Im a new user and I like what I see. However, I must say that it is confusing to not see any progress when I just finished multiple quiz for the radicals. I got the first group done and I don’t see this reflected in the dashboard. Just 26 number but otherwise not. Also I am now stuck with no more lessons. That part I get but not showing when I will get another lesson does not make sense to me. I got the email about waiting and I am a patient guy but not showing any progress other than the number 26 and no clue when I can again continue with the next set of radicals!
Update - Looking again I see that there is delay for reviews before it gets pushed to guru level. So I get this part but what is still confusing there is no indication that I was ever on a lesson other than the 26 number under radicals apprentice. Why not have lesson one in progress or something like that?
When things make it to Apprentice, that indicates you’ve done the lessons for them. So now you have to wait to be quizzed in information again (these are called reviews), which should happen in a few hours. You have to get these reviews, spaced out over the next two days, correct 4 times in a row. An Apprentice level item that’s been answered correctly 4 times graduates to Guru. Once you do that, you’ll unlock new lessons to keep learning things.
It can’t say Lesson 1 in progress because beyond the very first set of lessons, no one will have the same exact progress through WaniKani. Your progress is dependent on your ability to answer the reviews correctly.
Don’t worry. I started some days ago, and I feel kinda lost in the first lessons. As you said, I did not know what was happening after doing my first lessons. Maybe one or two tutorial screens more would have done the job for me. Btw, check the next hour and next day fields, they will give you an idea of how much you will need to do in the current day.
Anyway, I just let it be and now 1 week later everything is running fine. I may be wrong but…, soon enough you (and me) will be full of lessons and reviews to do, and you will not need to be “patient” again hahaha.
If you get the Tsurukame app, you can see all of your upcoming reviews for the next 24 hours. I do most of my Wanikani on the Tsurukame app. They also show pie charts of the radicals, kanji, and vocab for your current level and showing if they’re locked, novice, apprentice, etc.
I’m just about to start the paid levels, and I really like the Wanikani system. Hope it works out for you.
I do think vanilla WK could be a bit more helpful with review times. Next hour and next day is good, but not actually great for planning. Maybe a detailed timeline would be too much, I don’t know
I read the FAQ, I’m familiar with SRS, but the only way I was confident at first, without keeping track, when I should check back was because I installed an app with extra functionality. After all, the intervals are WK-specific. And you don’t know how much you will get at a certain time intuitively. Of course some of that is practice, but it was a little disconcerting. Maybe discovery and wonder is the point.
I was eager to do my reviews when they were available, just not to stare at WK waiting. When the staff can get around to it, it’d be a good out of the box quality of life improvement in my opinion.
I would add that in the first levels I would be planning out resources for grammar and other areas WK can’t cover if you don’t have them yet, but I agree, the sense of progression is obfuscated.
I guess the catch is it makes you keep a habit of checking the site, every now and then, that will be useful for future levels. I’m still at the pleasant levels but now I am timing them based on my own schedule. Lesson → 4 hours → 8 hours → 12 hours → 23 hours → 47 hours → Guru. The best time for me to hit it is from 7:00pm. Aside from work and normal human living stuff, I do review physical workbooks like Kanzen Master.
I am here for my third day.
The first day 26 radicals and waiting.
Today (the third day) i got 18 kanji, for each i have to know the hiragana, the romani (for typing) and the meaning.
First learning the hiragana, then ‘how to type in Japanese’.
It’ s a big step when you are not familiar with hiragana.
Learning Hiragana should be integrated in the course.
There is much room for improvement:
for each kanji there should be shown how to type in romani.
there should be shown that it is basic hiragana, dakuten, contractions, dakuten contractions, long contractions or dakuten long contractions.
In the first set of kanji there are two kanji with the same hiragana, but it is not mentioned.
Most of these complaints are answered directly in the FAQ linked near the beginning of this topic so I won’t regurgitate it, but will add that some lessons will require that you know katakana as well.
To your point that two kanji are read the same way, that is true and will continue to be true all through your lessons. Because of the limited number of syllables and generally short words, there are lots and lots of homophones. しょう could be a prize, it could be a chapter, it could mean small, it could be a department, victory, merchandise… and that’s not all of the ones I’ve seen at about 1/3 of the way through. The ideogram of the kanji is what differentiates these definitions. I suppose it could be mentioned somewhere, but as you also noted you find this out before even getting out of level 1 anyway.
The WK philosophy is that they provide us with the minimum application needed to learn kanji (mnemonics, SRS, radicals, choice of vocabs, kanji audio, example sentence, forum) plus the API. With the API, the community is free to expand the application with various additions, including the Ultimate Timeline userscript.
Unfortunately, WK takes this too far and becomes too reliant on community-written userscripts. The integration of Ultimate Timeline to WK proper is long overdue and yet will never happen because they can say, “Well, it’s already available for free, and we don’t have to provide any support for userscripts (bug fixing, new features), so why expend any effort?” This is to the detriment of many beginners who are confused about the slow pace of levels 1 to 3.
To be fair, when I begun two years ago I didn’t use any userscripts. And I was not impatient because I understood the principles of SRS (i.e. the speed will pick up in no time). Unfortunately, many people just ignore every effort the WK team has made to make them read the FAQ.
So yeah, the fault lies a little bit on both sides.
In my case I learned hiragana and katakana years ago. I don’t know how to type it either. I use books that show both romaji and hiragana. I think romaji should be shown optionally depending on he level of the user. Even if you know hiragana like me, its easy to forget and if the word is not linked to a dictionary its too much time to look it up. So I would favor romaji being optionally added at least for the first few levels. If you see both romaji and hiragana together you will pick up the hiragana soon enough.
I’m not quite understanding your statement. You say that you know hiragana but you don’t know how to type it? There must be something I’m missing.
As for including romaji in WK, I respectfully disagree but I think it’s a matter of preference rather than a definitive answer. Just like furigana draws the eye away from kanji and allows a lazier way of reading, I think romaji would do the same instead of reading hiragana. I’ve caught myself unintentionally doing that many times while reading textbooks that include it.
I agree that typing the more unusual combinations likeぢ is not clear if you don’t know how, but those show up sometime after the first few levels and have been uncommon (maybe less than ten so far for me?). Combinations like じょう are typed the same way they’re read, so I don’t think it’s fair to say that reading and typing have “very little” to do with each other.
If folks feel strongly about it, I’d suggest sending feedback directly to firstname.lastname@example.org as that is more likely to be read than the forum, but all this is covered in the very first question of the FAQ complete with guides on how to learn hiragana/katakana and type it.
I agree it would be nice for a timeline to be built in by default. However, these scripts will completely change your turtle-burning, kanji-wrasslin’ life:
These are extremely awesome, community-made scripts that run as browser add-ons. If you’re using mobile, the Firefox browser will allow you to use these extensions as well. Installation instructions are in the links above.
Some other folks mentioned typing in kana. That’s outlined in this guide:
(Also available from the FAQ linked in the first reply by @Shadkat. Seriously, read the whole FAQ )
Lastly, romaji is a HUGE crutch that you need to wean yourself from ASAP. Even if you’re totally fresh to Japanese, you’ll be much better off by taking the extra time to make yourself comfortable with kana. The nice folks at Tofugu even made some guides to help you learn or brush up:
While I am understanding of how this system works, I could see how someone would go do the first set of radicals, maybe come back and do the review, and then say “Oh, there’s nothing else to do? This is lame, I probably have to pay already” or something like that. I mean, it says when things will be available for review, but it gives no indication when new things will be available.
I am at the very beginning but I have done the radicals like 4 different times with 100% every time so I’m just like “come on lets get some kanji going”. I’m sure it will start tomorrow or something, as someone mentioned they got it on the third day.
That being said, I’m sure once the kanji start coming in it can pile up really fast and if you don’t keep up then it might get overwhelming and you might give up or something.
I’m really glad this is free up to level 3. I probably would not have given it a chance otherwise because there are free resources, but if it works well then I might as well stick with it. I was trying out Anki decks before but it wasn’t the easiest thing to setup.
If anyone has any specific tips that would make a difference with using this site, I’d love to hear.