Posts Tagged ‘kanji’

Sad Kanji Kentei news – failed level 4

Monday, July 11th, 2022

Some rare sad news…. I failed the Kanji Kentei level 4 exam (漢字検定試験4級) by enough points to actually say “ok, this was not just bad luck”)

Level 4 is 315 kanji, significantly more than level 5 which has 220 or so kanji. Subsequently I spent much more time studying for level 4 than I spent on level 5. What’s a bit vexing is that although I spent all that time, I think I mainly failed the exam because of kanji from earlier levels (such as 5, 6 etc.) for the following reasons:

  • I just can’t remember all of them since I’m not actively using them
  • There is a lot more vocabulary derived from kanji combinations than in previous levels

What’s not so vexing is that the exam is “only” 3500 yen per taking. Could have been much more expensive.

So, this happened after I dumped memrise…

Sunday, May 15th, 2022

I’m not blaming anyone if they don’t follow my blog…. it’s not exactly moving quickly with lots of updates.

One of the things I posted about often was memrise and how many points I got etc. It was nice while it lasted but the horrible ads in between exercises made me delete that app faster than Hazel can say booze (see “Girls with Slingshots”)

So I ended up with a lot free time after dumping memrise. Or not really. I rather ended up with time that was not blocked by memrise anymore. Not the same thing.

Anyway, what’s a man got to do with a brain the size of the earth, an ego the size of Jupiter and a language-curiosity as big as the sun?

One word: Kanken.

Although that’s actually 5 words:
Japan Kanji Aptitude Test (日本漢字能力検定, Nihon Kanji Nōryoku Kentei)

It’s just that nobody calls it the full name. Mostly it’s Kanji Kentei or Kanken.

Anyway, it’s about Kanji (surprise, suprise) and here you can find all of them, by level:

As usual in Japan, it’s start at the highest number with the simplest level (still not sure why they do this… it’s limiting) and I quickly rushed through 10 and 9, then decided to officially take level 8 (paper version), then proceeded to use the computer-based test to take (and pass) 7, 6 and 5.

Which means I’m currently studying for level 4. I just need to keep working at it, I guess. It’s doable. and it gives me brain something to do apart from all the other stuff I do.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Cross-stitching a Chinese character (hanzi)

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

How to cross stitch a hanzi from Zero to Completion:

1) Have a friend give you a cross stitch set for X-mas 2011
2) Get started on it
3) Persevere (or not)
4) Finish it in February 2013
5) Brag about it in your blog


The completed cross-stitching. The keyboard behind it should give you an idea about its dimension.

The completed cross-stitching. The keyboard behind it should give you an idea about its dimension.

This is very good picture because it shows how exquisite the handy work is without revealing the flawed spots

This is a very good picture because it shows how exquisite the handy work is without revealing the flawed spots

For more detailed instructions read on…

So maybe you started learning Chinese (or Japanese) and you joined a learning group or managed to get some Chinese friends. Then, for X-mas they give you this cross stitch set which will let you cross stitch a hanzi (or kanji) and there you are.
The package sits there, unopened, glaring at you and your consicence is nagging you. Finally you open the package and things don’t get better. Alas, it’s a complete set including needles, yarn, the fabric and a sheet with incomplete instructions, maybe even written in Chinese (or Japanese) which you can’t read.
Intertubes to the rescue! Google “how to cross stitch” and all the results seriously impede on your masculinity as technocrat. Middle-aged+ ladies explain how to hold the needles, where to start a pattern and what yarn to use. You can already see yourself ending up with a bent back, shaking fingers and bad eyesight after years and years of labour and being laughed at by your friends who meanwhile hack out c0de.

Well, it’s not all that bad. Life is about broaden your horizon and if you should be glad to get such an opportunity. It’ll be an experience! Admittedly, if you’re spending every single minute outside frolicking then you shouldn’t start this li’l project when the beach volleyball season starts. Maybe pick a time where you can spend more time in the house like winter… and consider this: once you’re done, literally everyone will a) unable to refrain him/herself from making a comment on your hanzi (kanji) cross stitch and b) you get the pleasure of seeing their jaws fall to the floor when you tell them you did it all by yourself!

Alright, let’s get on with this… the hardest thing is to get started. But how do you get started on something like this? The instructions I found on the intertubes told me to get started in the middle of pattern. So, find the middle on the pattern sheet and the middle on the fabric. On the fabric you can get the exact middle by folding the fabric diagonally. Then, look at the pattern sheet. How many units to the left of the middle do you have to start? In general, once you find the starting point, work yourself horizontally to the right and back until the line is done, then move on the line below. Until you have completed the whole pattern!

For some good infos on how to cross stitch for beginners, check out this page, which I found very helpful:

In the beginning, I meticulously kept track of how much time I spent on this:

research prior to starting: 5 hours
1.1.: 1 hour
2.1.: 1 hour
3.1.: 1 hour

Quite a long way to go...

Quite a long way to go…

4.1.: 2.5 hours
5.1.: 1.6 hours

Still not there...

Still not there…

6.1.: 1.2 hours
7.1.: 2.2 hours
8.1.: 2.1 hours

I think I can already read this... or not?

I think I can already read this… or not?

9.1.: 0.7 hour
10.1.: 1 hour
11.1.: 0.7 hour
15.1.: 2.3 hours
16.1.: 1.3 hours
17.1.: 0.7 hour
18.1.: 1.8 hours
19.1.: 2.5 hours
21.1.: 4.8 hours
22.1.: 0.9 hours
23.1.: 0.5 hours
24.1.: 1.0 hour
25.1.: 0.9 hours
28.1.: 1.2 hours
30.1.: 2.6 hours
31.1.: 2.0 hours
1.2.: 1.0 hour
3.2.: 1.1 hours
4.2.: 1.8 hours
5.2.: 3.9 hours
6.2.: 1.0 hour

Maybe I gave up writing down the times after that. Also, other things became more important again and I didn’t seriously continue working on this until November 2012… and finally finishing it in February 2013.