Defending Heisig

Tae Kim over at 3 yen recently said he was skeptic about Heisig’s famous Remembering the Kanji method, and that he wanted to hear from anyone who actually learned how to write Japanese with the system.

I left a comment that I thought would be nice to share with everyone. For I have seen the power of Heisig with my own eyes! I am a believer. Though, I have never tried it myself…

Heisig isn’t meant to teach you vocabulary, it’s meant to teach you how to remember to write individual Kanji characters.

I graduated from IUC this past June. We go through all 1945-ish of the jyoyo kanji, and gobs of related vocabulary throughout the 10 month program at our own pace.

A guy who did Heisig just before starting IUC, was able to finish all 1945 jyoyo kanji in the first quarter of the IUC program. In addition, when it came around to 4th quarter and we were all checking how many we could actually remember how to read and write, he was without a doubt one of the star students.

I wish I had done it, now I have a haphazard way of remembering how to write kanji, and though I can read a ton, my writing is embarrassing sometimes…

Must… do… Heisig…

The anonymous guy I’m discussing, well, to keep him anonymous let’s just refer to him as Joe Sixpack.

But yeah, he was all over the Kanji.

All over it!

– Harvey