Learning from WaniKani + another source

Hello, i like WaniKani and was thinking about adding another source of learning while i wait for WaniKani reviews. (kodansha learning course).

What i want to do is basiaclly go through what WaniKani teach me and go over that in the kodansha book too,

is this a bad idea ? will it make a soup in my head?

i generally like learning from all kind of sources (i do it with grammar too), that way i can see some other point of view, but i dont know if it will be a good idea with kanji.

thanks !

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I’m not sure what the Kodansha book is. I’ll have to look that one up! I have the Genki books and I also do Bunpro for grammar. So far that is my only serious stuff. Grammar is kicking my butt! I am having the hardest time with conjugation!

I’m sure a lot of people in here will help you and suggest other sources of additional educational material :wink:.

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What is the Kodansha book? I only know the Kodansha as publishing company. But there are thousands of books. Do you mean the the Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Course?

If you are practicing Kanji next to WK it could muck up the SRS. But that depends on when you study and how well Wks SRS Intervalls work for you.
See the section: Is studying outside of WaniKani detrimental to the SRS learning process?

I think that is a thing you have to see for yourself. I don’t think anyone but you can answer that question. But both resources should teach more or less the same readings and meanings. And you can always add meanings for Kanji in WK so I don’t see how it could be confusing.

ok i got my answer from this FAQ, much appriciated!

This FAQ gives bad advice. @MegaZeroX has researched the scientific literature on this topic. The outcome is that studying outside of SRS scheduled intervals improves learning. The more often you see the information, the better the retention. The key is not to do it just before the review. Here is @MegaZeroX research.

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Is is the Kodansha Kanji Course? The one that covers a bit of etymology along with some common readings i.e. this one?

Just my personal opinion here, though I don’t know if it’s going to clash with what the FAQ said: I think you’ll be OK if you use Kodansha as a sort of reference book, because it’s quite likely that WK will present kanji in a different order from the Kodansha course. I think that in that case, the Kodansha course will strengthen your memory of kanji because it will give you another way to remember each kanji, in particular because it seems to open use etymological ideas that refer directly to shapes present in the kanji, which may help make kanji more logical for you.

Either way though, don’t forget that actual reading (and perhaps listening) practice will probably do more to help you cement what you’ve learnt than what the SRS can do alone, so I’d encourage you to look for simple things to read as soon as you’re able to do so. Learning interesting phrases that contain the kanji you already know can be helpful too – my favourite way of doing this is to catch a few interesting lines from anime and to learn them. The more contexts in which you apply your knowledge, the better you’ll remember it.

Not very scientific here, but some anecdotal evidence from someone who avoids flashcards like the plague (just as a matter of personal preference): back when I was learning (advanced) French, I used to write new French words down, read entire dictionary entries on them for a breakdown of relevant nuances along with example sentences, and then use those new words as much as possible when I wrote essays in class. I would also read newspaper articles as much as possible, as a result of which I would often revisit words I had recently learnt. I’m pretty sure those words and expressions stuck much faster than they would have if I had been more passive, like by flipping through my notebook at relevant intervals, particularly since regular practice gave me entire sentences to associate with each new chunk of knowledge, making it that much more meaningful. Also, well… if revising more often than recommended by the SRS were actually harmful, people who pour time into their fields of expertise daily would probably be less skilled than the rest of us, no? But it’s the opposite that’s true.

In any case, all the best! I think experimenting is the best thing you can do at this stage. If you find it’s too confusing to use two sources at once, then you might want to lay off the Kodansha course for a bit, but I think it’ll do you good to see a different perspective: even if I have a preferred way of doing something, having another method for it just means I have an alternative route available if my preferred one fails. :slight_smile:

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yes i was talking about the kodansha kanji learning course. thank for the answers i think i will get it, i’m not gonna learn new kanjis through it, only go over those WaniKani already thought me. and i will make sure not to do it close to my reviews

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Thank you for the link. If the question comes up I usually say it depends on the person etc. since I always felt the more you see something the better you learn it. But I was always too lazy to find something to prove a gut feeling so I just ended up copying the link to the FAQ to not have to write so much (and People seem to expect the answer written in the FAQ).
I‘ll post this link in the future if the question arises again.

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Currently I’m only really doing WaniKani. I know I’ll eventually need to do some other stuff to really be able to learn japanese, since knowing all these kanjis will only take me so far, but I’m not sure where exactly to go from there and what would the best time.

Are there any general recommendations to follow through?

Wait what FAQ is this?

I don’t think there is anything on the official FAQ for using other resources but maybe I‘m wrong.
But this is the FAQ I guess most people use because it is the first you find when you search for an FAQ.

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If you go down the Wanikani page and click on “Help” you get this. This is the FAQ I used. I was unaware of the one you posted before you posted it.

I know that one too. It is also linked in the unofficial FAQ.
Ok so maybe most people are smarter than me and find the official FAQ first :joy:

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That I don’t know.

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Start studying grammar ASAP. Pick a grammar resource to begin learning how to put stuff together, and just do what you did when you were a kid: watch, read, and communicate in Japanese as you learn more and more.

There are a lot of resources out there to learn from. From grammar books and flash card decks to podcasts and videos, there’s never been more resources available for someone to start learning Japanese.

Yes, supplement WK with other sources. This is the way.

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I would suggest Anki. I try to double up on the kanji and use Anki decks that are likely to have the same wanikani kanji in them.

As I’m only on level 8, I use JLPT 5 and 4 vocabulary deck, along with JLPT 5 and 4 grammar deck. These have example sentences in them often with the kanji I’m learning or learnt in wani.

I don’t see the link you said you added there?

I used KKLC concurrently with WK and I felt that it absolutely helped. Not only did I get more practice with kanji and additional ways to remember them, I managed to even pick up some vocabulary along the way from the examples provided for the readings (one downside is that it lacks context sentences, but, then again, WK’s aren’t really very good either). Also, as far as I’m concerned, the core meanings KKLC assigns to each kanji are very well chosen and really help get the gist of a kanji.

There was a little bit of confusion with WK, where a few times I had remembered a meaning of kanji from KKLC that WK didn’t accept, but adding these words as synonyms took care of that.

I had to give up on it eventually, though, since I couldn’t keep up with WK’s speed (especially in the later stage where the fast levels start cropping up). When WK really gets going and you use it close to full speed, there will be days where you’ll be doing nothing but reviews for hours on end. Due to that, I was also getting sick of all the constant kanji learning and lost all motivation to do any more than strictly necessary.

Finally, as others have already said, I wouldn’t worry about additional studying harming the SRS or long term memory or whatever nonsense the unofficial FAQ claims. WK itself strongly recommends that you start reading texts pretty soon and thus regularly expose yourself to kanji outside the SRS intervals.

I’m fairly certain the sample sentences from Kodansha would be a vast improvement over the (mostly inane and absurd) sample sentences WaniKani seems pained to care about. Reading alternative sample sentences would go a long way toward helping move toward further reading too…

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