KameSame - a fast, feature-rich Japanese memorization webapp

This is amazing stuff!!! Is it possible at all now or might it ever be possible to just put in a “phrase” that isn’t in jmdict or anywhere else? For example, I keep forgetting to say もう一度行ってください correctly, and would like to practice producing it and recognizing it.

Thank you for all of your hard work and for making a great site!

Maybe this is a silly request but, could we get a “I don’t know” button like flaming durtles has? I’m thinking about times when we have just no idea. I dont like having to put in a random kanji and see the message “in fact that means…” since it isn’t an accurate reflection of why I was wrong and also might give me an accidental refresher for something else coming up (and is also slower than clicking a button).

Either way, love your site and have been using it to great success alongside WK.

If you study recognition via the WaniKani lesson widget, it’ll be redundant. The reason for the feature is primarily to enable bidirectional study of other words.

It’s possible, but allowing folks to create free-form cards introduces a whole bunch of UX and UI considerations I’m not ready to take on. For example, the site currently doesn’t handle very long English meanings very well at all.

I’m more likely to find a curated source of phrases/expressions and import them as an additional source of items.

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Something like this is on the backlog, yes.

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Another new feature today, care of my free time during お正月休み! I present to you:

Smart Alternate Matches

If you’ve ever gotten an alternate match in KameSame, you’ll know it’s a handy way to avoid being penalized for providing a word that also satisfies the English prompt. However, if you’ve ever had multiple reviews that mean the same thing at the same time, you can quickly get sucked into this kind of loop:

  1. English prompt for “Bag” :soon: answer 袋 :soon: Alternate match for 鞄
  2. English prompt for “Bag” :soon: answer 鞄 :soon: Alternate match for 袋
  3. English prompt for “Bag” :soon: answer 袋 :soon: Alternate match for 鞄
  4. :rage::rage::rage::rage:

This is a frustrating loop to be in, and honestly doesn’t provide much value to anyone, especially since you are actively demonstrating you know both words and are just trying to make a stupid flashcard happy. Instead, the app should just acknowledge you clearly know both words and move on.

So! Starting today, KameSame will handle these sort of alternate match loops much more gracefully by implementing two changes:

If you provide an alternate matching word and it’s also a word you’re studying and is due to be reviewed:

  1. the server will now process it as a correct answer, ranking up its SRS stage and pushing out its review date.
  2. if the word is also in your current batch of reviews, the UI will mark it complete so the progress bar and review summary reflect that you got it right.

Yay!

This represents a fifth type of answer page you may start seeing in KameSame as a result:

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THANK YOU I HAVE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE MY RELIEF AND GRATITUDE.

I keep getting looped with 女の人 and 女, with 姉 and お姉さん … and 兄 and お兄さん. The last ones are particularly frustrating because while one prompt has some ‘synonyms’ to help, the other won’t, and they aren’t consistent across sister vs brother. I don’t remember which is which even now, but essentially 姉 will have a blank synonym field but 兄 doesn’t, which makes it tough to remember which was which. And I never did.

AND NOW I DON’T HAVE TO.

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I’ve had success with KameSame using my android phone with swift key keyboard, running both an English and Japanese keyboard layout through swift key. I’ve also gotten my computer’s windows 10 to play along with Japanese input by installing the Japanese IME program as well. Had to reboot computer after installing but it started to behave.

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Great to hear!

Awesome, looking forward to that. It’s amazing how fast you have built this up. Just saw that you are at $99 of your $100 goal which blew my mind. I remember that being closer to $60 not that long ago. Great to see this is getting support.

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It’s a shame that a pure JS IME feels an order of magnitude harder than something like WanaKana.js - while Google has an API for the backend of their inputtools IME that could be built on, it seems to be undocumented and who knows when it might change behaviour / implode / start handing out bans. I would love to be able to use KS at my desk during lunch on my big screen instead of my phone, but without admin rights it seems it’s not going to be happening any time soon!

That’s a bummer to hear. So you’re saying the inputtools extension won’t work in your case? https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-input-tools/mclkkofklkfljcocdinagocijmpgbhab

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This worked! For some reason I had thought I needed local admin rights to add extensions to Chrome. Thanks!

Another day, another new feature! I am happy to announce KameSame now understands when words are usually written using kana alone. This is a misc. tag that is tracked by JMDict, and beginning with tomorrow’s daily JMDict import, KameSame will automatically begin tagging items that are primarily written using Kana.

This has several implications for the UI and the scoring game that should please you.

To illustrate here is how KameSame previously worked, where the Kanji reading was dominant even for words primarily written with kana, using だけ (only) as an example:

Search would show the Kanji first, readings second:

The item page would show the kanji more prominently:

And if you answered a quiz with ”だけ", even though it would absolutely be the most correct answer, you’d still get knocked with a mere “reading correct” response, which wasn’t cool:

But starting tomorrow, things will be different!

Search results and other item lists will prioritize the primary reading over the kanji forms:

The item page will elevate the first reading and demote the top kanji spelling to a variation. It’ll also label a kana tag:

When you’re playing the quiz, reading correct for these items will be marked as exactly correct, as is good and just:

Finally, recognition cards will be improved by this, showing both the primary reading as well as the kanji variants (before you’d just see 丈, which was unnecessarily hard):

:boom:

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The app is amazing, and your dedication is impressive. I wouldn’t be learning, well, half as much without KameSame, so I signed up as a Patreon supporter (as I hope other users who see this will do). THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

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Major Update #8: Learn lessons from curated lists

Today’s a big day and represents the culmination of months of toodling about refactoring KameSame’s data model to enable more general purpose language study than merely being a mirror of WaniKani, without (a) stopping being that, or (b) sacrificing any of the speed or function of the study/quiz UI to do it.

Starting today, the lessons tab will kick off with lists to study words from. For now, there’s 1 list, based on the 10,000 most frequent words assembled by NINJAL. But soon after we’ll have JLPT N1-N5 vocab lists added. Eventually, we’ll add a KanjiDict import in addition to JMDict so that we can also have N1-N5 kanji lists to work from

Here’s what the feature looks like:

If you expand the details view, you can see just how many items you’ve started and their progress, to get a better idea of how close you are to completion:

I’m really excited about this and think it’s going to blow the doors wide open to people being able to use KameSame for general language study.

Future plans

  • Enable sign-ups without a WaniKani API key; require the key only to use the WaniKani lessons feature (which depends on your assignment status to determine unlocks)
  • Allow users to create custom lists
  • Allow users to report problems with lists (for now just email me)
  • Make more lists
  • Make the lists more good
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Sheesh. So many awesome updates! Thanks for your hard work =)

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Because I was having a good time and am generally a fun person I jumped right back in and added a shuffle feature to the lists:

Screen Shot 2020-01-05 at 11.10.33 PM

This will do what it says on the tin and draw items for lessons in any order from the list, not just the natural ordering of the list (frequency, in this first one’s case)

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Tried out the 10k list, and ran into a little problem. It seems that KS is including the parenthetical text when it checks against the definitions:

It also asked me to learn 四 (JP to EN), even though I’ve already burned it in both WaniKani and KameSame (EN to JP). Perhaps now that KameSame is capable of going both ways, it should import the status of the cards in WaniKani for the JP to EN cards.

Thanks for pointing this out; this was a bug introduced last night and is now fixed.

Yeah, this is a good idea too. I think what would make the most sense is a new :biohazard: Danger Zone :biohazard: button that will update learning progress for all recognition of WaniKani-sourced items. It needs to be a point-in-time decision by the user, though (able to be re-synced manually), as the two will fall out of sync literally the next time a given word is reviewed in either app.