some mental exhaustion. Pimsleur lesson 10 actually isn’t so bad as there was only really one new piece of vocabulary たい and the negative version of たく, but it’s still jarring to be pulled back to a different language that you’ve taken a few days off from studying. I’ll go ahead and include past vocabulary which was featured in this lesson, even though it’s been noted previously on this blog.

I should mention, that I’m super intimidated by Kanji. As you saw a couple of days ago, I’m trying to incorporate it a little bit into the vocabulary that I use. But, I hadn’t at that point done any research into how I should be learning kanji. It’s worrying, to have to memorize so much stuff because I feel as though I’m particularly bad at memorization. I know that can’t be true, because I have a pretty reasonable grasp of English vocabulary… and yet the idea of memorizing all of these icons is just… scary.

I can’t help but feel as though I need to learn it, since whenever I try to look words up… 妻 for example (wife)… it seems that dictionaries don’t respect the hiragana, and instead only want to give me the kanji. So… it’s like… I get that using kana makes sense since it tells me how to pronounce it, and I’ll be able to recall that information next time I read it… but… if it’s never written in hiragana… shouldn’t I also not write it in hiragana?

It’s going to be quite difficult to force myself to learn the kanji at the same time as trying to learn Pimsleur, and Human Japanese, and doing an Unreal Course, and having two jobs, and having a family. But, it’s going to be necessary. So I think I need to make an effort to learn it. Tofugu has an article regarding the mistakes people make when learning Japanese… however the comments, and other resources online seem to distinctly disagree with his stance on the order in which to learn them. The recommended order seems to be to learn the same way that the Japanese learn in school. This ensures that you learn kanji earlier which are used to make up later kanji.

As we know, there are presently 2136 mandatory kanji to learn to be newspaper literate. I’m going to have to manage 6 a day if I want to be able to read Kanji in a year. So, that’s going to be my initial target, and I’m going to be tackling it in parallel with learning the rest of it. What on earth have I gotten myself into?

Alright. So, I’ve just spent about two hours between writing the last paragraph and beginning this one. In that time I’ve been trying desperately to figure out -how- to learn Kanji. There seem to be a lot of suggestions out there. Namely, wanikani keeps popping up as a great resource… however I’m trying to do this as cheaply as possible. So, I’m not going to get involved. Kageyama Method: Tadashii Kanji Kakitori-Kun – Kondo wa Kanken Taidaku Dayo! a Nintendo DS game also seems highly recommended. I’m tempted to do this, except again, it’s got a cost associated with it, and it’s going to take a month before it will even ship. It’s also mildly out of date if I want to learn the key words.

I think the best bet for helping me learn this is going to be Obenkyo. Obenkyo:

-is free
-allows me to easily organize based on the N5-N1 tests, or based on the Grades
-has three different ways of doing the flash card tests, including drawing
-lets me review not just Kanji, but vocabulary as well
-lets me select/deselect what I want in my tests… meaning I can focus on *just* what I’m trying to learn
-lets me study stroke order, on-yomi, kun-yomi (with romaji as well), and seems to include definitions from multiple dictionaries
-according to one review, does not include all words in the N tests… so I’ll need to make sure I cross check while learning with Kanji cards so that I don’t accidentally miss any

So, now that I’ve got a plan of action… it’s only 2:37AM. Meaning I’m not going to get anything else done tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll have to start organizing the kanji I’ve learned already.


だれと – with whom?
わたしと – with me
ホテルで – at the hotel
なんじに – at what time?
ちょっと – a little/a bit – can be used as an indirect way of saying no
たべたいです – want to eat
たべたくありません – don’t want to eat
のみたいです – want to drink
のみたくありません – don’t want to drink
いまなんじですか。 – what time is it now?

When you desire or want something (noun), the expression used is “欲しい” or “ほしい” (hoshii).

When you desire or want to do something (verb – since it’s an action), the Japanese expression “verb {stem of masu-form} たい” (tai) is used.

Various times of day were mentioned in Pimsleur, but counting time works slightly different than just counting. Here’s the Hours according to japanese-lesson.com

いちじ – 1時 – 1 o’clock
にじ – 2時 – 2 o’clock
さんじ – 3時 – 3 o’clock
よじ – 4時 – 4 o’clock
ごじ – 5時 – 5 o’clock
ろくじ – 6時 – 6 o’clock
しちじ – 7時 – 7 o’clock
はちじ – 8時 – 8 o’clock
くじ – 9時 – 9 o’clock
じゅうじ – 10時 – 10 o’clock
じゅういちじ – 11時 – 11 o’clock
じゅうにじ – 12時 – 12 o’clock
しょうご – 正午 – noon
ごぜん – 午前 – AM
ごご – 午後 – PM

Arabic numerals are normally used for time. But, we’ve done the kanji here already anyways 🙂