Forgive me if this is a duplicate post, but I couldn’t seem to find a post requesting a feature exactly like this one.
As every vocabulary learner begins during their kanji journey at one point or another, along with WaniKani, I have an Anki deck with vocabulary words I am months away from unlocking on WaniKani, but would like to learn sooner (for games, books, using my GPS, etc.,). As I learn the custom vocab words on Anki, I also try to learn the Anki kanji cards from the unofficial WaniKani deck which compose said vocabulary word. (Shhhh… don’t tell anyone! But yes, I am paying for WaniKani). I do this, because I really like the WaniKani system and would like to replicate it with my own vocab study.
I know that WaniKani works within their rigid level system to prevent people from burning out and provide little dopamine boosts, so I am not suggesting the team let users create custom vocabulary lessons. I’m not sure if that would even make the platform better.
The second best option would be to let users manually unlock whatever lessons they want. However, this would present two potential issues.
- users might unlock too much at once and burn out
- users could unlock lessons out of order (kanji before its radicals, vocab before its kanji…)
As for the first, we’re all paying for this tool so it doesn’t horrify me if users were allowed to use it as they see fit. But since I do appreciate the level constraints, I do think it might be kind of cool if users were given “freebie lessons” with each level up (after level 3). Users could unlock X number of lessons they choose from any level with their freebie cards. Getting more freebie cards would encourage users to try to level up the and work on the lessons they already have.
As for the second, you could divide “freebies” into radical freebies and kanji freebies and enforce proper order when allowing users to unlock new lessons (that is to say, you must get all radicals a kanji is composed of to Guru before using a freebie on a kanji lesson). Since kanji are usually composed of more than one radical, you could give users more radical freebies than kanji freebies on every level up. As always, when a user gets a kanji to Guru, they’ll unlock whatever vocab lessons they can now learn with whatever they have at Guru + that new kanji, so there’s no reason to have “vocab freebies”.
Of course, there is the question for what to do with users already at level X. I wouldn’t want to cause users to burn out, but I suppose you could just give them all their freebies from levels 1 through X-1 at once? Or maybe you could use some type of logarithmic algorithm that gives them their normal new freebies every time they level up, and then in addition, X% of the freebies they would have gotten already had this feature been added before they got to level X.
If whatever I said doesn’t make sense, I can reply and/or edit my post. I know it would take a bit of re-engineering on the backend, but I’d really like this feature. I plan on converting to a lifetime this Christmas, so I would appreciate it if the team would give it some thought.