Does anyone else have trouble using anything that isn't WaniKani?

Hey all! I’ve been using WaniKani for a year, and really like how it can be used at one’s own pace. Personally, I take things very slow (as can probably be told from my level) but it really helps me to keep coming back without being stressed.

During the past year, I’ve used a lot of other resources to help me learn Japanese including Anki, Genki, Bunpro, and reading graded readers, but none of them really have stuck with me like WaniKani does. I think it’s because WaniKani really enforces you to come back to your reviews to avoid them piling up, and the reviews can be managed at your own pace. I really like how I get a few words to review at certain points of the day (50 items at 6am, 15 items at 9am, 25 items at noon, etc), while other programs like Anki I’ve found give you all your reviews to do at one time, it seems. Maybe it also has to do with the UI of Anki being less user-friendly and bare bones, but although I find it super useful when I do use it, I have a hard time using it consistently or picking it up. Maybe it just has to do with it not being as fun as WK is.

I’m wondering if anyone else has had this problem? I feel like I’m doing great when it comes to learning and reading Kanji, but my basic vocabulary and grammar knowledge suffers.

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WK doesn’t let you progress unless you guess or know things whereas other things like Anki and BunPro are a little more sandbox.

If you want to only do 50 items in the morning and 35 in the afternoon or whatever you just need to be strict with yourself.

BunPro shouldn’t present this issue because it’s still, at its core, an SRS. You just need to make sure that your review pile (under the next day field) isn’t hitting over a number you’re uncomfortable with.
With Anki you need to be more disciplined and think: “I’m going to do X number of reviews and stop.”

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I did. Before but now (somehow) i forced my self to do bunpro and kamesame along side wanikani but obvious favoritism to wanikani.

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Have you checked kitsun.io? It’s a website created by the level 60 user @neicul which goal is to make studying flashcards better and more user-friendly. It’s paid to use but it offers 14 days of free trial.

Personally I also struggled with Anki during my first year of studies. Wanikani was just much better. Once Kitsun was released, I had no trouble learning vocabulary outside of WK.

Kitsun has Jisho integrated, which makes it so that you can literally search for a word in the dictionary and make the flashcard for it in seconds. Decks available in this platform are also more visually attractive (vs the bland white anki decks). There’s a bunch of others tools that really make it easier to study Japanese. If you’re up to a paid platform, it’s definitely worth giving it a look :slight_smile:

Kitsun’s thread on the forums:

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I always see you plugging Kitsun XD maybe I should check it out.

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Yup I’m noisy about it, but that’s also because I believe in it :stuck_out_tongue:

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Thank you!! I do remember hearing about this, but couldn’t remember the name. I’ll check it out! I love Anki because it’s so practical, but boy is it unfriendly to use. I appreciate that Kitsun takes that into account. I’ll check it out!

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First I was planning to use Anki with the KanjiDamage deck instead of Wanikani, because the price point put me off.

After completing the free levels and getting my first monthly subscriptions, I’m now convinced that this is the way to go for Kanji.

I’m experimenting with Torii for vocab now, it should be kind of similar, but the content isn’t exactly motivation. The first items are all similar items using the Kanji 下 and they confuse the hell out of me.

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The name Kitsun comes from the word 狐 (きつね) which means fox :fox_face:

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SRS is a memorization tool. Not a learning tool, a memorization tool. It’s not good at teaching complex concepts. It’s ideal for “see X, think Y” scenarios, and that’s about it. Great for kanji.

WK combines SRS with mnemonics. And it just so happens that the things you’re memorizing are little pictures that you can tell stories about. It’s basically a perfect setup, except some of the pictures don’t lend themselves well to stories, so you get some questionable mnemonics.

Some people love Bunpro for learning. I don’t get it. Bunpro teaches you to memorize blanks (as in “what goes in this blank?”), not grammar. Grammar is something you have to understand. I use it to give me “homework” for practice, but I have to admit that after failing an item a few times, I memorize the right answer by rote rather than understanding the grammar better.

Other tools lack mnemonics. This is a problem with, say, Torii, which is a pretty neat app, but when you have a bunch of words using the same kanji but different trailing kana, remembering which one is which is a challenge. In this case, you’re going to do better if you have some dialogue to connect the word with - if your mind can hear it in a sentence, and you know what the sentence means, you can remember the word.

You shouldn’t use WK as your yardstick for how hard it is to learn Japanese - it’s probably one of the easiest parts. Listening to and reading native media and mastering grammar are much harder, IMO.

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Ultimately it’s anki’s open and plain design and features that most people get put off with that end up being it’s greatest strengths once you have mastered the program.

I remember the first time I installed anki just to just see what it was like. I was like what the heck is this? It looked like something made in the 90s, and it was pretty much empty. Not to mention confusing.

Now that I’ve spent 200-300 hours using it, I have come to appreciate how powerful the thing really is and can’t imagine using anything else.

And almost everything I use in addition to it’s basic flashcard functionality has been provided by the community and the card templates have been made by myself.

In-built dictionaries, including jmdict and several Japanese monolingual and bilingual dictionaries (including Daijirin which has a ridiculous amount of words), a massive ever-growing sentence bank of tens of thousands of cards I am creating using subs2srs to search for examples if i need to, morphman to tag and sort (I’ve never got it’s scheduling to work properly… plus I like picking my own cards), auto insertion of furigana, pitch coloring and native voice pronunciation. I can even add my own java script if I wanted to add more functionality to cards… (I’ve been thinking of modifying my sentence card to hide the bilingual definition of cards, but still let it be available as a drop down if I need it).

I’ve heard it also has an auto text to voice ad-on but I’ve never needed it since so far I’ve always mined from drama and anime so I just copy the original sentence audio.

Plus all the content is on my own computer and not on “the cloud”.

oh yeah and it’s also completely free… lol

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I also think WaniKani is best for kanji. I downloaded anki last year, opened it, spend 30 minutes on it, and closed it again, thinking nope, not for me.

Now that I am further ahead in my studies, I noticed that I come across a lot of vocabulary that is not covered here, but I still want to learn them. I remembered anki and gave it another try, making my own deck with words that I run into while playing games or reading novels. I watched some YouTube videos how to use it properly, also downloaded some addons, and now I am quite happy with it.

I also downloaded the JLPT N1-N5 decks. I would say I am around N3 level with my studies, but I started with N5 anyway. I can go through it fast and it still helps me to remember a lot of words that I do not meet on a daily base. It really takes time to get used to it and to figure a lot out, but it really is a great additional tool to WaniKani.

You could just make your own wanikani using Anki with the same design xD

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Relevant username.

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Bunpro’s primary benefit IMO is for creating a grammar ordering that lets you use various resources to learn the grammar. This let’s you use resources like the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar series alongside online links to Maggie Sensei and such.

The SRS is a nice way to get some practice. It may not be perfect, but it should be more than enough for recognition, and using it should be practiced with Japanese conversation partners.

I’ve noticed I put less effort in studying the vocabulary lists in Genki because it doesn’t feel as fun and effective as WaniKani. I end up remembering most words, though… (so far).