Blog / March 2006

  • 26 March 2006Reviewing Reloaded

    ... or not as may be the case : the reviewing page no longer needs reloading when you answer flash cards! Response times should also be faster overall.

    The page should look and work exactly as before, however there is a substantial change in the way it is implemented: it is now using Ajax.

    If you are using Internet Explorer version 6 and below, on high security settings, you may need to enable ActiveX content, because Ajax uses the "XMLHttpRequest" object (a standard ActiveX component of Internet Explorer).

    If you are using a non-standard browser or platform, I would like to hear from you. I know at least one member is reviewing on a cellphone :)

  • 20 March 2006Reviewing problem

    UPDATE: should be working now.

    Several persons have emailed me about a problem that appeared on the reviewing page after I updated the website Sunday night. I am back from work and looking into it, and hopefully will fix it tonight.

    It appears that the flash card will not move forward during a review, on Internet Explorer and Opera. Oddly enough it works as intended on Mozilla Firefox.

    I will update this news when the problem is fixed. Sorry for the trouble.
  • 18 March 2006Kanji in daily life

    Here are some nice websites that can be visited regularly to practice sight-reading the kanji, and keep the interest going : is a collection of photos of Chinese characters as you would see them in daily life on the streets of Beijing or elsewhere in China.

    In a similar fashion, but this time with kanji only, there is a Kanji group on with many photos of kanji from daily life in Japan. See how many you can recognise!

    Hanzi Smatter 一知半解 is a website "dedicated to the misuse of chinese characters in western culture". With Remembering the Kanji we also learn how to write the kanji from memory. As Tian, author of the website points out, a missing stroke here and there on a tattoo DOES matter! :)

    The characters on and Hanzi Smatter aren't kanji, but since historically chinese characters were introduced in japan, you will recognise many of them.

    From time to time you may guess part, or all of the meaning of something written on a storefront or on a signpost. This can be very motivating while studying Remembering the Kanji.

    Sometimes you may recognise all the characters, but it still won't make any sense. Keep in mind that in chinese, many characters have a grammatical purpose. Also, in chinese some characters can have quite a different meaning than their japanese equivalent.

  • 12 March 2006Progress chart

    When you login, you should now see the link Check your progress on the home page.

    The Progress Chart represents all the lessons from RTK Volume 1, with the total of kanji covered in each lesson.

    Light blue boxes indicate completed lessons. The yellow box indicates the current lesson. The number of flashcards you have added is used to determine how far you are in the book. It's assumed that you are adding flashcards after you have studied the kanji.

    The Progress Chart is inspired by a simple spreadsheet I used to update while studying RTK1.

    The idea behind it is this : focus on completing lessons, instead of counting how many kanji are left to study. Whenever you study, your goal is to complete a lesson. The only kanji you have to worry about is those that take you to the end of the lesson.

    Use the kanji count of each lesson to plan your sessions ahead.

    Sometimes, you might want to push the session a little longer, for example add another 5 kanji, just to complete a lesson that day (and thus, reach your current goal).

    Other times, you may have less than 10 kanji to reach the end of a lesson. That's good, take a break :) It's usually better to keep the beginning of a new lesson to the beginning of a session, so that you have your attention fresh for new primitives.

    Divide and conquer !

    As always, if you have comments or suggestions your feedback is welcome.

  • 10 March 2006Possible downtime

    UPDATE : problem solved! will be unavailable starting somewhere around next Tuesday the 14th of March, for a few days, possibly a week.

    I just missed a bill on the web hosting, and there is only a 10 day "grace" period after which the website is suspended. Unfortunately, by the time the required overseas payment and other transfers are processed, the website will have been suspended by my web host.

    I'm only paying 10 dollar a month and I'm not in financial difficulties. In fact I got a new job early February. I'll try to get this sorted out asap.

    Don't worry about your accounts, the website will be 'unsuspended' when this is sorted out, I also do backups every once in a while :)

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  • 9 March 2006Work out those kanji muscles

    KanjiGym Light is an easy-to-use software designed to review all the kanji covered in "Remembering the Kanji" Volume 1, as well as it's French, German, and Spanish editions. It is being offered by James W. Heisig and The Vittorio Klostermann Publishing House.

    KanjiGym Light is available for Mac, PC and Palm OS. The latter version could be quite handy if you want to review on the bus/train on your way to work, for example, when you don't have a direct connection to the internet.

    The program also features stroke-order animations which may be handy if you have difficulty with the writing of the characters.

    Whichever reviewing method suits you, you're always welcome into our "study" area where you will find helpul hints for creating mnemonics and taking care of the troublesome kanji!

  • 8 March 2006Creating links between shared stories

    Whenever you want to reference another kanji in a shared story/mnemonic, you may enclose the frame number with characters { and }. These will appear as links that may be clicked to go directly to the kanji, as well as show the corresponding keyword. See my story for "safeguard" (under the name fuaburisu) for an example.

    I would like to remind everyone that the original stories from James Heisig, author of "Remembering the Kanji", should not be posted on the website. These are the Copyright of the author, Mr James Heisig, and furthermore it has never been my goal to list the stories from the book.

    The goal of the "study" area is to allow members to help one another with the third part of the book, where stories are no longer provided. Whenever you are stuck or have difficulty with a particular kanji, you can find inspiration in the shared mnemonics.

    As for the kanji covered in the first two parts of the book, the possibility is there to share mnemonics, to offer alternatives to those of Mr Heisig, where the one from the book didn't work well for you.

    Some quick numbers out of the database :

    • we currently have 9950 stories, 3331 of which are publicly shared
    • we have 1613 individual kanji covered by at least one shared story
    • we have 86 individual members who have shared mnemonics
    • top 10 members who have shared stories : taijuando (62), erikkusan (71), rizzo (100), matticus (115), scottamus (154), darg_sama (194), Raichu (268), Immacolata (348), gorgon (384), fuaburisu (that's me) (790)

    Thank you for sharing your stories, mnemonics or hints. With your help, the "study" area is becoming a great resource for learners of "Remembering the kanji".
  • 5 March 2006Failed kanji list

    In the study area you will find a new link "View All" which will take you to a complete list of the kanji from the "failed" stack.

    You can print it out and study away from the computer, or clear out the kanji from the "failed" stack in any order you like.