My (lengthy) introduction, questions, and gripes

Hey everybody, I never thought I’d actually join the forum but now that I bought a year long sub I figure I might as well get the most out of it(I love to complain!!!). TL;DR skip to the bottom two paragraphs to dodge my intro

I’ve been somewhat interested in learning Japanese ever since high school where I took the two semesters of Japanese classes they had (just enough to drill hiragana and katana into my brain plus like 20 words, man public school in america sucks) and then dragged my feet getting started on self study. After dodging it for years I finally tried to self-study 2-3 years ago and fell off the wagon in about two weeks flat, which I have found is my attention span for nearly everything in life. At least 90% of the things I start (interests, hobbies, habits, video games, TV shows, books) I need to finish in under two weeks or chances are I won’t touch them again for months or years. For me, the whole process seemed too daunting and my strategy was completely unfocused, I didn’t see any real progress and so I didn’t fight my inclinations and moved on. I tried again like 6 months later, made an attempt to plan better by downloading Anki and Duolingo but I didn’t really know how to use either of them and I felt like I was spending all my time re-remembering from my last attempts and lost motivation in 2 weeks.

This year back in January I saw there was an annual sale on Duolingo which I still had downloaded and decided to try one more time. I had a theory that if I bought it I’d be able to sunk-cost fallacy myself past my 2 week barrier and it actually worked. After using all my gems on freezes to barely keep a 50 day streak I realized I could make a real attempt this time and did some more research on how other people had been learning the langauge and I luckily stumbled upon an amazing resource somebody on Reddit wrote; it was framed as a step-by-step guide to “learn japanese in a year” but it was really just a collection of resources about how to learn language in general with the author applying that information to learning Japanese. For the first time I was enamored with the process of learning itself and suddenly found myself incredibly motivated to apply all I’d learned. Since then, I’ve been studying at least 2 hours a day for nearly a month, with around 3.5 hours on average and I think I am finally in for the long haul.

So, as a way to once again sunk-cost fallacy myself into learning kanji I bought a year’s sub to WaniKani and have been doing reviews ~twice a day for 23 days now. Between that, Anki, Genki, and a couple apps I keep for fun I’ve made about 5 times as much progress in the past month than I have in my entire rest of my life learning Japanese and more importantly can finally see the path to fluency.

My first question today is does it ever make sense to let some reviews pile up to do them all at once? I’ve found myself in a situation where I often have 20 reviews now and then 30 more in an hour, is there any reason for me to wait and do them at once or should I do them as soon as I have the time for them?

In general I’ve been realy enjoying WaniKani especially after grabbing a bunch of scripts but my biggest complaint is with stupid simple typos. I type real fast and sloppy on my phone and while I’ve forced myself to slow down I have many times now gotten into a groove cruising through my reviews and made stupid typos on Japanese answers I knew for sure. The english typo protection has saved me many times but I’m currently using the Flaming Durtles app and nothing saves me from Japanese typos and it’s by far the most demoralizing thing about WaniKani for me right now. Seeing my level on a known item go down and potentially locking myself out of new lessons I’m ready for has really sucked, and so I’m wondering if there is any Android app that offer some form of answer retyping as I do at least half of my WaniKani on mobile and even making myself slow down I’m still getting screwed by this.

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In theory it is best to do your reviews as soon as possible, but it is also ok to wait a bit if you prefer. I always did my reviews once a day myself, but most people do them more often.

You can add an “Undo” button in the advanced settings of Flaming Durtles

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Bless you, that’s exactly what I was looking for. I never even bothered to check those settings because I thought they were for app developers or something.

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ey, welcome!

i’m a returning member who tried to self-study ~4 years ago and ended up dropping studying japanese in a similar way to you, but started learning again recently.

for the whole typo thing, i think i remember there being a setting in the ‘advanced user settings’ section in flaming durtles that lets you take back your answer. not sure if i’m remembering correctly though, since i last used it like 4 years ago. also you gotta be careful if you use it, since it can be tempting to take back your answer if you think you almost got it correct - you shouldn’t do this and should only use it when you make a typo like you said. i made the mistake of using it just because i got annoyed that it would take longer to get to the next level even though it wasn’t just a typo, and it messed up my learning and i would constantly forget them.

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Thanks for the welcome and yeah absolutely, marking myself as correct for answers I didn’t really get right is something I always was partial to when I was in school and being graded on accuracy. As of now having used the undo script on the web version for a couple weeks I’ve been happy to find I’m not nearly so tempted now that I’d only screw myself over, though I’ll definitely keep that in mind.

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Congrats on your progress. The rule of thumb is that it takes three weeks for something to become habit, so welcome to the WK review train!

Like @Kumirei, I only do one review session per day. It’s slower because you miss the four and eight hour reschedules, but since it’s a multi year effort for most of us, I don’t think it matters much when you do your reviews as long as you get the queue down to zero at least once every single day.

You also want to get as many reviews of newly introduced items in as possible, though. The downside of only doing reviews once per day isn’t just a slower pace, you also won’t review early stage items frequently enough for them to “stick”

For that reason, I’m a big fan of augmenting “real” reviews with self study. Either using the newly introduced feature or via user scripts (the ganbarometer and item inspector also make it easy to launch the wonderful self study user script with just early stage items).

I like to have several repeated rounds of items in stages 1-2 before beginning my real review session. I repeat until I can answer all items with 100% accuracy.

I’ve usually got fewer than 20 or so stage 1-2 items out of 150 or so total on any given day. It only takes two or three iterations until I can answer them all correctly, so it really doesn’t add much more time to my overall review session.

I usually finish my sessions in 30 minutes or so (sometimes double that if I’ve got a bunch of master/enlightened items all arriving on the same day).


Addendum regarding typos:

Personally, I think it’s best to look at them as opportunities for an extra review or two. In the grand scheme of things, those extra reviews aren’t going to hurt your learning, and who cares how long it takes you to burn something? It’s sometimes annoying for enlightened items but I’ve never bothered with undoing mistakes for any reason.

That assumes that typos are relatively infrequent, though. Too many and they will affect your overall daily workload. They were happening too frequently for me through stages 1-10 when I mostly used my phone, so I switched to doing my reviews on a real keyboard in front of the computer and never looked back.

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Thanks for that Item inspector script mentioning. That’s an awesome one!

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Thanks for the advice, I’ll definitely try to use the self-study more, I grabbed that self study script a while back and haven’t really used it yet. I also don’t really have any issues with typos on keyboard (I’ve used the undo function three times total since I downloaded it) but the phone was just killing me and I do a lot of my studying during downtime at work.

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Hello and welcome! :slight_smile:

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One of the main factors is scheduling. Throughout the whole of Wanikani, I spent an hour a day on lessons and reviews.

For me, it was much easier to have three short sessions morning, noon, and evening than to have a one hour block. I could easily fit those into breaks at work and between chores at home.

Whichever you pick, just do whatever you can consistently maintain.

You’ve already found the undo button so you’re in good shape. :smiley:

On mobile, I thinks it’s almost a requirement to have an undo button even though phone keyboards have gotten very good.

And for my journey through WK, I wouldn’t have been able to finish at all without a mobile client. It was just more convenient for my schedule to hop on my phone for 20m between tasks.

But that goes back to scheduling that I mentioned earlier. Find a slot in your life that works and keep at it. :wink::+1:

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