KameSame - a fast, feature-rich Japanese memorization webapp

This is absolutely on my roadmap. In late-2019 I rearchitected KameSame to be able to handle recognition flashcards in addition to production, and when I did that I made sure to make it easy to add new quiz types (like listening). There’s obviously some UI work necessary to make listening quizzes work well, but the biggest challenge is that there are so many homonyms that even if you can pick out the correct pitch of a word it’s possible 20 or 30 other words have nearly identical-sounding pronunciations, and it may become very easy to get overwhelmed with alternate matches against other words with the same or similar hiragana readings.

This is also a feature I don’t think I’d turn on unless I had a subscription system in place. Autoplaying audio is something lots of people want, but would start driving up my hosting costs significantly if I were to enable it right now.

Still on a development hiatus for now outside urgent fixes. Hoping to start work again later in the fall or early winter!

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That’s fantastic! Happy to subscribe if you get to it; I do think this whole additional way to learn could drive subscriptions due to its potential value.

On the homonyms, maybe you could offer buttons for “hints” when needed, maybe the hiragana, or the Kanji as options. (with whatever necessary impact on XP or other measures).

Great app, and just keeps getting greater! You know I love it because, Patreon support aside, I finally bit the bullet to get a new phone specifically so the audio would work for me again–at least it was the straw that pushed me over… (The issue we discussed upstream.) :wink:

Wow, that’s dedication! Glad it’s working for you! :muscle:

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Blockquote
the biggest challenge is that there are so many homonyms

Maybe the only (and better) way around that is to provide the word in context, in a spoken sentence. Then the question is, where do you source all of the sentences required?

I stopped using it during my trial period ages ago (ironically, partially because I got frustrated with their way of dealing with homonyms), but IIRC the Kitsun app incorporates a lot of spoken sample sentences. Maybe ask him how he manages that?

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Hey, user here. Is there any way to see when reviews are going to appear, further than just within the next day? It would be nice to see that I have 100 reviews coming due on Saturday so I can plan for it. Also at particular hours of the day, instead of just within the next 24 hours? Is there a plugin we can download for this, or are there plans to add more specific review tracking? Thanks.

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As far as I’m aware, there is no way to view reviews more than a day ahead unless you keep everything scheduled on a spreadsheet or something, which seems like more work than it would be worth. I’d definitely appreciate a forecast system too, seems like it’d be useful. I feel like Searls will add it as a premium feature if it is implemented though.

For now though, I’d recommend dropping your daily lessons if you don’t think you’d be able to handle a surprise day or two off at your current pace. 100 reviews shouldn’t take more than 20-30 minutes to finish though, so you probably won’t have any problems catching up even if you miss a few days.

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Yes, with a schedule, I’d be setting a few alarms through the day, as I do with WaniKani since they added forecast.

That’s really helped my performance over there, since I don’t ever suddenly discover I have a bunch that crept up on me, when I’m generally exhausted in the evening.

I often have to schedule not only based on forecast, but also around breaks, if possible, between many work meetings. That, alone, would be a premium feature for me. :wink:

Can’t you cache the API calls you’re making towards the AWS service? That would reduce the costs by a good margin and improve the overall experience for us.

I think a simple nginx or varnish server would do the job.

This shouldn’t happen

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Add the katakana version to Japanese readings and press undo. It’s a bit annoying, but nothing too bad (though usually I’d put the alternative readings when I first add the item). Besides, in most words using katakana would actually be plain wrong outside of specific circumstances (although バカ is an exception).

What I think we do need though is more undos, for cases when I make annoying mistakes like that a few times in a row, or when I type in the correct reading but press space one too many times and put in the wrong kanji, even though I knew the right ones, and don’t have any undos left to reverse it.

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New feature: Schedule out your reviews

Are you ever overwhelmed by a massive review backlog? I know that after I take a hiatus and I come back to 500+ reviews, it can be absolutely demoralizing! Either I just keep putting my reviews (and learning) off, or I eventually power through and do them all… only for 400+ to boomerang right back at me over the next few days. Depressing! This is all compounded by the more salient fact that when reviews have piled up, I’ve probably also forgotten a lot of the items by falling off the memorization timing curve that SRS reviews are designed to enable.

So, starting today, you can unclog that backlog and reclaim your review inbox!

Here are some example screens walking through it. Given a large 625 review backlog:

On the new section of the account page:

A confirmation dialog will warn you that this is a destructive action:

The info banner will tell you how many reviews got pushed back over how many days:

And finally, you should see your review queue shrink:

Here’s how this works:

  1. Say you have 500 reviews that are due
  2. Under the Account page’s Schedule out your reviews section, you set 30 reviews per day you can handle and click 💨 Schedule out
  3. KameSame will keep 30 of those reviews right where they are, unchanged
  4. Reviews 31-500 will be scheduled out, with at most 30 per day
  5. Crucially, reviews 31 thru 500 will also be marked as failed, because the fact they piled up probably means you don’t remember them as well as you would have if you were sticking to the SRS timers and reviewing things promptly. I know some of you will hate this—sorry, that’s the rub!
  6. Because lower SRS stages will boomerang an item back into your queue, scheduling out exactly 30 per day actually isn’t enough to avoid a small avalanche of reviews landing in your inbox again. This feature compensates by actually calculating how many of these reviews would land on any given date if you were to answer them correctly as soon as they became available. That is to say, if 5 SRS stage 1 items are scheduled on day 1, then KameSame knows they could be back as soon as day 3, so it’ll only schedule out (30 - 3 =) 27 more items for day 3. That’s why in practice it might take 25 days instead of 16 days to spread all 500 items out.

Caveats:

  • Scheduling reviews out cannot be undone. Be careful!
  • Marking the scheduled-out items as failures isn’t optional and can’t be undone either. Be careful!
  • This doesn’t affect any reviews that might be landing tomorrow or the next day. This is only about unclogging the current review backlog. If this tool schedules out 30 reviews to Tuesday and you were separately going to have 10 more land Tuesday anyway, you’ll have 40 total reviews land on Tuesday

The purpose of this feature is to motivate folks overwhelmed by their massive backlog or who want to de-prioritize old reviews and make room for doing some new lessons of new words!

Happy studies! :books:

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Would definitely make use of this feature if it didn’t mark most of the items as incorrect, but right now, I think around a quarter of my current backlog is to-be-burned items I still know, but just haven’t gotten to yet, and I don’t want to lose seven months of waiting when I don’t need to. Can see how it would be useful to newer users who’ve taken a break or missed a week or two through unexpected circumstances though.

Edit: I think a setting to spread them out based on time rather than daily reviews if you want would be helpful, though I don’t know how much work that would be. That way you could just randomly distribute them and you wouldn’t need to mark reviews as wrong.

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Yeah, for me at least marking everything other than the scheduled few as incorrect makes it something I would never use. The reasoning doesn’t really wash imo.

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I didn’t look through all past posts, so apologies if it’s been asked multiple times:

Any plan on new lists? Something like 2k or 5k or textbook lists?

Also, really good tool. Thanks for the effort.

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The lists take a lot of manual effort that I don’t really have to spend. If somebody were to share a list of words and explain the purpose of them in a plain text format I’d be happy to look at adding it

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Are there any plans for adding custom vocabulary? I ask even though the search system already has so much because I would be interested in putting in complete sentences into my review queue as if they were vocabulary. Alternatively, you could add actual support for full sentences into Kamesame, but I expect that to be way out of the scope of your project.

Also I would greatly enjoy autoplaying audio, and like you mentioned I would donate/subscribe for a small amount of money just for this feature if that’s necessary for the server costs involved, and would love for it to become a full fledged program worth paying for.

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Appreciate this and noted on audio playback.

There’s no facility for custom phrases or vocab yet. I do want to add this at some point but I want to do it right, and in a way where additions can be de-duplicated with official sources, even if a dictionary entry is added after you’ve added a custom one. I’m also eager to figure out a way to moderate and validate custom submissions so that they can be shared with others safely and at a high level of quality

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How did you add the 10k list? If you have a text file of it, wouldn’t you be able to just delete the bottom 8000 and 5000 rows for the 2k and 5k lists respectively?

Is there anyway to remove the block feature?

Yep, on the account page just scroll down and click Reset Blocked Items