After 2 months - summary

I thought I would share where I am after two months of using WK on a daily basis.

I started learning Japanese because I want to do something good with this terrible year. My ultimate goal is to be able to read and speak with sufficient fluency that I can travel by myself in Japan whenever that becomes an option again. I have visited the country three times for work in the period 2006-2009 and I have been fascinated ever since and want to go back for personal traveling.

Before I started I was playing a dumb game several times a day on my iPad and this consumed 15-30 minutes a day, sometimes even more. Especially during lockdown and over summer it became so painfully obvious that it was a total time waster that I decided to quit it and start with Japanese. Never looked back.

I registered with WK on 15th of August, after about two months of DuoLingo Japanese. I learned hiragana and katakana there which was great when starting out at WK. My main gripe with DuoLingo is that it teaches you to parrot things but not to understand the structure of the language, and after two months on WK this belief has been reinforced with what I learned. As an example, I learned on DuoLingo that 毎日 means every day, but I had no understanding of either kanji the one meaning every, the other day.

Anyway, back to WK and where I am now. I will complete the 6th level by this weekend if everything goes as expected. Extrapolating is dangerous, and I have no expectations on when to reach the final level. I do hope to get to level 10 by the end of the year though, and seeing that we still have about 10 weeks in 2020 that should be doable, even though I’m warned that levels 6-10 are hard.

I’m amazed that I was able to learn 185 kanji and over 400 vocabulary to Guru level in only two months.

My study regimen has been to do reviews with the Tsurukame app in the morning and in the evening, typically in batches between 50 and a 100 or so, almost always finishing all reviews on the pile. I take lessons differently for each type of item: radicals I learn as fast as I can and in one go, using the re-ordering of the Tsurukame app. I find them easy to remember because of the visual mnemonics. Kanji I learn in batches of about 10 per day and while the radicals and kanji are being guru’d I learn the vocabulary items, usually about 20 per day. I reinforce my learning with KameSame and I cram newly learned apprentice stuff with BishBashBosh. In total I think I spend between 1 hour and 1.5 hours per day with this, slightly more than the dumb game I was playing before, but infinitely more rewarding.

I’ve also started reading to actually do something with my new-gained knowledge, and to also get a better feel for the grammar and sentence structure. Some pointers here on the forum were really helpful to find easy material and I find that I can read - sometimes with a serious helping of Google Translate - the lowest graded readers. Even though the stories are usually very simple and often childish, I get satisfaction from being able to read Japanese! Especially when I recognise Kanji I learned on here and don’t have to find the meaning on Google. The only way is up :wink:

Anyway, I wanted to share my experiences and I’m curious to see if you have any tips for the coming levels and if you see things to improve my study regimen.

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Yeah it not that it gets harder. The workload increases when old items come back.

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I have noticed that - I started with enlightening stuff from the first levels now and that does add to the workload.

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Wanikani is like a game but instead of gaining virtual stuff, you gain real knowledge. :relieved:

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Congratulations on your learning!

Stick to it and keep learning!

For me, I started July 11. 96 days in, 96 days of reviewing and learning.
My goal is level 15 and at level 11 right now, the tail end of 11, I am pretty confident I can jump the last 4 levels before the year ends.

My approach is similar to yours. Radicals I do as soon as they pop. I wait 24ish hours later to do the first full set of Kanji for the new level (usually around 15). The following day I jump in and do 20 lessons of vocab a day and try to space it out so I will get a blast of reviews by 8AM when I start on them, the next blast around noon to 1 PM, and the final blast around 8 PM or a little later. I have ended every day with 0 reviews to do when I go to sleep. I have had things pop at 1 AM, 3 AM and so on but I count those in my 8 AM reviews.

It’s really rewarding to see the numbers increase daily for what we know. And graded readers are awesome for hitting the not too hard/not too easy spot to keep you motivated while not demoralizing you.

Again, congratulations and keep up the great work! If you don’t attain the level 10 goal though, do NOT give up. Make the next goal 10% easier so you do hit it and keep on moving!

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Congrats on staying dedicated to your goal!
I recommend digging into some grammar at some point as well. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. I suggest trying a few different methods until you find one that works for you.
You can try:
Textbooks (Genki, Japanese the Manga Way)
SRS tools (Bunpro)
Youtube tutorial (Japanese Ammo, et al.)

Or just look stuff up as you find it! Say you keep seeing と思う, if you google, ‘と思う grammar’ you will likely find a great write up about that specific grammar point with examples. Then you can take knowledge back to the content you were consuming.

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You are doing well menno san :love_you_gesture:t2: Stay the course and looking forward to more wins from you :tada:

Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

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I’m a few days away from level five myself and I think I’m in the same boat as you op, Hope you succeed!

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It looks like you’ve got a pretty good study regimen set up. If you ever start feeling overwhelmed then just slow down on lessons until you’ve cleared some apprentice items.

I highly recommend checking out Organic Japanese with Cure Dolly on youtube for grammar. She does the best job of breaking down Japanese structure and explaining why things mean what they do that I’ve seen. Especially if you’re wanting to practice reading. After watching the first 15 or so videos on her structure course I rarely struggle. with understanding a sentence anymore.

Keep a regular pace and you’ll reach your goal
頑張て!

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