I Can't Get The Subscription

I’m 16, I don’t have a job to pay for myself, and my parents wouldn’t pay for a subscription for me because they don’t support me learning Japanese.

So I’m a little stuck. WaniKani has been helping me a lot and I love it and would love to continue with it, but it’s just not possible for me right now. Does anyone have any kanji learning alternatives?

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Maybe there are some pre-made kanji learning decks on Anki?
I don’t know any specific ones, but I have seen people talk about those.
Duolingo also teaches a decent chunk of kanji these days, and is completely free as well. It used to be quite bad, but these days it’s actually pretty decent.

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I suggest Kanji Damage as a WK alternative (it comes with an Anki deck too). It’s not gamified so you’ll need to put in a little extra work and make sure you don’t rush, but I wish I’d known about Kanji Damage when I was your age!

http://www.kanjidamage.com/

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Thank you! I’ll definitely check it out.

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I used to use Duolingo a few years back and it was pretty bad, but I’ll definitely check it out if it’s improved! Thank you!

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KameSame is a fantastic free Japanese SRS tool. One key feature is that it can pull items from a list of the exact same kanji and vocabulary offered by WaniKani in the same order. The only feature that the WaniKani subscription actually unlocks is the ability to complete lessons and reviews in the SRS system. You can still search for any item in the WaniKani curriculum without paying anything. And the item pages contain ALL of the information you see in lessons. In fact, some userscripts like the absolutely legendary Keisei Semantic-Phonetic Composition actually work on item pages!

When I need to learn items that exist in WaniKani before I’ve unlocked them. I’ll find them in KameSame, and if it tells me it’s a WaniKani item (which has been the case for literally every kanji so far), I’ll open the WaniKani page and utilize the mnemonics and additional information (largely improved by some scripts) to learn the item more quickly and easily. You could do the same, but extended to every item.

The only thing you won’t have in KameSame are WaniKani’s radicals, which aren’t actually an aspect of reading/writing Japanese per say, but are learning tools used to make kanji easier to memorize, and they show up in all the kanji mnemonics on WaniKani. If you want to memorize and use these radicals as if you had the paid WaniKani experience, you could add them to a custom Anki deck as you go, or you could still do everything above and use your own mnemonics with this technique:

I use a mix of both, and the only real reason I personally use WaniKani at this point rather than KameSame only, is for the convenience of how much it streamlines Kanji study, mostly thanks to userscripts that allow me to see a bunch of information on one page that would otherwise need to be individually searched for on several different web sites.

These screenshots are all from the item pages that you can access without subscribing. (There's way more than this, I'm just showing some additional features you can get from scripts if you want.)

First, here’s how to search for items.

Keisei Semantic-Phonetic Composition

Stroke Order Diagram

Katakana Madness
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WaniKani Pitch Info
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Some alternatives:

  • Kanji Garden
  • Kanji Study

— and also make sure to check out the Kanji section of the ultimate resource list :wink:

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If you used a few years back, then it’s definitely improved a lot.
It has a separate section for hiragana/katakana, there are clear explanations of many common grammar points, kanji are actually taught instead of just randomly thrown in, and the amount of lessons has more than doubled since the beginning.

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Rectify this?

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There’s that whole pandemic thing going on that’s still a huge mess in a lot of places. Not a great time to be job hunting.

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Everyone has already put a bunch of useful links and resources above.

Another I would say is these forums! Don’t underestimate how useful they can be if you have a question or are struggling to learn something.

I would also say, put some real effort into learning Japanese and maybe if your parents see how passionate you are and how you’ll actually stick to it maybe they’ll slowly change their mind.

I don’t know what your parents are like or your culture is like though wherever you’re from (it makes a big difference!) so if that’s something that could get you into a lot of trouble maybe don’t do it.

Obviously being 16 make sure to take care with who you’re talking to online, but the internet is the greatest resource you have! :grin:

Make sure you at least get to level 4 there is a lot of good info between 1 and 4. And I hope your circumstances change between now and then.

This is about the money issue not about alternatives so I’ll hide it away.

Maybe you could ask your parents to give you pocket money in return for doing chores. Or see if your grandparents or other family members can pay you to do some mundane chores. If they can then you can spend the money on whatever you want.

I had a paper round when I was younger (I’m 26 I can’t believe I’m saying “when I was young” T.T) around 16 actually, every weekend I would drop some papers off (by hand) to like lots houses and I’d get paid like £15 or something per Saturday. Maybe you could find something easy and not very time consuming like that? :smiley:

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True. Lots of retail jobs are short staffed, especially as things open up more and more, so jobs are there to be had. But, does one want to risk being around tons of people? And of course, that all relies on where OP is too. Virus and job market situations in their area, and the level of anti-vaccine ****** around.

Is stuffing envelopes still a thing?

For a WaniKani real alternative, you’ll have to learn how to customize Anki. Maybe using Kanji Damage mnemonics? It’s gonna require some effort on your part but it’s totally doable.

There might be some WaniKani Anki decks available online.

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I’m using duo right now, it’s still pretty bad but i’m halfway through so i keep keeping on. I still get some valuable learning out of it. It’s not great for kanji though :frowning: A go fund me page?

I used Duolingo for a bit. Didn’t like enough to subscribe, and the hearts mechanism on the free version is complete BS. It’s not even a “limited features with free”, but a “we won’t even let you use the app if you don’t pay”, scheme.

thankfully the website version of duo doesn’t have the hearts thing. i agree though that in the app the hearts thing is pretty crap.

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It isn’t exactly easy for me to get a job right now, because of the pandemic + personal things.

Thank you! I’ve been trying to show them that it really is something I’m passionate about, but they aren’t willing to help me pay for anything. The main reason they’re being stingy is because they want me to learn a different language instead because “Japanese isn’t helpful at all”.

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Thanks! I’m willing to make an effort, as long as I have some alternatives to turn to after I reach level 4

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I’ll look into it, thank you so much!