Others like learning some grammar first. That’s good for talking and communication, but I found it frustrating since most of written speech uses kanji & knowing the words were rendered a bit useless if I needed to check every kanji from the dictionary. So I took the Tofugu path and started with memorizing the kanji for a long time without actually understanding almost anything, and started the grammar only after level 14 or so by using Bunpro. The difference now is that I can read 90% of the example sentences, so I can finally focus on the grammar. But then, I’ve always been the kind of language learner that learns better by reading. Others may learn better by other options.
However, it doesn’t hurt to at least skim through the Tae Kim guide in Finnish (even though the translation is a bit choppy and the site doesn’t really use hiragana). I found it easier to focus on grammar points when I didn’t need to constantly translate from Japanese to English to Finnish.
Pakko kyllä sanoa, että ei tämä vieläkään mitään pikajuoksua ole.
I’ve been meaning for a while now to figure out what text book or such I should buy for grammar. Falling ill and such came to the way of it. I know I need a book for this since it’s hard for me to focus on computer screen the way you need for reading comprehension and learning.
But I am glad to know there are some form to this madness and that once I figure out what to get things might ease a bit!
I can do with english just fine. I don’t need to make any english to finnish translation or such in my head or otherwise. As such I will do fine with textbook that is in english as long as it has furagana with it.
A recurring theme of mine here on the boards is that I hate that WK’s marketing department sets unrealistic expectations of new users. And then the first few posts new users tend to come across are the “My accuracy rate is 94%” and you feel like a failure. I think while it’s used as bait, ultimately it’s a disservice. But I don’t run the WK marketing dept so I don’t get a say.
Stick around a while and you’ll begin to realize that the vast majority of users will take well north of 2 years to get anywhere close to level 60. For me it will be 4 or 5 years. You’ll also realize that failure is a process. Some items will churn between Guru and Apprentice many, many times. But if you are in it for the long haul, eventually they stick.
The point is not to learn kanji, the point is to learn to read. To which individual kanji characters are only tools. Vocabulary is the end goal. To that end, it seems rather pointless to push the vocabulary to the back of the car.
See my many WK misleading marketing rants.
That said, if you are just gaming the whole level thing, and your only goal is to look at your heatmap and marvel at all those one week levels, by all means, have fun.
Exactly! That was my expirience too! The tofugu guide claims you’ll learn the beginner kanji in just a few months. I can imagine that people much less stubborn than me would give up quite quickly because they end up feeling like failure or stupid or other related emotions due to the fact that they can’t seemingly learn the kanji and vocab in the speed that is seemingly ‘normal’, even if it is just marketing and few expectional people boasting.
Personally, I have gotten quite a bit better with this. It has helped that I have begun to take 6 new radicals/kanji/vocab per day which helps to speed things up while still allowing me to learn most of them to the point where I can guru them relatively quickly.
Part of this is def the fact that nothing in the marketing mentions the ammount of vocab you’ll go through. Most of what you’ll learn in wk is vocab. For example, level 2 has 34 kanji to 80 vocab. While I was struggling with my first vocab I just wondered how people could learn all that stuff so damn quickly. Maybe if you already know japanese it will be easier but still!
I have been thinking the same myself. I decided to restart at level 14 and it seems to go faster now since I know a lot of the radicals and kanji already. I am impressed that some people can get to level 60 in less than two years!
It’s hard not to be attracted to the “speed show” but focus more on what’s comfortable so things stick better. I was a few levels in before I started taking advantage of the Meaning Notes and Reading Notes areas to help solidify the content. And don’t be afraid to alter the mnemonic to customize it to your experiences. There’s definitely helpful character design in repeaters like “Mrs. Chou” and “Jourm”, Gengis “Kahn”; but if part of the story isn’t ringing or seems like a stretch, you can personalize it.
Looks like a lot of good advice above - I need to make notes!
I hear your pain. I had been doing duolingo - which required one to keep going, even if I didn’t understand a thing. I’m not exactly sure how much I learned with duolingo, but I did learn persistence. I did learn that just hammering things into your brain works.
You really have no idea where these other people are coming from. As a teacher (NOT a language teacher), comparing yourself to others is a bad idea. You have no idea where other people are coming from. In addition, they may just be bragging. Since I saw the test scores of students, I can tell you that many of them lie about how they are doing.
Also, some exposure to these visuals, in one way or another - could be very useful. I am guessing an artist background could help a lot! I keep hitting my head against my keyboard, because I don’t slow down and see the difference between the visual.
Also, at the beginning, I did not understand the difference between the Kanji reading and the vocabulary. I’m still not exactly sure I understand all of it, but I now realize the colors are different! (It took me a bit.) So, that slowed me down considerably where you are. Maybe that’s not the issue you’re having, but clearly, your brain is super busy trying to work on something, and hammering away will guarantee it breaks through! Maybe you’ll get other parts easier then others.
Another important reason to do vocab: learn alternate readings for the kanji and learn the contexts the different readings are used. Knowing 人 can be read にん or じん from the kanji item doesn’t teach you that it’s read ひと on its own.