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James W. Heisig - Remembering Simplified Hanzi 1 & 2

0.70MB. 0 audio & 76 images. Updated 2018-12-11.


This deck is designed to accompany Remembering Simplified Hanzi 1 (and book 2), and you will need those books in order to use this deck. A unique property of this deck is that it also allows you to learn Heisig's characters "out of sequence" while still using Heisig's general method. That means you can use this deck and Heisig's books to easily learn characters in any order you want, not only the order they are presented in the books. This is very useful if you want to learn how to read and write characters and words as you encounter them in other learning materials. Of course, you can also use this deck to learn the characters in the order presented in the books. In order to allow this "out of sequence" approach, I created a database that encoded all of the Heisig characters and primitive elements with their keywords, the sub-components they use, and any additional keywords that reference the characters when they are used as primitives for other characters. Then I created a program to crunch through the data, and created a "map" that you can use for an arbitrary character in order to find all of the primitives and characters you need to learn first in order to learn that particular character. This "map" for each character is included in this deck to allow you to learn all of the sub-components needed for a character before learning the character itself. In order to use the "out of sequence" approach:
  1. Use Anki's browser to find the character you want to use in the deck. (You can copy-and-paste the character if you already have it in electronic form, or look it up in the indices in the back of the Heisig books, and then find it by keyword.)
  2. Copy the text of the ComponentsSearch field for that character into the Browser's search field, and perform the search. This will find the character and all of it's sub-components that you haven't yet learned (that is, all of the sub-components of the new character that are "suspended" or not actively being learned or reviewed).
  3. Select all of the results from the search, and un-suspend them (make them active for learning and review).
  4. Exit the browser, and start learning the characters using Anki.
    • The first time a new character or primitive is presented to you in Anki, you will want to look it up in the appropriate book in order to add an appropriate story which you will associate with the character in order to remember which sub-components it uses and how to write it. Information on the card helps you easily look the character up in the books. Some hints for learning new characters:
      • Because primitive frames in the book are not numbered, the "Heisig Number" for primitives is of the form v1p236, which is interpreted as volume (book) 1, page 236.
      • You can also click on the stroke-count on the card to link to a web page that shows the animated stroke order for the character. (This link will not work for primitives or character marked with "p.")
      • The keywords link to the Koohii Remembering the Hanzi site. As I write this (July 2015), the site appears to be down. I'm not sure if this is temporary or permanent, but assuming the site returns, it is a good resource for finding example stories for the characters. (This will not work for primitives or character marked with "p.")
      • The characters themselves link to an on-line Chinese dictionary which gives more information about the use of the characters. (This will not work for primitives or character marked with "p.")
  5. Use Anki as normal to learn and review the characters.
Some notes on using the deck: Updates on 2018-DEC-10

Sample (from 3225 notes)

Cards are customizable! When this deck is imported into the desktop program, cards will appear as the deck author has made them. If you'd like to customize what appears on the front and back of a card, you can do so by clicking the Edit button, and then clicking the Cards button.
HeisigNumber 1613
HeisigSequence 1755
Keyword paper money
ComponentsSearch deck:current tag:RSH is:suspended (hanzi:钞 or keyword:"few" or keyword:"p.a drop of" or keyword:"king" or keyword:"small" or keyword:"gold" or keyword:"p.umbrella")
StrokeCount 9
Tags RSH RSH2 RSH2-12
HeisigNumber 2500
HeisigSequence 2687
Keyword embarrassed
ComponentsSearch deck:current tag:RSH is:suspended (hanzi:尬 or keyword:"p.crutches" or keyword:"remarkable" or keyword:"p.a drop of" or keyword:"introduce" or keyword:"pooch" or keyword:"large" or keyword:"p.frankenbowser" or keyword:"youngster" or keyword:"p.umbrella")
StrokeCount 7
Tags RSH RSH2 RSH2-37 SameSimpTrad
HeisigNumber 2254
HeisigSequence 2421
Keyword nonspecific
ComponentsSearch deck:current tag:RSH is:suspended (hanzi:泛 or keyword:"p.a drop of" or keyword:"of" or keyword:"water" or keyword:"weary")
StrokeCount 7
Tags RSH RSH2 RSH2-31 SameSimpTrad

After the file is downloaded, double-click on it to open it in the desktop program.

At this time, it is not possible to add shared decks directly to your AnkiWeb account - they need to be added from the desktop then synchronized to AnkiWeb.


on 1538325139
Great deck

However links to the additional material is a bit broken and primitive images are not displaying to me. I think I'm going to email author regarding these issues and see if I can offer any help.
Comment from author
I believe I have fixed the media file issue for the primitive images with the shared deck, so it should work for new users of this deck.

For those of you who are already using the deck, I've uploaded a .zip file of the media files for the primitive images:

If you download that file and unzip it in your Anki media directory, it should fix the problem. Another option would be to create a new temporary profile within Anki, get this shared deck for that profile, and then copy the media files from that temporary profile into your existing profile.

Hope that helps!
on 1527292800
thanks, extremely helpful
on 1525392000
Thanks! This deck is pretty solid. I study 100 cards a day. I can filter with `card:keyword is:suspended` to list cards that I haven't studied yet. By spreading my study time to 20 cards per session, I can easily unsuspend the cards I need. So the whole process has been simplified with the help of this deck: (1) Study 20 hanzi, (2) Unsuspend 20 of the hanzi in Anki, (3) Review the 20 hanzi, (4) and Repeat to 100 cards. I'm able to knock out 3000 Hanzi in less than 6 weeks with only 2-3 hours of studying.
on 1510617600
I love this deck and it works perfect for supplementary study!
on 1491091200
Love it

After going through nearly 1300 cards with this deck, I found I had a couple of problems with the Heiseg method.
First, even after more than a thousand characters, there were many common words I still didn't know.
Second, I knew the key words but not the Pinyin.
So I zapped my deck and followed the suggestion of suspending, finding the words and tracing back through the characters and words building it up.This is far better as it uses the best parts of Heiseg - keywords and build up - along with learning the words I want to know. This deck is essential for this approach because it contains the ComponentsSearch..
My earlier studies were not wasted as I focus now on the pinyin. I have created a new card which goes from Pinyin back to Hanzi, keyword,and ComponentsSearch and attacking it again.
on 1485648000
The icing on the cake!!

The Heisig method, by itself, is a phenomenally efficient way to learn the 汉字 and this deck makes it doubly so. By providing the SQL for extracting the cards related to a given character, the author has created a very flexible resource. Rather than suspending and unsuspending cards, as suggested by the author, I prefer to hive cards off into filtered decks.
on 1479168000
This is a masterpiece!

Ok, before I start praising this Deck, a major problem of Heisig's method has to be mentioned. The original author, James W. Heisig, learned the 2,000 characters of the Japanese alphabet (which is almost identical to the simplified Chinese alphabet) in about a month. He did this by dissecting the characters into smaller pieces, which were either themselves characters, or, just smaller pieces without a separate meaning, but repeating in other characters. He then put those characters in an increasing and meaningful order, so that you have learned it’s elements before you learn a complex character. He also uses the method of creating little ‘stories’ for every character based on its elements, so that you can remember it (this might sound like it’s adding complexity, but actually it’s a proven method since the invention of rhetoric and used by almost all master of public speech). But he did not write a language text book with grammar, vocabulary, phrases, etc. Because of the different order of presentation of characters of Heisig’s method compared to real textbooks or actual language courses, you had to learn ALL the characters before you take the course or read the textbook. This Anki deck solves this problem elegantly. At the start you have to suspend all cards of this Deck. Then you search for your character, activate it and its simpler parts by unsuspending them as described in the author notes above. Just unsuspend more characters as needed. I was just wondering how to import my painfully typed excel sheet of the first 1,500 characters to Anki and now I find this Deck…it’s freaking awesome!