In 2017 two things happened: I started getting finger/wrist pain from all the typing I was doing (eg. with WaniKani) and I realized there were many times I wanted to do WaniKani reviews but I didn’t have both hands free…
“No problem!” I thought, and started writing a script to let me use voice dictation for my reviews.
I finished writing the script, wiped my brow and looked at the clock.
It was 2am… near the end of 2018.
And here we are today! I became a bit obsessed with the script and now it’s a very polished, customizeable and fully extensible Chrome extension that let’s you do anything with your voice (WaniKani reviews & lessons, browse reddit, scroll pages, click links, play videos, etc… you betcha buddy)
It has benefits:
- Practice speaking your reviews (you should be speaking them outloud anyway!)
- Get more comfortable speaking Japanese and confirming your accent
- Reviews can be faster once you get the hang of it
- Less hand/wrist pain and chance for injury
- Do reviews while you do other crap (eg. eating, chores etc.)
Yeah, so I posted it on here for free, so others could try it out. The feedback consensus was “this is awesome, but can you fix my problem X?” and so I spent lots of time fixing and improving X, Y and Z. Well, as any developer knows too well, a free software tool eventually comes to a crossroad where it will 1. either die because nobody wants to support it anymore or 2. you exchange it for money and thus are incentivized to keep it alive and thriving.
I went with 2. It’s no longer free, and I hope people understand why and will support me. You can still use it for free forever, just not all the features.
Here’s a video guide:
Just a small part of the new features:
Those ふ, る, and く’s can be really challenging for native English speakers especially, practice and master them.
Install the extension
(optional) install the lightning mode user script so you don’t have to say “next” or “次” all the time.
Do the tutorial for LipSurf (there’s even a special section for WaniKani)
Go to the options and choose your primary English dialect (Australia, UK… etc.)
Make sure LipSurf is activated (click to toggle it on/off from the chrome extension toolbar, or just say the wake-word “grasshopper” if you have Pro and the wakeword activated)
Say “crocodile crab” or “wanikani” WHILE YOU ARE NOT ON A SPECIAL
chrome://...page… IMPORTANT: you must be on a normal tab, like
google.comor a LipSurf tab (options, tutorial etc.). This is a google-chrome extension API shortcoming.
Speak your reviews in the appropriate language (Japanese for readings, otherwise some dialect of English)
- Only the correct answer will get filled in… to prevent speech recognizer mis-hearings
- Say “wrong” or “だめ” when you don’t know the answer (you have to manually mark any wrong answers)
- (NEW in v1.8) click the live text (transcript) to make a correction or a custom synonym.
- After 3 wrong answers (3 speech utterances) you will see the answer in the textbox, at this point you can decide whether you were right or wrong and say the appropriate command.
- Say “correct” or “正しい” to manually mark a work as correct, if the speech recognizer is having trouble
- (NEW in v0.5) say “えいご” to switch to English if in Japanese/reading mode and then you can spell out kana as you would on the keyboard. (eg. for しょうがつ just say s-h-o-u-g-a-t-s-u) and the answer will be inputted only if it’s correct. Super helpful for the short one-syllable kanji that recognition has trouble with, especially.
- Say “info” or “じょうほう” to simulate clicking the info button for the current item
- You can also spell out English words for meaning items
Consider supporting the project! I really need support to keep the thing maintained and improving. I would also super appreciate reviews in the chrome webstore, if you can’t back the project in any other way but you think it’s cool.
Here’s the site that has more details:
Most recent update: 4/30/2019 – v1.15.2 Added some Japanese homophones, allowing context window to stay closed as per user requests.
See more details and past updates here: https://www.lipsurf.com/updates/