I just became a subscriber ! But I just saw a video that threw me a bit off

Does that explain why you were level 60 yesterday and level 6 today? :open_mouth:


Being the dirty communist that I am, I love open source and free things, but it always annoys me when someone gives this as a reason to dislike a resource.
The bottom line is, if you want to learn Japanese and kanji for free, you can. Go to your local library, request books, use online free resources, go and make a friend who speaks Japanese and talk to them.

The way I see Wanikani is; I’m not paying for access to knowledge. I paid for the presentation of that knowledge, the way it’s put into a program and laid out and optimised for learning. Some people may very well put together learning resources for free, but it’s not wrong of them to expect to be paid for their labour and for people using the resources to pay for upkeep and other running costs.

I’m not rich. I’m lucky that I worked so slowly that despite starting in July I got to level 3 just in time for the Christmas sale, but I saved up money for a Lifetime account because I know I’m going to use this resource for a long time.


Oh I see, haha I’ll listen to leebo then hehe.

I think he never explained why he said this, but in my opinion it might make sense for the sake of users not giving up/being able to handle the amount of work learning a language implies. Starting with Genki when you already know 350 kanji (95% N5) and 1000 words is totally different from doing it right after hiragana/katakana. Also, all of us suffer with procrastination. Going from 0 to hero doesn’t happen to most of us. We need to first try to go from 0 to 1, since 1>0 (1 is better than 0). Wanikani is a good first approach because its gamified aspect makes it fun. Hard, but fun. However, if one is willing to start right away with grammar, then go ahead. I started with HelloTalk pretty early, even when I was fooling myself that I was learning Japanese through watching anime.

Me to my language partners: そうです!English English English English English はい!English English そうです!


At least I knew hiragana…

double facepalm


On that note I should stop procrastinating and shitposting on this forum and open the genki book that is right next to me… Now that I’m level 10 I fear I’m running out of excuses


Yeah apparently he is a 60 in disguise, so Leebo you were joking when you said you couldn’t read lol.
I’m looking at the author’s of the video’s reading, I guess you Leebo as a level 60 + can read a lot like him lol.


i’m sure RTK is good and everything but 3 months SRS SRSLY?


Go read your genki! Some of us poor kids could only afford Japanese For Busy People!


WK does not promise to bring you to having “a greater passive vocabulary than native adults.” Neither does RTK, obviously.

If his assessment of his own ability is true, he simply has done more studying that 99.9% of Japanese learners will be willing to put in. That might be underestimating it too, since that would still be 1 in 1000 with “a greater passive vocabulary than native adults.”

Is he going for Kanken level 1 or something.


So I watched just the WK segment. (Also, I have never used RTK)

I’ll agree that there is value in writing stuff out whilst you’re learning, which is something I do during WK lessons if I have the time.

However his comments about learning out of context is quite bizarre. The only way to learn in context is to actually be in context (i.e. actually reading for the purpose of reading, talking to someone, etc.)


RtK isn’t bad. It’s pretty clever in it’s own way, and it introduced me to the idea of mnemonics back in the day. I felt learning the kanji without the readings, or without learning the vocab the kanji could be used in, was borderline useless, however. I’m the type of learner that absolutely absolutely needs to know why things work and how things work, I get frustrated when I’m just given random kanji with vague meanings and no context. They don’t stick.

On the other hand, having four different readings thrown at you all at once is equally problematic. That’s why I find WaniKani so brilliant, using the vocab to teach the other readings, while simultaneously giving you an idea on how the kanji are used.

To reiterate, I think that Remembering the Kanji is a decent resource. It just didn’t work for me. I do think the price is right and if you really can’t afford WaniKani (it IS expensive, even if it’s 100% worth it IMO), so not everyone will be able to afford it), then I think it’s a decent budget alternative and I’m glad it exists.


I don’t know, but the guy looks pretty hardcore seems to follow a method of study called : “AJATT”, will look into as well cause the only things I’ve used is Genki 1 and 2.

If someone is dedicated enough to get to a “a greater passive vocabulary than native adults” it doesn’t really matter how they do the studying, IMO, because that level of motivation trumps how you do it, with just small differences in efficiency I suppose. But the average person quits at like N4 level or below, and that’s the kind of person who needs to find the right materials to study with, if their motivation is waning.


Some people study for the sport of it. It’s like a competition.

Personally, I studied because life dropped me into the middle of Japan with zero Japanese language skills, and I needed to survive. I’m living proof that you can get by just fine for years without speaking English, even if your Japanese is pretty rudimentary and you don’t have the luxury to study all day and night. I know plenty of Japanese people whose knowledge of kanji, keigo, etc. is far from perfect.

Eventually, learning becomes a personal challenge and more fun, so I do understand the urge to go hard at it. But when you’re just starting, it’s important to remember why you’re learning. Is it to rank up the N-scale for the sake of it, or are you trying to buy groceries and make friends in Japan?


I think you just solved the mystery, is not the method people use, is just how much you put into it. This guys just have so much motivation and happened to use Heisig lol.


WK and RTK generally work in the same way, except in a different direction.

Kanji have 3 components to them:

  1. Meaning recognition
  2. Writing
  3. Reading

RTK focuses on 1 and 2, and only after focuses on 3… WK focuses on 1 and 3, and says that later you can work on 2 if you want.

That means that with both, you only learn 2 aspects of the kanji at a time, because both methods take into account that learning all 3 at the same time is an overkill and exhausting. The question of which is better depends on who you ask (and where - obviously if you ask on the WK forums you’ll get answers leaning towards WK).

Upsides of RTK: easier recognition of both characters and patterns, do at your own pace, more student involvement
Downsides of RTK: more difficulty looking up the kanji in phonetics-focused dictionaries, inability to read a sentence outloud, easier to burn out on, requires managing your own studies

Upsides of WK: better speech ability, streamlined a-z, ability to look characters up on phonetic and character dictionaries, better ability to infer the meaning of unfamiliar words in a sentence
Downsides of WK: streamlined a-z (one size fits all), requires long-term commitment and takes a longer time, reduced character recognition (due to lack of writing)

Both systems are out of context, but when studying a language up to a certain point everything is out of context. With WK, I feel that items I learn have a better chance of becoming in context a lot faster than RTK, which is why I do WK and not RTK.


He overemphasizes the necessity of writing.

If you are filling out a form, there’s not going to be any rush. Just pull out your phone and copy the things you need to.

If you are taking notes, like he mentions in the video, why the hell are you having to take notes in kanji?! Obviously would be useful if you could actually do it, but it is “necessary” for an relatively small number of people, even among learners living in Japan.

And I personally love studying writing. But I only study it because it’s fun and because it reinforces the reading, which is the part that you’re going to be using the vast majority of the time.


You can quite easily supplement the lack of writing in WK if you do KW and write your answers before submitting. That is, if you have the disposition for that.

I personally think it is less work than trying to learn the readings separately while doing RTK, especially since everyone apparently likes to finish it in 3 months.


Which is of course mildly bullshit because “meaning recognition” of individual Kanji is not the way either Japanese or Chinese people learn things. Nor will any amount of English keywords make you understand 振込 or 不動産. The only context Kanji has is Vocab.

The main downside of RTK is that you’ve actually learned zero Japanese. You don’t have an inability to read outloud you have an inability to read Japanese period.

Anyways, what I really want to do is respond to this guy:

You should realize this isn’t science, this is merely some lay-person’s opinions. And frankly this isn’t a guy who has ever shown that he actually has a high level understanding of Japanese. The few videos when he talks Japanese are like mid Genki 2 Japanese, and when he reads Japanese there’s nothing in it like 読解. If you’d like to look into SLA theories, there is plenty of actual research out there.


I suspected that might be the case, but was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for the sake of seeing where it goes even if he did have that level.

Yeah, merely sounding out that VN doesn’t prove a ton, except that he has learned those readings, which does take a lot of study if he has them, but it’s true that 読解 is a completely different beast.

1 Like