If you could change anything about Wanikani, what would it be?

The issue with Aozora Bunko is that it is all public domain stuff, which means a lot of it is old, and the language has changed a lot over past 150 years.

And pulling from Japanese subtitles is going to bias your selection based off terms that will appear most often most popular Netflix genres.

I just hold that frequency lists in general should be taken with a grain of salt, and one shouldn’t really pull from only one list. I would just think to go off of the 10k core list which pulls from newspapers, then maybe pull from a variety of others from less formal contexts if you want to keep on continuing.

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More etymology behind the vocab with counterintuitive kanji combination, and less Koichi just shrugging his shoulders and going “who knows?”.

Vocab for the dozen or so vocabless kanji.

那覇 and 札幌 as vocab items. And swap 淀川 for 三鷹.

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I still cannot comprehend why they haven’t added 瑠璃.

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Could be just my eyes/eyesight, but higher contrast colour choices on the Kanji pages and meanings/readings. I find the gray text on off white background hard to read. I often have to highlight the text in order to read it.

  1. Take all of the sentences Wanikani already has written and only show me the ones that it knows I know all the kanji for. Then I could practice reading. I don’t think I would want to SRS the sentences because I wouldn’t want to type long sentences & then get it wrong because I missed a letter. But I would like to flip through a deck of sentences I know have been curated for my reading (admittedly just kanji) level & then focus on parsing the grammar.

  2. There’s another app that will vary the font style so you don’t get used to seeing the words just one way. It would be great to add that to wanikani (although only for vocab since accuracy is important for radicals & kanji)

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There’s this script called Advanced Context Sentence that highlights all the kanji in the context sentences, and according to the color of the kanji you can see which ones you’re supposed to know. That way you can easily figure out if it there’s a bunch of kanji you know or not in the sentence :slight_smile:


For that there’s this script called Jitai (字体)!

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I would like to have the example sentences read aloud.
When I use my PC I can copy to google translate but this doesn’t work on the iPhone which I normally use for my lessons and reviews.

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I think it would be amazing if they offered some interesting, short readings that unlocked at each level, I guess as a practical reward. Of course, understanding the grammar would be on you, but it’s already on you in the example sentences.

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I kinda wish 朝日 showed up a little earlier just so you get more usage of the ひ reading for 日, given the radicals in it (十,日 and 月) all get introduced by Level 2, but that particular word only shows up at Level 9, and it can really throw you off when there’s at least three other readings that seem to come up a lot more often (arguably four, seeing how it’s used in 日本 and 日光).

Most frustrating thing for me is that when I’m tired I often type the japanese pronunciation instead of of the english meaning (also the other way round, but usually that doesn’t get accepted). I’d say that accounts for about 1/3 of my incorrect answers and it would be great if there were just a prompt to alert you to the mistake and let you input again! … I should just learn to be less careless, but haven’t managed it yet!

Aside from that, it would be great if I could add additional meanings during the learning stages as it can be really hard to remember the exact wording that WK wants you to use if that’s not the wording you’d usually use, so I often get it wrong on the first go until I can add additional meanings. I’d also really like it during the reviews when you click to see more information if the example sentences were there with the other information as I find those really useful.

I don’t mind too much the slightly odd order of things, but additional usage notes would be useful.

I also don’t get most of the cultural references as well so either have to google things to get it or just make up my own way of remembering a word rather than using the WK way in those cases!

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I installed the Stylus extension in Brave (should work in Chrome) and used the Wanikani Breeze Dark theme. It basically inverts the colors so the BG is dark and the text is lighter, much easier on the eyes.

I think Aozora is mostly self published books not old books that the copyright expired, so mostly hobbiest stuff I think. But I might be wrong.

The netflix list is for me ideal because most if not all my immersion comes from netflix and anime. And since these are subtitles, they literally represent the spoken form of the language.

I did, for around 3 months, go off of a frequency list that was based on newspapers and I found some very very odd rankings.
Also the reason I still have a list based on books (the Aozora Bunko freq. list) alongside is that some words are just more prevalent in the written form of the language so it will give me some insight to that.

However I do not just go through the list. I don’t actually pull words from the list. I just simply reference the list to determine if any words I mine during immersion are frequently used, or not really that common.

So basically my method goes something like that:

  • Immerse and gather sentences that I think are i+1.
  • Make sentence cards for these sentences, referencing the list to see how frequent the word is.
  • Sometimes the sentence I mined isn’t really i+1, and sometimes the word is low on the frequency list. In this cases I discard the sentence and don’t make a card.

However like you said there are times that I completely disregard the ranking and just make a sentence card. For example I learned the names of some muscles yesterday even though those are 60k+ on the frequency list… lol

I reckon by the time I make 10,000 to 15,000 cards using this method, alongside going monolingual (working on that right now) I would be at a decent level of comprehension.

If you haven’t read the new book The Kanji Code by Natalie Hamilton, it is flat-out excellent. Gets at what you’re thinking I believe.

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Can’t you just buy a few graded readers? Good Lord, making 15000 cards is a full-time job doing data entry. For dubious benefit and no pay.

I’m working with subtitles files or kindle books (which i turned into HTML so I can use yomichan) so almost zero data entry since it’s always just copy-paste.

Add to that the dictionaries I’m using are in-built into anki and only require a single click to transfer definitions on to the card, and that native audio and furigana can be added with one button, it really doesn’t take much time to make 10-15 cards per day.

oh yeah I also used subs2srs to pre-make cards so I can pick the cards I want in the beginning although I’ve moved away from this a bit at this stage.

Really the card making process only takes around 10mins per day (less if they are pre-made using subs2srs).

And 10-15K will take me over 3 years anyways lol.

As for graded readers I don’t see the point of them especially if you have knowledge of kanji. I went from reading subtitles on anime and Netflix drama straight to light novels (キノの旅 to be specific). I should note that I was around 500 hours of immersion at that point.

I feel graded readers are for Japanese kids who are still learning kanji, since their main benefit is that they are graded per school grade. I tried one many months ago but found out they still have the same number of unknown vocab as a regular light novel or manga.

Plus they are more expensive than novels. Light novels are anywhere from 300-1000 yen on Amazon from what I can see.

edit: I should add that during the monolingual transition phase, which I’m in right now, it does take quite a bit of time to make cards since you are digging through definitions, trying to find sentences, etc etc (the core10K deck that people mentioned here has actually been quite helpful for this). But hopefully this phase will only last a few months.

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Confusion guesser script helps quite a lot with that.

Most of all, I would like a simple undo button. I can’t help it that I make a lot of typos on my smartphone. And I like it how in Bunpro it just let’s you undo your answer and trusts you not to abuse the feature. After all, if you do, it’s your loss.

Another thing I sometimes think about is whether it would be better for leveling up to be based on vocab items. Right now it’s easy to get the feeling that the vocab is holding you back, when you just want to get to the next level and learn more kanji. But of course, vocab is the stuff that actually improves your language production and comprehension. It’s what we really came to learn, even though we call the process “learning kanji”.

However, these are only minor quibbles, and generally I find the service really helpful, and comfortable to use :slight_smile:

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That’s not really what I meant but I think I’m going to read this book anyway. Thank you for the recommendation.

Great tips for scripts I didn’t know about! I especially wanna try the font change-script, since that will likely help me recognize stuff outside of WK! ^>^. Thanks! <3

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May have missed it in previous comments but to some extent, you can get those from scripts:

There’s also a script for that that shakes your answer and lets you have another go. I’m not sure if it’s part of double check or not…

Yep, there is a script for that too

The one for pitch pattern is nice as well and one that highlights your known kanji helps you know whether you should be able to read the whole sentence by yourself.