I’ve been studying japanese for a year and 8 months, 6 months of which I’ve lived in japan and finally start school tomorrow. But I was curious if you guys adopted WaniKani 100% or kept your existing knowledge and did that get in the way of your learning or help it?
Do you mean previous ways of learning kanji? Because no, I used srs systems like Anki before using Wanikani. My previous kanji knowledge also helped me get through the first 10 levels of Wanikani a lot faster as well.
I’ve previously studied using the Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Course and kept a few of my mnemonics that way. For example, I like calling the radical 矛 as a halberd (as it also is defined as on Jisho), where WaniKani likes to call it a spear.
WaniKani has a User Synonyms feature that lets you not become at odds with any of your previously learnt mnemonics or definitions by having you define your own words to help describe something. While WK has some brilliant error detection, like honoring typos, being flexible with plurals, and not admonishing you for bad IME or kun/on-yomi, it’s still software grading human answers, and is not always perfect.
Previously learned knowledge has helped catapult this further and allowing it to be less of a time sink in the first few levels than if I were learning everything anew. Treat it like a New Game+!
I find all of my previous kanji experience only helps. Especially phonetic components. Wanikani is great, but there is still plenty about kanji that Wanikani doesn’t teach you, including things that make memorization easier.
I came with a couple of hundred kanji under my belt, learnt by brute force and/or exposure in the real world. I ignored mnemonics for a a good while but I find them increasingly useful for initial learning of kanji but tend to forget them when the item, meaning and reading become the primary key in my memory. I’ve not been using mnemonics for vocab as I prefer to assemble Vocab from the kanji although I do need to start using them more for onyomi readings as these are my worst leeches.
Short answer - I used my kanji knowledge as a foundation.
Nope, this is auxiliary to text books for me. The order I learn kanji doesn’t matter to me I just combine a couple tools because sometimes I learn a kanji better in one system and sometimes another one has a memory trick that sticks better. I just started here though so we’ll see how this one compares!
In some ways, my existing knowledge drives my WaniKani studies. Like, that feeling of finally learning how to read 連盟, umpteen years after watching Haibane Renmei… it’s like grabbing a random piece of a jigsaw puzzle and having it slide perfectly into place.
I knew 一二三
Does that count as previous kanji knowledge ?
If yes, then I did abandon my old ways
I had a foundation of kanji from high school Japanese and I started using WK during my first year at university. Because I had kanji tests for my courses, for a while I was still studying kanji outside WK, but often I’d look up the kanji for my tests on WK anyway and use the mnemonics and radicals to help.
I used to be the type of person that writes down 100 new kanji (without the slightest idea of stroke order or reading mind you) and then try to force that into my brain in half an hour. Needless to say, not much has stuck. A few numbers and other basic stuff like 月木心日本.
So I guess it does help with some meanings on the low level that I am right now, but I’m sure that’s over quickly ?
I would never go back to my “methods” of learning kanji and vocab, since my brain doesn’t do well with the whole forcing a large chunk of knowledge into it at once. Being presented with little bits of “learn exactly this now” & “recall exactly that” makes me actually remember things. Maybe I should approach grammar the same way…
I don’t understand the question, to be honest. Of kanji I knew in advance, it’s not like I could unlearn them.
Was it nice to have some known material sprinkled through the first however many levels? Sure.
When I say keep existing knowledge, I’m more or less talking about the mnemonics that worked for you.
If it weren’t for Science classes, I’d probably not even know what a mnemonic is because I was just drilling/ brute memorization for the 1st set of kanji I learned. I think I might go back to that cause the abstraction level is leaping over 1000 right now…
I started studying with the book Remembering the Kanji. It introduced me to mnemonic studying and using my own imagination to make strengthened connections with what I am trying to learn. Some of the stories used here are a little too abstract so when that happens I make up my own story to remember the Kanji/Vocab.
I’m a little confused by what you mean by “…or kept your existing knowledge.” At least in my case, I can’t exactly un-learn kanji I’ve already learned. So, I’m really just supplementing the readings/kanji I knew previously with what WK has that I hadn’t encountered or didn’t remember from before. I still use Memrise and Anki as other SRS tools to help me progress more quickly, since most of what I’m doing in WK now is review.
The good news for me is that my classes never taught me radicals (names, etc.) so my radical knowledge is 100% WK!
I know approx. 1,500 kanji and tried Heisig’s RTK for a while, but I also benefit from being here in Japan and am immersed in 日本語. 何よりも、日本で日常生活しながら、身につけるのが一番効果的でしょう。
But, never having a formal Japanese language education, all the bad habits and misconstruing of meaning for such a long time…let’s just say WaniKani is 超良い！
Being able to practice and reinforce what you have learned is so invaluable. Please find yourself and Japanese conversation partner and / or do a language exchange!
The WaniKani Community is really really great! I had known of Tofugu for a long time but really wish I had come across WaniKani much sooner…Better late than never!
I have my entire brain wiped every time I start WK. Or at least I think I do. I’ll have to consult my notes.
Leebo’s Mind Blowers?
I wish I knew about wanikani years ago, instead I just brute forced kanji vocab listed in genki and other anki decks.
I remembered vocab readings and definitions but never learned individual kanji readings. I was told it was a waste of time. So recall was all or nothing. It caused me to burn out after a year.
With wanikani I could now “sound” out the words and knowing the general meaning of kanji characters has helped recall immensely.
When I came into WaniKani, I had been learning with TextFugu so I had around 200 kanji already under my belt. TextFugu teaches them the same way as WaniKani, and in almost the same order (big surprise) but relies on using Anki for the SRS system. WaniKani being the superior product I completely switched over to it (the advantage of learning so much vocab cannot be overstated). But I did have a few way too easy first levels (and I might even have posted on the forums about wanting to go faster )