How long do you take on lessons?

Whoa!!! That’s intense! (Both the volume of lessons, and how in-depth you study.)

I do my lessons in batches of 5, and do 1-2 of them in a row. Then I spend as little as 20 seconds on an item (an easy, logical compound word/jukugo vocabulary) to as much as 2 minutes on an item, repeating the reading and the meaning aloud while staring at it. I do this again during the post-secondary quiz(es). This ends up taking at most 25 minutes (if I take the whole time for all items + quizzes), and then for any radicals and occasionally other items (where I double check Jisho to see if it’s a proper definition) I also make synonyms on the item pages for things I deem necessary.

If I do that twice a day (which I haven’t in a long time) the most I’d spend on lessons is still under an hour (30-50 minutes).


I rush through my grammar too (when reading Genki)… However somehow turn a 5-7 minute Nihongonomori video into 20+ minutes of note-taking. (Part of it is looking up correct stroke orders to write as neatly and correctly as possible.)

Listening isn’t one of your goals either?

It is, but after reading.

I rely more on other resources for listening though, single words on their own don’t help me with it (used an Anki deck with audio).

I.e. I didn’t notice any visible effect compared to the words I didn’t hear - it is equally hard to discern the words in the natural speech.

I’m the loser who spends about 0 time trying to memorize the items in lessons. I just toss them into reviews and let that do the work :stuck_out_tongue: Perhaps it’s less efficient, but it’s also less effort on my part re: coming up with mnemonics. I link new kanji to words I already know, usually, and if I don’t know a word that contains that kanji I’ll try to use the given mnemonic. But otherwise, SRS usually does the trick for me.

I don’t use the audio option either, I forget it exists 99% of the time. Especially since I do my lessons and reviews at work where I can’t have audio on.

Maybe the small things aren’t obvious yet. I don’t know what your Japanese level is, you can never assume how far along someone is based on their WaniKani level. But to me, it’s important to hear the intonation.

帰る and 替える are both かえる, but have different intonations, giving you just that extra piece of information to work with.

As for my process with lessons, in the days leading up to a new level (which is basically all the time these days), I print out a few sheets of this spreadsheet I slapped together and give myself a head start on the lessons.

I used to do that, until I realized that [0] and [1] (and 尾高型) sound different, for example 橋 and 箸. Also, often, Heiban couldn’t be guessed, nor made a default thinking…

You might try WaniKani Pitch Info. Although I would prefer if it is updated to add a diagram.

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Installed! Dunno how much it’ll help because I have a terrible time understanding high vs low in audio even though I’m very good at discerning pitch changes lmao

I plan on picking up some podcasts and more material to listen to anyway so I shouldn’t have too much trouble picking up on tone.

At first I did all lessons in one sitting, but around level 7 or 8 the numbers got high enough that I decided to ease off. I also started encountering more kanji and words I wasn’t already familiar with, which of course makes the lessons harder.

I currently use the reorder script to get all the radicals done first when new lessons come in. But kanji and vocabulary I keep mixed, and I no longer do them all at once. I find kanji very abstract in a way vocabulary are not for me, so they’re much harder to remember than anything else.

I’m willing to let lessons take a few days to go through at this point, as I’ve already given up on getting through levels super quickly. It seems like I should expect a lot of 11-day levels at this point. Typically I’ll look at how difficult I feel a lesson batch was before taking on the next one. I do lessons in five item chunks, and if everything is really simple (conceptually predictable compounds, or words I already recognized) I’ll jump right into the next five. If four or five of the words were totally foreign to me, and are things I need to learn from scratch (or worst of all, multiple verbs that all mean basically the same thing), I’ll probably hold off on the next batch for a bit.

But I do not stop and study each item in a lesson. I’m with team “get the gist and move on” because it’s not like I can keep dozens of new mnemonics in my head at once anyway.

I only do about ten lessons a day. Five in the morning after doing the reviews and five in the evening after doing reviews. So it’ll take 10 days.

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My brain simply doesn’t catch these things well, especially when spoken by people who sound differently than more mainstream-sounding language speakers. Even in English I still rely on the context rather than on the sound lengths when there are similar words (“this” vs “these”).

Probably will always be unsure whether someone said “uncle” or “grandfather”.

But that’s okay.

I do 10-20 lessons a day, in a batch of 5 and after each next review came up. I can’t do it in one go, so it takes me around a week.

As a rule, I do them all at once, as soon as they are available. That may change as volume increases further and I get busier, but for now, I am probably close the shortest possible time for each level. Of course, these are also levels I have done previously, which will likely be helping some.

I’ve been considering whether or not I should do reviews at work. I definitely have the time, so I can, but for some reason I don’t. I’m on a computer browsing articles and random websites anyway, and I see oriole on Facebook or Amazon, so why not?

I have worked several places where I was free to do my reviews in slow periods. It was quite helpful. Even just spending some time in breaks or lunch to do them is useful, too.

It’s a good way to burn time on the job while being productive! Also because you’re not doing anything but sitting around anyway you’ll probably find yourself clearing your entire review/lesson queue quickly, and you’ll do it at least once a day if you always have a pocket of spare time during work.

To detect absolute pitch… I took a class in public speaking in my native language (Thai, which is a tonal language). They used 3 words to differentiate High, Medium, and Low pitch. Pitch is important because it is necessary to be conscious of and control it in a more emotional speaking.

To translate this into English, it would probably be “Heaven”, “Calm” and “dull”.

In addition, you might compare your pitch with a keyboard / or ear training; but might be harder than the above option? – this one is the singing class.

How long does it take to get that far?

I mean, I’m not unfamiliar with pitch, given that my mother tongue is Mandarin. Just, you could give me a Chinese word, and I would have a hard time telling you if it was a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 for tone (I tend to mix 2 and 3 especially). It’s not that I can’t replicate it myself, but I learn better by repeating what I hear.

Is it possible to understand Mandarin at least to some extent if I completely suck at tones?

I thought it would be interesting to learn it too, but it seems will have to limit myself to the written language.

Haha but it happens to most of my most of my friends who has Mandarin as a mother tongue, of course they can speak and understand when they hear it, but they never really thought about which tones are used since they didn’t learn Mandarin the way it is learned as a foreign language, where you really have to think about which tone you’re gna use.