I’ve recently had to step back from WK due to time constraints (twins!) for two months and now that I’m stepping back in, I’m wondering how to get more efficient. One major problem I have is that I have to do most (~90%) of my WK on my phone, and typing is really slowing me down and often becomes frustrating. Therefore, I’ve been looking into alternatives, and while I love WK and will get the lifetime this sale, I’m considering using an Anki version for a while based on ~2017 WK I found online because that elimintes the problem of typing.
Now, here’s my question - does anyone else do this? What are your thoughts? It’s definitely a TON quicker in helping me get back to speed than if I had to relearn everything on WK proper, so I’m thinking this might be a sign it might be good for me. There’s a bit of a drawback in that I have to manually learn first radicals, then kanji, then vocab for each new level, but thats easiliy done with experience.
I add most content provided in WK (vocab that is) to my current vocab / sentence mining routine.
So in Anki I get to: choose the intervals for my cards (which I adjust according to how much actual retention I’m getting on a monthly basis), make cards with sentence lines from actual context (shows I’m watching), use japanese definitions in the cards.
And then in WK I’m still doing the radical and Kanji lessons. Which I guess I could make into Anki routine too, but the intervals for Kanji and some extra scripts ( stroke order and mostly the Kaisei Phonetic - Semantic compounds) provide a nice addition and pace to keep learning those, still using the vocab provided.
This way my WK time has decreased drastically, and overall the time I’m actually reading japanese and making use of words more than just SRSing has improved a lot…
That has been my take on WK since level 30… I can’t really recommend it based on time economy as is a selfmade routine, and though I try to do it as efficiently as possible… it takes time… but on the other side even making it, and choosing definitions in japanese and hearing the lines where those words come alive I’ve felt has been a terrific way to step up my game.
Overall I guess using kanji and specially vocab with a real context has made me reconsider about the whole “burned” item thing… which I think can be misleading if WK is the main tool you’re using to learn japanese… doing a lot of WK you get good at doing WK reviews… reading you get good at reading… same for listening… so they’re complementary activities, but my experience is that the skill gained in one overlaps to the next, but still leaves a great gap to be filled.
Really… you can’t begin to imagine how much happiness you brought into my study routine with this post. I’m AMAZED! I literally spent WEEKS looking for a good solution to my problem and went back and forth between switching to something else while at the same time not wanting to let WK go.
At first, I thought… well… this is great, but it’s probably not gonna work on my Android phone. But it turns out that there is a greasemonkey version for android now, and there are user scripts for Anki mode on Android!
Really… I wish I could buy you a beer, or fifty, but wherever you are, know this: I’m eternally grateful for what you did today. You’re awesome!
Thanks for this insightful post! I actually considered doing something similar back when I had a bit more time to devote to my Japanese studies. I think it’s probably very efficient in terms of upping your retention rates. As it is, I’ll have to hold off for now, but I’m definitely saving your post for future reference.
There can’t be a thread about the Anki mode without me mentioning how much I love it. I don’t know how everyone else does it but I since I use Anki a lot I have neither the time nor patience for typing the answers in.
In addition to that, I also have an Anki deck with the WaniKani radicals and kanji with a stroke order diagram. Some extra reviews (because we don’t have enough reviews in our lives yet, right?) and has the positive side effect of getting used to the handwritten version.
Typing the answers in forces me to remember them correctly, rather than having a “near enough, good enough” feeling. I mean if it saves you time sure, but I come to wanikani largely because it makes me do what you want to not do
I completely get where people who say that are coming from.
But for me it just really helps to bring WaniKani into my life more consistently because I have my phone on me all the time but hate typing on it. In the time I save where I don’t have to type and wonder exactly which english term to use (not a native speaker, I would often get answers wrong for that reason) I rather think of the mnemonic, identify the radicals and say the answer out loud in my head. It works for me but I guess it’s not for everyone.
Moreover, my current approach is that I‘d rather have a lot of different input in a short amount of time than focus mist of my time on WK and then not leave time for reading, listening and various Anki decks that are waiting to be completed. Bit of a quantity over quality approach, hoping that things will fall into place in time. The Anki mode script also helps with that. I‘ll see how it goes…
I dunno sometimes I see the stuff people are doing to reach level 60 or whatever and it’s easy to view it as cheating, because of years of online gaming etc. And then I step back and think, “wait, this is an app for learning and not a video game, and the goal isn’t to be the best or compete, it’s to learn a language in an efficient manner” and then I slap myself. lol.
So… Here’s the thing. I don’t think people are wrong in that, more than likely, and time permitting, typing out the answers is more effective.
However, I firmly believe that it is considerably less efficient than spending that extra time in a more focused way, eg by reading Japanese. It’s similar to Parkinson’s law, also known as the 80-20 rule: 20% of your efforts result in 80% of your gains. It’s not wrong that one could get 20% more by doing stuff like typing, focussed repetitions of the few repeat offenders, and complex use of scripts. And for those with professional ambitions, this might be necessary. But you would get a long more benefits if you just did something else with your time. So I rather take my 80% and spent the time saved elsewhere with more gains.
I definitely prefer typing in my answers because if I don’t I am very prone to lying to myself. When I don’t know the answer I’ll look at it and then say to myself “oh, well I knew that though” when it really doesn’t matter if I knew it or not. Because if I encounter the word in the wild, I would have had to look it up later, or if it was in conversation, just be lost. Unfortunately, there’s not much gray in remembering words. You either remember it correctly, or you don’t.
There is a definite downside though, as I refuse to do reviews on anything but a keyboard, and that slows down reviews to once or twice a day, which ultimately costs me some time. But I would rather put in that time to get actual results than lie to myself.
well i moved house and my pc went the way of the dinosaurs. which is fine, it was almost that age (5 years i think) and i had planned to replace it in the near future.
but now i’m out a pc before payday, struggling through waves of reviews and with lessons, which i honestly don’t feel like on my phone. so i’m taking a potential hit for a huge quality of life boost during this time. it’s all right, i know this is not the last i’ve seen of these kanji.
then again, i honestly feel doing it anki style doesn’t really impact me. i seem to learn all the stuff just fine.
Seeing all this makes me glad I started on my phone. Now when I get to use my computer for reviews it’s a luxury rather than the norm.
There is a limit to how much effective learning one can do in a day though and I’ve always rather done something thoroughly and carefully once than having to do it repeatedly because I created a lacklustre foundation to rush through, I always preferred quality over quantity. The 80-20 thing is still going to take effect; if you cut down 100% of your efforts down to 20%, that is the new 100% from which 20% will make up 80% gain or whatever.