KaniWani and Kamesame are the two SRS complementary to Wanikani to train recall.
For those who used them, which one do you prefer and why? What do you believe are the strengths and weaknesses of each one?
I am currently starting out on Wanikani, and chose to use one with it to train my recall, so far I have started to use both at the same time until I settle on one so I can drop the other.
So far I’d have a slight preference for Kaniwani for its friendlier interface, but I see a lot of people favoring Kamesame. Did I missed some useful features I just did not need to use yet?
Honestly I picked Kamesame after trying Kaniwani because I felt Kaniwani was too harsh on various terms for woman.
女子 少女 女 女の子 女の人 aren’t the same but as far as I remember - they would ask for “woman” or “girl” and I get confused on which one to use.
Kamesame has options between right and wrong - they have an option that’s like “not wrong, but not what we wanted” - which doesn’t penalise you
I started off with KaniWani after reading this super helpful guide. I used it for about a month until I found KameSame on the WK forums. I haven’t been using KW since.
Although KW has the better interface, KameSame helps with not only recall, but also how to type the kanji. It’s a two-in-one use that I personally think really benefits me. KS also has options for you to study vocab or kanji outside WK, like N5 vocab, N4 vocal etc. plus you can paste in your own sentence and let KameSame find new vocab words for you to drill on, alongside a lot of other features. However, if you like a more simple recall tool, then KW is definitely the way to go.
[Edit: I forgot to mention the synonym tolerance that KameSame has like what @iamthinking said. That was definitely one of the deal-breakers for me.]
I would agree with everything @oreodisaster has said. I also started out with KaniWani (probably after reading that same guide), and didn’t discover KameSame until much later. By that time I had invested quite a bit of time and effort to KW, so I’ve stayed with it. I agree that KameSame has some advantages, and I think someday I might return to it.
For now, I like the comfort of the KW interface, which is very similar to WaniKani. You just have to realize that the synonym thing is a problem with KW, but once you learn how to enter synonyms, it is quick and easy and hasn’t really been that big of a deal for me. Maybe I’m kidding myself, but I’m convinced that it has helped me to make some vocabulary connections I might not have otherwise.
You also have to be careful not to take on too much SRS, or burnout can be a real potential issue. I’m pretty efficient and clear my reviews daily, but between WK and KW, it’s not unusual for me to have 250-300 reviews some days.
I’ve stuck with it because I think learning the English-to-Japanese is an important skill, especially if one expects to speak this language with any degree of fluency. As much as I like WaniKani, it doesn’t help much with that.
It forces you to use a Japanese IME to type an answer, it’s a japanese keyboard layout, you can setup it very easily on windows.
Basically you just write the romaji letters and it automatically converts them to kanas, and when you are done writing the word you can use space/enter to scroll through the possible kanjis/vocab words it can be read as. It makes you quickly learn how to write in japanese with a keyboard.
I read that guide, it’s really good and helped me beginning on Wanikani. More broadly I have been using the A Year To Learn Japanese Guide to shape up my early learning of japanese. It’s really good to have some direction when starting out, and links a ton of references to expand elsewhere.
Given all the comments, I am gonna drop Wanikani in favor of Kamesame, the friendlier UI is nice but at the end of the day I’d prefer the better tool. I keep seeing people regretting to be stuck with Wanikani because they invested so much in it.
Thanks for answering @JuiceS’s question, @Cawotte! You worded your answer much better than I would.
Anyway, the guide you mentioned was the main catalyst for me to step up my studying game. It’s very comprehensive and the author really does know his stuff. I’d recommend it too for anyone trying to learn 日本語, not only for those who are just going to study it in a year but also for those who want to study systematically for longer than that.
I hope your switch to KameSame fares well for you! It took time adjusting for me and I even changed my IME from Microsoft to Google in the process, which I think is the slightly more superior one. I’m glad that I made the switch, and I hope you’ll feel so too! Remember that both KW and KS are just different means to an end, that is to be able to produce and not just recognize writing
Damn. I never even knew Kamesame existed. But as others have already pointed out, KW gets tough especially with words having similar meanings. But you do have the option of ignoring certain words. I guess thats okay with these
On a lighter note. In terms of vocab, does anyone else go through Jisho.org and create custom anki decks on vocab based on kanji from WK? Is this advisable?
I know for sure other people are doing this. There is an export function in my script Item Inspector. It can do bulk export of WK items data. I have some users who are doing exports to Anki. I have tested this myself. It works fine. You don’t have an automated procedure, don’t you?
I think you should give Item Inspector a try. It will be much easier to do Anki decks this way than rummaging jisho and creating cards by hand.
I’m so thankful for this post
I planned to enter the whole stuff reversed into Anki so that I can drill writing too… but honestly, I hate Anki, so I would have probably dropped it pretty quickly.
Will have a look into Kamesame now
Even though the recall question is the same (Eng meaning), I think KW and KS are actually testing two different areas. First, KW can’t do kanji recall (just vocab) but KS can. And the kanji recall is more ‘real life scenario’ for KS; in other words, I’m more incline to type kunyomi or fake a vocab to extract the kanji I want. So if ‘melon’ is the kanji question, I’d rather type うり or すいか (and erase すい kanji) rather than just an endless ‘ka’ kanji list which is fine because that is how everyone types (but it’s not the same recall training). And there is some ‘cheating’ on the visual kanji for vocab too which will not help for speaking (just writing). I may continue to play with KS since I think it helps but not sure if the kanji reviews are worth it.
My favorite method is Kitsun, I much prefer having 3 layered cards (reading/meaning/JP recall) into a single review platform and they are built with full Jisho-like synonyms if I made the cards within Kitsun. This alleviates the frustrations of KW synonyms and I can’t progress the SRS unless all three are correct which makes the most sense to me. And the reviews shuffle, so I may see the reading first for one session and then get the recall for a different review session. Plus I can make a judgement call to override if I know various synonyms and can extract that particular word if needed or get it wrong for more practice. At best, KW can be ignored and just circles around your review deck until it wants a particular answer which I think is a waste of time.