Disapointed over progress (lack of information/transparency)

anyone else rushing like crazy because they are cheap af and don’t want to renew it every year? just me? guys???

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Nope, like @plantron さん said if you have lifetime you can take your time :sunglasses:.

So it’s nice going at whatever pace I feel like, at the moment I’m going fast, but maybe next month I’ll go slow :eyes:.

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It’s always good to be motivated, even if by money.

Just try to find your way out for other aspects as well - vocabularies in general, grammar, interpretation skills, production skills.

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yeah of course.

I’m able to rush the earlier levels now, maybe up to level 12 or something, because I’ve already learned a lot of Kanji and Vocabulary in the last 3 years in Uni. So that’s another reason why I’m trying to speed it up. Most of it is review already. I probably can’t and won’t go with the same speed I’m going now once I hit the levels with the new content haha

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How was studying Japanese there? Were you able to get comfortable with aspects of the language like listening, speaking, grammar, et cetera?

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still have 1 semester to go but I’m on my exchange year now.

I’d say my uni tries to cover everything from grammar to speaking. Daily classes with a different focus each day. You’ll have to still put in a lot of time self-studying, and in the end it only gets you around N3, maybe lower N2 level. You won’t become fluent unless you put in lots of extra hours and immersion on top of uni assignments, so I sadly neglected former. I don’t think only attending my classes would get me close to fluency If I hadn’t taken the opportunity to also go abroad.

that seems to be the case with many undergrad exchange students here. uni (especially undergrad) won’t get you to fluency alone. but the fast pace helps you cover the basics and a lot of the most important grammar points in a short time

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Do you think it would be beneficial for a WK user who has sadly neglected the aforementioned aspects of the language? (Referencing myself of course – reaching level 39 tonight)

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really depends on the uni I’d say, there are quite some that also don’t focus on speaking and listening.
also depends on your circumstances and if you feel like you hit a wall with self-studying/need external motivation (pressure).

otherwise, how about trying italki lessons for speaking and listening? I’d rather try them before entering uni if you haven’t planned on graduating in Japanese studies anyways.

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Thanks everyone for such great tips!
I still believe WK should make more clear UX of how progression work. Maybe this was a disaster for me because I approached WK as a “learning” tool but thinking again it’s much more about (very strict) memorizing. I usually learn languages by immersion and being to strict about definitions and grammar rules usually works against that. “Linear” understanding is not always possible or preferable, even in WK I only really learned the meaning or reading of most kanjis after seeing it in one or two different contexts or contrasts, so before that I wasn’t “leaning”, it’s just dummy memorizing.

Actually, this all could be solved by making leveling up less strict.

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Leveling up is already not strict.

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Pick two convenient times per day and do all of the available Reviews twice per day.

For Lessons, do all of the available radicals and kanji, and about 20 vocab per day.

Even at 75% accuracy you’d be leveling up every 3 weeks~ if your schedule was consistent and reviews/lessons were well-balanced.

Finally, leveling up doesn’t actually mean a whole lot, except for being given access to new things to remember. You’ve earned the right to get another fat list of things to remember. :slight_smile:

Don’t let your vocab backlog get too crazy by prioritizing radicals and kanji. Know each level and know it well before advancing. And write your own mnemonics, as most other people have said.

If you do all of that, you’ll manage to maintain a pace that will still make you want to pull your hair out. Good. That’s the process working. There’s a reason Kappas have bald spots.

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So THAT explains the top of my head!

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I’d say it’s already reasonably clear, considering WK’s documentation, the first 3 levels being free, and the fact that the progression system works exactly how most do: you advance when you answer correctly, you stay put when you answer incorrectly. It wouldn’t make sense to advance you if you’re not answering correctly, but if what you’d like is complete control over the pace and to not worry about your subscription then you can always use a different tool to learn kanji, like a free Anki deck, since it seems like the specific advantages people pay WK for are things you don’t necessarily want.

But most importantly, WK isn’t teaching you Japanese. It is dummy memorization because Japanese requires a lot of kanji memorization in order to actually learn the language. WK isn’t pretending to teach you grammar or how to speak and write Japanese – it’s a memorization tool. The expectation is that you’ll be learning Japanese alongside WK which is how you’ll really learn the vocabulary. This is more necessary with JP than other languages because it’s very difficult to even get started with immersion or textbooks when you have no way to read most of the words.

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Staring at a review stack of 100+ can be a bit daunting. And if you are new, you are still trying to get a grasp on the most basic concepts of the language… So if you trip up on say, items 10-15, you can become frustrated and set yourself up to mess up items 16-100.

If you keep a routine, the system will eventually adapt to that. I do reviews in the morning and evening, so most of my reviews come in two stacks; morning and evening. If I only do it once a day, then I’ll get one big stack, for the most part, around the same time.

TLDR: Multiple, smaller sessions can help you study better because you aren’t faced with a much more daunting task.

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I know that right now, this sounds reasonable since you are 4 levels in; but having this “approximate” knowledge and speeding up the process more may have an adverse effect your studies.

Why do I say that? “Approximate” knowledge of a kanji from lvl 4 won’t help you get a word right on level 10 that uses the kanji. You are building a foundation for words that come later, and believe me, they do. But with all the different pronunciations, rendakus, etc, only having approximate knowledge will lead to you mispronouncing a whole lot more. Especially with kanji that are visually similar to others. 週、調、周;which ones are “shyu” and which is “chyou”? They look extremely similar! But they show up in plenty of words down the line like: 周囲、調査、週間。So if you only “sorta” know the pronounciations, you are only “sorta” going to get those words right.

My advice is: I know it feels slow right now; I remember starting and thinking, “gah, this taking forever!” Just enjoy the ride, learning the language is not a race! Things pick up as you continue, and you can even get to a point where you feel overwhelmed. You’ll find the right pace over time. This is not a sprint, it is a marathon… And you can get 3 months in and still feel some major disappointment that you can’t read anything. That said, if you take it seriously and augment WK with other resources like studying grammar, I think you’ll be surprised at what happens. Maybe 5-6 months in I suddenly realized that, “oh, I can actually understand some of this stuff!” It is very difficult to get started and it is a long road, but that payoff when you start to not feel totally clueless is great.

Good luck!

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