Am i doing KaniWani right?

KaniWani is hard. Allot harder than WaniKani for me at least. Doesn’t feel like im making any progress. I’m doing my reviews and lessons as soon as they come up and ive started Mastering items but i still don’t feel like its working the way it should. Im able to recall allot of words given the definition but as soon as i step away from the computer its like i don’t know anything.

I’m starting to think the issue here is my technique with KaniWani. At the moment when lessons appear in KaniWani i do all of them first and fail a bunch of them and after they get moved into review it feels like i’m just drilling and eventually after multiple failures it’ll stick… Until i fail some of them again. Even after all that when im away from the computer i can produce very very little words in my head if any at all. I’m only at level 7 so maybe i’m just inexperienced and i’m not giving it enough time. WaniKani’s goal is to teach me Kanji and with WaniKani i definitely feel like i’m actually learning the material and making progress that i can see. KaniWani on the other hand i don’t feel like im learning anything and i’m not making progress towards building an active vocabulary that i can just recall the vocabulary from.

Is this normal? Am i doing it right? How do you KaniWani? For those that use KaniWani what has been your experience with it?

Thank you!

It’s interesting. Your experience is different from mine. I find KaniWani very easy compared to WK. I always assumed it was because I would always go through the WK lessons and reviews before turning to KW, since KW has no influence on my rate of progression through WK. Well, no direct influence, anyway; it certainly indirectly helps me with WK overall, but I just mean that nothing at KW will restrict my progression on WK, whereas there’s absolutely a restriction the other way around.

However, if you’re finding it harder than WK, maybe there’s more to it than that. Off the top of my head, I’m wondering if you’re also studying some grammar? I found that studying grammar on BunPro is a very valuable complement to learning kanji/vocab on WK/KW. In fact, of the three, I find BunPro much more challenging, but it also helps me to recognize both written and spoken Japanese words because it gives me some structure and context to what I’m reading or hearing. Instead of just being able to pick out a word here or there like before, I can now get the ‘gist’ of parts of sentences where I don’t actually know the vocabulary words, but the grammar words and particles give some familiar structure that lets me understand the overall purpose of a sentence, even if I don’t understand the specific content of it.

So, perhaps, if you’re not doing it already, it might be worthwhile to start learning some grammar to complement your vocab/kanji. This might make words easier to recognize; e.g. to distinguish between nouns, verbs, suru verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and the like. It may also give you enough contextual elements at your fingertips to help you ‘produce’ vocab words in context by starting with some grammar words to get the ol’ engine started.

Before I jumped into the WK/KW/BunPro pools, I spent a bit of time working through the Genki books, and some other books (I think Tobira, and maybe another one, but can’t remember). These recommendations I got from Tofugu (the companion blog of WK), and they were good recommendations. I also used Anki for a while in conjunction. But I lost momentum at some point (forget why) and when I came back to learning Japanese, I felt that I needed a bit more ‘hand holding’, so WK and the like were perfect for me at the time.

Point is that I already had some experience learning both vocab and grammar, though not so much with kanji. So, maybe that’s why I find KW pretty easy, comparatively speaking.

And due to the fact that you can go at your own pace on BunPro, not restricted to a certain pace like on WK, I’ve already whizzed through JLPT N5 and N4 on BunPro, and now I’m facing new and thus more challenging grammar there, whereas I’m still finding the vocab level on WK a bit still in the ‘past grade review’ stage for me, though it’s starting to get a bit more challenging as I advance through the levels.

So, to recap, maybe branching out into a complementary aspect of the language (grammar) would help you with giving additional context and experience with the vocab aspect? Just an idea.

Another very helpful resource for understanding Japanese grammar has been Cure Dolly’s grammar videos on YouTube. Her conceptual approach (not original to her, but she does a great job presenting it, IMHO) really helped me get past several stumbling blocks and to get a better understanding of how Japanese actually works.


Out of interest, are you listening to the audio on WaniKani during reviews? Also, have you tried the KaniWani audio userscript in conjunction with the above? I found that hearing the audio helps along with having KaniWani set to a 2s delay when correct with high detail so I get to see the kanji more often too.

That and I reset back to level 1 twice on WaniKani (with KaniWani synchronised to the same) before things really felt like they were sinking in.

Also, with multiple failures for certain items, maybe review the meaning/reading sections on WaniKani for the problem items again and try to really visualise narrative in your head.

Finally, do you listen to much native material by way of e.g. Netflix or podcasts? I find hearing vocab that I recognise (even if few and far between!) helps with my random recall.

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Have you found the sample sentences in WK useful? They may help you with producing you own.
You may also like this ebook that has very simple sentences that only use “the first hundred” Kanji i.e. many of the ones WK teaches at you current kevel. It’s free for the first volume. You do not need a kindle device to read it…just the app on your PC.

Kanji Learner’s Course Graded Reading Sets, Vol. 1: Kanji 1-100 Kindle Edition

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Maybe what I mean by hard isn’t that I’m having a hard time getting through it. Actually I run through it for the most part. It’s that I’m having a hard time seeing progress compared to WaniKani. I can’t produce words away from the computer without staring at it’s English counterpart.

I want to learn grammar but don’t want to be looking up every single kanji. I’m thinking on starting grammar around level 20. I have a Japanese from zero book but the one problem for me is not knowing the vocab and kanji used. I’m taking the 80% approach to leaning grammar.

I rarely ever look at example sentences on WaniKani. Some times if I don’t understand how the word would be used but half the time they don’t even use it in the way there teaching you.

I’m going to look into the KaniWani voice user script. Really like that feature on WaniKani. Didn’t know KW had userscripts.

Thank you everyone!

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You don’t have to. On BunPro, it shows the furigana for kanji, and if you connect it to your WK account with an API key, it actually only shows furigana for kanji you haven’t unlocked yet on WK. That way, you can use your knowledge of vocab for kanji you already know, but just use the provided furigana for kanji you don’t know.
Also, a big plus is that BunPro includes at least 12 example sentences for each grammar point, so you end up seeing all sorts of kanji and non-kanji words all over the place, some you know, some you don’t. For the purposes of grammar, most of them are interchangeable words that could have been different (content words, rather than grammar words), and you only have to focus closely on the ones that are directly related to the grammar point in question. But I read the full sentences anyway, just to practice. Seems to be helping me quite a bit.

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I’m interested. I tried looking up what you said about connecting the two accounts which sounds like it would help allot but i couldn’t find any additional info on it. How does that work? and do you know where i can look more into that?

Doesn’t furigana just give you the reading of the kanji? How does this help if you don’t already know the kanji and the meaning of the word?

That’s super late. Most people here would recommend starting right away, me included. But I don’t really read grammar definitions, I rather do something like bunpro, or learn passively by reading and listening. Much more useful than KW.

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You should be learning the words as you go. Set up your own flash cards and study the words. I used Quizlet (non-SRS) to learn the words when I went through Japanese From Zero, but any flash card app would work (e.g. Kitsun or Anki). You don’t need kanji to learn the words in Japanese From Zero.

Whats the most funny Mnemonic for you fuys?

I definitely find it harder as I generally know in my head what kanji are associated with a word, but typically can’t recall it in the correct order.
Advice is help and say, but the order gets me.
じょげん vs げんじょ

KaniWani, for me, helps to organize stuff like this in my brain.

With WK, I’m generally above 90% in reviews. With KW, I am mostly < 80%. I believe this is partly due to me allowing a large backlog to grow in KW and then knocking it out all at once.

One thing I struggle with on KW, is the sheer number of synonyms that exist in the words we have learned on KW and having to know to know which one KW is looking for…

しょうじょ vs おんなのこ vs じょし all for approximately young girl. Maybe there is a better way to handle such cases, but I haven’t looked into it.

It’s super easy. You make a BunPro account, and then when you have it, you enter your API Version 1 Key from the WaniKani settings into the BunPro settings. Sort of like you already did with KaniWani, I assume, except you don’t do it on sign-up.

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Do you have kaniwani set up so that new words only appear once you’ve burnt them on wanikani? I would recommend doing that. That will mean you won’t have very many words at first, but I think it’s a better way to approach it. At that point, since you’ve burnt the words on wanikani, kaniwani should be easier and will help reinforce words you should already know. If, at that point, you are still having trouble with certain words, you may want to consider unburning them on wanikani.

Not sure if this answers your question or not, but I hope it helps.

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They also have a you tube channel that reviews lessons along with the book.

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