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Tintin is learning Japanese Kanji

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Hi, Tintin is back with a new challenge: mastering Kanjis. The goal is to pass successfully the Kanken, the Kanji exams that all Japanese students prepare every year.

The wikipedia is here.

The Japanese Kanji Aptitude Test (日本漢字能力検定試験, Nihon Kanji Nōryoku Kentei Shiken?), also known as Kanji Kentei (漢字検定, Kanji Kentei?), or Kanken, is a test of kanji ability.

There are 12 levels (levels 10 through 3, semi-2, 2, semi-1 and 1) with level 10 being the lowest and level 1 the highest. The test examines ability to read and write kanji, to understand their meanings and use them correctly in sentences, and to identify correct stroke order. Developed for native speakers of Japanese, the test has become increasingly popular with foreign students of the language.

The lower levels have around an 80% pass rate for native speakers, whereas level 1 is so difficult that only about one thousand people take it each time it is offered, and of those 1000, only about 150 pass. Generally a college-educated native speaker of average ability could be expected to pass level pre-2 with perhaps a slight amount of studying.

Sixty minutes are allotted to take the test. The score required to pass is 80% for levels 10 through 8, 70% for levels 7 through pre-2, and 80% for 2, pre-1, and 1.

I’ll start with level 10:Tests the 80 kanji learned in the first grade of elementary school. I should master these kanjis quickly but I need to add some vocabulary like cow (ushi), mutton (hitsuji) and spider (kumo).

I purchased today the Step book from Nippon Kanji Kyoiku Shinkokai. The method is divided in 27 lessons, 7 on hiragana and katakana as well as basic vocabulary, then 20 lessons with 4 kanji each.

12/31/2008 I finished the 7 preliminary lessons. I can now start learning kanjis. Step by step.

1/1/09 : Lesson 1/20 done: maru(i)/yen (rond), ame (la pluie), migi (droite), ichi (un).
1/4/09 : Lesson 2/20 done: the problem is my lack of vocabulary that causes many errors in the tests. So I started to study the vocabulary of 3 kyu on www.renshuu.org. And my small dictionary is also limited. Let’s study hard.
1/12/09 : Lesson 3/20 done: still struggling with simple basic words.
1/17/09 : Lesson 4/20 done : failed the test because of my lack of knowledge of katakana. My objective this week is to revise and memorize perfectly the katakana.
2/15/09 : I slowly finished 5th lesson.

The news of the week:

I passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test level 4:

Writing/Vocabulary : 69/100
Listening : 88/100
Reading/Grammar : 170/200
Total score : 327/400 Yeppiiiihhhh!

Let’s move on with level 3…

June 09 Update: I went to the Kanken 10 exam organized at the French school in Fujimi, Iidabashi. It went OK. I hope I made it. After 10 minutes, most of the candidates finished, after 20 minutes, the candidates could exit the exam room and 80% did. I left after 35 minutes (out 40). Let’s work on level 9.

September 10, 2009: I passed Kanken 10, 135/150. Hip hop in September…

Let’s move to Kanken 9…

On the same topic, I found a job offer where they require a PhD (minimum), 10Y of experience as a head of risk management in Japan and JPLT2++. And they offer 15MJPY. Per year. JPLT2, I knew, but JPLT2++, must be JPLT1+ or JPLT0. And I don’t know many Japanese that can pass JPLT1 without a pocket dictionary… They changed their requirement: PhD minimum, 10Y of experience as head of risks, 35MJPY per year + bonus, JPLT2 if you’re not a Japanese national. Not a single HH called. LOL.

Tintin took the JPLT3 exam today: results in February 2010. Don’t be in hurry. 60% of good answer required.
Kanji box on Facebook is a very poor training board.

Tintin failed at his first try at JPLT3 (54% good answers only). Tintin will try again.


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