(I had reached 225 characters by the end of late September – see this post if you’re interested on my initial findings: Small Victories: my progress in learning simplified characters with Heisig…)
Negative points regarding my progress:
- I’ve not progressed as far as I would have liked to do nor as I intended to do. I was supposed to hit the 500 mark by middle October. I derailed completely because of work priorities which frankly – will always take priority.
- The last few chapters I’ve studied – chapters 13 – 17 have presented some of the most trying characters I’ve studied.
- I’ve certainly gotten more characters wrong when I tested myself at first which means that I needed to go back and revise those characters that gave me trouble.
- I got lazy during my studies and I paid less attention to a good story / picture. The ones I’d get wrong are without a doubt the ones that I didn’t put enough effort into in the first place. If I don’t want to waste time going forward, I should really focus on the visual story in the future. (This double-touching thing / re-learning is time consuming.)
- Chapter 17 has been the worst – no doubt. I needed to check back on more than half it about three times. Once again – no clear stories / visuals defined the first time around.
- I’m assuming that if I’ve found the last couple of chapters trying that the rest that follows will probably be the same. I’m not going to let it deter me however. I’m AM GOING to finish the book – come hell or high water.
My self-testing methods:
I’m using 3 ways of testing myself after I’ve studied a chapter.
- On paper – I normally write down all the English keywords out of their usual Heisig sequence on a piece of paper and see whether I can identify the character correctly. (Scribble it on paper…) If there are issues – I sort it out by restudying those characters, checking the story again or see if I need to change the story. Once I’m satisfied with a chapter, I move onto Anki for revision.
The photo I’ve attached will give you an idea of what I’m doing – you’ll probably shudder at my hànzì and I will completely understand it if you do – however really it’s just about the concept and identifying / distinguishing one character from another – not about perfection – not at this stage
- In Anki I’ve got one flashcard set that shows me the character first, and I need to provide the meaning in English only as the answer.
- The second flashcard set shows me the keyword / meaning and I have to draw the characters – not perfectly – just roughly on paper will do or with my finger on the table to see whether I can “assemble” /remember the character.
Thus… a lot of testing going on…
Some good points (thus far):
- I’ve made some progress at least…
- My rigorous testing makes my Anki scores look good
First Anki set (Question: shows character only. Answer: requires me to give the English keyword / meaning.)
Mature cards: 100.0%
Young cards: 88.8%
First-seen cards: 91.2%
Second Anki set (Question: English word is stated. Answer: requires me to “assemble” the character.)
(I started this deck much later thus none of my cards are mature cards yet.)
Mature cards: 0.0%
Young cards: 88.8%
First-seen cards: 90.5%
So how does it look for me going forward?
I seriously would love to have the book completed by end of December – this is my plan. However I’m only human and will probably be derailed again… so we’ll see.
My 500 mark needs to be reached though before end of October…
And if you’re wondering why I’m at 399 and not 400 characters right now – well, it’s not that I love odd numbers (although I am a bit of an odd one) nor that I’m superstitious. Lesson 18 starts with character number 400 instead of 401. Thanks a lot Heisig…
Well that’s it from me (for this week).
Onwards with chapter 18 / #400….