A few general observations from a newbie

Hi- Just a few observations I’ve made.

  1. I may have taken a nap in the middle of a lesson. I woke up and finished it. When I went to review I didn’t remember anything from before my nap. The review went terribly. During a review it would be nice to be able to send something back to the lesson queue.

  2. As part of the lesson the learner should be made to, or have the option to, type the reading to make sure we can type it before the review. The readings I got wrong initially were from not realizing a combination hiragana was used rather than the ‘big’ version.

2b. Piggy back on that, an amber option for answers may be worth considering (I say amber because RAG ratings). Amber may not put it up or down in usage. It could put it back in the review, but say something like “gotcha! it was a small yu!”

2c. Still tagging alone that train… If typing in the reading I change the word entirely by typing jyu versus jyo (or some other very close error), feedback on what word was actually typed and how to keep them separate in your head would be an excellent learning tool.

  1. An option to have the lesson read to you. I am heavily an audio learner. I am more likely to learn on the first try (especially with pronunciation) if the content is read to me.

  2. A guide for how to use Wanikani (note guided tour, not tutorial). It could be a simple “guide or skip” option where the guide takes you through the hiragana “a” in the same way it does radials and kanji. I went through the ridiculously detailed guide to learning Japanese, which talks a lot about WaniKani, and still wasn’t sure how to actually use the features that had been spoken about.

  3. The day and time of reviews is a great thing to have on the side! I’d love to have a way to integrate it with my calendar with a click. To see my review reminders on my iPhone would be handy!

  4. Waiting sucks, but I truly love the “We won’t give you what you’re not ready for” approach.

  5. It is obvious that the content creators care about what they do and helping people learn. Kudos.

  6. I give a lot of unsolicited feedback (imagine how my coworkers feel!). Is there something or some format that would be most useful?

I looked into a LOT of options, online and local in person classes (probably virtual classes right now thanks to COVID19). You ended up being tops for me. So far I am thrilled with my decision. I hope to see the content grow.

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There’s not really any difference between lessons and reviews. If you open the full info then you have everything you need, no?

Then you would just be copying what was said. You wouldn’t be learning how to read

This might be nice for the lower levels, but eventually you’d have an event in your calendar for every single hour

Email is generally the best medium for contact with the staff. They’re usually pretty quick to respond on email but might miss stuff here on the forums

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Welcome to WK! Glad you found us!

I think a lot of these concerns will clear up for you as you progress through a few levels.

Spending some time meandering around the forums will help speed up your general understanding of WK, as well.

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You can’t finish a lesson session without typing both the meaning and reading of the items you just learned? Did you confuse reviews with the end-of-lesson quiz?

Have you taken a look at WaniKani Onboarding Series? There is a lot of useful info in the official FAQ.

WaniKani is for learning Kanji. There are a lot of great resources out there for learning the other Japanese writing systems (hiragana, katakana) and also how to type Japanese. You can check out the WaniKani Pre-reqs page for more info and links.

Vocab (purple) lessons have audio, and are default set to play when you learn the readings.

As Kumirei already mentioned, once you get further into the system you’ll have so many reviews putting them into like an event planner/iPhone schedule/idk won’t be useful. Many users here use third-party apps that can send push notifications for when they have lessons or reviews.

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Maybe you should look at the Confusion Guesser script. This automatically flags similar readings you might be confusing things with.

This also helps you with point 2c, maybe.

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Really involved community! I honestly expected the post to sit here for days. Exceed my expectations all day!

The general feedback I’m getting is that a lot of what I’m observing are just a result of being very new. Well ugh, but makes sense.

On the being read to versus reading there’s a strong relationship between being read to and reading ability, especially for those with a learning disability. The caveat would be that you would need to visually follow along to get the most use out of it.

Thank you for all of the links. I’ll have fun going through them in the next few days.

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I know it sucks to just be told, “Don’t worry, it just takes time!” - but if you look at it, it’s truly still an amazing deal that all we have to do is spend a few hours learning how WK works, do our lessons & reviews, and magically a ton of Kanji and Vocab begins just transferring into our brains. (I’m comparing to old fashioned, much more difficult methods, of course.)

During my first time around on WK (in 2015), I really had no clue how WK actually worked, and because of that, I didn’t stick with it. This time around, I simply spent a few hours reading the FAQ’s, the Newbie Guides, and just playing around in the forums. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful this was in helping me to better understand WK, how to use it, what other resources to use, and much more.

(Side note; you’ll see a lot about ‘Scripts’ - and it may seem like you HAVE to use them to be successful. I don’t believe that to be the case, and I have seen several high level folks who don’t use them. It’s up to you!)

Lastly, I think this is a fantastic place to start; if you haven’t read it yet, check it out!

WaniKani Guide

It’s a fairly short read with a lot of answers!

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I would piggyback on some of the other comments and say it’s cool to ask questions about how to do things but you are way too new to make judgements. Thats why WK is free through 3 levels. Once you get done with level 3 you should have answered most of these questions yourself.

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I believe the accepted method is to use the Review Summary to go over each of the items you got wrong and refresh them in your mind.

I’ll still blank on my some items for my first review so that’s what I do. That’s also why I do lessons in the morning. So I have two chances at lunch and dinner to catch those items again.

As noted, WK glosses over that completely. They expect you to know the kana and things like the small ゅ. Many, many of us have made those mistakes in the first 20 levels. It took me a while to figure out how to write づ. lol

The resources already linked should get you through it though.

You can always play the audio recordings during your lesson. There’s also an option to automatically play them after you answer an item. I’ve found it helpful.

There’s no audio for Kanji items, of course, because the reading and pitch accent depend on the word. Although there are exceptions, but I don’t want to scare you away just yet. :wink:

I would heartily recommend Tsurukame on IOS. It works with your phone notifications system for reviews, although I choose to just badge the App icon because it can get pretty spammy otherwise.

You will look back on those words with fondness as you get further along. :laughing:

There’s obviously this forum, but for direct feedback you can email hello@wanikani.com

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Have you read through Tofugu’s Hiragana and Katakana guide? Wanikani will make 10x more sense if you studied them first.

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I think it’s awesome that you jumped right into the forums.
I guess I’d just say that for me it did take a couple levels before this system made sense to me. A lot of folks will say you should read all the tutorial stuff up front. Bah. Well, for me it works better just to read some of that up front and go back and search for what I need later. But I’m not good at really absorbing a lot of info until it has some practical use. And the practical use comes when I’m already into the lessons asking myself why the heck something is done such and such a way.
I do agree you pretty much need to know your hiragana first.
I also agree with a prior poster that the timed reminders to your phone aren’t as useful once you get a lot of lessons and reviews coming at you.
Anyhow, I’m sure it’s all going to make sense soon and I hope you come to like WK as much as I do. “All” being the general system. Japanese itself may never make complete sense lol.
I feel moved to offer one good beginner hint though, since I really didn’t answer your questions. That is that once I started typing tu instead of tsu for つ, I stopped having so many typos. I still usually type shi for some reason, but the tsu just threw off my typing rhythm.
Again, it’s awesome that you started a thread already!

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I think for this there are the Accessibility options on your computer or phone? Not sure how it works, but I think you can have pages read out to you. Do make sure to read along, so you can get the visuals of where the mnemonic wants you to focus on.

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You can click on the speaker button on the right, and there is also an option to play the sound automatically. I like to use it too