Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another kanji moment.

Another happy kanji discovery (though this is probably obvious to everyone else):
汚す yogosu, to soil

汚れる yogoreru, to become soiled

汚い kitanai, dirty.

I like those connections; they're energizing, and they suggest that there may be some logic here. (It definitely helps that 先生 and I have been working on active and passive verb forms.)

So I'm trying to prepare for JLPTN3. Here's a resource I'm using a lot: Usagi-chan's Genki Resource Page at Sacramento State. Lots of helpful resources for kana, kanji, and vocab, but I've been focusing on the vocab quizzer. The app can quiz on vocab from all 23 chapters of Genki, more than 1,000 words in all, and it removes items from the list once you've gotten them right. I'm in Genki chapter 19, but I've been running the whole program, and I've learned a lot. Trying to gain some familiarity with the kanji, too. These two-kanji する combinations are killing me. Maybe it's just that I grew up with English, but I find on'yomi tough to distinguish sometimes -- しゅ vs しょ vs しゅう vs しょう vs じゅう vs じょう. So as I've been going through and speaking everything very carefully.

It's encouraging to know that I'm improving, though. I can go through hundreds at a time without making mistakes other than typos. And it feels pretty good to look at something, think I don't know it, and then have the correct reading or meaning just float up from somewhere deep in my head. Truly, 思い出す.

Fun to tell myself stories to keep the kanji straight. Like, in semai 狭い, the wild dog (けものへん) is in an alley with that bulky つくり and is being squished -- because the alley is narrow (semai). 絵 is literally threads-together, which Henshall says refers to old paintings on silk. 類 is one I'll have to look into when Henshall is handy. Funny that 輪 means rings/circles/wheels; it's one of the most right-angled kanji out there. (But I guess I can see that the hen is 車, a vehicle, and 冊 in the tsukuri may suggest binding together, as with books. I'm tickled that shoko 職, employment, has 耳, 音, and 戈—ear, sound, and halberd—because, of course, employment (shoku) is a state in which you listen to a lot of noise or get chopped. 働, working, has similar charm: a person, heaviness, and strength/force. Sisyphus.

Of course, I'll have to do a lot more for N3; I have some vocab and kanji lists and am making kanji flash cards. Long row to hoe. But I'm encouraged with the progress I've made so far. 頑張ろうね。

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