Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • -This video will be ruh-blah-bluh.

  • This video will be of interest to people actively studying

  • Japanese, about to start studying Japanese, people who

  • like art and memorization techniques,

  • people who have nothing better to do,

  • and of course, people that enjoy watching other people get hit

  • by cars in a school playground under the watchful eye

  • of a thousand schoolchildren to an over-dramatic soundtrack.

  • [OVER-DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYING]

  • -Whoa!

  • -Ooh!

  • -Oh, my God.

  • -Oh, my God.

  • -And I thought road safety lessons

  • were supposed to be boring.

  • How could you go from Will Smith and Stephen Merchant

  • having an imaginary conversation to this?

  • And from the world's most powerful farmyard animal

  • to this?

  • And finally, from this-- OK, we'll do this one here-- easy

  • to remember, easy to draw.

  • Yes!

  • Oh, they're nothing alike!

  • No.

  • --to this.

  • [MUSIC THE BEACH BOYS, "WOULDN'T IT BE NICE"]

  • Oh, yeah, get in.

  • A whole other book-- finished!

  • Yeah!

  • Come in here!

  • Come and look at this!

  • I finished a whole other book.

  • It's pretty cool.

  • Oh-- oh, yeah, I-- I live alone.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • When I arrived in Japan last year,

  • I couldn't even say the most basic phrases, such

  • as, "Where is McDonald's?" and "A horse is necessary!"

  • which I thank you'll agree are absolutely essential

  • for everyday conversation.

  • Well, still, I couldn't read anything because of the three

  • Japanese writing systems-- Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.

  • And I didn't know that I couldn't wash my clothes--

  • Uhh.

  • --use the air conditioning.

  • Uhh.

  • Even at restaurants, I'd have to take a dictionary, only

  • to still fuck up my order and end up

  • with "The Last Supper" instead of the healthy, delicious

  • salads that I thought I'd ordered.

  • So I temporarily eradicated my social life

  • and sat down to learn Hiragana and Katakana, of which there

  • are about 100 characters.

  • And by the end of August, I emerged

  • able to read both character systems.

  • But more importantly, I could read the world

  • around me, once and for all--

  • Haha!

  • Eh, oh, give me a break!

  • --except, I couldn't.

  • I turned my attention to the final character system-- Kanji.

  • The characters are "luh - gog - ra - fic," or "lo - go - graf -

  • ic"-- I haven't a clue how to pronounce that word--

  • meaning a single character can convey a word or a meaning,

  • such as "water," the "moon," and "rain."

  • It's an undeniably beautiful system,

  • and I was very excited to learn all 25 of the characters.

  • But there's not 25.

  • There's 2,000 characters.

  • This didn't initially put me off,

  • but then I learned that each character

  • can have multiple readings.

  • It was about then that I thought I was a bit out of my depth.

  • I mean, I thought I'd taken it badly,

  • but when I told my friend who's also learning Japanese--

  • Yeah, so as well as there being 2,000 characters,

  • it turns out they also have multiple readings, as well.

  • So--

  • -(ON PHONE) No!

  • No!

  • -No.

  • This was the point where I thought

  • about quitting the whole learning of the language,

  • especially as Japanese schoolchildren learned

  • over a 10-year period through a unique method known as writing

  • it out again and again and again.

  • But it was then that a few advanced non-native speakers

  • of Japanese told me of a method, of a way of getting around

  • it and being able to learn the meaning and the writing

  • of the characters in a matter of months, as opposed to years.

  • Not only that, but it would be a fun and creative way.

  • And I love fun.

  • If Japanese is your religion, let this book be your bible.

  • Heisig's "Remembering the Kanji" is now in its sixth edition

  • and originally came out in the 1970s.

  • It's short, and I mean very short.

  • The way to learning Kanji is by using your creative imagination

  • and stories to memorize the Kanji--

  • hundreds, if not thousands, of stories.

  • So instead of writing out the characters again and again

  • and again, you use your creative imagination

  • to conjure up imagery.

  • Key to the book's success is the way

  • it breaks down the Kanji into their smaller, primitive parts.

  • Kanji are typically made up of several other Kanji

  • characters we call "primitives."

  • And the idea is to turn those squiggly lines

  • into something with meaning, be it people, objects,

  • or anything that comes to your mind.

  • Some are quite basic.

  • For example, "I" is quite easy and natural

  • to see the shape for "I."

  • But for something like "fond," meaning "to be fond of

  • or to like something," which is made up of "woman" and "child,"

  • a bit more creativity is involved.

  • So we imagine a woman who obviously is fond of her child,

  • loves her child and is fondling her with happiness and love.

  • At the start of this video, I had some examples of people

  • that I've used as Kanji characters

  • or as parts of a story.

  • I actually found a use for Kim Jong Un, and here's how.

  • So here's a Kanji character which

  • means "un," as in to "undo something."

  • It holds other connotations, such as "mistake," "negative,"

  • and "injustice," just like the man himself.

  • But primarily, I chose Kim Jong Un because it's called "un,"

  • even if that description does have quite a good resemblance

  • to the dickhead in question.

  • So it's quite a simple character, as you can see.

  • And the three strokes at either side are easy to remember,

  • as that's how many North Korean leaders there

  • have been in that failed dynasty.

  • And in my head, when I see this character,

  • I don't just see a load of squiggly lines.

  • I see Kim Jong Un, which isn't something

  • you want to necessarily picture, but eh, it works.

  • And the way the book is ordered, you learn chronologically.

  • So the next few Kanji characters that you would learn

  • would have Kim Jong in it, but it

  • would have "un" as a primitive.

  • So for "sad," the character has two primitives-- "un"

  • and the one for "heart."

  • So I'm seeing Kim Jong Un and a heart,

  • which are two things that don't really go together.

  • And that's when you actually have

  • to use your psychotic mind to actually put those bits

  • and pieces together to form a story that

  • makes you memorize the key word.

  • So maybe Kim Jong Un has no heart, so he's sad.

  • That's the story.

  • So that's how I memorize it.

  • So when I see that character, I see Kim Jong Un and a heart.

  • I know he has no heart, so he must be sad.

  • So the word is "sad."

  • Another example, Will Smith and Stephen Merchant

  • having a discussion.

  • How can I get from that to this character?

  • So this character means "surrogate,"

  • and it's made up of three primitives.

  • We've got "finger" here on the left.

  • We have "ear," which I have already

  • memorized that as Will Smith, because for those of you that

  • know Will Smith, you know he has big ears

  • or he's always mocked for having big ears.

  • I don't really know why.

  • I don't think he's got big ears.

  • But anyway, it is Will Smith.

  • And then we have this one here, which means "sparkler."

  • But for no apparent reason, I've decided

  • to have it in my head as Stephen Merchant.

  • Just because I love Stephen Merchant,

  • and I'll have to put him in there somewhere.

  • Now, in 2009, a movie came out called "Surrogates,"

  • starring Bruce Willis.

  • And whilst the film was about was entertaining