I think time restriction on learning curve is horrible

I know this has been discussed many times, and you have your memory philosophy, but as you said yourself: everyone is different. We learn at different speeds and have different time frames available for studying. In my case, I can only put in the work 2 times a week but 6-8 hours/day. As far as I know, there’s just no way I could use WaniKani for studying this way.
It’s a shame and it’s currently the only thing stopping me from subscribing to your service.
If there’s a way to unlock the materials here (maybe after subscribing?) for long an intense study sessions, please let me know.

Ah yes, the SRS system woes… if you want to review the words more, click on the levels / radicals / kanji / vocabulary buttons on the top and grab the words you know and dump them into another flashcard review. Hand-written cards work great, but you can also put them into something like Chegg or Anki to make them digital (and with Anki, since it’s another SRS you would have to tinker with the review frequency).

As far as WaniKani goes, don’t worry, the study session will indeed grow longer as you add more items to your review pile.

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If you feel as if a SRS system (which is really all WaniKani is - along with a lot of custom mnemonics to help you learn) isn’t going to suit your learning journey then there are plenty of other options out there. Given what you say about time restrictions, you might consider using a textbook method like Remember The Kanji.

Check out The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List! as the work has already been put in as far as recommending printed material or even other websites with systems that you might find fit your needs better.

The kanji taught on WaniKani aren’t unique, nor locked (you can look at any item, with all the information, by going on the dashboard and searching or view items by level) and if you don’t need to make use of a SRS system, you’re still able to use that information.

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Many, many new users have posted about how they don’t like the SRS system, that it’s bad and useless and isn’t helpful at all. And maybe for some people, it just doesn’t work. But that’s essentially all that WaniKani is. You can find kanji meanings and readings literally anywhere on the Internet. WaniKani is a service that provides this specific SRS system, and that’s almost certainly not going to change. A private service has no obligation to tailor itself to fit your exact needs; in most cases, that’s not physically or economically possible. Most of those that stick around find that in the end, it is extremely useful, but ultimately, there’s no one making you pay for or use WK, so if you don’t want to, then don’t.

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Your schedule does not seem well suited to an SRS-style study tool if you can’t find any time at all daily. Even 10-15 minutes every day is sufficient to benefit from SRS, but only studying 2 days a week (presumably two consecutive days as I’m interpreting this as the weekend) will just not work. WaniKani even has some nice phone apps made by users, if you want to do your reviews whenever you’re on the toilet or waiting in a line or something. The point of the “time restriction” is to force you to recall items when you are on the verge of forgetting them. Seeing a new item 4 hours after the lesson? You can probably remember it. Seeing it a week after your lesson? Highly unlikely you’re going to remember.

WaniKani does let you control your study pace and workload, but it expects you to do your reviews at least once a day. I’d say your best options are using another kanji learning resource that doesn’t use an SRS system, or pick up the WaniKani apps and just devote 10 minutes (only 10!!! You gotta poop at least once a day, right?) every day to your reviews. On your weekends, spend most of your time studying grammar. I recommend the Genki textbook series, but there’s a list of grammar resources somewhere on this forum that has other options too.

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I’d say it’s gonna be difficult to use any kind of studying tool to learn a language effectively, if this is your timetable. But SRS is out at least, if you don’t have like a 30 min window somewhere each day. Daily consistency is key. There’s just no way you can absorb and concentrate intensively for that long. Maybe at a higher language level it can maintain proficiency, but…

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I wonder if it was that way when I joined if I would have paid for it…

Then again, I wouldn’t get to use those scripts and third-party apps without it. :man_shrugging:

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It’s exactly this, you’re not just getting the kanji and vocab, which you can get anywhere, you’re getting the infrastructure, the community with all they’ve created, and, if you use them, the mnemonics.

I’m of the opinion that WaniKani is 100% worth it compared to any other paid offering.

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My advice is to clear your WK queue then work on something else. WK is just one portion of a balanced study routine.

If it’s at all possible, even 10 minutes a day would be hugely beneficial. You can probably knock off anywhere from 50-100+ reviews in that time depending on your speed.

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Much of the important stuff has already been said, but to add my two cents into the mix, studying anything for 6-8 hours at a time is just setting yourself up for burnout. It’d be better and more efficient to split that up into smaller chunks throughout the week. If you end up studying for an extended period of time, a good practice (which I’m pretty sure I read in a research paper on focus and learning but I can’t seem to find it again) is to intensely study in only 20 min periods before taking a short ~10 min break. That’s not always possible I know, but the idea behind it is to avoid studying fatigue. I used this strategy during college with my biology classes and it worked wonders for my information retention and accuracy.

It sounds like vanilla WK is probably not a good fit for your study schedule as it stands, but I hope you find something that works for you. Best of luck in studying Japanese!

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I really enjoy the way this site is constructed and appreciate the free rescources on tofugu, they’ve been a huge help for starters.
But I just can’t help but notice the hypocricy of claiming “you won’t have to wait for the slowest student in your class” when I have to wait for an arbitrary scheduling system.
Thank you for all the helpful comments, though. I’ll have to look into your suggestions. It’s just a shame I can’t do it on this site as, like I said, I really like it.

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I just want to add some input here as well. It’s not really about waiting for the slowest student, it’s just that by virtue of the way that an SRS system works, it starts out slow and then ramps up.

I used to be around level 20 a few years ago before I took a break and reset my level, and I remember getting review sessions pop up that were > 500 items in size.

You’re not going to get that much intensity right at the beginning, which I understand is difficult because that’s usually when you’ve got the most enthusiasm and motivation to learn, but if you stick with it, you’ll be drowning in no time, I assure you.

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When I started WaniKani with a friend we were really annoyed at the first few levels. Then we got past level 5 and now we complain every day about the 2-300 daily reviews.

The beginning is weird. Do your first 4 levels and see how you feel then.

Also, I really recommend doing kaniwani in parallel.

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Just to save you a bit of research, SRS timings aren’t arbitrary. They are designed to give you a review right as you are about to forget it, which reinforces it in your memory stronger than it was before. The timings come from a lot of research into SRS in general. Obviously it is possible to memorize things without using this method, but in general they are much less efficient (I personally haven’t come across a method that is as efficient as SRS in my 8ish years of language learning)

Just some fun trivia into how memories are reinforced in human brains.

PS. I would highly recommend trying to configure a more consistent schedule than what you mentioned in your original post as you may find yourself struggling more than you need to. There’s always a few extra minutes to squeeze out of each day :wink:

PPS. Don’t take that last part too seriously, as not everyone here has the same amount of time or drive to learn as quickly as possible as others. Some people here complete WaniKani in a year, while others take a few years. In all cases, everyone is doing what is most comfortable for them.

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Thank you for all the great comments, guys!
I guess I’ll just hang on at least until I reach level 3 or maybe sub just for a month and see how it goes. I’ll also definitely check out Kaniwani! If you know of any other resources I can use to multiply the workload from WaniKani, I’d love to learn about them.
As for the methodology and SRS, I really appreciate it, it’s what has drawn me to this site in the 1st place. Still, even with the proper scheduling, I feel like it will hold me back, as I’d still want to put in a lot of work on free days. 500 reviews sound good for squeezing in on a normal day, however, on weekends, I’d gladly do 5000 or 50000 reviews. I know it seems obsessive, but I struggle with motivation a lot, and keeping myself constantly challenged (plus making tangible progress) is the only way I can keep myself interested in doing something.

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links lead to the threads here on the forum where you can find full descriptions

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I used to feel exactly like you and kanji.garden seemed really appealing to me. It is still an SRS but it allows you to skip kanji and srs levels as you see fit. You can also study as many kanji as you want.

I recommend checking that out. It’s very flexible but I learned nothing from it. It’s free for one month.

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Are you sure you want to multiply your workload?

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So much this. It’s hard to see at level 1-3, but the workload can rapidly get out of control if you let it especially if you do all of your lessons as soon as they pop up. And if you miss a day? Prepare to be buried under reviews.

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That looks great! :smiley: It’s just on early levels there’s literally nothing to do. I guess I will focus on other things, like typing or pronunciation… I really hope it picks up soon and fast.

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