LipSurf - WaniKani Voice Dictation. Review while you eat, do chores, etc


Hello again. When I do the reviews for ‘four days / yokka’, ‘four things / yottsu’ and ‘April / shigatsu’, it appears at the top, with the letter 4, but doesn’t mark them as correct. Also, the kanji for ‘heaven / ten’ shows the number 10 and does not mark as correct.


Thanks for that detailed info! Just pushed a fix in 1.6.2, let me know if that works for you :blush:


I’m posting release notes on the main website so everyone can easily see what’s being worked on now. Here are the full release notes for v1.6 and some point releases afterwards:


thank you so much for this! i’m really excited to use it.


I am working on a huge improvement to the Japanese Kanji->Kana conversion functionality. The current conversion algorithm is relatively slow (although you probably can’t notice if you run LipSurf on a fast machine) and makes very naive guesses about what the kana should be. The next version will make the very best possible guesses, and will do it in a fraction of the time – it’s state-of-the-art stuff!

I can’t say for sure when this huge improvement will be ready, but some preliminary testing is looking very good for WaniKani! Of course, that functionality is important beyond WaniKani and will help with other Japanese functionality too.

Also, just released 1.6.6 with various WaniKani edge case bug fixes.

@Cajohl I found another potential problem with 4月 if it didn’t work after 1.6.2, it should work after 1.6.6 (latest) with a bit of luck…


For some reason when I say open reddit it works, but when I say “next” it just doesn’t seem to do anything. Do you have any idea why this could be happening? It says that it has microphone permission


Yes, sorry about that. Can you try two things

  1. go to chrome://extensions and click the “update” button
  2. go to the options page (right click the LipSurf extension icon -> “options”) then click “reset to factory defaults”

Let me know if that fixes it, and sorry about the trouble - the timing seems to have put you on a bad in-between release that was out for a few minutes only.


Thank you for your continued efforts at improving this functionality. It really is fantastic. Since you are going to improve the conversion algorithm, maybe this won’t be an issue, but I’ve noticed that when I say ‘hoku’ for the kanji for ‘north’, it displays ‘kita’ instead and wanikani says that’s wrong. I guess Lipsurf can tell that I’m saying 北 but it doesn’t extrapolate ‘hoku’ from that?


Usually when WaniKani is looking for the onyomi instead of kunyomi or vice-versa it’ll just wiggle the answer box instead of marking it as wrong, signalling that it’s looking for something different. Did it do that, or did it just mark it as wrong?

Currently, it’s not really possible to distinguish between the two since we get kanji in the transcription, and in some cases you can say either reading of the kanji to get it to show. But I’ll keep this in mind and try to think of some way around that.

Hey Fugdkn, did those steps fix it for you?


Hi, yes, it just wiggles the answer box, so I just say ‘tadashii’. So it hasn’t affected me much, but I thought you might want to know, in case it affects things at higher levels.


Sorry for the late reply. Yeah, it looks like I just downloaded the app at a bad time haha.


One possible solution would be to have an additional popup that comes up from LipSurf and then it asks you did you mean A) ほく or B) きた in the uncommon cases this happens, but I’m not in love with that solution because it gets in the way of the flow of WK. Wonder what you and others think about that?

I was nervously checking error logs most of the day after that :sweat_smile:, glad it was a mostly isolated incident. I’m building tests to prevent this kind of careless issue again. Anyway, users hardly ever report bugs, thanks for letting me know, really!

It seems many LS users aren’t using the WaniKani lightning mode script with their reviews. When I do reviews without the lightning mode script, it’s a bit slower because I have to say “next” or “ネクスト” after every review and additionally the LS next command in English has a built-in delay of 700ms before actually executing in order to allow for you to say other valid commands that start with next (e.g. “next tab”). If people are really keen on doing their reviews without the lightning mode script, and want to keep saying “next” then it would be nice to at least have that delay removed.

So, one nice solution I have in mind is “modes”. If when you went to WaniKani, LS was put into “WaniKani Mode” it would then only allow you to input valid WaniKani commands, commands outside the realm of WK like “next tab” wouldn’t work unless you first said “exit WaniKani mode” (and there would be a little banner in the corner reminding you that you’re in a certain mode). This has the added benefit of preventing stray commands like “youtube” from executing by accident if the speech recognizer thinks you said “youtube” during a review and interrupting you (P.S. if this is happening to you now, I recommend you simply disable the youtube command).

Another example mode would be “writing mode” which would let you transcribe text long form… etc. etc.

What do peeps think about this? Neat or sheet?

Do you want to know what it feels like without that delay right now? One temporary solution is to just disable the following commands and LS is smart enough to then know that there’s no other “next …” commands so it doesn’t build the delay in anymore:

Browser: “next tab”, “next page”
WaniKani: “next item”


I realize my last post was a wall of text :sweat_smile: so here’s the tl;dr :

  • We can make saying “next” faster, and prevent accidental commands by putting LipSurf into a “WaniKani mode” when you’re doing WaniKani. Do you want this?

If no one wants, then I probably won’t bother :blush:

The big v1.7 update is getting verrrry close! I’m really excited for everyone to get this big upgrade. Also, I just released a minor fix v1.6.9.


Small progress update: I’ve made a custom version of WK for myself that breaks down readings into hiragana and sorts by the most frequent readings present in WK and then length (shortest first). This has been a great tool for testing to make sure:

  1. every pronunciation and reading can work – even when it’s a on’yomi kanji.
  2. more forgiveness for the 外人 accent

So far I’ve gone through 600 of the most common readings, out of 6000 (de-duplicated readings). The ones towards the tail end aren’t as important because those are mostly longer words that the Japanese speech recognizer doesn’t have issues with.

I think I will make a video demonstrating some new tips for the v1.7 release specifically for WaniKani. I’ve learned a bunch of stuff about pronunciation in the process.


v1.7 is out!!! :tada:

This was a really hard release. I stayed up 'till morning many days for this one. But I’m so happy it’s done! The kanji->kana conversion has been revamped, language switching is faster, WK is hugely improved… etc. I hope you guys find this version to work with WK eveeen bettterr!

Excited to hear what ppl think of the latest! I will post some tips about some new techniques for WK for v1.7 and beyond soon too (perhaps in video format, and perhaps tomorrow).


I still must be missing something about how this extension works. When I speak it captures my words and displays them on the screen, but even when they are correct the input box is never filled out.


That’s strange. You should be getting an error that says “needs pro” if you’re trying to use this on WaniKani and you’re not subscribed to pro.

Are you on the latest version of Chrome, v71?


I’m probably on the latest version. Anyway, when did WaniKani become a pro feature?


You can check by putting this in your address bar: chrome://settings/help

About 2 months ago, ever since 1.0 was released.


You might want to mention that in the title or OP somewhere. :slight_smile: