I started WaniKani just a couple months ago, and the first three levels I’ve really enjoyed, learned a lot, and it’s sticking well so far! I’m studying Japanese at highschool and in my own time, and I love the format of WaniKani. So, today, I subscribed and I’m taking the leap to strive for level 60!
To keep this short and sweet, I just wanna ask anyone who is willing to give some advice: What userscripts, strategies and/or mindsets worked/are working for you guys to achieve your goals and keep consistent learning?
Any advice/tips or anything would be great. Thanks so much, and I look forward to engaging with everyone as we all progress.
While many people will tell you to avoid going to fast to not get overwhelmed, I would advise to avoid going too slow as well. Depends on your other activites of course. My situation is that I’m only doing WK for japanese studies right now with no other activities and planning to switch to videogames (yes, the do work for language learning) as soon as I’m decent enough. The sooner I can do it, the more WK stuff I’ll remember at that point. Will probably switch to watching anime when I feel like I’m comfortable with the structure and vocab usage. Other than that, I’d recommend not delaying reviews too much to get the most out of srs. Those timings are there for a reason you know. Don’t know much about userscripts, but I do use mobile sometimes because you can set it to give you kanji before vocab from previous lessons. I do it when I want to avoid delaying my level progression but don’t feel like doing too many lessons on a single day.
Welcome to WaniKani! I’ve been studying Japanese for years, and this is the only Kanji learning method I’ve consistently stuck to and seen results from, I hope it’s a good fit for you too
It all depends on your learning style, but four things I’ve found helpful:
*Say everything out loud when learning (and when reviewing if you’d like), including the example sentences. They can be a bit weird, as they’re often missing the kanji you haven’t reached yet, but it’s still good practice and easy to add.
*Ignore the speed runners! Especially as you’re studying Japanese outside of WaniKani, slow and steady is likely to be more sustainable and help you remember things better.
*Similarly, keep an eye on the number of apprentice items you have on the go. Those are the ones you’ll see most frequently coming up in reviews. For me, I like to keep that number somewhere around 50. If it tips over 100, if I just feel a bit overwhelmed with the number of reviews coming up, or if I keep making mistakes, I just stop doing new lessons for a few days and focus only on reviews.
*Lastly, WaniKani is great for recognition, but not recall. So it helps you read Kanji, but not necessarily write them! I’m sure you’re getting outside practice with this, but if you want to supplement it, try KaniWani, KaniSame or Kanji.sh. There’s plenty of info on them in the community.
As others have mentioned about speed, I’ll just stress that the part of jp’s guide that will help you the most here is Section 4 Building your own schedule, which goes over how to build a schedule around the spaced-repetition times that WaniKani uses.
Taking a minute to remember something is the same as getting it wrong if you are taking an exam and have very limited time to give your answers. And while getting a lot of stuff wrong early on doesn’t seem like a problem, it might actually become one because it takes half a year of giving only correct answers to stop getting an item for reviews. At my current speed of about 11 days per lesson (which I’m not happy with at all) and about 95% (I cheese sometimes) accuracy I can have up to 200 items for reviews a day. For me close enough is good enough. Just remembering the field of meaning can be ok, because you’ll have context to help you out when actually using the language for something. Same goes for stuff like verb transitivity and the like. Remembering even one aspect of a kanji like reading or meaning can give you a massive advantage, because when looking something up in say jisho.org being able to type in the meaning or reading in a matter of seconds as opposed to looking for a kanji by radicals for several minutes makes a tremendous difference.
i’d say the most important things to know are: go at your own speed, and be regular
the second is most important. you’ll be doing WK for at least a year (the fastest speedrunners are just under a year), possibly for much longer (there was a recent level 60 after 5 years post). you want a schedule and speed which you can keep up for the whole duration.
Don’t stress out over mistakes. To be honest its ok to make mistakes early in a level since the kanji necessary to level up will be unlocked after the radicals are guru’d. A few mistakes before those kanji are unlocked in that level are not the end of the world and will self correct if you review diligently. Also do not neglect the vocab lessons or reviews either. The vocab is where most of the reinforcement for kanji is found.
Get a notebook and write new kanji in your notebook to practice writing the kanji. I write down the kanji for the next level just prior to getting to the next level. You can see what is coming and start working on the new kanji in advance. I also write down and practice any kanji that I am having trouble with.
Read as much as you can at your level. Lots of free stuff out there.
Watch lots of Japanese TV. My wife is Japanese so we watch Japanese all the time via iSakura. There are also a lot of good shows on Netflix as well. Look out for words that you know or have learned so you can see the context that the words are being used in.
My accuracy and recall is going great, and I’m building my schedule around the rest of my life to stay consistent. I’ve gotten a bunch of helpful userscripts, which i’m sure i’ll expand on, but for now they’re already making life easier.
Most of all, I can’t believe how lucky I am, and all of us are, to have found such an active, motivated community to help each other out and encourage our journeys. Thanks so much for the advice!!