Level 10 particularly difficult vocab

Just checking for opinions.

I’m averaging a level every seven days so my daily reviews are high at the moment and that may be skewing my opinion, so I just thought I’d check for general opinions. Does anyone else find that the vocabulary in level 10 is particularly difficult, with lots and lots of irregular readings and also ‘not obvious’ meanings as well?

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You’re not alone in feeling this. I did a lot of self-study on 10.

OTOH, after 10, you’ll get a nice run of lessons where a great deal of the kanji have only a single reading, and/or have readings the same as their radical, which is, like, bliss… either it’s timed for when Burns start to happen, or that’s a happy accident.

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Thanks - I’m glad to hear it isn’t just me. My first burns are still four months away so I was like jeez, if it maintains this level of difficulty, I’m going to be in trouble. Good to hear it gets a bit easier!

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Well, the 11–20 levels are called “painful”, but the most painful things in them, I would say, are

  1. You start to get the 同訓異字 「どうくんいじ 」 and 異字同訓 「いじどうくん」, which are kanji that mean almost the same thing and are pronounced the same way, or vice versa, but differ in use.
    Like, 熱い and 暑い both mean “hot”, and both are pronounced あつい, but you use the first for body temp or things you can touch and the other for the weather. You’ll get them in levels 12 and 13.
  2. And you get a lot of what the previous bullet point’s boldface words are an example of (though you don’t actually get those two words, thankfully—I only know about them from linguistics classes!): the same kanji in different orders meaning different things—sometimes slightly different, sometimes very different. Like, 事変 (じへん, an incident) and 変事 (へんじ, an accident).

The thing I found that restored my sanity right around levels 10–11 was to stop doing lessons whenever I had more than about 105 items in Apprentice. It may seem to slow progression, but overload actually slows things down. (Just as a cognitive scientist, I’d bet the younger you are, the more things you can have at apprentice level at once without losing things, so there may be your own number that works best!)

I also used the sorting order userscripts like Reorder Omega sometimes—I created a “Kanji last” script that I’d sometimes use when I started a new level and had a very low number of Apprentice items. It let me insert all the available vocab with the kanji I knew from prior levels—plus the new radicals—into the lessons and work on them before starting the harder work of a new batch of kanji. I wouldn’t use it all the time—WK’s built-in-ordering often refers back and forth in a way that won’t make sense if you reorder a lot—but when I was feeling overwhelmed, it was a good way to get a bit of a break without totally stopping lessons.

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