I have been around WaniKani for more than one year now; I have occasionally read the forums too but never taken part in discussions as I know from experience that forum activity can become heavily time consuming once you allow it to.
I had been happy to have found something like WK to distract myself from other things occasinally and getting the benefit of learning something from it that I had always been interested in.
Yet it seems I have reached the point where quitting seems the obvious choice for me, tempting as it might have been to go all the way to level 60, just for the sake of completion. And no, my personal reason to quit is not 河豚, obviously: I’ve learned that many levels ago and actually sort of liked it.
My first reason is rather the fact that, with completion of level 51, I have seen all kanji up to JLPT2 (and all of the 1,000 most used kanji in newspapers) plus many rarer ones, and recalled them at least a few times correctly. Considering that even all of the remaining WK levels will not have taught me all JLPT1 kanji upon completion, I see no point in going further for quite some time, as it’s also obvious that I should look way more into grammar now, which hadn’t gotten the same attention so far, before it would make any sense for me to learn rarer, more specific kanji.
Another issue, however, is that, from my point of view, WK gets harder and harder to bear with as levels increase, which is not only due to the kanji’s increasing complexity. The radical system, helpful as it is in the early levels, becomes less and less useful, as mnemonics in the style of “a jet out the window with fins in its mouth is very honorable” or whatever (yes I am making this up right now, and sorry for being a bit polemic here) are way too abstract to be helpful. (“what is the most honorable thing about the jet? its shoes (しゅう).” )
My main reason for quitting though is that a vast amount of late level vocabulary seems not only very abstract but also highly useless, if not frustrating. I dare think that my English is quite decent, but never before have I come across words like, for example, “rousing” or “stirring”, particularly in this standalone participle form. (I’ve tried to look them up in dictionaries, I still have no real clue what they mean in my native language.)
Also, lacking synonyms to cover the entire meaning of a particular vocabulary word become quite a big deal in the later levels and are quite apt to cause frustration at some point. This includes, for example:
- a lot of words that can be either noun or adjective in Japanese, but for which WK will only accept either as an answer
- vocab deriving from a particular kanji, for which WK will not accept the meaning taught for that kanji, even though jisho lists it, or vice versa (this is not always covered by the “shake animation”)
- several vocab for which it’s hard to infer how the answer is to be given, even if the meaning is actually correctly remembered
- also, distinctions in translation like, for example, “eddy” (淀) vs. “whirlpool/eddy/vortex” (渦) don’t seem to make sense to me if the distinguishing nuances aren’t very thoroughly explained.
So, I guess I have to thank WK and its staff for an interesting year with a lot I have learned.
I’d be interested in the community’s thoughts though: Do you get my points? To you think it is wise to quit now? (I won’t be too likely to reply though. )
All the best and good look with your studies, everyone!